tv Fault Lines Al Jazeera April 20, 2015 3:30pm-4:01pm EDT
organizers are pushing another area. the focus on auto than show. adrian brown acknowledge al jazeera, shanghai. >> monday on our website aljazeera.com. aljazeera.com. in the event of any emergency, let us know through coms. >> high above the artic circle >> stand by.... >> in some of the world's coldest waters, canadian military divers are preparing for a search and rescue training mission. >> the bottom is about 40 meters, 120 feet down, the water is about 2 degrees below zero celsius. they can stay down there 40 minutes to an hour without
really getting too cold. >> yellow diver well, yellow diver well for leaks. >> lately, the arctic has been seeing a flurry activity. that's because there's something locked beneath the ice. thirteen percent of the world's undiscovered oil and 30 percent of its untapped natural gas. trillions of dollars of potential profit. and that means that here in the far north, issues of sovereignty security, environment, and trade are intersecting at a colossal pace, in the world's coldest resource rush. the tiny hamlet of resolute, is busier than it has been in decades. canadian troops are here to train in difficult and cold conditions. it's called operation "nuvavut". >> so all the structures that we have here are the original
front stucture were put together for the air force in the cold war era. >> with the artic ice melting, and with the mining and energy boom on the horizon. the canadian military is preparing for various senarios. >> there's been an accident, involving two people. injuries are unknown at this time. >> today it's a rapid reaction search and rescue exercise. with no roads, they'll have to get there by air. >> and uhh...we'll do this as if it was a real mission. >> it just flew right over head, they're looking at their visibilty, they're finding out where their jumpers can land safely, which will hopefully be in this kinda flat area over here. so now they will circle around which they're acually doing
right behind the camera here. >> the canadian's are not the only one operating up here. over the last two years, large scale military exercises have been carried out by the u.s., nato, and russia. >> we did find indications that countries are if fact concered about what will be necessary for the protection of say responding to an environmental disaster. a cruise ship catastrophe, some of the law and order assistance that militaries do and do very well, patictulary in regions such as the artic that are so far away from other points of infrastructure. >> along the surface, most of the millitary activity has been search and rescue. professional arctic watchers like professor ron huebert, say there is another side to what's been happining in the far north. countries are devoloping militaries in the context of military protection. we saw cosidarable evidence that it wasn't just developing coast guard and constablatory
capabilities, but actually developing combat capabilities. >> but no one expects a war up here. it's not hard to see why arctic countries are using their militaries to exert their sovereignty. geologists believe that vast amounts of hydrocarbons lie under the ice here. as the arctic ice melts, all of that oil and gas becomes increasingly available for exploitation the ice now covers just half of the surface area it did a few decades ago. >> the excitement about arctic oil and gas is part of a vicious cycle. the reason that we're able to access the arctic is because of climate change, and the reason we have climate change is because we've burned so much oil and gas. >> the arctic is the canary in the coal mine. >> ambassador david balton is the lead negotiator for the us state department on arctic issues. >> it is opening up and --- and
vessels from other nations can be expected in the arctic... but we don't see the arctic as a military venue, it's all about economics. >> if politics were set aside, you'd say well i'd love to go take another look at iraq, or iran, or i'd love to look in libya. but things being what they are you really can't do that. so the really big expanse that hasn't been tested is these continental shelves in the arctic. >> the world woke up to the potential value of those contenental shelves in august 2007, when moscow released pictures of a russian mini submarine planting a flag on the seabed of the north pole. >> i regard the planting of a russian flag on the seafloor of the north pole to be a publicity stunt. russia was trying to call attention to its claim to the seafloor. but it did not have any legal significance.
>> it's just not what's under ground thats atracting attention from the rest of the world. resolute sits on the shore of northwest passage. frozen solid for most of the year, this potential shipping lane, cuts through canada from the atlantic to the pacific ocean. for the first time in history the passage recently became ice free during the summer months. if it stays that way, the distance ships have to travel from europe to parts of asia, could be cut by thousands of kilometers. billions of dollars in transportation costs could be saved. but canada has repeatedly resisted claims that the passage is part of international waters. >> as the ice melts, as the technology improves, as the international regime evolves, whats happening is the arctic ocean is becoming an ocean like any other. the challenge for the arctic states, are countries like china, japan, south korea, the european union, are saying
this is becoming an iternational space...we want to participate. currently in 2012, there is push back to that idea. the us and canada similarly. have agreed to disagree about the status of the nothwest passage. the united states and other countries see the northwest passage as a stait used for inernational navigation, all vessels have a right to transit. today, it has not been a serious issue either but that day may too, be coming. >> with so many competing claims and so much money at stake the united states has refused to sign an international treaty which would settle claims to the region. >> it's sort of a new gold rush of sorts that is underway in the arctic right now, and the prize promises to be much more substantial. >> more than a thousand miles south of the arctic, admiral robert papp is speaking at the us coast guard academy in new london, connecticut. >> and, what concerns me is that we don't fall behind on meeting this challenge - especially when
we see other arctic nations-including our partners-surging forward and expanding their arctic capabilities. >> here, at the first 'leadership for the arctic' conference military officials, bureaucrats, lawyers, environmentalists and oil and mining industry executives have gathered to discuss, and perhaps eventually shape arctic policy. >> but even if we stopped greenhouse gas emissions tomorrow, we will continue to have this governance question before us. >> we've got a lot of work to do to be prepared, and to be able to respond to all of the events that could possibly take place in the arctic. >> for centuries we struggled how to make demarcation of this boundary, it was done under pressure of oil industry. >> in the next 40 years energy needs in the world will double. >> peter slaiby is the vice president of shell alaska. shell has long been pushing to conduct exploritory off shore drilling in the arctic's chukchi, off the coast of northern alaska.
after the company spent 15 million dollars on lobbing in washington last year. >> frankly we would not be considering a move into alaska and other arctic regions unless we were sure at the highest levels in our company that we could do it safely. >> a lot of people here have been kind of skeptical about it's not a matter of if, but when something goes wrong with the drilling up in the arctic. >> well so, i think it's a matter of time you know i think that's being a bit pessimistic i think the standards we're putting in place are pretty robust. but could there be an incident? and i think - yeah, there's ship - you know, aside from oil and gas there's a significant amount of shipping. and when we've looked at what's been in place, we think it clearly needs to move up another notch... if a spill does happen, the cold waters in the arctic make clean up even more difficult. >> it would make the deep water spill in the gulf of mexico look
small by comparison. all those billions of bacteria that helped disperse the oil of the deep water horizon on the gulf of mexico just aren't there in the arctic. so it would be damage on a cataclysmic scale. >> just last year, admiral papp testified to congress that the us was starting at ground zero in terms of oil spill response in the arctic. >> is the tail wagging the dog are the corporations pushing a lot of the activity up there - are the governments trying to respond to that? >> i don't think so. they pay a lot of money for permits to be able to drill up there. as i said in my speech today the national security is not just defense, its energy security and its environmental security as well, and i think you need to balance all those things. >> the real security threats are in terms of what happens to the local populations as the ice offshore melts and all of a sudden their coastline is eroding, and their villages are disapearing as a result of climate change. that's a human security,
...or consequence and that sort of thing hasn't been factored in, in any signifigant way. >> watch more "faultlines" on demand or visit aljazeera.com/faultlines. >> al jazeera's investigative unit has tonight's exclusive report. >> from coast to coast. >> people selling fresh water for fracking. >> stories that have impact. >> we lost lives. >> that make a difference. >> senator, we were hoping that we could ask you some questions about your legal problems. >> that open your world. >> it could be very dangerous. >> i hear gunshots. >> a bullet came right there through the window. >> it absolutely is a crisis. >> real reporting. >> this is what we do. >> america tonight. tuesday through friday. 10:00 eastern. only on al jazeera america.
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>> on the frozen waters of resolute bay, samson simeonie and tommy salluviniq are hunting seal. for hours on end, they take aim at seal breathing holes in the ice. >> if you move around too much they're not going to come up. they're going to go somewhere. >> how long do you have to stay still for? >> until a seal comes up. >> that could be a long time. >> yeah. the inuit depend on hunting, and have adapted to the harsh environment that way for thousands of years. >> they're just curious animals. so, once he hears a noise he goes and checks it out, eh?
>> where there are no roads, little employment and the highest food costs in canada, seal hunting is more than a way of life. it's part of survival. for many inuit there is fear that all the changes could alter this landscape forever. rich with untapped natural resources, nunavut is canada's largest territory. among the 28 communities scattered across it, 85 percent of the residents are aboriginal inuit. >> in greenland you cannot go hunting by snowmobile, you have to use dogs. >> by law? >> yes by law. >> aaju peter is originally from greenland, but moved to nunavut more than 30 years ago. she spent most of that time trying to preserving inuit culture. >> we have the longest still living hunting culture in this world. you have seen the hunters going out on the ice to catch fish
seal or caribou. they bring that back and then they provide it free to the community. if we didn't have that we would be starving. >> with a resource boom on the horizon, aaju feels that inuit need to strike a delicate balance. >> you have to look at both. my granddaughter i'm sure, and even my children, could become possibly the wealthiest in canada, but so what? if we can not safegaurd it, if we can do it properly, we shouldn't do it. we cannot assume that foreigners and other international people are considering us or even our rights. >> plans are underway for an iron ore mining project in nunavut worth four billion dollars, it's the largest in a long line of industries arriving
here. >> this is an annual mining conference in iqaluit. it's where all the companies come to meet network and do business. there's everyone here from well helicopter companies to diamond mines and as a sign of the times, this is the first year ever that the conference has reached its maximum capacity. rising commodity prices and new land deals are persuading companies to look again at mineral deposits that were once too expensive to exploit on the frozen terrain. >> there is always the logistic issues, we're far, we're isolated, so lots of planning needs to be done to be sure we have everything on site. >> you said you have 700 people, do you know what percentage are inuit? >> about 35 percent of our employees that are inuit. >> we're not against development. but we hope inuit will benefit from development. >> okalik eegeesiak is the president of the qikiqtani inuit association representing the people of canada's high arctic to the local and federal governments. >> it creates jobs, and creates business opportunities, and it
will help with community infrastructure, hopefully with government investment. >> but it's not yet clear what development in nunavut will look like, and who will reap the rewards. >> the cost of these local projects will be borne by the local people disproportionately, almost entirely and the benefits will accrue outside the territory. that's always the case with mines. >> political scientest frances abele, has worked with indigenous peoples all over canada for most of her career. >> well it's an old dream in canada that the following would happen. the federal government would encourage natural resource exploitation, that would in turn provide jobs for local people and then there'd be full employment, and northern society would grow. we've been trying execute that model since the 1950's. and...it doesn't work. >> this is not the arctic's first resource boom. the legacy of colonization dates back to the 19th century when
european ships braved these waters to hunt whales for oil to light europe's capital cities. missionaries, and fur traiders followed, and inuit life changed forever. after world war ii, royal canadian mounted police forced inuit to government-created settlements and a federal justice system was imposed. aboriginal children were forced to attend infamous residential schools, where sexual abuse, disease and even death were common. the effects can still be felt today. >> certainly the rapid social and economic changes over the last two generations have had a big effect. if you look at the suicide rate it's many, many times the national rate especially for young inuit men. so those things are a crises they're leading to more illness, they're leading to psychological trauma. >> resolute's hunters are drawing names to find out who
will participate in this seasons polar bear hunt. until recently, hunting rights like many other like many other parts of intuit life, were regulated by ottowa. in 1993, desperate for a say in their own future, the inuit of the norhwestern territories, signed a land agreement with ottowa. nunavut was born. in return for a degree of self-governance the the community surrendered their aboriginal title to their lands. >> under those agreements they have given up most of their land, but in compensation, for that, they received capp money.... they received capital. and certain certain other provisions, such as the creation of nuvavut. >> the canadian government controls the lion's share of nuvavut....80%. and ottowa will receive the royalties and tax revenues from any recource development
that takes place on those lands or, on the sea bed. >> the government of nuvavut is stuggling. one of their big problems is that the federal government retains control of ground land. so the government of nuvavut does not have access to resource revenues. >> and right now, nunavut is strapped for cash. people here say that the federal government is not channeling enough revenue into the territory. >> we've got the structures in place, but we still have societies to build. and everything from infrastructure, adequate housing to education and social services that are adequate to the needs of the population are missing. there is mention of this in the federal government's policies but it's not where the attention is, and it's not where the money's going. >> watch more "faultlines"
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do that kind of thing. it frustrates me and makes me angry that inuit organizations and government representatives up here approach mining as the savior of the economy and social economy up here. >> qajaaq ellswoth is a young iniut activist from iqaluit, the capital of nunavut. this city of six, and a half thousand has doubled in population in the last decade. there's an acute housing shortage here. it's not unusual for more than one family to share a home. >> i grew up when several sections of the town didn't even exist. like i know of some elders who were born in this area and i can't imagine what it must be like for them. >> qajaaq is weary of what may happen to his community when mining corporations start moving in. >> definately for me, the number one thing is environmental damage. a lot of it which is irreversable, regardless of
what the mining company will say, but it does have significant social impacts as well. one of the things that makes me proud to be inuk is the connection with the land. and when we start digging it up and blowing it up and making money off of it for the sole purpose of making money, it kind of makes me, diminishes the level of pride that i have being a part of the inuit community. >> back at resolute bay, and operation nunavut, we were invited to join the canadian rangers. these inuit reservists patrol the coast line of the northwest passage. the federal government plans to increase their numbers. frank immingark has been a ranger for 18 years. >> passed on to my kids also too, when i go out hunting i teach them what i know... what i know...what my grandfather or my dad
teach me. so if i'm gone...they can survive out there without me. we are having a hard time now, because of the mining.... seems like the animals are sick more, not like back then... >> so this is uncooked. frozen seal. and you got this just over here? >> yeah >> frank lives over lives near the only operating mine in nunavut,. and has seen first hand the impact of the coming resource rush on the inuit way of life.. these rangers have a foothold in two very different worlds. they're elected by their communities often because of their ability to hunt and survive on the land. part of their stated mission is what the canadian government calls sovereignty patrols. but for many inuit, their concepts of sovereignty are very different from the canadian government's. >> who is exerting sovereignty
and what you understand by sovereignty, is up for debate. for us when we share, when we cut animals, when we share our residence when we share the area it is an exsertion of the sovereignty, >> the inuit in nunavut. didn't create the climate change that's causing the ice to melt here. yet they have to live with it's consequences. in a place where the land and the people are inseparable the concept of control and ownership, is very different here. but this northern way of thinking, will continually be put to the test as southern powers dictate what security and sovereignty mean in the arctic. >> nobody owns the arctic, i mean nunavut means our land, but from what i understand from elders is that we don't own the land, we don't own the animals
we belong to the land. >> when you're talking about mineral development, oil, sailing ships, these things that will be affecting the residents of the arctic, you really should include them otherwise it's just an occupation. >> we're living in a world where continual growth is number one, we always have to make money we always have to increase the labor market, and it's only when the last tree is gone, only when the last strap of water is gone will people realize that we can't eat money. >> watch more "faultlines" on demand or visit aljazeera.com/faultlines. >> tonight. >> a lot of these mining sites are restricted. >> a silent killer. >> got a lot of arsenic in it. >> you know your water's bad and you know you're sick. >> unheard victims. >> 90 percent of the people will get some type of illness from the water. >> where could it happen next? >> i mean, they took away my life. >> "faultlines". al jazeera america's
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