Theodore's World: Canada Joins Rush to Claim the Artic

« She Who Loathes The Military Commander-In-Chief? ~ No Way! | Main | One Billion Muslims To Turn Into Suicide Bombers If Mecca Attacked »

August 09, 2007

Canada Joins Rush to Claim the Artic

Canada joins rush to claim the Arctic

Canada raised the stakes in the battle to claim ownership of the Arctic by sending Stephen Harper, prime minister, on a three-day trek to the region, just days after the Russians planted a flag on the seabed at the North Pole.

The US, Norway and Denmark are also competing alongside Russia and Canada to secure rights to the natural resources of the Arctic.

The Northwest Passage, which is the main focus of the dispute, has become a sought-after territory thanks to global warming, which has begun to melt the ice in these waters, exposing a potentially vast haul of natural resources.

Studies have estimated that the Arctic has as much as 25 per cent of the world’s undiscovered oil and gas.

The melting ice could also open up a route through the Arctic archipelago that could shave off as much as 6,500km on a journey between North American and Asia, instead of using the Panama Canal.

“Our government has an aggressive Arctic agenda,” Dimitri Soudas, Mr Harper’s spokesman, said on Wednesday.
“The Russians sent a submarine to drop a small flag at the bottom of the ocean. We’re sending our prime minister to reassert Canadian sovereignty,” said a senior government official, according to Canadian press.

Since the Russian expedition was discovered last month, Mr Harper has faced increasing pressure to fight back.

“Canada has a choice when it comes to defending our sovereignty over the Arctic,” said Mr Harper as he announced plans last month to spend about C$3.1bn (€2.14bn) on the construction of up to eight patrol vessels capable of breaking through much of the Arctic ice. “We either use it or lose it. And make no mistake – this government intends to use it.”

Mr Harper is also expected to name the site for a long-promised deepwater port in the region as well as asserting Canada’s claim over Hans Island, at the entrance to the Northwest Passage.

According to some estimates, the Arctic contains billions of tonnes of gas and oil deposits, which could become more accessible as the ice cap that cover them begins to melt. This is happening just as their exploitation becomes more economically viable because of high hydrocarbon prices.

Russia is seeking to claim more than the 200 nautical miles north of its territory that it is allotted by the UN treaty on the law of the sea, claiming thousands of square miles it says are connected to its continental shelf.

Both Canada and Denmark have dismissed Russia’s claims, arguing that its geological claims have no political significance.

The US’s position is complicated as it has not ratified the UN treaty, which means it cannot directly object to Russia’s claim. Rather than focusing on hydrocarbons rights in disputed waters, the Bush administration has focused on developing the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge as an energy source.

Wild Thing's comment........

When I read this the first thing I thought of was the old movie, " North to Alaska", with John Wayne and Stewart Granger and Fabian. It was a great movie and this rush to the Artic made me think of it. hahaha

So here is a litlte something for you all.

Posted by Wild Thing at August 9, 2007 12:47 AM


Loved the video, I'm a Horton fan and I've made over 500 flights over Mt. McKinley, most at a much lower altitude than that of the video, no I'm not homesick either. On a serious note, if we don't develop the Arctic resources someone else will just like Prime Minister Stephen Harper said, Russia perhaps. Much like China is currently doing off the coast of Florida in so called international waters off Cuba. Meanwhile we'll just keep it in reserve for them, in protective custody for the Communists, I'm sure Russia and China will be happy to sell us back our reserves if only we'll agree to their terms and ideology.

Posted by: Jack at August 9, 2007 01:53 PM

Yes Jack. Our American environmentalists and lefty politicos will get in the way of American development of natures assets. The whining, sniveling, wailing greenies will protest only American development of energy resources.

I worry more about the Chinese rush to control resources than I worry about Putin's circus of clowns.

Posted by: TomR at August 9, 2007 02:20 PM

I thought the Arctic was a no man's land.
That we all had to share it and reap the proceeds or her take.

Posted by: Lynn at August 9, 2007 08:13 PM

Try to defend/back up that claim.

Posted by: raz0r at August 9, 2007 09:47 PM

Jack I am so glad, I like him too.

Your 100% right it is so important that we do this.

Posted by: Wild Thing at August 10, 2007 12:43 AM

Tom, what a great change it would be if there were no enviro's, none of their stopping us all the time, at ebery turn to do what needs to be done. We would have more then enough oil if they would let us drill at all the places we have wanted to over the years. I really hate them for this more then anything else about them.

Posted by: Wild Thing at August 10, 2007 12:45 AM

Lynn, I used to think that too, apparently there is like a gold rush on now for the oil there.

Posted by: Wild Thing at August 10, 2007 12:46 AM

razOr, I guess time will tell. Thanks

Posted by: Wild Thing at August 10, 2007 12:47 AM