Canada Claims and Russia Counter-claims the North Pole
|December 14, 2013||Posted by Staff under Land Disputes|
One day after Canada laid claim to the North Pole in a bid to out-maneuver other nations in the land grab for the resource-rich Arctic, Russian president Vladimir Putin issued orders to “concentrate on building up infrastructure and military units in the Arctic,” including the restoration of a number of Soviet-era Arctic bases.
The bid comes as Arctic-bordering nations race to establish gas and oil drilling in the region, greenlighting what environmental groups call reckless operations that risk spoiling the pristine Arctic ecosystem. Rapidly melting ice has also opened up new shipping channels through the Arctic which neighboring countries have been eager to exploit.
Canada’s official submission to the UN is due this month. Last week, Canada applied to increase its nautical borders by roughly 1.2m square kilometers beyond the current boundary, 200 nautical miles from the northern coast, which is allotted to all neighboring Arctic nations including Canada, Denmark, Norway, Russia, and the U.S.
Ed. Notes: If governments can’t wage a Cold War over ideology, they must revert to threatening war over good ol’ fashioned territory and resources? Isn’t any society over petty land grabs? Not even developed Canada? Can’t this species progress?
It doesn’t matter who owns the Arctic. It only matters who gets its “rent” or royalties. If everybody got them, a good-sized number of us — those living nearby the extraction sites — then there’d be no “rents” leftover to flow into the deep pockets of a few insiders.
To prevent these conflicts, it really is up to us to declare loudly, clearly, and often that the worth of Earth is a common wealth for all of us to share.