by The Other Katherine Harris
We’ve been bitch-slapped by big biz again. Nobody, not even Al Gore, was more convinced than they that global warming is a — shall we say? — slam dunk. And the truth of it, for them, couldn’t be more convenient.
They’ve made fools of us all: not only their dupes and the “experts” paid to trump up denials, but also the environmentalists who thought their foes were just selfishly opposing pollution control and alternate energy development.
A far bigger lie sparked their dedicated efforts to undermine climate science. The goal from the get-go was capturing Arctic oil and gas. Their professed doubts and the resultant delays have made sure the place is melting on schedule. Soon they’ll be drilling in Santa’s back yard. The only remaining question is, “Under whose flag?”
Little media attention has been paid in this country (no surprise), but news from foreign sources burst upon my radar screen about three weeks ago. The first blip concerned Canada’s determination to enforce polar sovereignty by beefing up its navy to patrol the Northwest Passage. I previously had no idea that the notion of a northern waterway linking the Atlantic and Pacific had ever advanced beyond myth and legend, nor that it’s navigable through much of the year already, nor that Canadian PM Stephen Harper made its close supervision a campaign issue last year, nor that other nations (including ours) regard parts of the area as international waters or their own property, based on undersea extensions of land masses. Next came word of a polar exploration deal between Canada and Exxon Mobil subsidiaries Imperial Oil Ltd. and ExxonMobil Canada.
Funny how these things never made it into American media until lately. So why now? Well, their hand seems to have been forced by Uncle Vlad of the Once-Transparent Soul. Making huge news elsewhere (and gradually reaching our shores) is that the Russians are racing under ice floes to plant a titanium flag symbolizing their claim to a polar region as big as western Europe and believed to contain a quarter of the world’s undiscovered oil and gas reserves. They set off to the accompaniment of a spy plane thought to be ours and British subs are monitoring the situation, too. Here’s the (London) Guardian account from last weekend.
Other players in a battle long brewing without our heed include Norway and Denmark, the latter through its control of Greenland. The Danish claim is cited in this (London) Telegraph story from 2004, in which Torquil Meedon, a senior science and technology official, said: “Climate changes indicate that ice in the polar sea may disappear within 50 to 100 years. That will open up the Northwest Passage as a new and valuable shipping route. It will also be opened up to fishing and then there are the oil and gas reserves …”
About a year later, this piece from Newsweek International (not our American version of the mag) laid out a further wealth of detail, including: “As global warming sets in, the polar ice cap is receding fast. Scientists reckon that by the end of the century the entire Arctic Ocean could be open water for the first time since prehistory, uncovering potentially vast reservoirs of oil and natural gas — perhaps a quarter of the world’s undiscovered reserves, according to a study from the U.S. Geological Survey.”
Fascinating that the U.S. Geological Suvey didn’t mind giving foreigners that information, without supplying so much as a clue for us! And the same MSNBC website that stables the Newsweek International story told Americans with fanfare on Jan. 12, 2007, that Exxon Mobil “has stopped funding groups skeptical of global warming claims … (I)ts vice president for public affairs, Kenneth Cohen… (stated that) while questions remain about the degree to which fossil fuels are contributing to warming, the computer modelling on what the future may hold ‘has gotten better.’ And, he said, ‘we know enough now — or, society knows enough now — that the risk is serious and action should be taken.’ “
What a joke. On us. They wouldn’t be calling off the deceit, unless confident that the damage is done.