Last year, Beluga Shipping discovered that there's money in global warming. Beluga is a German firm that specializes in "super heavy lift" transport. Its vessels are equipped with massive cranes, allowing it to load and unload massive objects, like multi-ton propeller blades for wind turbines. It is an enormously expensive business, but last summer, Beluga executives hit upon an interesting way to save money: Shipping freight over a melting Arctic. Beluga had received contracts to send materials on a sprawling trip that would begin in Ulsan, South Korea, head north and west to the Russian port city of Archangelsk—located …
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Clive Thompson is a contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine and a columnist for Wired.