The summer Arctic could be ice-free in a few years, further accelerating global warming, and ultimately causing more volatile weather in the lower 48, of the kind we've been experiencing only... worse.
We have a problem distinguishing between wants and needs. Needs are food, clothing and shelter. Wants are iPods, Lady Gaga and nuclear energy. Honestly, we could all do with a good scolding from Mother Nature.
North America should forget a continental energy policy which will guarantee its economic pre-eminence -- but this will only work if the US imposes strict conservation and Mexico changes its oil policies immediately.