Tuesday, December 16, 2014

The right thing for the Arctic

Recent claims by Denmark (yes, Denmark, in the news!) has reignited interest in the "ownership" of the Arctic. I notice that I made a blog entry way back in 2007 on this same subject, and not much seems to have changed since then, and certainly nothing for the better.
I still find the whole idea of ownership of the Arctic by anyone wholly repugnant. In these supposedly enlightened days, why is there no major movement to treat the Arctic as international patrimony, like Antarctica, which was declared a zone of joint scientific research as early as 1959, prohibiting military activity, mineral mining and dumping, and supporting international scientific research and the protection of the eco-zone?
Instead, we are arguing over who owns the rights to exploit the potentially vast natural resources of the Arctic region (possibly as much as a quarter of the world's undiscovered energy resources). Stephen Harper has even specified that Canada's claim specifically include the geographic North Pole itself, presumably as a matter of national pride and general tub-thumpingness...
Can we not put our national hubris and economic rapacity behind us for a change (and I am referring here not just to Canada, but to Denmark, Russia, and anyone else who thinks they should have a share of the pie)? Can we not, for once,do the right thing?

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