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Author Topic: Warming Arctic: A Hyper-Strategic Crisis  (Read 1902 times)

wili

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Warming Arctic: A Hyper-Strategic Crisis
« on: January 24, 2014, 11:01:45 PM »
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...Because of climate change, the Arctic is warming and melting. This new environmental status attracts the attention and strategies of the Russian, Chinese, U.S. and others governments, as well as those of energy, mining and fishing companies (Klare, The Race for What’s Left, 2012). However, basically, this new geophysical situation is triggering what is the mother of all strategic crisis: the long planetary hyper-strategic crisis.

The rapid and expanding melting of the summer ice cap and the warming of the Arctic Sea and surrounding land turns the region into a new attractor, given the huge reserves in oil, gas and other geological resources...

However, this raises a major question: Are these “Arctic grand strategies” not threatened by the new environmental situation of the Arctic, even if that very change is precisely the reason for their existence and development? Arctic warming might be the environmental global change moment of the “paradoxical logic of strategy” (Edward Luttwak, Strategy: the logic of war and peace, 1987), when strategies designed to successfully attain a certain set of goals are turning into strategies leading to failure.

The interaction between the Arctic and global warming is something new in human strategic history, because it turns the meeting of geography and geophysics in this region into a new, strange power of geophysical nature, which we shall name here the “Arctic environmental power”, which exercises itself on a planetary scale, with massive consequences....

In other words, Arctic warming is the strategic equivalent of an undeclared and permanent global geo-economic and geophysical war on globalization and nations, through the multiplication of extreme weather events and ocean acidification, and their combined cascades of social, economic and political effects.

http://www.resilience.org/stories/2014-01-22/the-warming-arctic-a-hyper-strategic-crisis

I frankly don't know what to make of this. A lot of it seems to be stating the obvious. It is certainly a good idea to think about the consequences of all the changes that are happening in the Arctic--geo-political, economic, military, industrial...as well as ecological--in some kind of holistic way, but this piece seems to me to just barely scratch the surface.

Anyway, since it has an Arctic focus, it does seem worth a thread here. Perhaps others can make more of it than I can right now? What are the best insights? What dots aren't being connected here?
« Last Edit: January 25, 2014, 04:50:40 AM by wili »
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

ccgwebmaster

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Re: Warming Arctic: A Hyper-Strategic Crisis
« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2014, 12:48:36 AM »
Anyway, since it has an Arctic focus, it does seem worth a thread here. Perhaps others can make more of it than I can right now? What are the best insights? What dots aren't being connected here?

Where is it being quoted from? A little context could go a long way?

wili

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Re: Warming Arctic: A Hyper-Strategic Crisis
« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2014, 04:51:14 AM »
Sorry about that, ccg. The link is now below the quote.
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

DrTskoul

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Re: Warming Arctic: A Hyper-Strategic Crisis
« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2014, 05:06:33 AM »
When any article has so many catch words, states ( in a weird way ) the obvious, and tries hard to be confusing, makes me suspicious about the real motives...

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Re: Warming Arctic: A Hyper-Strategic Crisis
« Reply #4 on: January 25, 2014, 05:24:01 AM »
Anyway, since it has an Arctic focus, it does seem worth a thread here. Perhaps others can make more of it than I can right now? What are the best insights? What dots aren't being connected here?

I don't see really what it adds of value, though a lot of it is stating the obvious.

Quote
So, it could be said that the emergence of the “Arctic environmental power” announces a powerful return of political power, certainly in new forms.

To me the above is rubbish. The Arctic is a key driver of northern hemisphere climate, and will likely introduce major geopolitical problems (and the illusion of opportunities) in the near future - but it is not a political player. It's physics. It beyond our control, to ascribe any sense of power or politics to it is to anthropomorphize it - which I cannot agree with. There is no negotiation with it, only an attempt to respond to it.

Furthermore I don't think it is even an accurate view. It is a pivotal region - but the conflicts for resources will be fought in many places and over many fronts. The planet is populated globally by people (and that region relatively lightly populated). There are an awful lot of other things that will happen in an awful lot of other places - and while the Arctic is looking like a pretty good candidate for the domino that knocks down the rest, nothing assures that it will be. The pre-existing condition - diminishing resource availability per capita (I include both resource depletion and population in that metric) - stands quite independently as an issue from the Arctic (which isn't to say the confluence of the two won't bring problems faster and worse than just one alone).