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Antarctic Exploitation...

oreostar
Posts: 55
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1/21/2012 1:58:58 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Should the present ban on exploiting the resources of the Antarctic be maintained?
t is little more than one hundred years since humans first set foot on Antarctica and even today few people have visited the frozen and hostile southern continent. Although nine countries have territorial claims on the continent, several of them overlapping, these political disagreements were suspended in The Antarctic Treaty of 1959. In the Treaty (covering all areas south of 60 degrees South Latitude), it was agreed that Antarctica should be used exclusively for peaceful purposes and that military activities would be prohibited. It also guaranteed continued freedom for scientific research and promoted international scientific cooperation.
Successive treaties have built upon this foundation, providing strong protection for the Antarctic environment and strictly regulating fishing, for example. These have culminated in the 1991 Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty (which entered fully into operation in 1998), which designates Antarctica as a "natural reserve, devoted to peace and science" and establishes environmental principles to govern the conduct of all activities. It also prohibits mining, arguments over which caused the failure of a proposed Convention on the Regulation of Antarctic Mineral Resource Activities (CRAMRA) in the late 1980s. CRAMRA would have potentially allowed future exploitation of Antarctic resources, subject to the agreement of all treaty signatories, but it ran into strong opposition from the international environmental movement, which convinced several of the treaty nations to refuse to sign it.
This topic considers whether it is right to maintain Antarctica purely as a "natural reserve, devoted to peace and science". Should some exploitation of its resources be allowed, or should the general ban on economic activity be extended to areas such as fishing and tourism?
RoyLatham
Posts: 4,488
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1/23/2012 6:01:00 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Is the premise that, with global warming and all, ice cubes will become extremely valuable? Otherwise there is nothing there to exploit.

Environmentalist have done a good job of shutting down resource development in the US. there is no need to worry about Antarctica until the begin losing in the US. Long, long after that.