The Call of the Cold
The latest trend among tourists is the Arctic Circle. Why? The answer may perhaps be found in a quatrain we recall from childhood.
Man’s a fool.
When it’s hot he wants it cool.
When it’s cool he wants it hot
Always wanting what is not.
This strange behavior is not hard to understand. Novelty, as they say, is the “spice of life.”
But this shift of tourist interest in the Arctic Circle is a real reversal of trends that characterized our behavior in the past. Generally, the idea was to get out of the ice and snow of northern winters. “California, here I come,” was a national slogan. Florida was and still is a magnet for northerners from the Atlantic Coast to the northern areas of the Midwest.
But a reversal of the historic trend from traditional climates to the Arctic Circle seemed unlikely. The reason is the much discussed “global warming.” In the past the Arctic Circle was a great big glacier or two. It was impenetrable by humans with the exception of a few incredible explorers. But, now, thanks to global warming, glaciers turn to icebergs and icebergs turn to floating pieces of ice.
But before we call for three cheers for global warming, we had better be warned about the global impact of rising oceans fed by melting glaciers that lift the level of oceans so that one day not so far distant Manhattan Island will be turned into a swimming pool spiked with skyscrapers.