Foreign Policy Blogs

Managing a Living Planet

What is Global Warming Really Tells Us

What is Global Warming Really Tells Us

Bhola is a small island district in the south of Bangladesh situated softly on the edge of Bay of Bengal and home to nearly two million people. Few years ago on Al Jazeera, a documentary on climate change was aired which was titled, “Bhola: Ground Zero of Climate Change.” The …

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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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Brazil’s Move to be a Major Oil Player

Brazil’s Move to be a Major Oil Player

In preparation to host the World Cup in 2014 and the Summer Olympic Games in 2016, Brazil has made enormous financial guarantees as it will be at the forefront of the global spotlight. Brazil, home to South America’s largest economy and population, has committed to spending at least $13 billion …

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Singapore steals the show at the Arctic Circle

Singapore steals the show at the Arctic Circle

For all the talk of China and the Arctic, there’s one dark horse that definitely made itself known at the Arctic Circle: Singapore. With a speech that hit all the right notes, Sam Tan Chin Siong, Senior Parliamentary Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and …

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Kept in from the cold: The U.S. government shutdown & the Arctic

Kept in from the cold: The U.S. government shutdown & the Arctic

The U.S. federal government shutdown’s dire consequences for research in Antarctica made the front page of The New York Times website today. On October 8, the National Science Foundation (NSF) announced that it was canceling the U.S. Antarctic Research Program for 2013. The program has been …

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Three conferences in one week propel Iceland to center of Arctic discussions

Three conferences in one week propel Iceland to center of Arctic discussions

Under the guidance of President Ólafur Grímsson, Iceland has strived to position itself as a new geopolitical center for the Arctic. While only a tiny portion of the country, the island of Grimsey, sits above the Arctic Circle, that hasn’t stopped it from claiming Arctic coastal statehood. With lots of …

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Conference in New Delhi analyzes Asia-Arctic linkages

Conference in New Delhi analyzes Asia-Arctic linkages

“It’s so far, but so very near to us now.” This is what Dr. Uttam Kumar Sinha observed during the opening of the AsiArctic conference at the Institute for Defence Studies and Analysis (IDSA) in New Delhi, India last week. India received observer status in the …

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South Korean icebreaker leads expedition to Canada’s Beaufort Sea for methane hydrates

South Korean icebreaker leads expedition to Canada’s Beaufort Sea for methane hydrates

Four months after its acceptance as an observer to the Arctic Council, South Korea is fulfilling expectations surrounding its new role by leading a research survey into the Beaufort Sea to look for subsea permafrost and methane hydrates. The East Asian country’s self-constructed icebreaker, the Araon, left Barrow, Alaska on September 8 bound …

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Election in Norway: Implications for the Lofoten Islands

Election in Norway: Implications for the Lofoten Islands

In my previous post, I noted how there isn’t likely to be a dramatic shift in Norway’s Arctic policy even though the Conservatives will now be at the helm of government. Regardless of whether Labour or the Conservatives dominate, oil will still be one of Norway’s top priorities in the …

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Conservative victory in Norway: What does it mean for the Arctic?

Conservative victory in Norway: What does it mean for the Arctic?

In Norway’s elections on Monday, the Conservative party (Høyre) won the most seats, sweeping Labour Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg from power after eight years. The Conservatives, however, did not win enough seats to form a majority government. As such, headed by new Prime Minister Erna Solberg, they will likely ally …

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The Next Major Energy Transit Hub: Syria?

The Next Major Energy Transit Hub: Syria?

The world continues to watch as President Obama and his administration increase their lobbying efforts to convince the Congress and the international community to support a U.S. led military strike in Syria. President Obama went on a media blitz Monday and is expected to deliver his case to the nation …

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Commodifying nature: The price of ice

Commodifying nature: The price of ice

A graduate student recently interviewed me for his dissertation on Russia, the Arctic, oil and gas. During the interview, he asked me what I believed was the single most important Arctic resource. The answer could have been oil, gas, minerals, fisheries, or any other number of commodities. I responded that …

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