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oil or gas exploration in Antarctica « Previous | |Next »
October 21, 2007

Britain plans to claim sovereignty over a vast tract of the seabed off the coast of Antarctica with the Foreign Office contemplating possible oil, gas and mineral exploration in the region.the Foreign Office was preparing to submit a rights claim to the UN commission on the limits of the continental shelf (CLCS) for 1m sq km (386,000 sq miles) of seabed off the coast of the British Antarctic Territory.

BritishAntartica.jpg
Steve Bell

This threatens the stability of the 1959 Antarctic Treaty, which froze territorial disputes on the world's least explored continent, and to which Britain is a signatory. Apparently, Australia and New Zealand had already lodged CLCS claims for Antarctic seabed.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 2:56 PM | | Comments (7)
Comments

Comments

I interpret the image in terms of a melting Arctic caused by global warming.

The conservatives have a real problem with climate change. Last year Cardinal George Pell, in one of his speech against Islam and the Koran, threw in the observation that he thought the West's current "obsession" with climate change was a symptom of "pagan emptiness".

Some of the hysteric and extreme claims about global warming are also a symptom of pagan emptiness, of Western fear when confronted by the immense and basically uncontrollable forces of nature. Belief in a benign God who is master of the universe has a steadying psychological effect, although it is no guarantee of Utopia, no guarantee that the continuing climate and geographic changes will be benign. In the past pagans sacrificed animals and even humans in vain attempts to placate capricious and cruel gods. Today they demand a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions.

That is religious idiocy, not skepticism.

Pell 's position is that secularism results in emptiness and despair ---nihilism. So people who are calling for carbon dioxide emissions are pagans whilst the fear about global warming is due to a lack of belief in one God.

Pell rejects the argument made by Kevin Rudd that climate change was a moral issue. The issue, for Pell is much less important than marriage breakdown or abortion rates.


Nan,
Don't Catholics think in terms of Catholics being stewards of God's earth and therefore having a responsibility to preveting it from being destroyed by short term resource exploitaiton. Their Social Justice Statement 2002 says:

Catholic social teaching reminds us that human beings are called to act as stewards safeguarding the integrity of creation. We need to change our ways of seeing the world, of thinking and behaving, as we accept our responsibility to protect earth's finite natural resources.

Isn't that an ethical argument? As this account of the doctrine of social teaching says:
At its foundation, stewardship is a moral challenge which "calls us to examine how we use and share the goods of the earth, what we pass on to future generations, and how we live in harmony with God's creation."

Nan, Im glad you brought George Pell up.

It is completely obvious to me that he hangs out with BAD COMPANY. Notably the right wing think tanks, the clone factories for all the one-dimensional Friedmanites who for the past 30 years, have been systematically re-engineering most of the planet into their own BRUTOPIAN image.

The adolescent Chicago Boys. Note the revealing language--BOYS, not fully grown morally responsible men tempered by a profound moral consciousness and the inherent fragility of a truly humanising culture.

The heirs to USA cow-BOY anti-"culture". Always on the make, looking for the next frontier to conquer and exploit and to inevitably turn into a waste-land.

The devastating methods and results of their project are thoroughly examined in The Shock Doctrine by Naomi Klein.

A work, which in my opinion reveals the total spiritual, religioos, moral and cultural bankruptcy of the "right" side of the culture wars divide. The kind of "culture" advocated and celebrated in the latest Quadrant lead article referred to by Gary in one of his other blogs.

Plus this reference provides a very sobering assessment of the state of the world.

http://www.ispeace723.org/youthepeople2.html

In effect a comformation of what Naomi Klein describes in sickening detail in her book.

Some lines from another essay by the same author re the adolescent anti-"culture" championed by the Chicago BOYS.

"they are set in adolescent rebellion against all "others", and even all of the general society, and, of course, the State, and, likewise, even the natural world, for the adolescent ego will not endure "dependence", even on its own necessary biological and ecological supports".

The last phrase is interesting because contrary to the necessary soothing propaganda to soothe the bleeding heart tree-huggers, most of those on the "right" are all dead set against environmentalism---even dismissing it as "paganism" and nature worship.

Also an essay on our total inter-connectedness with nature.

http://www.fearnomorezoo/trees/main.php


John,
thanks for the mention of Naomi Klein's "The Shock Doctrine, The Rise of Disaster Capitalism" ---I didn't know the book.I see from this review by Alexander Cockburn at Counterpunch that Klein says:

"This book is a challenge to the central and most cherished claim in the official story -- that the triumph of deregulated capitalism has been born of freedom, that unfettered free markets go hand in hand with democracy. Instead, I will show that this fundamentalist form of capitalism has consistently been midwifed by the most brutal forms of coercion, inflicted on the collective body politic as well as on countless individual bodies."

Judging from the review it looks to be an interesting book.

I wonder where Cardinal Pell would have stood re a million Irish peasants starving to death while Irish grain was exported onto ships flying the flag of economic liberalism.

Nan,
this article Pipeline Through Paradise: Big Oil's Plan to Tap the Arctic links the Artic,global warming and the exploitation of natural resources

John,
it's a clever thesis----The strategy, which Klein calls "disaster capitalism," involves waiting for a currency meltdown, market crash or similar crisis. The upheaval throws citizens into a state of shock and fear, providing a window of opportunity for the corporatist agenda of far-reaching privatizations, corporate tax cuts and the lifting of restrictions on foreign investment and trade.

Similar opportunities for shocks and predations also arise as a consequence of wars (Iraq) terrorist attacks and natural disasters (New Orleans) .

Altogether I found it to be one of the most disturbing books I have ever read.

And yes the same ideology that allowed the export of grain from stasrving Ireland is the same ideology that mis-informs Friedmanite "free" marketism.