A series of gravel piles, rolling like the Kentucky hills, started at the fjord’s end and led up to the glacier’s crumbling face. The pilot of the de Havilland Beaver circled twice looking for a slip of water clear of ice floe. As the plane’s floats skimmed the milky-blue water, the pilot and sanctioned real estate agent of Denmark, remarked that in twenty years the entire glacier would be gone. As proof of his words, great towers of dirty ice collapsed as they watched, shattering into chunks the size of SUVs.
“The mineral wealth under ‘de ice is wert more dan anything you could build on top of it,” he said.
“We’re not here to mine it.” Lance waded ashore with the plane’s tie-off and secured it to a boulder. He turned back to assist his wife as well as the other two passengers. “We’re here to immigrate, when the time comes.”
The other couple chuckled together. The woman, whose Long Island twang had already set Pam’s teeth to edge, said, “Immigrate? To a place like this? This emptiness?”
Her husband, stoic, with an air of family wealth, dismissed the notion out-right. “The only thing this land is good for is resources. Rare earths, gold, platinum, and I have it on good authority, oil and gas reserves.” The man slid into an expensive down jacket. “It’s not called Green-Land for nothing.”
Pam started to respond but Lance patted her coat and gave her a pleading look. She smiled flatly and nodded. “Greenland offers something for everyone.” She grabbed Lance’s hand and tugged him toward the first moraine.
He followed eagerly. “The place has a savage beauty. Maybe too savage. Are we crazy to think that in ten years, we’ll be able to come here and live?” Lance selected a turquoise colored stone, rounded by the abuse of a million years of glacial polishing. “Maybe a little mining wouldn’t be so bad. It would…”
“Those assholes can kiss my butt.” Pam took the rock from Lance, turned it in the high summer sun. “Sure there are ways we could make money from this land. There’s copper right here in this rock.” She tossed it back. Lance caught it without a thought. “But, come on, Lance honey. We’re not here to make a killing. We’re here because of the killing that’s already going on.”
Lance waited patiently for his wife to continue. They trudged up the next wave of glacial tailings, getting closer to the creaking, cracking ice wall.
Pam kicked a chunk of grey that exploded in a shower of dirt and sparkling crystals. “It’ll be like we’re pioneers. Like on Mars or some far off exo-planet. But with free oxygen and,” she pointed at the wall, “free water.”
They got to within a hundred yards of the ice wall. The pilot had recited the statistics regarding this one fjord, there were hundreds of others like it. This one, he’d said, held a river of ice that had not only receded for miles up the steep canyon, but had shrunk vertically. Pam and Lance stared up at the top of the cathedral-like prominence, two hundred feet above their heads.
“It used to be a mile thick right here.” Lance pocketed the robin’s-egg rock.
“We’ll have to take into account another foot of sea level rise by the time we’re ready to move.”
“We still set on buying five square kilometers?”
Pam answered absolutely. She sought out a fragment of ice, blown clear of the dangerous area nearer the glacier. A shard with mesmerizing depths caught her eye. She began to suck on it. “At the price we’re getting, we should buy ten.”
“I don’t think we have the finances for ten.”
“Maybe not. But, we’ll want to keep as much out of the hands of those rich pricks as we can.”
“Ten it is.”