During the 19th century, thousands of men took to the seas to hunt for whales. The indigenous peoples of the Arctic practiced whaling for several millennia before that. Technological change and changes in mores have reduced the whaling industry to a heavily regulated shadow of what it used to be. But it hasn’t disappeared altogether. Even now, at the dawn of the 21st century, ships prowl the seas in search of a spout or a gigantic fin. A few months ago, Outside magazine published an account of a whale hunt aboard the Norwegian ship Sofie.
posted by jason's_planet
on Oct 23, 2006 -
The last hope of life on earth: Svalbard.
Most of humanity depends on just 12 plant species
, down from over 7,000 historically. Fortunately, seeds can be viable for up to thousands of years
, and seed banks have already preserved many species, including the entire plant population of Antarctica
. But with seed banks being destroyed
as the result of wars and accident, Norway has has begun work
on an underground facility, protected by polar bears, in the Arctic permafrost
that is designed to hold millions of seeds, as "final safety net"
posted by blahblahblah
on Jun 19, 2006 -
Global warming -- the upside:
the entrepreneurs poised to make millions from new ports and shipping lanes in the formerly ice-bound Arctic circle. A fascinating New York Times article on the international land-grab following the news (reported here
, discussed here
, whitewashed here
, et. al.
) that the polar ice caps and Siberian permafrost are melting. Goodbye Gulf Stream, hello Club Med Santa-style -- first SUV to the North Pole wins!
posted by digaman
on Oct 10, 2005 -