This is a true game-changer. The arctic is doomed.
The voyage highlights how China, the world’s no.2 economy, is extending its reach to the Arctic which is rich in oil and gas and is a potential commercial shipping route between the north Atlantic and Pacific oceans.
The icebreaker Xuelong, or Snow Dragon, arrived in Iceland this week after sailing the Northern Route along the coast of Russia.
Expedition leader Huigen Yang, head of the Polar Research Institute of China, said he had expected a lot more ice along the route at this time of year than the vessel encountered.
"To our astonishment … most part of the Northern Sea Route is open," he told Reuters TV. The icebreaker would return to China by a route closer to the North Pole.
He said that Beijing was interested in the “monumental change” in the polar environment caused by global warming.
Police officers shredded mining protesters with assault rifles, killing nearly twenty people. Reuters posted a (warning: very graphic) video of the killings earlier today. The incident happened in South Africa near a mine that produces the metal platinum. Workers have been protesting since January, demanding safer working conditions and better pay.
A police spokesperson blundered through an interview with the local South African press - a press, it must be added, that has shown no interest in the protesters’ demands or plight.
The article is a must be read to be believed:
News24 South Africa report: “What were we supposed to do?”
They’ll probably win their request. They also ask the Canadian government to ban prayers and children’s plays at public hearings. The mining company states that permit review should only include “objective facts.” They have a point.
A new federal environmental review panel “does not have any right to attribute significance to the spirituality of a place per se,” wrote Taseko Mines Ltd. president Russell Hallbauer in a letter obtained under the Access to Information Act and provided to The Vancouver Sun by B.C. independent provincial representative Bob Simpson.
Last year, the mining company was denied a mining permit. The company went to court to force the government to reconsider the permit, but lost. But, all is not lost for the poor mining company! In addition to weakening the permit review standards, which take native Indian rights into consideration, they’re lobbying the Canadian government to change federal environmental laws all together. After the lawsuit was lost, and the company lobbied some more, the Canadian government will now allow review of a revised permit application.
Stephen Harper’s government is acceptingly being sodomized by oil, gas, and mining companies, which means that the Canadian government is not just gutting environmental laws, it’s obliterating them. The mining company will eventually win their permit to mine for gold and copper - they’ll just have to plant some trees and hire a few natives.
To my mind, this mess reveals major weaknesses of Canada’s progressive voters, environmental activists, and environmental lobbyists. As a result of this disorganization, environmental laws in Canada are bought and sold on the free market right under everyone’s noses.