Greenland to become the Dubai of the North?

http://www.flickr.com/photos/james7/2680418419/

So while the world was watching Iran’s chaos this weekend, there was a new state in the process of being born: Greenland.

Yes, that massive ice sheet that takes up an unfathomable part of your world map is well on its way to becoming an independent country, shaking off the 300-year-old colonial yoke of Denmark.

On Sunday, Denmark handed over responsibility of the island’s internal affairs including potentially vast oil reserves to Greenland.

In addition, the judicial system will also now be run locally. Further, the official language will switch from Danish and Greenlandinc to solely Greenlandic (a variant of Canadian Inuit). The island has 100 percent literacy.

In an report by Joshua Kucera in the The Washington Times:

Self-government is “a symbol of the dreams of the Greenlandic people,” Mr. Motzfeldt said at the ceremony. “We have achieved the right of control of our subsoil, and we expect in the years to come that this will be a supplement to lay the foundation for an economically independent Greenland.”

Serious oil exploration has only recently begun off Greenland’s coast, aided in part by the melting of the sea ice due to global warming. Oil has not been found, but estimates, including those of the U.S. Geological Survey, suggest that Greenland could have about 50 billion barrels of oil.

Greenland’s population is 56,000, so if the oil estimates prove correct, the island would control nearly 1 million barrels of oil per person. It would be a staggering leap for a people who, until World War II, were subsisting almost entirely as seal hunters and fishermen.

Today, Greenland has limited economic options, and commercial shrimping accounts for the bulk of its exports.

Denmark currently provides a large subsidy to Greenland’s government — about $700 million this year or more than $10,000 for every person in Greenland. The subsidy makes up about 60 percent of the government budget.

But when and if oil revenues start to come in, Denmark will reduce the subsidy accordingly. When the subsidy is fully paid off, Greenland officials say, they will begin to seriously discuss the possibility of becoming an independent country.

Denmark, which had to approve the self-government act and would also have to approve independence for Greenland, has not objected.

“For several hundred years, we’ve had a strong relationship between Greenland and Denmark, and we’re looking forward to continuing that relationship,” said Lars Lokke Rasmussen, Denmark’s prime minister, in a press conference after the ceremony. “The question of independence is not the issue today, but it is totally up to the Greenlandic people.”

Or, as Kucera put it on his blog:

That means each Greenlander will own about 900,000 barrels of oil.

Compare that to some other oil powers. These are the top three countries in terms of oil reserves per capita:

Kuwait: 39,900 barrels per person
UAE: 37,576 barrels per person
Qatar: 18,071 barrels per person

Yes, Greenland could have 50 times more oil per capita than Kuwait.

[via FP Passport]

Related Articles

Solar panels prices drop globally

As Chinese production of solar panel equipment has ramped up, the price has precipitously dropped. According to yesterday’s New York Times, panel prices have fallen about 40 percent since last summer, according to analysts at the investment bank Piper Jaffray.

At…

More →

China takes larger steps to combat climate change

Following a meeting between British Prime Minister Tony Blair and Chinese officials in Beijing, China is expected to begin its next five-year development plan in 2011 with stricter measures to halt carbon dioxide emissions.

According to a report by Reuters: “I…

More →

07.07.2009: Qigong in Linz09 Kinderpunkt

OnJuly 7th we practiced the ways to breathe properly and discover our potential following the instruction from a Qigong Master. Although it was raining heavily outside, we learned more about ourselves…

More →

Over 1,200 new cars hit Beijing streets every day

According to the Agence France Presse, quoting Chinese state media agency Xinhua this past weekend, more than 1,200 new cars every single day. According to the Beijing Traffic Management Bureau, there were 261,000 new vehicles registered in the first half…

More →

Different countries, different BBQ

The keyplace of the topic “Climate Change” of 80+1 is Finland. People there eat reindeer. Since one should at least try, we tried! And the guests aof 80+1 liked it!

More →

03.07.2009: Live connection to the Three Gorges Dam, China

Talking face to face with people from Three Gorges region in China.

More →

Johnannesburg airport hit by fuel shortage

Apparently due to an interruption in rail service from South Africa’s coast, Johannesburg’s Tambo airport has recently been running short on jet fuel, reports the Agence France Presse.

As Africa’s busiest airport, and a key hub for next year’s World Cup…

More →

Three Gorges Dam closed in preparation for oncoming flood crest

The Chinese news service Xinhua is reporting that the ship locks at the Three Gorges Dam has been closed since Monday and has no immediate plans to reopen.

The region has been pounded by a massive rainstorm on the upper part of…

More →

(Deutsch) Die Formel E - eine Schnitzljagd mit modernster Technik

Sorry, this entry is only available in Deutsch.

More →

China government audit: Xiluodu dam project overbudget

These days, it seems like China is just tackling one massive energy project after another. Of course, there’s the Three Gorges Dam, the South-North Water Diversion Project, and now, also, the Jinsha River dam. This is a $10 billion project that…

More →

Experts Debate Energy Usage of the Lesser Evil: Nuclear vs. Coal

Earlier this month, the American science magazine Seed conducted an online panel discussion on which energy source is the least evil.

In the United States, unlike Europe, there are only 104 nuclear reactors — representing about 20 percent of all domestic energy…

More →

American power company plans 51-megawatt wind farm in Colorado

Fresh off the heels of China’s wind announcement, an American power company has just announced that it will be building a 51-megawatt wind farm in eastern Colorado — east of the famed Rockies.

The plant will be built by Duke…

More →

China working on the ‘Three Gorges Dam’ of wind power

China’s not quite done with its massive energy building. Beyond the famed Three Gorges Dam and the North-South Water Diversion Scheme, the Middle Kingdom apparently is also working on a ginormous wind farm.

According to an account this past week in…

More →

President Elbegdorj could open Mongolia’s mines

New Mongolian president Tsakhia Elbegdorj was elected last month largely to help improve Mongolia’s economic problems.

One way that he might go about doing that, a recent UPI report suggests, is by opening up the countries vast mining reserves.

Mongolia has many…

More →

Small-time bike sharing hits Collingswood, New Jersey (USA)

While bike sharing began in Europe and has recently spread to North America, its largely only exists in big cities like Lyon or Montreal.

However, a Philadelphia suburb, Collingswood, is now well into its first year of a small bike-sharing program…

More →

Malawian Windmill Maker to Publish Book

Malawian inventor, blogger, and now author William Kamkwamba is set to publish his first book, The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind in September of this year.

More →

Cambridge University Releases Photos from Polar Expeditions 1845-1982

Back before no one even knew about massive global climate change, there were many generations of British, European and American explorers that covered the Arctic and Antarctic regions. Starting way back in 1845, with the ill-fated expedition of Sir John Franklin,…

More →
about this topic

Archives

Subscribe

Twitter

  • 170,000 Visits to the 80+1 – Base Camp: Approximately 170,000 visits to the 80+1 Base Camp, a striking e...
    http://bit.ly/5gl0oK #80plus1
  • (Deutsch) 80+1 und WIAWIA spenden 1470 Euro für Caritas-Projekt im Kongo: Sorry, this entry is only avail...
    http://bit.ly/7S2sxA #80plus1
  • Dhakai Markets’ View: A photographic video presentation covering 81 markets visual of Dhaka . The live..
    http://bit.ly/11L58c #80plus1
  • Starry, Starry Night: Wishes for the Future: Many people left their wishes for the future within Starry..
    http://bit.ly/C2lMC #80plus1
  • Rajdhani Super Market: Rajdhani Super Market is the best-known market for women fashion products of th..
    http://bit.ly/CPteN #80plus1

The World on Flickr

Photos tagged with "Climate-change, Denmark":
COP15 - Copenhagen (Dec 2009) 33COP15 - Copenhagen (Dec 2009) 35COP15 - Copenhagen (Dec 2009) 36COP15 - Copenhagen (Dec 2009) 31COP15 - Copenhagen (Dec 2009) 37COP15 - Copenhagen (Dec 2009) 29
background image:
kwl