Friday 3 August 2007

This gas flare marks the North Pole

Planting a stiff flag

If civilisation ever does come to Rossiyskaya Federatsiya, it probably would not be in this century. I never thought anyone could go lower than a snake's belly but at the top of the world they got into their Kursk-like bubbles and descended 4.2 kilometres to the seabed under the North Pole and planted a rust-proof titanium metal Russian flag. [BBC News Story].

When Hillary (New Zealander) and Tenzing (Nepalese) planted a British and possibly a Nepalese flag at the summit of Mount Everest in 1953, it was not claimed as land belonging to the great British Empire and neither are the British taking tribute for the many that get dragged up or piggy-backed up the mountain.

Time might even come when getting to the summit would be a simple chopper ride from the sunny climes of the Indian subcontinent for a three-minute photo opportunity to hug someone in the late stages of pulmonary oedema and taking a last message back to loved ones becomes a more laudable quest than mountaineering.

Proximity for conservation

There is no doubt that Arctic and Antarctic facing countries and the some wayfaring countries of old have bases on the lands of the earth's poles and they all conduct research quite relevant to understanding how our stewardship of the world's resources and ecosystems might be failing.

But to then go round planting flags and laying claim to land or seabed just because you got there first in an area that is essentially in keep for the whole human race with the view of exploiting the resource for selfish national profit smacks of 15th Century adventurism in the paraphrased words of the Canadians.

Results of the scrambles

It reminds one of Africa where the seeming orderly alignment of country borders in the 1880s is aptly called the Scramble for the Partition of Africa, nothing could have been more savage than to observe the savagery of seemingly cultured Europeans corralling "savages" into pens which are now called African countries.

Worse still was the pox and syphilis that Europeans brought to South and Central America that wiped out vast civilisations for which no reparation has been made or the indigenous tribes of North America whose only claim to the land is the footprints of reservations dotted around the landscape where the excess of gambling trade is the only economic development available.

The last insult is where the invaders having attained population superiority over the last few centuries of wiping out every vestige of the indigenes now have the effrontery to want to make English the National or even Official language of the United States.

Stop this nonsense

This race to the partition of the poles should and must stop, if anything must be exploited of those vast resources that have turned the energy megalomaniac Russians into resurgent but irrational global power brokers, it must be done under the auspices of the United Nations for the benefit of the whole world.

Frankly, the resources must be left well alone as the stability and equilibrium of our existence is already under threat from the abuse of the resources we already have access to, more of the same abuse for the accumulation of wealth to weald undue influence around the globe is not good for humanity and I hope that would become the civilisation of Russia.

This is the time for the United Nations to become seriously relevant and rubbish this quest without equivocation, before the poles become a centre of atrocious nuclear grandstanding between world powers whose coup de grace in terms of global warming might as well be a gas flare sited on the North and South poles.

In the name of science, misplaced national pride or apish chest beating, I am not impressed with this development. No, not at all.

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