Thursday, July 26, 2007

Climate-change induced conflict

An additional source of conflict that climate change may induce is to open up competition over jurisdictionally ambiguous spaces that previously were so inaccessible as to not really be worth disputing. The Russians are aggressively asserting their claims to vast stretches of the Arctic, not for strategic reasons (as during the Cold War), but because global warming has thinned the ice in the Artic to the point where exploiting hydrocarbons (control over which is the linchpin of contemporary Russian geostrategy) is now or likely soon will be possible. Next up: tearing up the 1959 Antarctica Treaty declaring that continent the sole province of science, so as to exploit the likely stupendous mineral resources of the continent.

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