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Posted Tue Oct 6 2009: from
Is the Arctic ready to give up its treasures?
For all the talk among world leaders of the perils of climate change, many are scenting an opportunity. As the Arctic ice retreats, surrounding nations are looking to plunder those natural resources under the surface, estimated by the US Geological Survey to constitute as much as 13 per cent of the world's undiscovered oil and 30 per cent of its undiscovered natural gas -- as well as precious metals including iron ore, gold, zinc and nickel. There is the prospect of a dramatic new shortcut between Europe and Asia, slashing journey times by as much as a third. Last month, two German ships completed their journey along the Russian coast from South Korea to Bremen without any icebreaker escort. There are also hopes that Canada's Northwest Passage could offer a viable alternative to the Suez and Panama canals. The claim-staking and posturing has started: last year, Russia sent a submarine to plant its flag beneath the North Pole; next spring, it plans to drop paratroopers there.
[Read more stories about: arctic meltdown, economic myopia]

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'Doc Michael says:
It's not climate collapse -- it's an opportunity!

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