Claiming the Antarctic

These people still don\’t have the first clue, do they?

Environmental groups yesterday condemned British plans to claim sovereignty over a vast tract of the seabed off the coast of Antarctica, with Greenpeace and WWF expressing dismay that the Foreign Office was contemplating possible oil, gas and mineral exploration in the region.


Look, if no one owns it then no one can stop people from prospecting for oil and gas there. Only if there is a legal structure, a system of property rights, can access be regulated. Those who want there to be no drilling should be welcoming the fact that a government that they can influence is asserting said property rights.

Have these people no understanding of the most basic facts about Commons? That without an ownership structure, you can\’t stop people from exploiting the resource?


3 thoughts on “Claiming the Antarctic”

  1. “Have these people no understanding of the most basic facts about Commons? ”

    No Tim, these smelly tree hugging fuckwits don’t even know about deodorant or hair conditioner, they certainly don’t understand such concepts!!

  2. Well, although I hate to publicise it, the UN’s attempts to implement its Law of the Sea actually covers most of this basically countries can exploit everything up to the 200 miles from their coats or the edge of their continental shelf, whichever is the greater but no further than 360 miles from their coast. Exploitation beyond the 200 mile limit is governed by the International Seabed Authority which will licence concessions and distribute royalties. How effective this will be only time will tell. Since Britain owns all sorts of funny rocks, atolls and islands around the globe I guess we’re the lucky ones.

    The only fly in the ointment I can see here is the Antarctic Treaty that declared the continent (and I guess its own 200 mile EEZ) as belonging to nobody and not to be touched – a sort of international nature reserve.

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