Wednesday, August 08, 2007

You Can't Play In My Sandbox . . . .

Today's On Point radio program with Tom Ashbrook on NPR featured a story concerning global sovereignty. The current activity between Canada and Russia in the Arctic was the main topic. No doubt the US will soon enter the fray with the dwindling natural resources south of the as yet untapped area. (For some unknown reason the audio links on the site are inoperable. I'll update when available)

Global Resources Wars

By host Tom Ashbrook:

This hour On Point: flags and ice and the new resource scramble at the North Pole and around the world.

It was a quirky story in the US news media, and a national triumph in Moscow.

Last Thursday, in the frigid wake of a nuclear powered ice-breaker, Russia sent two mini-submarines 13,000 feet beneath the Arctic ice cap, and planted a titanium-encased Russian flag on the seabed of the North Pole.

"The Arctic," declared expedition leader Artur Chilingarov, "is ours." And with it, Moscow hopes, a huge share of the massive oil and gas reserves under the melting pole.

The US and Canada laughed, but not for long.

Fred Weir, Moscow Correspondent for The Christian Science Monitor
Michael Klare, Professor of Peace and World Security Studies at Hampshire College and author of "Blood and Oil"
Michael Byers, Professor of International Law at the University of British Columbia
Eric Posner, Professor of Law at University of Chicago Law School

One of the panel discussion participants, Michael Byers, is a professor of international law at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. He cautions to not become hysterical at this point over the activity in the area. Hope he's right.

Ashbrook interviews a US Coast Guard lieutenant currently on the largest cutter in the fleet that is mapping the area for who-knows-what purposes?

The listener call-in comments are particularly interesting. Typical of the "us-or-them" US mentality is one caller who advocates setting up alliances with Russia as opposed to Canada in the battle to control resources. It would be interesting to get stevie harper and peter mackay's take on that type of attitude.

Now this headline from the CBC today:

Planned army base, port in North heat up Arctic quest

I wonder how all this figures in to the Deep Integration/SPP discussion?

How this plays out over the next few years should be quite a show. Get your popcorn and grab a seat . . . .

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