The Russian government, in an attempt to bolster its future oil production capability, has called “Dibs” on the North Pole:
Russian geologists claim that they have found a link between Russia and the North pole in the form of the Lomonosov Ridge, a geological feature on the sea floor. Because of this, they claim 460,000 square miles of ocean as Russian territory. …
… The motivation, as is often the way, is oil. The area is a potentially lucrative oilfield, and with the ice melting (ironically because of oil and the resulting climate change caused by its use), access will be easier.
The expedition leader, Artur Chilingarov, is quoted as saying, “The Arctic is Russian. We are going to be the first to put a flag there, a Russian flag at the bottom of the Arctic Ocean, at the very point of the North Pole.” – [Treehugger.com]
I’m still kind of in disbelief at this. First off I don’t see how can any country can lay claim to any given territory on the basis of submerged geographical constructs? Anyone that paid attention during geography 101 will realize that there are a lot of land masses that are connected by currently submerged land tracts. If everyone went around claiming territories on the basis of this alone, we would currently be engaged in World War IV.
And then of course, when it comes to oil, governments are more likely to find a gazillion reasons to raise strong objections to such claims. We have all seen countries invaded for less. I think we have all graduated from the “this territory is mine because I say it is” school of thought that Russia is currently employing. This is the most asinine, juvenile and and ignorant mentality I have seen from Russia in a long time. They need to go back and hang with the adults. The kiddy table is ours.
There is enough legitimate conflict in the world as it is. Governmental greed is not a good reason for more. It is my humble opinion that the North Pole should remain neutral. We need to be looking for better ways to make power anyway. To hades with the freakin’ oil!
Seeking Oil, Russia Claims North Pole – [TreeHugger.com]