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

1 comment:

  1. AP / Swiss now pray that glacier will stop shrinking

    "Villagers from deeply Roman Catholic south Switzerland have for centuries offered a sacred vow to God to protect them from the advancing ice mass of the Great Aletsch glacier.

    Global warming is making them want to reverse their prayers, and the Alpine faithful are seeking the permission of the pope."


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