July/August 2009
The Arctic


Who owns the Arctic? A few years ago most people, if they thought about this question at all, would probably have answered 'no-one', or possibly 'Santa Claus', and been content to leave it at that. But the question of who has the power to make decisions about what happens in the Arctic, and who has the right to its land, seas and resources, is increasingly starting to burn - within the Arctic nations, and beyond. Thanks to climate change, the rest of the world has never been so aware of what's going on in the snowy north. Suddenly, we all have a stake in it. But who gets to determine its destiny?

The NI takes a look beyond the images of melting icecaps and stressed-out polar bears that are sadly becoming commonplace, and focuses on the human consequences of the slow earthquake rocking the top of the world, and the struggles over its future that are currently being played out.








2 Letters

4 A slow earthquake
The Arctic is changing dramatically. Jess Worth finds out what it means for the people who live there.

8 The Arctic climate
Facts and figures about the planet's thermostat.

10 Slick operators
Jess Worth meets two indigenous activists battling Big Oil's dirty tricks.

13 A vanishing world
Images of the unique landscapes and wildlife under threat.

14 The Arctic: a history

16 Who owns the Arctic?
Could countries come to blows over the North's resources? Professor Michael Byers explains.

18 When the ice melts
What does the future hold? Jess Worth learns from five leading figures.


21 Life without the car
Chris Richards goes cold turkey in her umpteenth attempt to do without her car - and fumes about the structure of modern life that makes the task so hard.


25 Currents
Solidarity in Western Sahara offers hope; a call to boycott Uzbek cotton; Tajudeen Abdul-Raheem

27 Only Planet
Gort and Klaatu puzzle over human religions old and new.

28 NI Jumbo Prize Crossword

29 Making Waves
Hossam Bahgat is one of Egypt's most prominent and effective human rights campaigners. He explains
why things are getting worse in his country.

30 Mixed Media
A Hot Docs film festival special from Toronto; Comrade Fatso raps in the cause of righteousness; and one woman's account of her struggle to expose the evil of honour killings.

32 Worldbeater
If you've heard of Ponzi Schemes, it could be thanks to Bernie Madoff. About time he got his comeuppance...

33 View from Montevideo
In an upside-down world, there are many questions to be asked, writes Eduardo Galeano.

34 Essay: Obama's Cuba challenge
Previous US policy towards Cuba failed. Leonardo Padura Fuentes considers what needs to happen next.

36 Country Profile: Qatar





NI Japan




From this month's theme

- A slow earthquake (NI p4-7)

- The Arctic climate (NI p8-9)
- The cold rush (NI p11)

- Who owns the Arctic? (NI p16-17)
- When the ice melts (NI p18-19)

From Special Features and other articles
- Life without the car (NI p21-24)
- Unpopular poplars (Belgium) (NI p25)
- Some democracy... (Israel) (NI p26)
- Still in the fields (Uzbekistan) (NI p26)

This month's Japanese organizations at a glance
- FoE Japan


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