As climate change rips away the icy armor of the Arctic, nations surrounding the North Pole and companies eager to exploit the area’s mineral wealth–particularly oil and natural gas–are growing giddy with anticipation.
After finding little oil and natural gas, Royal Dutch Shell announced yesterday it would end its controversial Arctic drilling operations in the Chukchi Sea off Alaska’s coast “for the foreseeable future.”
Climate groups rallied in Anchorage, Alaska to demand that the U.S. government, President Obama and Alaskan leaders take the urgent action needed to stop climate change. The “Rally to Confront the Glacial Pace of Political Action” took place as President Obama met with ministers from around the world for the “GLACIER” conference.
You try to raise a voice because you have nothing but your voice. A voice to speak up for something which cannot speak up for itself.
Think of drilling in the Arctic as a future catastrophe in a single enticing package.
Professor Bradshaw is concerned Rosneft could decide to carry on drilling without the Western expertise and so increase the risk of a catastrophic accident in the Arctic. And he adds that Russia’s new gas deal with China will not help.
The fact that the summer ice is declining in the Arctic means that there is now also the possibility to take ships northwest and northeast of Greenland (seen from Europe) and the famous Northeast Passage goes through Russian territorial waters. Some judge that the risk for conflict there will grow and there are those who love to propose conflict-scenarios between Russia and the USA. Conflict over the demarcation of boundaries and shipping lanes is one possible scenario but all the parties in the area assure each other that everything will be solved peacefully.
Picture a vast gray ocean that dissolves into gray sky pregnant with heavy dark clouds, and a gray flat sandy shore that slowly oozes up from the Chukchi Sea. On August 30, 2012, we flew close to the Burger Prospect at 500 ft above the sea level. This is the area where one day Shell will drill their first wells. The sea was dotted with ice floes, some very large. Similar floes stopped all arctic drilling by Shell in late October 2012.