In Brief

Arctic Ice Melt Could Lead to ... Pirate Chases?

Arctic Sea Ice Coverage - August 2013
A still image, taken from an animation that depicts Arctic sea ice coverage on August 15, 2013. (Image credit: NASA Goddard/JAXA)

Are the Polish organizers of an upcoming United Nations climate talk scallywags? Indeed they arrrre, say some attendees and campaigners, who have been angered by a blog post put up by organizers that claims that thawing Arctic ice will lead to opportunities to "chase pirates, terrorists and ecologists."

The post also mentions that melting ice will allow ships to more quickly travel through the Arctic (the "Northwest Passage" of lore) but "we may also build new drilling platforms and retrieve natural resources hidden below the sea bed."

It's not exactly clear what the "pirate" reference means, although the Polish government gave no quarter, saying that the post "only pointed out the problem we face," the Guardian reported. British environmental campaigner Bryony Worthington said the text was "outrageous and should be withdrawn," and other European officials termed the post "crazy" and "shameful" for the meeting, "which is considered a key step towards reaching an international climate change deal in Paris at the end of 2015," according to the Guardian.

Robert Cyglicki, a director at the environmental group Greenpeace Poland, told the Guardian that the post illustrates "the Polish government is not the most credible host to the upcoming climate negotiations – keeping fossil fuels in the ground is clearly not on their agenda."

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Douglas Main
Douglas Main loves the weird and wonderful world of science, digging into amazing Planet Earth discoveries and wacky animal findings (from marsupials mating themselves to death to zombie worms to tear-drinking butterflies) for Live Science. Follow Doug on Google+.