Posts Tagged ‘Canadian Arctic’

Will the Arctic be the next big arena of conflict?

December 9, 2015
Double click to enlarge.

Double click to enlarge.

The warming Arctic is likely to be a new arena of conflict between Russia and the USA.

But unlike in current conflicts in Ukraine and Syria, there will be no question of democracy or a fight against terrorism to cloud the central issue—control of oil and gas resources and transportation routes.

The infrographic by the South China Morning Post provides a good snapshot of the situation.   The potential conflict in the Arctic is even more dangerous than existing conflicts, because of its potential for direct confrontation between the USA and Russia.

The other nations with the greatest physical presence in the Arctic are Canada and Denmark (which controls Greenland).   It will be interesting to see whether they will follow the lead of the United States or try to steer an independent course.

The irony of the situation is that the Arctic is being opened up by global warming, which causes the Arctic ice cap to shrink over time, and that the warming is caused mainly by burning of fossil fuels, but the new oil and gas supplied from the Arctic will make it easier and cheaper to keep on burning fossil fuels.

The best outcome would be for the Arctic powers to agree on sharing and conserving the region’s resources.  That doesn’t seem likely anytime soon.

Canada’s Arctic oil rush

November 19, 2012

This Al Jazeera English special gives a good picture of Canada’s drive to exploit the oil of its warming Arctic region, an oil rush that is duplicated in Russia, Alaska, Norway, Greenland and other Arctic lands.

The drive, together with hydrofracking — hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling for shale oil and gas — are North America’s best hope of postponing Peak Oil, the day when oil production reaches its peak and starts running down.

The Nunavut territory carved out of Canada’s Northwest Territories, which is inhabited mainly by the native Inuit peoples, could be the next Texas or Kuwait.   I had always thought that the creation of Nunavut was a great act of generosity in the part of the Canadian government, but according to this documentary, the Inuit gave up their claims to ownership of the land in return for self-government of the territory.  This might not be a good bargain for them, particularly if there is an oil rush and they find themselves a minority in their area.

Click on Nunavut wiki for a Wikipedia article on Canada’s newest Arctic territory.

Click on Nunavik wiki for a Wikipedia article on a proposal for an autonomous Inuit-majority region in Arctic Quebec.

Click on Nunatsiavut wiki for a Wikipedia article for a report on an autonomous Inuit-majority region in Arctic Laborador