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Hullabaloo


Friday, August 16, 2019

 
Why Greenland? It's worse than you think.

by digby



Vox explains:
Greenland is believed to contain a lot of natural resource wealth that is difficult to exploit due to the large amounts of ice and permafrost in the way.

But the planet is getting warmer. A vision of American public policy that is neither interested in halting the warming process nor concerned about the environmental impact of exploring the resources would naturally want to acquire such a potentially rich land. Many Americans, of course, do not share that policy philosophy, but it is very much the Trump worldview.

But the practical problem is that Greenland is not for sale — and there is no indication that Greenland’s inhabitants want to see their island strip-mined by Americans.

“We are open for business, but we’re not for sale,” the island’s foreign minister, Ane Lone Bagger, told Reuters when it called for some follow-up reporting.

That's a truly astonishing example of his stupidity. The world will be on fire with mass migration, starvation and probably wars. But Trump and his fellow morons think it's going to present lots of money-making opportunities (I'm sure they figure they'll make big bucks price gouging water.)

But it won't unfold quite the way they think --- the pitchforks will be out long before that ever happens.

He's not the only one:
During the Arctic Council Ministerial Meeting in Finland, Pompeo emphasized that the Arctic Ocean “is rapidly taking on new strategic significance.”

“Steady reductions in sea ice are opening new passageways and new opportunities for trade,” he said. “This could potentially slash the time it takes to travel between Asia and the West by as much as 20 days.”

Pompeo added that Arctic sea lanes could become the “21st century Suez and Panama canals.”

Meanwhile, the facts describe a concerning new reality.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s annual Arctic Report Card released in December revealed that the oldest ice in the region had seen a 95% reduction in the past 30 years.

“First-year ice now dominates the ice cover,” the study said, explaining that it is thinner, more fragile, more mobile and “more vulnerable to melting out in the summer.”

According to the National Snow & Ice Data Center, the melting ice can exacerbate global warming, causing temperatures to rise as oceans heat up, unable to reflect the sun’s rays back into space without the cover of white.

I'm just surprised he didn't suggest just taking it. Remember:
“In the old days, you know when you had a war, to the victor belong the spoils,” he told George Stephanopoulos in 2011. “You go in. You win the war and you take it. . . . You’re not stealing anything. . . . We’re taking back $1.5 trillion to reimburse ourselves.”
That's right. He thinks the US should be "reimbursed" for invading Iraq --- a war he supposedly opposed although there is no record of him having done so.

There is also this:
Controversial private security tycoon Erik Prince has famously pitched an audacious plan to the Trump administration: Hire him to privatize the war in Afghanistan using squads of "security contractors." Now, for the first time, Buzzfeed News is publishing that pitch, a presentation that lays out how Prince wanted to take over the war from the US military — and how he envisioned mining some of the most war-torn provinces in Afghanistan to help fund security operations and obtain strategic mineral resources for the US. 
Prince briefed top Trump administration officials directly, talked up his plan publicly on the DC circuit, and published op-eds about it. He patterned the strategy he's pitching on the historical model of the old British East India Company, which had its own army and colonized much of Britain's empire in India. "An East India Company approach," he wrote in the Wall Street Journal, "would use cheaper private solutions to fill the gaps that plague the Afghan security forces, including reliable logistics and aviation support." 
But the details have never been made public. Here is the never-before-published slide presentation for his pitch, which a source familiar with the matter said was prepared for the Trump administration.
He hasn't changed:
Mr. Trump has said little publicly about Afghanistan since being elected. But his thinking about what the United States should reap for its military efforts was made clear in another context soon after his inauguration. Speaking to employees of the C.I.A., the president said the United States had erred in withdrawing troops from Iraq without holding on to its oil.
“The old expression ‘To the victor belong the spoils,’” Mr. Trump declared. “You remember?”

He's always believed in just taking the resources. But to set it up as speculation based on catastrophic climate change is a new level of malevolence and greed.

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