Thursday, 11 September 2008

The Odd Behaviour Of Governments

There seems to be no limit to the bizarre behaviour of nations and their governments.

Recent news from the Arctic Ocean makes me think of a hungry wild animal fighting off others so that it can eat its own leg.

The expanse of Arctic ice has shrunk in both area and thickness to an unprecedented degree, so that it is now possible to circumnavigate the ice. The reduction in the ice area is caused by global warming which itself is caused largely by our profligate burning of various types of fossil fuel. As the area of light-reflecting ice reduces, the area of heat-absorbing water increases. The extra heat absorbed from the sun causes more ice-melt.... and so on.

I am a mere private citizen, and what seems obvious to me may not be as simple as I think it is – but logic suggests to me that the way forward is to burn less fossil fuel.

But logic suggests to national governments that we should take full advantage of this dramatic ice melt to tap into hitherto inaccessible oil fields to produce more fossil fuels so that we can melt the ice even faster!

Not only that – the nations concerned have already started squabbling over boundaries, borders, mineral rights and the like.

One good thing though – if we melt all the ice there won’t be a shortage of water (although it will mostly be in the wrong place)!


Rebecca Taunton said...

It's a funny kind logic, isn't it. I guess the idea is that if we're all doomed anyway, they might as well be the country who owns the last oil reserves (because, of course, money will save them...).

Funnily enough, my geochemistry lecturer at uni was convinced that the next world war would not be over oil but over water. I used to believe him but now I'm not so sure.

timx said...

as a matter of fact, the Pentagon agrees with your lecturer!