A handful of countries situated near the top of the world are racing to firm up their territorial claims to untold amounts of oil, natural gas, gold, zinc, copper and other metals. A new piece from the U.K. Guardian highlights this renewed scramble for resource rights beneath the Arctic icecap.
I treated this story in 2007 as the dawning of a new “Cold War.” Read the full story here. [Subscription required.] Neither the geology nor the geo-politics has changed much in the past four years – unless we factor in the growing urgency as global resource demand collides with the glacial development pace of most new mining projects.
For the U.S., our Arctic claims come via Alaska – a.k.a. Seward’s Folly, and perhaps the best $7.2 million ever spent by the U.S. Government. Across a range of metals and minerals, expect Alaska – and by extension, our Arctic claims – to play a key role in resource supply in the 21st century. Forget the folly: let’s make that William Seward, futurist.