Friday, August 21, 2009
Use it or Lose it
The race to develop the resources of the Arctic region will devastate this pristine environment turning it into a
vast sterile, festering wasteland. Think Niger Delta with snow and ice.
Sovereignty claims in the arctic again begin to conflict with Canada's 142 year long ownership of Arctic territory.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper recently visited the high north, dined on local fare and proclaimed that merely having
the Inuit peoples living there isn't enough, we must "use it or lose it."
The Inuit were re-located to the high north in 1953, a land of a 3-month long totally dark Winter, and its
reciprocal 3-month long summer of 24hour daylight and have been largely neglected since then.
Nunavut was established as a separate federal territory in 1999, governed by the Inuit themselves but with funding
Recent explorations in the Arctic by Russia, Norway and the USA have stirred the Canadian federal government into
action, at least, into speaking up.
However, I believe that, lurking behind this rhetoric about sovereignty - a legitimate concern, since keeping
foreign interests out is likely to be easier than getting them out once they have established a foothold, is a
desire on the Federal Liberals to develop the Arctic's resources, to wit: Oil, gas, uranium, gold, diamonds,
minerals with graet cash value and a high return rate on investment.
ALL of the above mentioned resources are extracted from the environment at the expense of the environment. There is
no known method of sustainable, eco-friendly extraction of these resources. Therefore, in short, development of
Canada's north in order to establish "use" of the region is guaranteed to destroy the region for habitable purposes
and as a habitat for indigenous species, such as Caribou, bear, fox, birds, and every living creature. Even sealife
is endangered because the pristine Arctic waters will be polluted by runoff from mine tailings, oil production
residue and spills, radiation poisoning, increased cancer rates are already extant in the Inuit population.
The race to develop the Arctic is sure to turn this vast pure habitat into a wasteland devoid of healthy life.