Unlike the first Cold War, dominated by tensions between the two late-20th century superpowers, this century's model could pit countries that border the Arctic Ocean against each other to claim mineral rights. The Arctic powers include the United States, Russia, Canada, Denmark and Norway.
The irony is that the burning of fossil fuels is at least in part responsible for the Arctic melt -- due to climate change -- and the Arctic melt could pave the way for a 21st century rush to exploit even more fossil fuels.
The stakes are enormous, according to Scott Borgerson of the Council on Foreign Relations, a former US Coast Guard lieutenant commander.
The Arctic could hold as much as one-quarter of the world's remaining undiscovered oil and gas deposits, Borgerson wrote in the current issue of the journal Foreign Affairs.
Sunday, March 09, 2008
Could Arctic Ice Melt Spawn New Kind Of Cold War?