FutureWire - futurism and emerging technology

Monday, October 10, 2005

The New Arctic Land Rush

The Arctic ice cap has shrunk to its smallest size ever recorded. However, some entrepreneurs have found a silver lining in this melting by buying real estate long trapped under ice.

Denver businessman Pat Broe bought the port of Churchill, Manitoba from the Canadian government for a measly $7... yet believes the port's strategic position could bring in $100 million a year. Other economic boons include fishing, oil and natural gas; one quarter of the world's untapped oil and natural gas reserves lie under the Arctic.

However, one other consequence of Arctic ice melting is that, with the absence of ice, national borders become increasingly dicey. Where do the borders of Russia, Canada, Norway, Denmark (via Greenland) and the US (via Alaska) begin and end? Will the North Pole be a neutral territory, or will it effectively be split down the middle somewhere?

Source: New York Times