Trump orders fleet of icebreakers and new bases in push for polar resources

Article via The Guardian

“The intensifying rivalry over sea routes and mineral resources in the Arctic, itself a consequence of the climate emergency, has caused alarm over its environmental impact. 

“Even during a pandemic and nationwide protests against state violence, the Trump administration is still finding new ways to exploit the climate crisis. He is truly the worst president for the planet we’ve ever had,” Charlie Cray, a senior researcher for Greenpeace USA, said.

“There are so many ways our tax dollars could be used to support Arctic communities. Helping out the oil industry and the military with a new fleet of icebreakers is definitely last on the list.”

Polar military experts are also sceptical over the urgency of the “icebreaker gap” with Russia. 

“Icebreakers – even if armed – don’t really address some of the most commonly cited challenges that China and Russia might pose for the United States in the Arctic,” Paul Avey, assistant professor for political science at Virginia Tech university, argued. “This isn’t to say icebreakers can play no role in competition. But in narrow defence terms, I think that the best way to address China and Russia in the Arctic – and Antarctic – is to focus on issues in eastern Europe and the western Pacific.” 

Read the full article here

Where women rule: the last matriarchy in Europe – in pictures

All text and photos are from The Guardian

“Big Heart, Strong Hands is the story of women on the isolated Estonian islands of Kihnu and Manija in the Baltic Sea. Often viewed as the last matriarchal society in Europe, the older women there take care of almost everything on land as their husbands travel the seas – Anne Helene Gjelstad’s Big Heart, Strong Hands is published by Dewi Lewis”

2953Vahtra Helju, 2008 by Anne Helene Gjelstad.

“Vahtra Helju had a modest wish. She wanted to be photographed with her beloved cow. And so I learned how sweet, personal and curious cows really are.”

2953 (1)Järsumäe Virve 2013 by Anne Helene Gjelstad.

“Järsumäe Virve has always loved animals and all living creatures. She doesn’t know how many cats she now has, and even the neighbours’ cats come to her to eat. She has two dogs and a horse that runs free on her property in the warm season. When we first became friends she also had two goats and loved drinking straight from the mug just after she had milked them. She explained how healthy this was and graciously shared the warm milk with me.”

2953 (2)Saundi Mann, 2010 by Anne Helene Gjelstad.
2953 (3)Järsumäe Virve 2008, Anne Helene Gjelstad.

“Järsumäe Virve regularly appears on TV and in the papers. At the age of 81 she fulfilled her life’s dream of going tandem skydiving. And because she is such a sweet and warm woman, everybody wants a piece of her. Often foreigners drive around Kihnu Island looking for Virve’s house and quite often, to protect her privacy, the other islanders send visitors in the wrong direction.”

View the full article here.