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Old 10-18-2007, 02:22 PM   #1
SilentScope001
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Britain Makes a Claim to Antartica

http://www.time.com/time/world/artic...672551,00.html

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In politics as in medicine, there are some contagions that spread despite the most prudent vaccines. Witness the news this week that the United Kingdom has decided to lay claim to 385,000 sq mi (1 million sq km) of seabed off the coast of Antarctica, despite being a signatory to the 1959 treaty that was supposed to protect the earth's most desolate continent from the vagaries of international competition.

This infection could be traced back halfway around the globe to the Arctic, where a new competition for sovereignty heated up this summer even as the ice cap shrank, at an ever-accelerating pace, to an alarming new minimum. There it was Russia and its jingoistic jaunt in August to the Arctic Ocean floor at the North Pole that inspired Canada, the United States, Denmark and Norway to freshen up their own claims to the Arctic. Considerable — but still largely uncharted — oil and gas deposits are the attraction, and they become ever more enticing as prices for petroleum soar and exploitation technology improves.

So is Britain playing the role of the Russian bear at the other end of the globe? Not exactly. Six other countries (Argentina, Australia, Chile, France, New Zealand and Norway) have also laid claims to sectors of Antarctica; those of Chile and Argentina overlap with the British claim. (The United States recognizes none of them, but reserves the right to make its own claim down the line.) Each of those seven claims include coastline, and every coast presents an opportunity under Article 76 of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea: if you can prove that the continental shelf extends out into the sea, you can claim mineral rights out to a maximum of 350 nautical miles. This is precisely what Britain is preparing to do in Antarctica, and it won't be the first: Australia and New Zealand have already submitted similar claims to Antarctic waters to the relevant U.N. Commission.

Nor will the British claim be the last, since all claims under the law of the Sea have to be submitted by the spring of 2009. And that's the point. A spokeswoman for the Foreign Ministry told reporters that London was merely "safeguarding for the future," and that no challenged claim — as the British one is sure to be — can be acted on. But the claim points out the limits of the 1959 Antarctic Treaty, and a codicil adopted in 1991. It does an admirable job of protecting the land — banning nuclear material, declaring the Antarctic to be a "natural reserve, devoted to peace and science," and prohibiting any mining — but not the surrounding seas, which support a singular ecosystem ranging from krill to penguin, from seal to whale.

If any country develops the right and the means to drill for offshore oil in Antartica, and particularly if they hit paydirt, it's not just that ecosystem that could be endangered. So could the ban on mining on the Antarctic continent itself, which can be lifted by unanimous agreement at any time. That is highly unlikely, but just a couple of decades ago, so was the prospect that the ice caps would melt. The British claim, and those that are sure to follow, amounts to a long shot move that enables resorting to a future temptation. For the sake of Antarctica, let's hope we've got beyond oil and gas before that temptation ever arises.
Cue brand new movie: Ice: The Last Frontier.


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Old 10-18-2007, 03:09 PM   #2
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These guys really need to find something better to do with their time.


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Old 10-21-2007, 09:02 AM   #3
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So Britain lays claim to the other pole before Russia decides that Antarctica is also die fuhrer Putin's back yard.



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Old 10-21-2007, 09:16 AM   #4
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Someone should have done this years ago, all that useful land has just been sitting down there untapped, save for a few research teams.





Wer mit Ungeheuern kämpft, mag zusehn, dass er nicht dabei zum Ungeheuer wird. Und wenn du lange in einen Abgrund blickst, blickt der Abgrund auch in dich hinein. -Friedrich Nietzsche, Jenseits von Gut und Böse
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Old 10-21-2007, 09:51 AM   #5
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Dang right, John. Screw the penguins, bring me some oil. Seriously, who cares about ecosystems unless you can eat them? Stinking penguins.
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Old 10-21-2007, 05:03 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darth InSidious
So Britain lays claim to the other pole before Russia decides that Antarctica is also die fuhrer Putin's back yard.
Just a matter of time before Argentina contests that claim.


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Old 10-21-2007, 06:57 PM   #7
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Quote:
So Britain lays claim to the other pole before Russia decides that Antarctica is also die fuhrer Putin's back yard.
I can just picture Blair:

Blair: 'You take the Arctic? Okay, then I want Antactica.'
Putin: 'No, no, Antarctica is also ours!'
Blair: 'It can't be yours, I said it first!'
Putin: 'But I'm gonna take it anyway, watch me!'
Blair: 'I'll tell daddy!'
And so on...

To Heck with claims to Antarctica. Norway's tried it, didn't work. UK's tried before, didn't work. Has something changed now?

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Old 10-22-2007, 02:59 PM   #8
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Well, we all know that Antartica legally belongs to the Cthulhu Empire. Trust me, you don't want to wake the Elder Gods...
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Old 10-22-2007, 05:35 PM   #9
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The real reason everyone wants Antarctica is because the hole in the ozone layer makes it easier to shoot missiles out of.


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Old 10-22-2007, 08:43 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PoiuyWired
Well, we all know that Antartica legally belongs to the Cthulhu Empire. Trust me, you don't want to wake the Elder Gods...
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn!





Wer mit Ungeheuern kämpft, mag zusehn, dass er nicht dabei zum Ungeheuer wird. Und wenn du lange in einen Abgrund blickst, blickt der Abgrund auch in dich hinein. -Friedrich Nietzsche, Jenseits von Gut und Böse
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Old 10-22-2007, 08:53 PM   #11
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Yes, thank you, Abdul Alhazred.
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Old 10-23-2007, 11:13 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dagobahn Eagle
I can just picture Blair:

Blair: 'You take the Arctic? Okay, then I want Antactica.'
Putin: 'No, no, Antarctica is also ours!'
Blair: 'It can't be yours, I said it first!'
Putin: 'But I'm gonna take it anyway, watch me!'
Blair: 'I'll tell daddy!'
And so on...

To Heck with claims to Antarctica. Norway's tried it, didn't work. UK's tried before, didn't work. Has something changed now?
Impossible given what was in Blair's mouth.

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Originally Posted by Totenkopf
Just a matter of time before Argentina contests that claim.
Yes, we would have to give up our claim then. All the world shakes before the might of the Argentinian Empire.



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Old 10-23-2007, 01:35 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Galt
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn!


The Brits can do all what they want, but they better not complain when the United States of Antarctica springs up.


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Old 10-23-2007, 08:19 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sabretooth


The Brits can do all what they want, but they better not complain when the United States of Antarctica springs up.

I LOL'd.

and I think a US of Antarctica would be interesting, especially considering its geographic position relative to, say, Australia, Africa, and South America. Wonder what the prevailing culture would be?





Wer mit Ungeheuern kämpft, mag zusehn, dass er nicht dabei zum Ungeheuer wird. Und wenn du lange in einen Abgrund blickst, blickt der Abgrund auch in dich hinein. -Friedrich Nietzsche, Jenseits von Gut und Böse
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Old 10-23-2007, 08:20 PM   #15
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Penguins and Great Old Ones.
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Old 10-23-2007, 11:51 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Galt
and I think a US of Antarctica would be interesting, especially considering its geographic position relative to, say, Australia, Africa, and South America. Wonder what the prevailing culture would be?
As the liberation of America proves, you do not need culture to have FREEDOM!!!!!

'tis be-eth a joke, my mateys


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Old 10-23-2007, 11:58 PM   #17
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You've actually got a point. American culture is so bizarre, sometimes I wonder how we manage to stick to it, given the bizarre mixture of cultures, not to mention the variation between coasts. I mean, in America, we have New York, Las Vegas, San Francisco, and Alabama, all in the same country.
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Old 10-24-2007, 01:01 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Corinthian
You've actually got a point. American culture is so bizarre, sometimes I wonder how we manage to stick to it, given the bizarre mixture of cultures, not to mention the variation between coasts. I mean, in America, we have New York, Las Vegas, San Francisco, and Alabama, all in the same country.
And yet it is the most pervasive culture in the world! Every country in the world has now been affected by Americanism to some degree - it's unnerving! I don't mind most facets, but it's everyone adopting American accents and rap/hip-hop that bothers me. Me, I'm going to head to Scandinavia first chance I get.


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Old 10-25-2007, 05:37 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Corinthian
American culture
Contradiction in terms!



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Old 10-25-2007, 06:33 AM   #20
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Ah, imperialism's last gasps.

Here on Earth at least.


"They should rename the team to the Washington Government Sucks. Put Obama on the helmet. Line the entire walls of the stadium with the actual text of the ACA.
Fix their home team score on the board to the debt clock, they can win every game 17,000,000,000,000 to 24. Losing team gets taxed by the IRS 100%, then droned."
-Toker

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