Mike Pompeo praised climate change for opening up Arctic trade routes and people were quick to point out the obvious
Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images/Twitter

With thousands of scientists warning us that we're dangerously close to running out of time if we want to stop the devastating effects of climate breakdown, it can sometimes be hard to see the bright side.

Potential geopolitical chaos, millions of people around the world displaced and a loss of biodiversity equal to a mass extinction are all very likely outcomes if we fail to curb our emissions.

Thankfully, the US secretary of state has found the silver lining we've all been waiting for: Arctic trade routes.

At a meeting of the Arctic Council, Mike Pompeo told delegates:

Steady reductions in sea ice are opening new passageways and new opportunities for trade. 

This could potentially slash the time it takes to travel between Asia and the West by as much as 20 days. Arctic sea lanes could [become] the 21s century Suez and Panama Canals.

Over the past few decades, the Arctic is thought to have lost 95 percent of its oldest ice.

What with this contributing to rising sea levels, habitat loss and the disruption of weather events, for most people this spells trouble.

For some world leaders, it is an opportunity.

Billions of barrels of oil are countless other minerals are thought to reside beneath the ice, and the US, Russia and China are already planning how to ensure their fair share of the spoils.

With an increasing awareness of climate change around the globe, many were quick to share their disbelief at Mr Pompeo's comments.

Some were keen to share his optimism.

Others were baffled by the US government's apparent U-turn.

While others spotted Trump's keen tactician's mind behind the comments.

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