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The Final Frontier


The Arctic is truly the final fishing frontier. Like in the entire history of the human race.

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  • Rhino

    As a Canadian, I have no problem with my country acquiring a couple of nuclear subs and sinking any fishing vessel entering arctic waters.

    By all means, warn the crews, allow them to evacuate, and the send the multi million dollar ocean strip miners to the bottom. I don’t imagine I will take more than one or two vessels before the hint gets taken.

    • Rhino

      Sorry, I meant to add that I would support a Canadian coast guard sinking fishing vessels in order to protect the arctic environment if a credible majority of arctic nations were to decide to take action.

      I should add that I rarely if ever support expansions or expenses on Canadian military personnel or equipment. For this, though, they can buy state of the art with my tax money.

      • Ian

        We might want to avoid buying nuclear subs from the British in future. The Upholder/Victoria class has been a maintenance nightmare. 3/4 of them are currently down for repairs. One of them caught on fire because it was leaking, no small accomplishment.

        • Just Dropping By

          One of my favorite statistics from when I was a kid was that West Edmonton Mall had more operational submarines than the Royal Canadian Navy.

          • Rhino

            Hey, a real Canadian shipbuilding industry strikes me as a good idea. We need subs, and coast guard cutters, and tankers to carry the refined products of that tar sands sludge to market (since we ain’t gonna pipeline it down to the states so Americans can have the refinery building and operating jobs, I hope).

            Gee, maybe we could actually build some shit and take a few jobs back from Korea, Singapore, Honduras and china.

  • Bruce Vail

    Sort of comical to think of Norway and the US as guarantors of good environmental stewardship, given the history of commercial whaling over the last 200 years.

    • socraticsilence

      Wait, what- do you actually know about the history and politics of the IWC? Or are you just spouting off without any knowledge of the international regime?

      • Bruce Vail

        No reference to IWC intended at all. Merely a snark-spout about the lively role of Norway and US in decimating whale stocks.

        It would have been more judicious to give some other countries – notably UK, USSR and Japan — full credit for their ‘innovations’ in this filed of endeavor.

  • Airborne Simian

    Erik Loomis seems to have a real Ted Kazcynski streak when it comes to the environment, minus the bombs.

    • jwp

      So you’re saying he’s an eco-terrorist, except for the terrorism bit? That somehow makes even less sense than usual.

      • Airborne Simian

        He seems to have similar views to the Unabomber (humanity is terrible, technology is bad, the industrial revoultion was a disaster, etc).

        • jwp

          Gotcha, you’re saying he’s a Luddite blogger. That makes much more sense.

    • Rhino

      Yeah, I am the one in favour of the bombs. Like say a drone strike on BP legal dept next time they stall a payment. Or just a good old fashioned roman style decimation of the entire population of ‘drill baby drillers’

      Idiots like you fail to realize that the environment is THE issue confronting the human race. Everything else has a solution, or is survivable, but we rapidly approach the point of no return on the environment, and the end of human civilization. If its not already too late.

      So fuck off and eat your pancakes, sonny, adults have important things to do.

      • Airborne Simian

        Shorter Rhino:

        “The industrial revolution and its consequences have been a disaster for the human race”.

        Where have I heard that before?

        • Rhino

          Just from people who have paid any attention to the history of the last five hundred years.

          Unfettered ‘progress’ that fails to account for externalities dumped onto the shared environment has led us here, to a point where morons like yourself are marching us all patriotically off a cliff to defend your right to a gas guzzling SUV and an air conditioned mini mansion in suburban Phoenix.

        • jim, some guy in iowa

          “the industrial revolution will be a disaster for the human race if it continues to ignore the unintended results of said industrial revolution”

          care to argue that modification?

      • cpinva

        “Or just a good old fashioned roman style decimation of the entire population of ‘drill baby drillers’”

        interesting idea. the 90% kill the 10%, under pain of death if they don’t. televise it, sell tickets, use the receipts to help clean up the messes left by the oil companies. i can definitely see some good marketing opportunities here. the 90% also must spend at least one year on cleanup duty, before they’re allowed to rejoin the rest of us.

        • Ian

          Worst case scenarios for global warming are worse than decimation once you take crop failure into account.

          • Rhino

            Depending on how you define crop failures, what we are already getting can easily approach decimation already.

            Worst case is that the planet becomes largely uninhabitable, at all.

            Worst case could easily mean 95-98 % of the human race starves to death or dies in wars over arable land and drinkable water.

    • Mrs. Lincoln

      Other than that, I really enjoyed the play.

  • Midwest_Product

    Aren’t there areas of permanent (ha!) sea ice in the Antarctic that will outlast the northern polar cap?

  • howard

    i’m sure that as an american historian, erik has often considered a point i keep thinking about every time the melting of the artic ice makes the news: there actually now is a northwest passage.

    and while the search for the northwest passage was once a dominant element of geopolitics, now it’s just coming into existence with barely any notice.

    but the same issues that were alive at the time of the “search” for the northwest passage – control of waterways, control of trade, control of natural resources, imperialism and native culture – remain alive today.

    • Bruce Vail

      “Barely any notice” not really accurate. There has been a lot of notice, at least in industrial and government circles, about the possibilities for oil/gas extraction and international shipping arising from receding Arctic Ice. On the shipping side, there have been international conferences, etc, on the subject for about 25 years.

      • International shipping conferences is not actually a lot of notice for a general public or in comparison to other issues.

        • howard

          exactly, erik.

          the great i.f. stone believed in reading trade journals for just this sort of reason: to get advance notice.

          but as far as the body politic is concerned, we barely talk about global warming and within that barely, just a sliver is about the specifics related to the arctic.

        • Bruce Vail

          Yes, of course you are right.

          To further remove the subject from the general interest of the American audience, almost all of international shipping interest has been focused on the North Europe-East Asia route (across the Russian Arctic).

          You’ll recall that the Northwest Passage was interesting to Europeans a short cut to Asia. Well, going through the icy Russian waters is much, much shorter, and is thought to be a very viable alternative for shipping containers of consumer goods from the factories of Japan-East Asia to the consumer centers of Europe.

    • Wasn’t the actual Northwest Passage finally sailed about 10 or 15 years ago?

      • UserGoogol

        Well, it depends on what exactly you mean by Northwest Passage. Apparently Roald Amundsen was able to shove his way through with an icebreaker way back in 1906, and the process by which the passage has transitioned from being something people do out of an insane sense of adventure to being a commercially viable transportation route has been somewhat gradual, although accelerating of late.

        • Bruce Vail

          Yes, it was, but was not judged to be a success for commercial purposes.

          About 1975 the U.S.-flag tanker Manhattan made the voyage carrying a single barrel of symbolic oil from Alaska to US East Coast. It was thought at that time that advances in icebreaking technology, backed by the huge amount of money generated from the Alaska North Slope oil development, would usher in a modern age of the Northwest Passage. I am not sure of all the different reasons why it didn’t work.

  • Ian

    Chinese trawlers already fish for krill in Antarctica

    I had no idea we’d gone that far down the food chain.

    • Just Dropping By

      Most krill fishing is for use as “livestock” feed in aquaculture, not direct human consumption: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Krill#Relation_to_humans

    • Anonymous

      it’s not as bad as you think… most krill is used as an aquaculture input.

      also, those pills with omega-3s.

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