Friday, July 29, 2005

Hans Island heats up

Things are still tense between Denmark & Canada over the future of Hans Island (still can't find a map showing exactly where this island is). I mentioned this a year ago, but it seems that it hasn't just blown over yet.

Of course, it's not all that serious, which is why I like this column. James Travers says
there's substance in the idea that the pleasantness of the place [Canada] is an Orwellian soma drugging us into happy-face complacency. Somehow, someone, somewhere, will see to it that the nation's social, psychological and economic wealth will continue expanding with no significant effort or sacrifice.
Now, however, the Defense Minister, Bill Graham, has "occupied" Hans Island to assert Canada's sovereignty.
Bill Graham has now tossed a rock or, more specifically, an Arctic boulder, into that placid pond. Along with creating a most amusing summertime diplomatic diversion, the defence minister's unopposed occupation of Hans Island effectively challenges the notion that Canada can achieve its personal best without raising a sweat.
Greenland's home rule government has responded with its own tough talk – looking for the UN to intervene.

There is, too, a good reason why the Danes and Canadians are arguing over this uninhabited rock:
Climatic change is softening the top of the world, making its transportation routes and resources more accessible and its sovereignty suddenly worth defending.