Register for an account

X

Enter your name and email address below.

Your email address is used to log in and will not be shared or sold. Read our privacy policy.

X

Website access code

Enter your access code into the form field below.

If you are a Zinio, Nook, Kindle, Apple, or Google Play subscriber, you can enter your website access code to gain subscriber access. Your website access code is located in the upper right corner of the Table of Contents page of your digital edition.

Environment

The New Treaty and Arctic Gamesmanship

Collide-a-ScapeBy Keith KloorMay 16, 2011 4:53 PM

Newsletter

Sign up for our email newsletter for the latest science news

Last month, I wrote this post, laying out the

global warming = Arctic geopolitical hot spot narrative.

So it's not exactly news to me that the latest batch of cables released by Wikileaks show, as the BBC reported, that

nations are racing to "carve up" Arctic resources - oil, gas and even rubies - as the ice retreats.

Although these cables are a few years old, they serve as the unfiltered backstory to this big Arctic Council meeting last week, to

discuss cooperation over increased oil and mineral exploration, fishing and tourism as global warming melts the region's ice.

Interestingly, the cables don't seem to have been leaked until the meeting concluded and a new Arctic treaty was inked:

Canada, Russia, the United States and their smaller circumpolar neighbours have agreed how to divvy up the fast-warming and fragile Arctic, but only for search-and-rescue responsibilities, leaving aside the vexed issues of sovereignty, oil drilling, pollution and shipping.

Other stories highlighted the cooperative outlines of the pact, but once those diplomatic cables circulated in the media, the headlines shifted back to the conflict theme:

Warming Arctic Opens Way to Competition for Resources

For additional background on the issues at play, see this book review I wrote last year.

    3 Free Articles Left

    Want it all? Get unlimited access when you subscribe.

    Subscribe

    Already a subscriber? Register or Log In

    Want unlimited access?

    Subscribe today and save 70%

    Subscribe

    Already a subscriber? Register or Log In