Panama is a small country, with few natural advantages other than location. Panama has a robust banking and finance industry, but other than that, what keeps the country afloat is revenue from the Panama Canal.
According to the Washington Post’s Energy 202, the daily newsletter about energy-related issues, the Venta Maersk, a Danish container ship, is about to attempt to sail through the Northern Sea Route. Enough ice has melted, apparently more or less permanently, to make the passage possible from July to October.
This is good news for the profitability of shipping companies. The news is very bad for the global climate, for the Panama Canal and for Egypt’s Suez Canal.
Wealthy Panamanians, like the wealthy anywhere, will likely be largely untouched. But the poor, the people I visit in the city and the village, Minga’s large extended family, will see their lives get harder and harder.