Today is blog action day and for my input on the enviroment I decided to discuss what I read in a small article in Newsweek about how many countries like the U.S. and Russia are trying to lay claim to parts of the Arctic Circle so that when the ice melts they will be able to get all the benefits of the oil, gas and diamonds below the ice shelf. So now I start my probably incoherent ramble.
Russia has already put their flag underneath the ice claiming a section and also they are trying to prove the arctic is the'rs by which continental shelf it's on.
"This territory claimed by Russia submitted to the UN Committee that administers UNCLOS is said to contain substantial hydrocarbon reserves, on the Arctic seabed:
The 1982 International Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) establishes a 12 mile zone for territorial waters and a larger 200 mile economic zone in which a country has exclusive drilling rights for hydrocarbon and other resources.
Russia claims that the entire swath of Arctic seabed in the triangle that ends at the North Pole belongs to Russia, but the United Nations Committee that administers the Law of the Sea Convention has so far refused to recognize Russia’s claim to the entire Arctic seabed.
In order to legally claim that Russia’s economic zone in the Arctic extends far beyond the 200 mile zone, it is necessary to present viable scientific evidence showing that the Arctic Ocean’s sea shelf to the north of Russian shores is a continuation of the Siberian continental platform. In 2001, Russia submitted documents to the UN commission on the limits of the continental shelf seeking to push Russia's maritime borders beyond the 200 mile zone. It was rejected.
Now Russian scientists assert there is new evidence that Russia’s northern Arctic region is directly linked to the North Pole via an underwater shelf. Last week a group of Russian geologists returned from a six-week voyage to the Lomonosov Ridge, an underwater shelf in Russia's remote eastern Arctic Ocean. They claimed the ridge was linked to Russian Federation territory, boosting Russia's claim over the oil- and gas-rich triangle.
The latest findings are likely to prompt Russia to lodge another bid at the UN to secure its rights over the Arctic sea shelf. If no other power challenges Russia’s claim, it will likely go through unchallenged. (See Vladimir Frolov, Global Research, July 2007)
Russia is basing its claim on the grounds that this portion of the Arctic sea shelf is connected to Russia's continental shelf, through the 2000 km long underwater Lomonosov ridge. "According to Russian media, the physical connection to the Russian intercontinental shelf means that the ridge is technically a part of Russia, and therefore open to exploitation."
excerpt from http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=6586
According to an agreement between the US and Canada, US troops can go through the US/Canada border if there is a terrorist threat (because terrorist's do not respect borders). With Russia laying claim to most of the Arctic shelf the fear is that the US will try and control the rest of the shelf because of potential threat, and therefor be able to exploit the materials in the ground.
Canada though is fighting back setting up more military posts on their arctic border to try to protect it from the possiblitly of countries trying to lay claim to the land. It's a modern gold rush.
The Arctic ice shelf is shrinking 13,00 sq. miles a year. And at this point it seems that the countries with the most power over the Arctic are almost excited for the ice to melt, so they can get the economic profit of the natural resources that have been protected by the ice. This excitement over the possible economic growth under the ice is causing governments to look the other way when the UN discusses Global Warming and the extintion of species that will result in the ice cap melting.
As said in a few years many project this struggle to get worse and for more countries to claim land in the Arctic ice shelf. As the ice melts the rush for the natural resources will grow, and with many government's minds only on economic growth our future on this planet will greatly reduce and many other species of plants and animals will suffer, all because of our current leaders greed.
I'm done, now I will step off my soapbox. And please, this subject is all over the newspapers, go inform yourself over the Arctic ice shelf struggle.