U.S. Blocks Arctic Council Declaration Since It Mentions Climate Change

For the first time since its inception in 1996, the Arctic Council failed to release a joint declaration about the state of affairs in the Arctic.

The group is comprised of political representatives from eight northern countries that touch the Arctic Ocean: Sweden, Russia, Iceland, the United States, Norway, Canada, Denmark and Finland.

On the record, power players were mum about the behind-the-scenes holdup. Chair of the Arctic Council, Timo Soini told the press, “I don’t name and blame anybody [though] it is clear that the climate issues are different from the different viewpoints from the different capitals.”

Off the record, participants had no qualms pointing fingers at the problem member: the U.S. Every other nation wanted to include mention of climate change, given that is the root of most of the regions problems. Allegedly, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo declined to sign on to any statement that referenced the ongoing environmental crisis, and the others decided it wasn’t worth issuing a statement if it didn’t accurately represent the situation at hand.

Somehow, Pompeo managed to make a terrible situation even worse by using the conference to speak positively about the rapidly melting ice:

“The Arctic is at the forefront of opportunity and abundance. It houses thirteen percent of the world’s undiscovered oil, thirty percent of its undiscovered gas, an abundance of uranium… fisheries galore. Steady reductions in sea ice are opening new passageways and new opportunities for trade. They could potentially slash the time it takes to travel between Asia and the West by as much as twenty days!”

Talk about a tone-deaf response. Yes, the world is well aware that traversing Arctic waters is made easier without having so much ice in the way, but pretty much everyone but the U.S. gets that the increase in trade is not worth the tradeoff in a holistic sense.

Moreover, gushing about using the Arctic to drill for more fossil fuels, the very thing that’s exacerbating the warming of the planet and glacier melt shows a total lack of concern for the very thing that the other countries are (correctly) worried about.

It’s a total joke – and unfunny one at that – that the U.S. has the nerve to pretend climate change isn’t going on all around us, not to mention the political clout to actually get away with it. The Arctic Council might as well disinvite America from participating altogether if the only thing it has on its mind is “drill, baby, drill.”

Take Action!

Honestly, it’s going to take a new presidential administration entirely to get the U.S. on the right page about climate change and the Arctic. In the meantime, we should support whatever efforts we can to protect Arctic, though.

For example, sign this wildly popular petition asking Congress to prevent drilling near the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Then, why not create a petition of your own aimed at helping the Arctic in another way?

 

70 comments

Dr. Jan Hill
Dr. Jan H6 days ago

thanks

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Renata B
Renata B8 days ago

Petition already signed last February.

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Renata B
Renata B8 days ago

What a disgrace!

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Michael F

Thank You for Sharing This !!!

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Dan B
Dan B9 days ago

Annabel B.,
No doubt. Honesty is not the strong suit of our politicians.

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heather g
heather g9 days ago

Americans must be embarrassed.

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Annabel Bedini
Annabel Bedini9 days ago

Dan B

Of course I am aware of that, but the fact remains that Pompeo was welcoming the effects of climate change while at the same time Trump and co. are denying its reality. Sorry, but this is serious double-thinking. They can't in all honesty have it both ways. But then honesty is not an obvious attribute of this Administration.....

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salah zoubiri
salah zoubiri10 days ago

Shared

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salah zoubiri
salah zoubiri10 days ago

Tyfs

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Dan Blossfeld
Dan B10 days ago

Annabel B.,
The argument was never over climate change. It was a nationalistic quarrel between the U.S., China, and Russia over jurisdiction.

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