The German online Die Zeit reports here that a Canadian court has ruled in favour of the Inuit Indians, forbidding a planned Arctic expedition by Germany’s alarmist Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI) in the Lancaster Sound. Reports show that the German expedition may have included Arctic oil and gas exploration.
The AWI’s Polarstern research vessel was ordered to pack up and leave. Now it’s off the coast of Greenland.
Die Zeit writes:
A historic victory will be celebrated in Nunavut. This is the first time a Canadian court recognises the cultural and territorial rights of the Inuits, says a pleased Okalik Eegeesiak, President of the Qikiqtani Inuit Association in Canada.
What makes the story interesting is that the German scientists were not only getting ready to conduct sea ice and water studies, but appear to have been commissioned to conduct oil and gas exploration.
Works were planned to study the rotation of Greenland plates in the Paleocene and Eocene, 40 to 60 million years ago, says Die Zeit.
Die Zeit writes that the fine print in the project description submitted to Canadian authorities in Ottawa for approval (which was granted) included investigating the potential for single sediment basins for the formation of hydrocarbons.
Oops! Was the Alfred Wegener Institute getting ready to conduct oil and gas exploration work on behalf of Canada and Germany under the guise of Arctic research? They all deny it.
The Polarstern planned to use air gun blasts for taking seismic readings of the seabed. The Inuit saw this opening, and exploited it, claiming that blasts would drive the seals and Arctic wildlife away. They took it to court, and won.
Die Zeit also writes that this one particular expedition was not overseen by the Alfred Wegener Institute, as is usually the case, but by the German Ministry for Geosciences and Natural Resources. This ministry is a subordinate of the Ministry of Economics and is responsible for securing the supply of natural resources to Germany.
Hmmm. And all this time I thought these scientists were out there measuring the ice. C’mon, just put 2 and 2 together.
For the German research team, which was in the Baffin Bay getting ready to start its studies when the ruling was made, it’s the first time in 28 years that it has been forbidden to conduct research there. Last year the Inuits had protested a Polarstern expedition, but were unsuccessful.
Sure the ruling is a blow for Arctic oil exploration, but it’s not like we were ever going to get it anyway. The Arctic ice is coming back.
At least now we’re pretty sure what it’s really all about for the goody-too-green Germans and Canadians – oil!