Global Warming: An Economic Boon? American Public Media’s Marketplace Visits People and Places Seeking to Profit from Arctic’s Thaw

Contact: Brad Robideau
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brobideau@americanpublicmedia.org
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Global Warming: An Economic Boon? American Public Media’s Marketplace Visits People and Places Seeking to Profit from Arctic’s Thaw

“Frozen Assets” Series Part of Marketplace’s Global Sustainability Coverage

(St. Paul, Minn.) October 19, 2006—Marketplace®, American Public Media’s award-winning daily business and economics news program, today announced “Frozen Assets,” a new weeklong series of reports about the unexpected impact of global warming to be broadcast on Marketplace Morning Report® and Marketplace during the week of October 23.

Scientists say the consequences of global warming are the most apparent in the Arctic. In fact, satellite images show that between 2004 and 2005, the ice covering the Arctic has shrunk 14 percent – an area roughly the size of Texas.

However, while environmentalists warn that global warming means higher sea levels and species extinction, politicians and businesspeople are working to reap the economic benefits of the Arctic thaw. For example, once frozen sea lanes are now open longer, fish stocks are on the move and the ocean floor is being probed and tested for oil and minerals.

Over the past summer, Marketplace reporters Sam Eaton and Stephen Beard traveled to Norway, Canada and the northern most point in Alaska to produce Frozen Assets. Eaton and Beard visited individuals and communities seeking to turn global warming into economic opportunities and met the winners and losers in this modern day land and sea grab. They also explored the many challenges global warming brings to the Arctic region.

Frozen Assets Highlights: Countries scramble to stake claims on oil and minerals believed to be beneath the Arctic Ocean; a port on the western shore of Hudson Bay in northern Canada ready to cash in on melting waterways opening up for ships; a look at whether the U.S. will lose out for failing to sign the UN Law of the Sea Convention; the conflict within native communities that see the economic potential of oil rigs on the horizon but worry about losing their traditional way of life; how a thawing permafrost is playing havoc with Alaska’s infrastructure; Norway’s push north for oil; Alaska’s fishing industry likely to be the first major economic casualty of global warming; and Marketplace toasts Greenland and its new-founded Arctic brew that is drawing raving reviews.

Frozen Assets was partly funded by Marketplace’s Sustainability Desk that focuses on covering sustainability and the economy, including environmental, economic, technological, cultural and other factors influencing the future of humanity. Marketplace’s Sustainability Desk is made possible by generous grant from the Tides Foundation.

Tune In: Frozen Assets reports will begin broadcasting nationwide on Monday, October 23 during Marketplace Morning Report and Marketplace. Check local radio listings for times and public radio stations or go to www.marketplace.org.

Online Features: Beginning October 23, visit www.marketplace.org for a schedule of Frozen Assets reports, sound clips, images, maps of Marketplace reporters’ travels and other resources and links.

Marketplace, produced and distributed by American Public Media, is a portfolio of business programs that also includes Marketplace Morning Report and Marketplace Money. Marketplace programs cover the topics of money and business, people, local economies and the world with signature sound and wit. The only national business news programs to originate from the West Coast, the Marketplace portfolio is heard by more than eight million listeners each week, more than any other business program on radio or TV. Across the country, the Marketplace programs are heard on more than 470 public radio stations. Marketplace maintains bureaus throughout the United States and the world. The program has won numerous awards, including an Alfred I. duPont-Columbia award and a George Foster Peabody award.