Thursday, January 22, 2009

White House Directive Guides Policy on Arctic (SC)

The White House signed this policy directive last week, guiding government decisions involving the Arctic, focusing especially on the impact of rising temperatures in the region. Climate change will spark a rise in economic and military activity in the area, as these environmental concerns will have to be dealt with in a timely and comprehensive manner. President Bush’s signing of this ten-page policy document asserts the U.S. government’s interests in this region that is becoming increasingly desirable to countries that may wish to exploit its natural resources and strategic possibilities. White House spokesman Gordon Johndroe said that this update reflects the creation of new federal agencies such as the Department of Homeland Security. Jeremy Rabkin, professor at George Mason University regrets to say that the document really is not policy because it does not outline the priorities, instead lists the issues that need to be addressed. Because the Arctic region is extremely sensitive to the effects of climate change, it ‘should be recognized as a strategic priority for our nation.’ (John F Kerry, D-Mass.)

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