Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Borders of Switzerland moving around with melting glaciers

This is about neither war nor even a natural resource in demand. It's about a peaceful agreement over changes in nature: As climate change is melting the glaciers defining the borders of Switzerland the government is simply redrawing the European map in collaboration with Austria, Italy and France. Complete absence of trouble, it seems.

Today the Swiz parliament approved of one such move of the border (the AP story is found on several online media: Switzerland expands border into Italy as glaciers melt, Glaciers melt, Swiss get some territory from Italy; this one's a bit more detailed: Swiss Approve Measure to Redraw Italian Border Near Matterhorn).

But what if the melting glaciers had been the main water source of the neighbourhood? And what if Switzerland had been in less friendly relationships with their neighbours? Such conditions - unfortunately - are less common around the world.

"Elsewhere in the world you see a much more nationalistic attitude"
- Dr. Mark Zeitoun, Britain’s University of East Anglia


Namely the Himalayas are melting. This could lead to drastic changes and trouble. First of all an increase in Pakistani-Indian tensions. But ice is melting everywhere; faster and faster.

Arctic melt also leads to conflict as nations make their territorial pissings: armies of Denmark and Canada taking turns planting a flag and a bottle of booze on a icy rock next to Greenland, Russia planting a flag on the bottom of the Arctic sea.

See Grist.org / Bordering on Chaos: Climate change melts lines drawn in ice.

Search This Blog