First, let me state clearly my position about Global Warming, Climate Change, or whatever you want to call it. Not my complete take, but enough to give you a clue of where I stand.
It does not matter to me at this point whether Man has created the changes we are seeing in our climate. The fact is, the planet is going through some changes. A brief hiccup or a longer readjustment is beside the point also. To deny the facts of this different climate is to be dangerously stupid. And based on what I can tell, it is a case of willful stupidity when being used as a political counterpoint. Natural or not, we need to take notice and do what we can to meet and deal with the changes that are on everyone's horizons.
This post however is not me going all Al Gore and ranting about the evil human destroying his planet. Instead I want to talk of opportunities and the potential dangers of pursuing those opportunities that have resulted from Climate Change.
As far as I know, all the experts are in agreement that the Ice Sheets found at each end of our mutual rock are shrinking. The effect on our planet from an environmental point of view is likely to be profound. It is the Arctic shrinkage though that will most likely result in profound geo-political changes also. The shrinkage up North is now uncovering that "Northwest Passage" so many explorers were sure existed, but could not find because well, it was under ice.
The possibility of open shipping lanes across the top of the World changes the dynamics of transporting anything from one continent to the other. The shrinkage is also uncovering more areas to exploit for the black gold the World loves to pump into their infernal combustion engines. The Arctic seems to be our next point of global confrontation. That next flash point not many people saw coming thirty years ago.
This reality of open sea in the Arctic has every country bordering the Arctic Circle scrambling now to claim as much of the area as they can and calling it their own. We are about to divide up the North Pole. It's historical neutrality is on the auction block. And this is no game. Countries are damn serious about this.
Whoever controls energy production over the next 50 years is likely to ensure themselves a seat at the big dog table for the foreseeable future. And the untapped reserves up North has everyone up there salivating hard. Russia, Canada, and of course the US are the prime players in this next International soap opera. Each one has claimed so much that their claims overlap. Surprise, surprise. The other players like our laid back Scandinavian friends are quite vocal and have laid their claims also.
This initial posturing is to be expected I guess. It is the way the game is played. Claim more than your share and by the the time the dust settles, you might end up with what you really should have. Or something like that.
With this new opportunity staring us in the eye, the big three are now casting suspicious eyes on each other. All have begun to posture with talk of doing what is necessary to "protect" their interests and rights. Russia has just publicly announced that they are going to develop an Arctic Military Force.
Heated debate has begun in Canada about what they need to do to protect their rights up there. And I would imagine the US has many defense scenarios already plotted. Our boys in the Pentagon just love conjuring up worst case scenarios.
This new twist of an unforeseen consequence of Climate Change is now thrown into the unstable mix that makes up international relations today. One more unneeded problem to make an already deteriorating situation harder to deal with. One more new glitch that tells me the next 50 years will most likely be the most interesting times Mankind has ever experienced.
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