Friday, June 20, 2008

Mother Nature is the Boss 

For years we've been hearing how the ice in the Arctic Sea will melt creating havoc for polar bears, native Alaskans and other life that dares tread there. This May, the "massive Russian icebreaker" Kapitan Khlebnikov brought on board passengers for a tour of the sea with the intent to travel from the northeastern corner of Russia, across the Bering Sea and the op of Canada to Resolute Bay in Nunavut. It's spring, ice was to be melting, you get the marketing picture.

They just had a little problem - ice, massive amounts of ice, in Russian waters. In fact, there was so much ice, this Cadillac of ice breakers was forced to stop, turn off its engines, and wait for Mother Nature to decide to let her go. Seven days later, the ice finally releases the ship. Engines are turned on, speed ahead to make up for lost time.

The ice may or may not have been moving because of climate change but fooling with Mother Nature can show one's lack of intelligence, respect for her power and ability to change on her schedule. As the ice master of the ship commented after the seven day "lock down" in the ice sheet: "This waterway may look like an easily navigable shortcut across the top of the globe, but we are not in charge of the itinerary. This is still an unpredictable passage."