United States Arctic Interests: Background for Policy
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The polar regions have been of interest primarily to adventurers and scientists until relatively recent times. The growing importance of the Arctic to a wider range of people stems largely from the search for nonrenewable resources. Resources such as oil and gas have become more difficult to find in temperate climates, while the means of exploring for and extracting resources once considered impossible to reach is improving. Of all the potentially important frontier areas for resource development, the Arctic is emerging as that area likely to receive greatest attention in the next two decades. The question is no longer whether to develop, but how, when, and with what precautionary measures. John Muir observed that “when we try to pick up anything by itself, we find it attached to everything in the universe.”1 Such is the case in the Arctic.
KeywordsPolar Region National Interest Bowhead Whale Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Arctic Research
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