Free the Arctic!

From the Sunday, August 27th New York Times:

Russian Tanker Completes Arctic Passage Without Aid of Icebreakers

A new Russian tanker with a reinforced hull has cut shipping time from Europe to Asia by thirty percent. One would think that such an event would be hailed by all who desire the betterment of all mankind, but such is not the case. Canada and other nations object, claiming great swaths of the Arctic as sovereign, territorial waters. How foolish! The nations of the world should unite to grant homesteading rights to any entity that uses the arctic for erecting structures, such as oil derricks, and also to grant free passage for any ships to traverse the area for commercial purposes. For Canada to claim sovereignty over great swaths of the Arctic is akin to Spanish Conquistadors planting the Spanish flag in a square foot of beach and claiming an entire hemisphere as property of the Spanish crown.

Patrick Barron

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