Backing Trump has a geopolitical advantage for Russia in that Americans–divided as we are between those who refuse to believe the Arctic ice is melting and those who refuse to accept the fact that it cannot be unmelted–will continue to pretend that the Arctic Ocean is not a few years away from being blue water. Putin has invested heavily in making the Arctic a Russian lake–massive infrastructural investment, a huge state of the art fleet of ice breakers, the establishment of shipping routes, laying legal claim to most of the waters as being part of the landmass of Siberia, etc, etc–and the US has done nothing. NOTHING. We would not even replace the worn out ice breakers we had. A Trump presidency just ensures Russia that now, on the cusp of their most successful geopolitical coup since conquering all of eastern Europe in the Second World War, that the US will continue to pretend that there is nothing of interest north of Canada. But what Putin knows and that we don’t is that once the Arctic is open water, then the world will no longer be on an east-west horizontal axis. It will be on an up and over the top axis, and whoever is master of the Arctic is master of the world. The Arctic is about to become as central to everything as the Mediterranean was in classical times, and stupidly, beyond stupidly even, Americans have rendered it politically incorrect to even think about that. For conservatives the Arctic is not melting. In fact, it’s getting colder. For the Left, we can return it to its stark frozen beauty if we try hard enough. Neither side can be further from reality–the Arctic is melting at a phenomenal rate, and nothing will ever freeze it again, not for thousands of years. It’s a done deal. Not that it matters politically what we do, anyway. There was one and only one nation with the naval and scientific capital to keep the Arctic an international ocean, and it was the United States. Otherwise we’ve left it to Canada, Iceland, Denmark and Norway. Feeble compared to Russia, sure, but each of those four has more capacity in the Arctic than we do. We have nuclear powered carriers in the Persian Gulf and South China Sea and Mediterranean and not even an icebreaker in the Arctic, where the future of the world lies. You have no idea how stupid we Americans will look in a generation standing on the shore as the summer sun never sets on the gleaming blue Arctic Ocean. We won’t even be able to read the road signs. They’ll be in Cyrillic.
Another big Putin win. With Donald Trump in office the US will continue to pretend global warming is a myth and that the Arctic icecap is not melting, while Putin, as true a believer in climate change as you will find on this planet, keeps on course to turn the ice free Arctic Ocean into a Russian lake. It is madness on our part. The Republican Party has given the Russians carte blanche in the Arctic because in order to confront them in the arctic we need to dramatically upgrade our fleet of arctic vessels–we have two ancient ice breakers of cold war vintage–and infrastructure. But to do that, one would have to admit that the Arctic icecap is melting. But if the Arctic icecap is melting it means that temperatures are rising. And if temperatures are rising it means that global warming is a fact. But global warming is a myth, Trump says, and Vladimir Putin smiles.