Obama's Arctic Strategy Sets Off A Climate Time Bomb
Obama's Arctic Strategy Sets Off A Climate Time Bomb
US National Strategy for the Arctic Region prioritises corporate 'economic opportunities' at the expense of everyone else
One week ago, the Obama administration launched its National Strategy for the Arctic Region, outlining the government's strategic priorities over the next 10 years. The release of the strategy came about a week after the Office of Science and Technology Policy within the Executive Office of the President at the White House Complex hosted a briefing with international Arctic scientists.
Despite giving lip service to the values of environmental conservation, the new document focuses on how the US can manage the exploitation of the region's vast untapped oil, gas and mineral resources in cooperation with other Arctic powers.
US hinges success of Arctic strategy on diminishing sea ice
At the heart of the White House's new Arctic strategy is an elementary but devastating contradiction between what President Obama, in the document's preamble, describes as seeking "to make the most of the emerging economic opportunities in the region" due to the rapid loss of Arctic summer sea ice, and recognising "the need to protect and conserve this unique, valuable, and changing environment."
Despite repeated references to "preservation" and "conservation", the strategy fails to outline any specific steps that would be explored to mitigate or prevent the disappearance of the Arctic sea ice due to intensifying global warming. Instead, the document from the outset aims to:
"... position the United States to respond effectively to challenges and emerging opportunities arising from significant increases in Arctic activity due to the diminishment of sea ice and the emergence of a new Arctic environment."
In other words, far from being designed to prevent catastrophe, the success of the new strategy is premised precisely on the disappearance of the Arctic summer sea ice.Z
The document identifies three main US objectives in the region: advancing US "security interests" by increasing US military and commercial penetration "through, under, and over the airspace and waters of the Arctic"; pursuing "responsible Arctic region stewardship" by continuing to "conserve its resources"; and strengthening international cooperation to advance "collective interests" and "shared Arctic state prosperity" - all the while, somhow working to "protect the Arctic environment."
Anyone who has been paying attention and isn't blinded by partisan politics to what is happening in the Arctic has pieced this puzzle together already regarding why we are not seeing action on the climate crisis.
As was already covered:
Ocean Acidification Poised To Radically Effect Arctic
Arctic Melting Tipping Point That Should Matter To You
The Arctic, Humanity's Barometer
Major Loss In Arctic Sea Ice Volume-It Does Effect You
Our Carbon Debt, Our Moral Duty
To continue to allow politicians and corporations in these countries involved (and that includes the Harper Govt. in Canada) to control our fate and the fate of our children by being totally indifferent to the moral consequences of their folly and false choices is irresponsible and immoral.
Please read the information at the links provided and consider the other information that will be added here. Where profit and control is concerned there is no such thing as Obama, Bush or any of them really being on your side. Only this time they are exacerbating a global catastrophe. What will wake people up? An ARCTIC WAR? Russia already planted their flag. DO you really trust that what has happened in the Middle East cannot happen here?
It is time to ask yourself : WHAT ARE YOU PREPARED TO DO TO SAVE HER AND YOURSELF?
What of the species that live there and the indigenous people who have survived there for centuries?
America's First Climate Refugees..." It's Happening Now...The Village Is Sinking"
Let them drown so Shell can get at the oil?
Is this what we've become?
State Department Gives Favorable Assessment Of Keystone XL (written by a Transcanada Rep)
Let's keep pumping tar sands exacerbating the very melting that will facilitate drilling and sucking up more oil to keep the positive feedbacks going... after all, GOLD IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN LIFE, no? How many Hurricane Sandys will it take? How many famines?
And you thought John Kerry was different?
Arctic Council Fiddles While Region Melts
China Eyes Arctic Riches As It Obtains "Observer" Status On Arctic Council
Ice is melting away at a record-breaking rate in the Arctic, exposing valuable natural resources and opening up new shipping routes. Measurements taken last August found levels of Arctic sea ice were at their lowest levels since satellites began measuring the ice in 1979.
China doesn't own any Arctic territory - in fact, its northernmost point is more than 1,400km south of the Arctic Circle. But it's nevertheless taking a strong interest in the region, building a physical presence there and using diplomacy and trade ties to gain a foothold.
China’s actions in the region have paid off as it, along with five other non-Arctic states, have been granted permanent observer status to the Arctic Council, an intergovernmental forum of eight countries with Arctic territory.
Gaining observer status does not allow China any voting rights on the Arctic Council. But it does give it sway in an increasingly important region. Not only does the shrinking ice have climate implications; warming temperatures at the poles have raised the possibility of access to as much as 90 billion barrels of oil and 1,670 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.
end of excerpt
Militarization Of The Arctic-"We Have To Rethink How War Is Fought"
By John Robles
As the Arctic ice continues to melt and resources slowly begin to be available the West has decided to begin the militarization of the Arctic zone in a bid to gain control over the precious resources. In an interview with the John Robles of the Voice of Russia Agenta Nordberg, Vice Chair of the Swedish Peace Council gives her views on the issue and also comments on the militarization of Sweden, Norway and the North and the NATO expansion into “neutral” areas.
Robles: I was wondering if you could tell me a little bit about NATO, in the Arctic, in particular, can you tell our listeners about the radar installations and satellite communications equipment they have set up in Norway and in Scandinavia?
Norberg: Well, I’m not a technician but I can tell you that recently it was published: a book the Satellite War by Bård Wormdal – a journalist at Norwegian radio. And it was a very important book, it was published in 2011.
I invited him to Stockholm in October when we had a day about the Arctic and the situation in the Arctic and what he says is you have to change your whole idea of how war is conducted. War is conducted via satellite and via radar installations.
And for instance, to make it clear, to understand what we should understand is: that the war on Libya, the former year, was conducted via satellite from Svalbard. This is very dangerous because, this island, the Svalbard Islands are a peace area undersigned by 14 different nations but Norway has allowed the United States of America to deploy radar installations, and in connection with the satellite they are conducting war. This is a quite new understanding of how war is conducted.
Robles: NATO and the US, they claim that their missiles, that are now surrounding Russia and their radar installations all over the world, that these are somehow a defensive shield.
Norberg: You have to differ between all these: the national missile defense, they call it. The Vardo radar close to the Russian border is one installation, and there are also those in Poland and in Turkey, and they will also be deployed in Romania it is a missiles shield. It is one thing.
The other thing are all the other radars and satellites which are informing the pilots and the war planes how to bomb and where to bomb. I have a globe here in front of me and it is almost all covered by US radar installations for different purposes. So, you have this national missile shield, which they claim is for defense, and it is an offensive weapon. It can be used as defensive but it can as well be used as an offensive weapon. And one of those radars are installed just outside the Russian border in Vardo.
I’ve been rather surprised when I’ve met Russian scientists and visitors in Stockholm, last year in October, I arranged a seminar as I mentioned about the Arctic, and the Russian representative, he didn’t agree with me that this was a dangerous situation. The only one who agreed with me was Bård Wormdal, the journalist who had written the book Satellite War.
There seems to be lack of understanding about the installations surrounding the Russian border, that is my opinion. And I think it is rather dangerous.
Robles: Why did the Russian expert disagree with you?
Norberg: Because he said that the Vardo radar is not dangerous, and I disagreed with him. And also Bård Wormdal disagreed with him.
This Vardo radar, a few kilometers outside Russian border, is rather dangerous because it is in the missile defense system, so called missile defense system. So, I think he was not aware of this. We disagreed rather strong on this matter and that’s why I’m very happy that you called me so I can tell this.
Robles: There hasn’t been much news about that. Now, as far as NATO and the Arctic in the north and Scandinavia and Canada, can you give us some details about NATO’s plans and their current activities, especially in the Arctic, as it is opening up, and resources are becoming available that were not available before?
Norberg: Then I think I will drift back to Sweden because during the last years, starting with 2007, there’ve been huge war maneuvers on the Swedish and Norwegian soil, with all NATO, and specifically the American State participating in huge maneuvers in the north.
They were called for instance: Nordic Air Meet in 2007 where a lot of countries took part, and then in 2009, it was Loyal Arrow: history’s largest air maneuver in the northern part of Sweden and Norway, and also Finland was the area. And then it continued with the Cold Response №1, a winter maneuver in the northern part of Sweden and northern Norway. And it continued in March 2012 with the Cold Response №2 with 16,500 soldiers from 15 different countries. And then after this you had last autumn a huge maneuver in the north called Nordic Air Meet №2.
So, there are ongoing military war games and some Russian military has protested, specifically against Cold Response №2.
Nobody in Sweden would have known about this unless 5 Norwegian personnel crashed into Kebnekaise, a mountain in the northern Sweden, we would never have known about these 16,500 troop military maneuver.
So, it is ongoing, not on daily basis, but certainly every year it is about two huge maneuvers in the north, and even in the south, in the Baltic. And this should be highlighted I think.
Robles: Now… Sweden as I understand is a neutral country, one point: how does Sweden officially explain that they allowed these installations? And do you think all these maneuvers are designed to intimidate Russia or to try to exercise sovereignty on the Arctic? And in that regard, what moves have they made to try to establish their own sovereignty over Arctic areas that were in dispute?
Norberg: Well, when we drift to Arctic I think there are two things going on here. When they are interviewed, those who are in charge of these maneuvers, they always answer that this is for the Arctic. They openly express this. These maneuvers are for the Arctic and the resources which will be available when the ice is melting.
Agneta Nordberg is Vice Chair of the Swedish Peace Council, Member of Steering Committee in International Peace Bureau(IPB) and on the board of directors Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space.
Images of ColdResponse2:
I fear that once the Arctic is truly opened up we as a species will once again fail to do what is right in understanding our place and the consequences of our actions and more will die for our love of money. I hope I am proven wrong.