Black Gold Rush in Antarctica

Here we go again. The UK is looking to claim sovereignty over a large area of the remote seabed off Antarctica, the BBC reports on 17/10/07. The claim for an area around British Antarctica is one of a number being prepared by the Foreign Office, a ‘spokeswoman’ quoted by the BBC said. The UK is preparing more claims, including around the Falklands Islands. Are they also planning a claim in the Caribbean?

The BBC (unbiased, of course) quickly adds that even if the Antarctic claim should be granted, those rights would not allow Britain to contravene the treaty that prohibits oil and gas tapping under the seabed. So it’s not about oil and gas? Apparently the spokeswoman thinks the entire world public is stupid. She labeled the move “a safeguard for the future”. A safeguard of what, one wonders? For now it would ‘not affect the environmental protections put into the Antarctic Treaty of 1991’, the BBC reports. Not for now, but it’s good to have a ‘safeguard’. After all, the treaty might be changed in the future…

Mineral rights

We believe the ‘safeguard’ to be precisely that: a claim now to be able to extract oil and gas later when the treaty will have been changed. We don’t understand the hypocrisy about all this. The UK hopes to exploit any oil and gas found there. That’s why they make this claim now. The Falklands War was probably precisely about this too. Why pretend? Russia does not pretend. It is brutally frank in its arctic claim. It wants to exploit the oil and natural gas!

Caribbean nations should be open and honest about a similar claim. We – i.e. Caribbean coastline states, from the US to the three Guyanas – should claim the entire Caribbean Basin Seabed. We have dedicated a daily connect to this, which has found its way to our section ‘outstanding articles’, Direct Code 564. More important than claiming and exploiting the seabed is what one intends to do with the proceeds. The seabed around the globe is going to be exploited more and more anyway, as the land-based oil- and gas-fields dry up.

Hydrogen-based economy

For ecological reasons we should shift to a hydrogen-based economy (along with other clean energy-sources such as sun, wind and wave-energy). There too the Caribbean – because of its climate and natural environment – might play an important role. But oil and gas will not be replaced just yet. Therefore, if the oil has to be extracted from the seabed anyway, the Caribbean might as well join in and make some real money to provide health care and education for its population (cf. our aforementioned article ‘Caribbean Seabed Authority’, Direct Code 564).

The video selected for this story is about the effects of global warming on animals and plants. We advocate the exploration and exploitation of the Caribbean Seabed, but are aware of the ecological problem and do not minimize it. We just don’t see why the Caribbean should not join in as long as fossil fuels have not yet been replaced by clean energy-sources, whereas the Caribbean really needs the cash for such very important things as education and health care.