AUGUSTA, Maine — Speaking to a conference assembled to discuss the transportation trends of the future, Gov. Paul LePage said Thursday that global climate change could have an upside for Maine.
“Everybody looks at the negative effects of global warming, but with the ice melting, the Northern Passage has opened up,” he said. “So maybe, instead of being at the end of the pipeline, we’re now at the beginning of a new pipeline.”
The Northeast Passage, also known as the northern sea route, is a maritime route through the Arctic Circle that connects the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, providing a shortcut from the U.S. East Coast to Asia — and all the markets therein — that shaves 40 percent off the distance of the traditional route through the Mediterranean Sea and the Suez Canal.
Not surprisingly, the Sierra Club was quick to call out this short-sighted idiocy.
“Gov. LePage’s statement that there is an upside to global climate disruption reflects an embarrassing ignorance of the alarming harmful environmental and economic ramifications of carbon pollution,” said Glen Brand, the environmental group’s director. “Maine is already suffering from numerous problems from climate change, including threats to the state’s fisheries, forests, coasts and tourist industries.”