Thursday, August 02, 2007

The Arctic is Russian

That's what the Russians are claiming, anyway. But once again, the maneuvering is all about oil, as Russia tries to exert further hegemony over petroleum resources.
Russia symbolically staked its claim to billions of dollars worth of oil and gas reserves in the Arctic Ocean today when two mini submarines reached the seabed more than two and a half miles beneath the North Pole.

In a record-breaking dive, the two craft planted a one metre-high titanium Russian flag on the underwater Lomonosov ridge, which Moscow claims is directly connected to its continental shelf.
...
Descending to 4,300 metres, the mini-subs Mir-1 and Mir-2 collected water and sediment samples from the seabed. Russian scientists hope the samples will shore up their claim that the ridge is an integral part of Russia.

If Russia's claim is approved by the UN, the country could gain rights over supplies of hydrocarbons that some experts put at 10bn tonnes. The ice cap is melting, making exploration and drilling for oil and gas easier.
Naturally, Canada is sounding a tad miffed at such contentious move, as Foreign Minister Peter MacKay says,
This isn't the 15th century. You can't go around the world and just plant flags and say: 'We're claiming this territory'.
Mr. Mackay is indeed correct about that. Flags really don't cut it anymore. These days you need F-18s, M-1 tanks, aircraft carriers, proxy warriors. And bombs. Lots and lots of bombs.

Meanwhile, right wingers here are still pretending that nothing like this should be happening because nothing is actually happening. Global warming is all a liberal hoax. Apparently, the Russians don't get Fox News.

I'm sure Wolf Blitzer thinks the Russians are just trying to win friends under the polar ice cap.

3 Comments:

Blogger Mentarch said...

Flags don't cut it, and yet they still do ( http://redtory.blogspot.com/2007/08/world-according-to-pete.html ).

The point being that it will be all about a matter of 'water/sea/continental shelf zones of control' recognized by the U.N.: "no country lays exclusive claim to the region. Rather, Arctic nations Canada, the United States, Russia, Denmark, and Norway all have maritime jurisdictions that extend 200 nautical miles off their coastlines. If one of the states want to expand its zone, it will need more than a flag to prove it. It needs hard, expensive science. It must validate that the structure of its shelf is consistent with its own geological structure of its own terrain."

( http://www.canada.com/nationalpost/news/story.html?id=de36814e-c822-4f16-ae4e-108e328a959b&k=83848 )

Oh - and please "ease off" taking for granted that P.M. Harper and his Harpies (like McKay) actually represent Canada - they are, after all, constituting *only* a minority government, one for which I hope will be thrown out of the House of Commons to be left twisting in the wind soon ...

And the sooner, the better. ;-)

4:30 AM  
Blogger theBhc said...

Mentarch,

Don't worry, I know Harper represents Canada the same way Bush represents the US (ok, maybe not quite that badly, but...). But still, the Canadians are rightly concerned about this silly move by the Russians, a move I'm not sure anyone understands to be the slightest bit meaningful other than indicating that the Russians aim to exact a serious fight about the Arctic. Because the real purpose of the dive was not the flag, but the sampling of the ocean floor they did while down there.

1:46 PM  
Blogger Mentarch said...

TheBHC: yes - they were there for sampling - as part of an international team. This exploration group is alternately lead by a different northern counrty and this year happens to be Russia's turn to lead it ... hence the false/misinformed perception that the Russians are doing this on their own ...

6:09 PM  

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