In the remote Arctic Ocean, a Chinese cargo ship plows through melting sea ice, taking a new shortcut to Europe. Global warming has brought big business to the Arctic, and shipping’s not the only game in town.


FUNK: “Up to a quarter of the world’s remaining oil and gas are in the Arctic and as the ice pulls back, it’s simply easier to get it.”

That’s McKenzie Funk, author of Windfall: The Booming Business of Global Warming. He says many investors are capitalizing on climate change — at least for now.

FUNK: “If you look at the science, any of these profits are short term. We’re on a path to the kind of warming that any investor who’s actually paying attention should be worried about — even if they’re solely worried about money.”

The profits may be temporary but the trend still reveals how unfairly climate change affects people in different parts of the world.

FUNK: “Those of us who have the money to basically invest in climate profiteering or to build seawalls for ourselves are the ones who are going to be affected least.”

Funk notes that poor countries will be hit the hardest and will have fewer resources to adapt — let alone profit — from drought, rising seas, and other impacts of climate change.

Reporting credit: ChavoBart Digital Media.
Photo: China Ocean Shipping (Group) Company (COSCO) ship arrives in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, on September 10, 2013. It is the first time a Chinese merchant vessel completed its journey over the slowly melting Northern Sea Route, which was 9 days less than conventional routes. (Xinhua/Jia Lirui) (Source: CNTV).

More Resources
Q&A: McKenzie Funk on the booming business of global warming
Q&A: How to Make Money From Climate Change
Who Will Profit from Climate Change?

Lisa Palmer is a freelance journalist and a fellow at the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center, SESYNC, in Annapolis, Md. Her writing covers the environment, energy, food security, agriculture,...