Behold: novelty ice.

Ice For a Price

Thanks to climate change, and now an apparent demand for exotically sourced ice cubes, the future of our world's precious glaciers is literally on the rocks.

The Guardian reports that a startup in Greenland called Arctic Ice is making cold cash by extracting glacier ice from the country's fjords and then shipping them over 9,000 nautical miles to the United Arab Emirates, where "exclusive" bars in cities like Dubai serve the ice in drinks. Clink!

Part of the appeal, according to cofounder Malik Rasmussen, is that the ice is completely without bubbles, melts more slowly than regular ice, and is more pure than regular water, he told the newspaper.

"Arctic Ice is sourced directly from the natural glaciers in the Arctic which have been in a frozen state for more than 100,000 years," reads the company's website, as quoted by The Guardian.

"These parts of the ice sheets have not been in contact with any soils or contaminated by pollutants produced by human activities," it continues. "This makes Arctic Ice the cleanest H20 on Earth."

Cooling Off

News of the practice has fueled a wave of backlash on social media. Many argue that it's wasteful and dystopic, if not simply offensive to good taste. (And of course, some have eagerly highlighted a distressingly relevant Simpsons gag.)

To the climate conscious, Greenland is chiefly known for its massive ice sheet, from which news of its regularly melting glaciers is an existential reminder of our rising sea levels. In that regard, perhaps tapping into this precious ice just so wealthy expats in Dubai can get a cool novelty out of their cocktails is a bit too Anthropocene.

Rasmussen maintains, however, that their intentions are as pure as the chilly stuff they peddle. Allegedly, the company is environmentally friendly. Since the doomed glaciers are melting anyway, Arctic Ice only hunts for the chunks that have already broken off using a specialized boat.

Moreover, he says, the shipping of the captured ice is done in refrigerated containers that otherwise would've been empty because Greenland is a net importer of frozen goods. Now, on the receiving end of some scornful scrutiny, the company wants the public to know that it's committed to being carbon neutral by offsetting its emissions, too.

"Helping Greenland in its green transition is actually what I believe I was brought into this world to do," Rasmussen told The Guardian. "We do have that agenda running through the company, but we may not have communicated it well enough yet."

And hey: good luck with that PR battle.

More on the environment: Millions of Plastic Pellets Wash Up on Shore

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