Now that climate change has brought about the possibility of new oil fields in the Arctic, President George W. Bush is in favor of action. Not longer is it enough to talk climate change, or point to the need for more study. Now, we gotta act. Pronto. Oil is at stake.
What's going on? Suddenly the U.S. government is looking for action on a treaty called the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea. Sound unfamiliar? Well, in typical Americna fashion we've ignored this treaty as another silly U.N. thingie. It was first drawn up over twenty years ago and has been in force for signatories since 1994. Now, suddenly, it is urgent business here in America. Oil. Oil. Oil.
The President wants the Senate to ratify this treaty. Today, boys, what'chew waitin' for? As MSNBC describes it, the treaty is now a bi-partisan priority, ""The United States needs to join the Law of the Sea Convention, and join it now,' Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon England told senators recently. He stressed that it would give legal clarity to U.S. naval operations.
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which held a second round of hearings on the treaty Thursday, appears ready to vote on it. That would set up a full Senate vote on ratification by year's end. A small group of senators has blocked action on the treaty for years.
'Far from threatening our sovereignty, the convention allows us to secure and extend our sovereign rights,' said the committee chairman, Sen. Joseph Biden, D-Del."
Sure glad we woke up before all those greedy guys from Russia, Canada and Europe got their mitts all over that all oil that must be buried beneath what was once the Arctic ice sheet, now the Northwest Passage...suitable for weekend sailors every August. Of course, the disappearing ice in the Arctic is not new but the new reality there has become evident even to those in Washington who seem rarely to encounter reality or even comprehend it. So now the lack of Arctic ice is a major issue and we gotta act. Better thirteen years late, than never, right? This doesn't mean the U.S. is about to do anything about global warming, but we sure don't wanna be left behind if there's a way to make a few bucks, do we?