Reflections on the Surface

August 3, 2007

Arctic Colonialism

London, England

The Russian Bear has stretched out its claws again, in a move that is almost calculated to chill the air between the nations of the North.
Stupendous reserves of gas and, it is thought, oil, lie there beneath the ice, just waiting to be harvested.

Meanwhile, upwards of 130 million people have been affected by flood waters this year, 20 million in India, and perhaps 119 million in China, where floods have been followed by drought.

Just imagine the scene, one hundred years from now, as historians look back up on this preposterous Arctic land grab. The ice will be long gone; Himalayan glaciers will have shrunk to nothing and the West Antarctic Ice sheet will have withered away. It is likely that a war of some sorts will have been fought been China and Russia over Siberia and millions of people will have been uprooted by rising tides.

But the reserves of the North Pole will be Russian and the Earth will be spoilt and our children’s children will have been bequeathed a sad, sorry, unpleasant world.

And that titanium flag will sit there, triumphantly, on the North Pole’s sea bed, looking like a tattered remnant from some sort of moonwalk that happened a long time ago.





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