Foreign Policy Blogs

The Arctic

The Arctic Blog is moving

The Arctic Blog is moving

After five great years at the Foreign Policy Association, the Arctic Blog will be moving to a new, independent site at http://www.cryopolitics.com. I’ll continue to contribute to the FPA network occasionally at the U.S. Energy Independence, Food and Climate, and China’s Foreign …

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Finnish Foreign Minister on the Nordic model and the Arctic

Finnish Foreign Minister on the Nordic model and the Arctic

Finland has a smaller profile in the Arctic than its neighbor to the west, Norway. Whereas Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg declared at last week’s Arctic Frontiers conference that the Arctic will continue to be “most important foreign policy area” for her country, Finland’s most important foreign policy …

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Norway’s Prime Minister calls for advancing Northern Norway’s knowledge economy

Norway’s Prime Minister calls for advancing Northern Norway’s knowledge economy

Although last week’s Arctic Frontiers conference in Tromsø, Norway focused on the activities of “humans in the Arctic,” from sleeping habits to snowmobile accidents in Svalbard, top politicians still made headline appearances. The Prime Minister of Norway, along with Greenland’s Prime Minister and Finland’s Foreign Minister, spoke on Tuesday, the …

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Arctic Frontiers takes place in Tromsø, Norway

Arctic Frontiers takes place in Tromsø, Norway

Arctic Frontiers, an annual conference on development in the Arctic intended largely to bring together policy makers, scientists, and academics, took place for the ninth year in a row in Tromsø, Norway. The theme of this year’s conference focused on “Humans in the Arctic.” The more prosaic, but …

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Oil companies real beneficiaries of forthcoming extension of Canadian highway to Arctic Ocean

Oil companies real beneficiaries of forthcoming extension of Canadian highway to Arctic Ocean

On January 8, in Inuvik, Northwest Territories, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper presided over the groundbreaking ceremony of the extension of the Dempster Highway to Tuktoyaktuk, on the Arctic Ocean’s coastline. The extension will lengthen the highway 137 kilometers, finally bringing an all-weather road to Tuk. The existing road, which …

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Global media interpretations of China’s rescue of stranded passengers off Antarctica vary

Global media interpretations of China’s rescue of stranded passengers off Antarctica vary

The Chinese icebreaker Xue Long‘s rescue of the passengers aboard the stranded Russian research vessel MV Akademik Shokalskiy has made headlines around the world. Since December 24, the Russian ship has been stuck in pack ice near Antarctica’s Cape de la Motte, approximately 1,700 miles south of Tasmania. MV Akademik Shokalskiy was about midway through the month-long Australasian …

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Canadian and Russian claims to the Arctic: The allure of the North Pole

Canadian and Russian claims to the Arctic: The allure of the North Pole

“We do not give up the North Pole. Canada’s claims to the North Pole are no more than ambition.” So declared Russian polar explorer and scientist Artur Chilingarov on December 11, whom President Vladimir Putin named a “Hero of Russia” after he famously planted his country’s flag on …

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Scientists report finding scandium, a potential rare earth element, in the Arctic

Scientists report finding scandium, a potential rare earth element, in the Arctic

I attended the American Geological Union (AGU) Fall Meeting this week in San Francisco. It’s billed as “the largest worldwide conference in geophysical science,” with over 20,000 attendants. There was a vast number of talks on the cryosphere, which I’ll try to cover over the next few days. One session I attended, …

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Bipartisan amendment to build up to four icebreakers introduced to U.S. defense bill

Bipartisan amendment to build up to four icebreakers introduced to U.S. defense bill

 
In mid November, U.S. Senators Mark Begich (D-AK) and Maria Cantwell (D-WA) introduced an amendment into the National Defense Authorization Act cosponsored by Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Patty Murray (D-WA) that would authorize spending on up to four icebreakers. While a total of four icebreakers would cost approximately $3.207 …

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Short film follow-up to “Gravity” connects the final and “last” frontiers

Short film follow-up to “Gravity” connects the final and “last” frontiers

Last month, audiences flocked to see the film Gravity, a thriller set in the final frontier of outer space. [Note: Possible spoilers ahead.] Now, a short companion film made by Gravity director Alfonso Cuarón’s son, Jonás Cuarón, who also helped co-write the movie, is online. The film reveals …

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Filipino diaspora in the Arctic sends help back home

Filipino diaspora in the Arctic sends help back home

The Filipino diaspora is one of the most widespread in the world, with members making their homes from Alaska to the UAE. The FT reports that in 2012, overseas Filipino sent $21 billion back to their country of origin. Now, in the wake of Typhoon Yolanda, one of …

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Olympic Torch Burns Brightly for Some On Top of the World

Olympic Torch Burns Brightly for Some On Top of the World

The Olympic torch for the upcoming Winter Games in Sochi, Russia has made quite the journey so far. It’s only a little over a month into its 123-day, 65,000 kilometer relay, but already, the torch has made it to the frigid north and even outer space. This past week, cosmonauts …

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Time: The Overlooked Arctic Resource

Time: The Overlooked Arctic Resource

Oil and gas. Uranium and rare earth metals. Cod and shrimp. Reindeer and seal pelts. These things constitute the bulk of discussions about Arctic resources, yet there’s one resource that’s overlooked: time.
At the Arctic Circle summit in Reykjavik earlier in October, economist and Sami reindeer herder Anders Johansen Eira …

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Analysis: Implications of Greenland’s decision to allow uranium mining

Analysis: Implications of Greenland’s decision to allow uranium mining

In a 15-14 vote, Greenland’s parliament voted to overturn the long-standing ban on uranium mining. The Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed in a memo that it supported the decision given that Greenland has maintained control over its mineral resources since 2010. While the decision was close, the …

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With Swedish help, South Korea completes its first pilot service of Northern Sea Route

With Swedish help, South Korea completes its first pilot service of Northern Sea Route

On Tuesday, after 22 days at sea, the first-ever South Korean pilot service of the Northern Sea Route (NSR) reached its destination in Gwangyang, South Korea. Korean shipping line Hyundai Glovis chartered a Swedish oil tanker to carry 44,000 tons of naphtha, a light derivative of crude oil, from the …

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