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The New Cold War In The Arctic

In the spring of 1953, when Regina Kristiansen was 14, she and her family were forced to leave their village of Uummannaq in northwestern Greenland, hundreds of miles above the Arctic Circle. At the behest of Danish authorities, who promised them new homes, they were given just a few days to gather their belongings. Kristiansen drove a dogsled across the ice for two days before reaching a barren island in Baffin Bay. Along with seven other families, they lived in makeshift tents for months as storms lashed the shore and winter approached. One woman gave birth in the tents. Another, a village elder, died before Denmark finished building their homes.

The Arctic Is The Next Frontier In The New Cold War

The Arctic had once been a largely peaceful zone, harboring cooperative international scientific research. But today, it is swiftly becoming one of militarized power politics. Heavily armed nations surround the melting Arctic Ocean, with its unstable environment of eroding shorelines, accessible natural resources, and contested maritime passages. This February, the U.S. launched little publicized, month-long military exercises in the Arctic, hosted by Finland and Norway. The Pentagon’s European Command described the exercises – named Arctic Forge 23, Defense Exercise North, and Joint Viking – as a way “to demonstrate readiness by deploying a combat-credible force to enhance power in NATO’s northern flank”.

Greenland – Towards A Protective Future

At a time when headlines were focused more on the heat wave in Europe, an event of great importance which should have received more attention was the melting of as much as 18 billion tons of ice sheets in just 3 days of mid-July in Greenland. Very frightening estimates have been presented of the extent of rise in sea level if melting on such a scale continues. This was not the first instance of such massive ice melting within a short time, nor is it likely to be the last. This has also highlighted the need for a more protective future for Greenland. But it appears that some powerful persons have an entirely different view on the matter. This came to attention during the tenure of Trump as USA President. It was reported that Donald Trump made an offer of a payment to Denmark to acquire control over Greenland.

Denmark Apologizes For Racist Social Experiment On Greenlanders

On Wednesday, March 9, the government of Denmark paid an official apology to the Inuit children from Greenland who were part of a failed 1950s social experiment conducted by the Danish government. Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen on Wednesday officially apologized to the six Inuit people still alive among the 22 Inuit children of Greenland who were sent to Denmark as part of the social experiment by the Danish authorities to make those children “model” Greenlanders and to assimilate the Indigenous culture. The Inuit Ataqatigiit (Community of the People) party in Greenland congratulated the Inuit people for their decades-long struggle for justice and dignity which forced the Danish government to finally apologize and offer compensation.

Greenland Bans All Oil Exploration

The government of Greenland has decided to suspend all oil exploration off the world's largest island, calling it "a natural step" because the Arctic government "takes the climate crisis seriously." No oil has been found yet around Greenland, but officials there had seen potentially vast reserves as a way to help Greenlanders realize their long-held dream of independence from Denmark by cutting the subsidy of the equivalent of about $680 million Canadian the Danish territory receives from the Danish government every year. Global warming means that retreating ice could uncover potential oil and mineral resources which, if successfully tapped, could dramatically change the fortunes of the semi-autonomous territory of 57,000 people.

Trump, Greenland And Manifest Destiny

On August 18th, when President Trump first confirmed rumors that he was interested in buying Greenland, the American punditry chattered about it in every news outlet as an absurd joke. Trump himself seemed to play along by retweeting a meme showing a shiny gold Trump Casino towering over a Greenlandic village with the comment, “I promise not to do this to Greenland!” But as the week progressed and Trump himself, perturbed at the Danes very public denunciations of his “large real estate deal”, caused a diplomatic rift by postponing a scheduled visit to Denmark...

Greenland Ice Melting Faster Than Expected

Stability in the rapidly changing Arctic is a rarity. Yet for years researchers believed the glaciers in the frigid northeast section of Greenland, which connect to the interior of the country’s massive ice sheet, were resilient to the effects of climate change that have affected so much of the Arctic. But new data published Sunday in Nature Climate Change reveals that over the past decade, the region has started rapidly losing ice due to a rise in air and ocean temperatures caused in part by climate change. The increased melt raises grave concerns that sea level rise could accelerate even faster than projected, threatening even more coastal communities worldwide.
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