Fight for the Top of the World (“The Rush to Exploit”)
Published 21st November 2010 - 1 comments - 4286 views -
Picture: Time, The Arctic, Shimmering, An iceberg off the coast of Canada glimmers in a ray of sunlight. The book, 'Nordmeer' by Gueorgui Pinkhassov
As shrinkage of the ice has made it easier to access the Arctic, competition for the region's resources has intensified. David Ooingoot Kalluk, 66, an Inuit who has hunted on the ice around Resolute for the past 48 years, has sensed the weird new world to come. "The snow and ice now melt from the bottom, not the top," Kalluk says as he glances out over the almost ice-free waters of Resolute Bay and fingers a pair of binoculars. He used to take dogsleds across the ice in June to hunt caribou on nearby Bathurst Island. Now, he says, the ice is too thin even in early May. If the warming continues, he fears that the cod population will shift farther north, disturbing the food chain for the ring-necked seal — the natural staple of the polar bears that regularly stalk the hamlet in the winter months.
Picture: Time, The Arctic, Respite A Canadian Inuit family enjoys the warm weather. The Arctic, book, 'Nordmeer' by Gueorgui Pinkhassov
Kalluk and his people will just have to adjust, but the polar bears may not be able to. A recent study by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) predicts that shrinking sea ice will mean a two-thirds reduction in their population by mid-century. Not even strict adherence to the Kyoto accord on limiting greenhouse gases would stop an Arctic meltdown, which means the Arctic, like nowhere else on Earth, is a place where efforts to mitigate global warming have yielded to full-bore adaptation to its impact. That process is freighted with irony. With gas and oil prices near historic highs and with scant prospect of any decrease in world demand for energy, it is only prudent to get a sense of what resources lie below the newly accessible sea. But there is something paradoxical about seeking in the Arctic the very carbon fuels that are melting the northern ice. "The rush to exploit Arctic resources can only perpetuate the vicious cycle of human-induced climate change," says Mike Townsley of Greenpeace International. (Source: Time, Fight for the Top of the World By James Graff, Wednesday, Sep. 19, 2007)
Pls. read the full article here: http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1663445-2,00.html
I can still remember that this article influenced me very deeply, it was like a catalyst for me…and unfortunately the article is still current...
Picture: Time, The Arctic, White Wall. The Coast of Greenland rises from the Norwegian Sea. The book, 'Nordmeer' by Gueorgui Pinkhassov
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