New York Times, May 12, 2011
NUUK, Greenland — The eight Arctic nations pledged Thursday to create international protocols to prevent and clean up offshore oil spills in areas of the region that are becoming increasingly accessible to exploration because of a changing climate.
The Arctic Council — the United States, Russia, Canada, Iceland, Denmark, Norway, Finland and Sweden — said the protocols would be modeled on a separate agreement signed here in Nuuk on Thursday to coordinate search-and-rescue operations over 13 million square miles of ocean.
Phi Beta Iota: This is potentially world-changing, but pedestrian at this time. Legal and logistics arrangements institutionalize old ways of doing things–slow, expensive, often inappropriate ways. Much more exciting would be for the nations to agree to create an Arctic M4IS2 Centre, perhaps based in Copenhagen or in Oslo, with an emphasis on sustainable energy and climate change to begin with, but rapidly filling out to provide holistic analytics across all threats and helpful to the harmonization of spending across all policies. Such a center could be innovative from the first day if it includes all eight tribes of intelligence in its organizational and outreach schema, creating a model for both the United Nations and for each of the continental political organizations.