Tuesday, July 10, 2007

It's that time of the year again...

You know, the season when we read about Canada's claim over the Northwest Passage and Hans Island. The Northwest Passage is apparently going to revolutionize shipping:
As global warming melts the passage – which now is only navigable during a slim window in the summer – the waters are exposing unexplored resources such as oil, fishing stocks and minerals, and becoming an attractive shipping route. Commercial ships can shave off some 2,480 miles from Europe to Asia compared with current routes through the Panama Canal.
But wait, two can play at this game! The Europeans have come up with the Northeast Passage!
With the earth growing warmer and the arctic ice cover rapidly melting, the seas above the Eurasian continent are becoming increasingly accessible to shipping. This potential sea lane, historically referred to as the Northeast Passage, may soon compete favorably with traditional northern-- hemisphere "shortcuts" as the Suez and Panama canals.
I seriously doubt that much international shipping is going to use either of the routes, though the Russians supposedly do use their route for some domestic shipments.

Now, on to the more interesting Denmark / Canada spat:
Denmark sent a letter of protest to Ottawa, while Canadians and Danes took out competing Google ads, each proclaiming sovereignty over the rock 680 miles south of the North Pole.
I wonder if those ads are still dueling?

The Hans Island Liberation Front

Radio Free Hans Island

Free Hans Island

Hans Island Belongs to Canada (with biggest Canadian flag I have ever seen on a website.)

Looks like Canada won the google war, as only one of the non-news sites is pro-Danish.

Anyways, Nihowdy (or me to be specific) had many posts on Hans Island in 2005, and we got some traffic from that coverage...mainly Danish nationalists angry at our pro-Canada stance. Or was it the other way around?

I can tell you right now that just reading about Arctic islands makes me want to turn up the A/C and imagine lying on the beach next to the historic Northwest Passage enjoying a pinacolada.

Update: Denmark apparently also has a tiff with the UK over some island called Rockall. The Rockall Times covers the arguments, though these won't apply to the case of Hans Island as Canada doesn't have any nuclear bombs.

1 comment:

J-hole said...

Why are the Dutch angry?