The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Riches of the Arctic

Aug 19, 2019

In the past, the Arctic was seen as a useless slab of ice. But now, as the Arctic ice retreats due to the increasing average atmospheric temperature of the earth, many countries want to exploit the Arctic sea and land, since the Arctic is becoming more accessible with each passing day.

Many countries are salivating over the potential resources and commercial possibilities that the Arctic can offer. Five countries that border the Arctic Ocean, the United States, Russia, Canada, Norway, and Denmark (through Greenland), are claiming rights to large, overlapping sections of the Arctic seafloor. More than two million square kilometers of the Arctic ocean floor are being carved up, squeezing out the other countries.

These five Arctic seaside countries are expanding military bases and seaports, exploring new shipping lanes for commercial transportation or tourism, and above all, going after the Arctic's vast resources. It is predicted that the Arctic could hold 30 percent of the world’s natural gas and 13 percent of its oil. The Arctic also potentially holds large quantities of minerals including iron ore, copper, nickel, zinc phosphates and diamonds. China and Japan want access to the arctic shipping lanes to shorten the distance of the commercial transportation of their products.

Businesses and their rich owners in these countries will be the only beneficiaries. These already rich people are not concerned why the Arctic ice melts, what the global consequences of increasing temperatures are, or why the staggering number of wildfires are currently ravaging the Arctic. These rich people are only concerned with their riches. Their narrow mindset dictates: if ice melts, we can eat the cake under the ice, and forget the rest – and the future.