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    Newsweek België | 7/8/20 | 16 min
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    Newsweek België
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    • thorgalle1 month ago

      Eye-opening. A "new cold war?": this article connected global warming to increased opportunities for oil/gas excavation and traffic in the arctic region. Next, it examined the resulting political tension between mainly the NATO countries and Russia, with related military developments.

      From a climate perspective, it seems the increased human activity in the Arctic region could very well become yet another carbon feedback loop: melting opens up trading routes & materials => more supply & consumption => more emissions => more melting. Not so hopeful.

      From a political and military perspective this is also interesting. The USA recently celebrated the first manned space expedition with an all-American rocket since the Space Shuttle program got discontinued (hooray, no Soyuz-dependence anymore). At the same time, the USA owns 1 ice breaker versus Russia's 40. Reportedly, the USA had to ask for Russia's ice-breaking help in the Antarctic several times already. Political control over the arctic seems a more urgent concern than control over the moon/Mars (but who knows).

      It's a Dutch article, so I guess this will be a lone read (but you could try Chrome's built-in translate feature with Readup?). I want to read this English article on the same topic next: A new Cold War brews as Arctic ice melts - National Geographic. Curious for another perspective.

      • jeff
        Top reader this weekReading streakScribe
        1 month ago

        but you could try Chrome's built-in translate feature with Readup?

        Great idea, it worked flawlessly! Very impressed with the quality of the translation and I was able to get to 100% completion. I'm writing a blog post about how the reading tracker works which lead to some research on how words aren't separated by white space in some languages which led to a general discussion about internationalization. I'm glad that at least Dutch is close enough that it works without any extra effort!

        It was very interesting to read an article from a European outlet that is effectively calling the US out for not being aggressive enough militarily! Not what I would have expected at first glance, but it does make sense considering that you've got Russia making moves right next door.

        I tend to think that the enormous size of the US military is a net positive force for global stability (it obviously has its problems of course) but there certainly needs to be some limits. It seems reasonable to me that our close Northern allies are sharing some of the burden by building and maintaining their own icebreakers. It's pretty shocking to see how high the US percentage-based contribution to NATO is when you consider how much larger a country it is: https://www.cnbc.com/2019/12/03/each-nato-countrys-financial-contribution-to-the-military-alliance.html

        I was glad the article ended on a positive note, though as you mentioned a new cold war could be devastating even if it never turns hot.

        • thorgalle1 month ago

          Haha, glad to hear it worked! That blogpost sounds interesting, does the language impact the reading tracker because the words-per-minute measure would differ? AFAIK, most European languages will have white space similar to English :)

          Not what I would have expected at first glance, but it does make sense considering that you've got Russia making moves right next door.

          Certainly, Finland for example never abolished mandatory military draft for that reason. Other European countries [are considering reinstating it](https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2018/10/19/military-draft-is-making-comeback-europe/.

          It seems reasonable to me that our close Northern allies are sharing some of the burden by building and maintaining their own icebreakers.

          That makes sense. Anyway, all northern countries have more economic use for icebreakers. Only having them for their military value might be a hard public sell.