Polygonic

That weren't no DJ, that was hazy cosmic jive

Twiddling in the Arctic

Norway and Russia have resolved an Arctic maritime border dispute through negotiation, while Canada buys multi-billion dollar stealth fighter jets. Which do you think is the more effective route to asserting Arctic sovereignty?

So, much to Harper’s chagrin, racing around on an ATV in Tuktoyaktuk and getting your photo taken atop a submarine is not enough to assert Arctic sovereignty. Nor are multi-billion dollar stealth jet fighters that are primarily designed to blow up bridges and villages.

Unfortunately for Harper, negotiating a settlement is how these things work. You can’t prorogue it away, you can’t lie about it or spin it off the front pages. You can’t just tell the process that “you think you make the rules.” You just have to bite your lip, go into that negotiating room, and work.

Not that the discourse of Arctic territorialism is something I’m very happy with. There is of course a dark irony in seeking to exploit the effects of climate change to drill for even more oil and create a freeway system of cargo boats to churn through one of the world’s most environmentally sensitive areas.

I have a quaint (but still passionate!) plan for the Arctic myself, though this falls in the category of ultranaive internationalism. So. Everything north of 75 degrees ought to fall under the authority of an international Arctic Treaty system – something not as far-reaching as the Antarctic Treaty, but nevertheless a treaty regime that would forbid all military activity, resource exploitation, and shipping, forever and ever.

Of course this would have implications for Santa Claus, but it’s for the greater good.

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Filed under: Canada, International, Politics, , , , ,

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