Category Archives: Planet

Book review: ‘The Ice is Melting’ asks right questions about ethics and climate; answers remain elusive


In a book full of questions, one of the toughest to answer is who this book is for.

It treats man-made climate change as fact, which eliminates an unfortunately large percentage of the population. It reveals little information a climate expert doesn’t already know and doesn’t make pure villains out of culprits that climate activists would surely like to see eviscerated. And ultimately the answer to all those questions is less than satisfying: we need more and better dialogue with each other.

Hope or hot air? U.N. chief’s hopeful remarks about climate summit during visit to Svalbard contrast previous comments and data


Things are proceeding at a glacial pace, which means they’re happening too fast in Svalbard and too slow in the diplomatic world.

But U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, during a visit to the archipelago this week, said he’s optimistic a meaningful agreement to limit climate change can be reached during an international summit in Paris at the end of year.

Barely getting our feet wet: Sea level to rise ‘only’ 17mm if Svalbard’s glaciers melt


Svalbard’s glaciers aren’t going to completely vanish anytime soon and even if they did the impact seems pretty small compared to the apocalyptic predictions of what may be already happening due to melting in Antarctica.

33,000 Russian troops rehearsed ‘the speedy seizure of northern Norway,’ other parts of Scandinavia this spring


Shortly before Dmitry Rogozin was thumbing his nose at Norway by visiting Svalbard and hundreds of Russian soldiers were training on the ice north of the archipelago, a far more massive invasion of the area south of here was being practiced.

‘The threat of annihilation’: Svalbard Church priest returns to West Bank to try to save village from demolision


Inside the home, “considered to be more of a big tent,” there’s a “happy reunion” with a family celebrating the post-fast Iftar meal during Ramadan. Outside, soldiers are awaiting orders to destroy the village, which those inside the tent believe may happen the next day.

Growing pains: Seed vault’s status as savior or saboteur gets new media, movie scrutiny


The good: A “daring rescue” of seeds in worn-torn Syria that may ensure the country’s future food production. The bad: a rusted refrigerator part at the seeds’ new home in Svalbard that “for a few horrible moments (suggested) the future of human civilization was in jeopardy.” The mixed: the drama of our possible “mass extinction” of meals is getting big-screen exposure, but critics aren’t finding it all that palatable.

Progress Party leader: Send these refugees to Svalbard


Svalbard is already a haven for Syria’s crops that are under threat in the war-torn country. Now it’s being suggested thousands of refugees fleeing the country be sent to the archipelago as well.

Random weirdness for the week of Feb. 3

polar bear in london

You gotta love which animal is on the leash in this photo.