Wednesday, July 27, 2005

We Claim this for the Queen!

This desolate, inhabitable arctic island of 1.5 square kilometres (that's probably smaller than your neighborhood) near the North Pole is called Hans Island. There is a huge debate brewing between Denmark & Canada over who this small parcel of land actually belongs to. It's nestled right between Greenland (a Danish Territory) and Ellesmere Island (Canada). Unfortunately, back in the day, the smart people that originally came up with the boundaries between Greenland and Canada never really defined who Hans Island belonged too, and thought they'd decide some time later. Which, I guess is now.

Who cares about this dot on a map of the world? With global warming (a hot button issue for evil-twin Y.) changing possible fishing routes, and the remote chance of valuable mining to be done, people do care.

Recently, some suit from Canada went up there for a little tour and promptly returned. The hope is that if/when the issue gets to International Courts, Canada can say "well, we occupied it...see, we sent important people there!". The Danes are countering with a research vessel heading there soon.

The Battle of Hans is still to be played out.


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