Pompeo Praises Rising Sea Levels: Hey, It’s Good For Trade!

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (L) speaks during a meeting with North Korea's director of the United Front Department, Kim Yong Chol (R-back to camera) at the Park Hwa Guest House in Pyongyang on July 6, 2018. - P... US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (L) speaks during a meeting with North Korea's director of the United Front Department, Kim Yong Chol (R-back to camera) at the Park Hwa Guest House in Pyongyang on July 6, 2018. - Pompeo arrived in Pyongyang on July 6 to press Kim Jong Un for a more detailed commitment to denuclearisation following the North Korean leader's historic summit with President Donald Trump. (Photo by Andrew Harnik / POOL / AFP) (Photo credit should read ANDREW HARNIK/AFP/Getty Images) MORE LESS
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May 6, 2019 4:02 p.m.

Scientists and humanity in general might see global warming as a life-threatening disaster, but Secretary of State Mike Pompeo sees a trade opportunity.

During a speech on Monday at the 11th Arctic Council Ministerial Meeting in Rovaniemi, Finland, Pompeo took a moment to extol the benefits of rapidly melting ice caps.

“Steady reductions in sea ice are opening new passageways and new opportunities for trade,” Pompeo said. “This could potentially slash the time it takes to travel between Asia and the West by as much as 20 days.”

The bizarre quote highlights how the secretary of state’s speech largely focused on trade competition rather than the Council’s mission of environmental protection.

Read the full transcript of Pompeo’s remarks here.

Update: This article contained a paragraph incorrectly stating that melting sea ice is responsible for rising ocean levels. The error has been removed.

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