John Vidal’s article “The staggering decline of sea ice at the frontline of of climate change” acutely illustrates the paradigm shift that our current generations are facing. The effects of expelled global warming gases in the atmosphere and subsequent melt of polar ice caps will be more apparent in the coming years as scientists have recently discovered that the melting process has accelerated. On a recent trip to the Arctic, it was discovered that more ice has melted in 2012 than ever recorded by satellites before, breaking the previous world record set in 2007 (Vidal). This ice melt has sped beyond previous predictions and is causing changes in the landscape of our familiar world. Foliage is moving North to escape the heat as beetles destroy forests in Canada, Siberia and Alaska (Vidal). Meanwhile, human settlements have to be reestablished due to shrinking coastlines and rising seas. The climate change has affected the economy as well; melting ice has opened sea passages that in the past have been inaccessible and in turn have made a slew of Arctic resources attainable. The oil, gas, mining, and shipping enterprises will benefit from the turn of events, however, new environmental threats are introduced as drilling expands into these new waters (Vidal). John Vidal’s article “The staggering decline of sea ice at the frontline of of climate change” acutely illustrates the paradigm shift that our current generations are facing. The effects of expelled global warming gases in the atmosphere and subsequent melt of polar ice caps will be more apparent in the coming years as scientists have recently discovered that the melting process has accelerated. On a recent trip to the Arctic, it was discovered that more ice has melted in 2012 than ever recorded by satellites before, breaking the previous world record set in 2007 (Vidal). This ice melt has sped beyond previous predictions and is causing changes in the landscape of our familiar world. Foliage is moving North to escape the heat as beetles destroy forests in Canada, Siberia and Alaska (Vidal). Meanwhile, human settlements have to be reestablished due to shrinking coastlines and rising seas. The climate change has affected the economy as well; melting ice has opened sea passages that in the past have been inaccessible and in turn have made a slew of Arctic resources attainable. The oil, gas, mining, and shipping enterprises will benefit from the turn of events, however, new environmental threats are introduced as drilling expands into these new waters (Vidal). This economic opportunity corresponds with Fiske’s theory of the base and superstructure he presents in his essay The Popular Economy.” As the dominant group who distributes goods to sell to the masses, the superstructure is dependent on resources such as oil and gas to create revenue. Since oil and gas have a clearly defined use-value, these commodities are highly sought after. Much of modern mechanical civilization depends on these recourses to exist. However, though much scientific research is being discovered and published about the detrimental effects that these processes are impressing upon our environment, they are not widely circulated in society. Since the superstructure is so dependent on these commodities, then it will not support the spread of knowledge that has the ability to shut its resource procuring operations down. As long as the masses remain ignorant and wary of the information being discovered by scientists, then they will continue supporting the superstructure, even if it means destroying the environment while doing so.

Works Cited
Fiske, John. “The Popular Economy.” Cultural Theory and Popular Culture A Reader. Ed. John Storey. 4th ed. Harlow, England: Pearson Education Limited, 2009. Print.

Vidal, John. “The Staggering decline of sea ice at the frontline of climate change.” Guardian. 14 08 2012: n. page. Web. 17 Sep. 2012.

 

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