Greenland is open for business, but it's not for sale, Greenland's foreign minister Ane Lone Bagger told Reuters after hearing that President Donald Trump asked his advisers about the feasibility of buying the world's largest island.
Sources told CNN that President Trump has made repeated inquiries into the possibility of buying Greenland, an autonomous territory, from the Danish government. He has raised the issue during meetings and dinners and even gone so far as to have White House counsel examine the possibility. The story was first reported by The Wall Street Journal.
A Republican congressional aide told the AP that Trump brought up the idea in conversations with lawmakers so many times it made them wonder if he was serious, though the lawmakers did not take the idea seriously.
Danish politicians wasted no time in ridiculing the idea, as Reuters reported.
"It has to be an April Fool's joke. Totally out of season," former Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen wrote on Twitter.
"If he is truly contemplating this, then this is final proof, that he has gone mad," said Soren Espersen, foreign affairs spokesman for the Danish People's Party, to a Danish broadcaster. "The thought of Denmark selling 50,000 citizens to the United States is completely ridiculous."
This is actually not the first time the U.S. has showed interest in acquiring Greenland. In 1946, the U.S. offered to pay Denmark $100 million to buy Greenland, the AP reported.
Greenland is home to the U.S. military's northernmost base, the Thule Air Base, which is about 750 miles north of the Arctic Circle. The base, a strategic outpost during the Cold War, features a radar and listening post that reaches far into Russian territory. It also houses a missile warning system that can warn of incoming intercontinental ballistic missiles, according to CNN.
Greenland officials wasted no time to use the free publicity to tout its natural resources and to sell itself as a tourist destination, as USA Today reported.
"#Greenland is rich in valuable resources such as minerals, the purest water and ice, fish stocks, seafood, renewable energy and is a new frontier for adventure tourism," said the Greenland Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a tweet that included a link to the territory's tourism website.
The idea to buy Greenland started with friends of Trump's outside the administration who brought up the idea of purchasing Greenland as a potential legacy-builder on par with Eisenhower giving statehood to both Alaska and Hawaii, according to the Wall Street Journal. Trump thought the world's largest island might be for sale because he heard that Denmark was facing financial trouble.
"What do you guys think about that?" Trump asked a room fool of advisers, as The Wall Street Journal reported. "Do you think it would work?"
Greenland handles all of its own affairs, except defense and foreign policy, which are controlled by the Danish government in Copenhagen. Greenland's politicians would like to keep it that way.
"I am sure a majority in Greenland believes it is better to have a relation to Denmark than the United States, in the long term," said Aaja Chemnitz Larsen, Danish MP from Greenland's second-largest party Inuit Ataqatigiit (IA), to Reuters. "My immediate thought is 'No, thank you'."
Even Rufus Gifford, a former U.S. ambassador to Denmark weighed in on Twitter in words not often seen in diplomacy.
"Oh dear lord. As someone who loves Greenland, has been there nine times to every corner and loves the people, this is a complete and total catastrophe," he wrote.
Greenland Temps Soar 40 Degrees Above Normal, Record Melting of Ice Sheet https://t.co/I3iD1aj1mO— The YEARS Project (@YEARSofLIVING) June 19, 2019
- Redwoods are the world's tallest trees.
- Now scientists have discovered they are even bigger than we thought.
- Using laser technology they map the 80-meter giants.
- Trees are a key plank in the fight against climate change.
They are among the largest trees in the world, descendants of forests where dinosaurs roamed.
Pixabay / Simi Luft<p><span>Until recently, measuring these trees meant scaling their 80 meter high trunks with a tape measure. Now, a team of scientists from University College London and the University of Maryland uses advanced laser scanning, to create 3D maps and calculate the total mass.</span></p><p>The results are striking: suggesting the trees <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-73733-6" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">may be as much as 30% larger than earlier measurements suggested.</a> Part of that could be due to the additional trunks the Redwoods can grow as they age, <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-73733-6" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">a process known as reiteration</a>.</p>
New 3D measurements of large redwood trees for biomass and structure. Nature / UCL<p>Measuring the trees more accurately is important because carbon capture will probably play a key role in the battle against climate change. Forest <a href="https://www.wri.org/blog/2020/09/carbon-sequestration-natural-forest-regrowth" target="_blank">growth could absorb billions of tons</a> of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere each year.</p><p>"The importance of big trees is widely-recognised in terms of carbon storage, demographics and impact on their surrounding ecosystems," the authors wrote<a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-73733-6" target="_blank"> in the journal Nature</a>. "Unfortunately the importance of big trees is in direct proportion to the difficulty of measuring them."</p><p>Redwoods are so long lived because of their ability to <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-73733-6" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">cope with climate change, resist disease and even survive fire damage</a>, the scientists say. Almost a fifth of their volume may be bark, which helps protect them.</p>
Carbon Capture Champions<p><span>Earlier research by scientists at Humboldt University and the University of Washington found that </span><a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0378112716302584" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Redwood forests store almost 2,600 tonnes of carbon per hectare</a><span>, their bark alone containing more carbon than any other neighboring species.</span></p><p>While the importance of trees in fighting climate change is widely accepted, not all species enjoy the same protection as California's coastal Redwoods. In 2019 the world lost the equivalent of <a href="https://www.worldwildlife.org/threats/deforestation-and-forest-degradation" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">30 soccer fields of forest cover every minute</a>, due to agricultural expansion, logging and fires, according to The Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF).</p>
Pixabay<p>Although <a href="https://c402277.ssl.cf1.rackcdn.com/publications/1420/files/original/Deforestation_fronts_-_drivers_and_responses_in_a_changing_world_-_full_report_%281%29.pdf?1610810475" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">the rate of loss is reported to have slowed in recent years</a>, reforesting the world to help stem climate change is a massive task.</p><p><span>That's why the World Economic Forum launched the Trillion Trees Challenge (</span><a href="https://www.1t.org/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">1t.org</a><span>) and is engaging organizations and individuals across the globe through its </span><a href="https://uplink.weforum.org/uplink/s/uplink-issue/a002o00000vOf09AAC/trillion-trees" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Uplink innovation crowdsourcing platform</a><span> to support the project.</span></p><p>That's backed up by research led by ETH Zurich/Crowther Lab showing there's potential to restore tree coverage across 2.2 billion acres of degraded land.</p><p>"Forests are critical to the health of the planet," according to <a href="https://www.1t.org/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">1t.org</a>. "They sequester carbon, regulate global temperatures and freshwater flows, recharge groundwater, anchor fertile soil and act as flood barriers."</p><p><em data-redactor-tag="em" data-verified="redactor">Reposted with permission from the </em><span><em data-redactor-tag="em" data-verified="redactor"><a href="https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2021/03/redwoods-store-more-co2-and-are-more-enormous-than-we-thought/" target="_blank">World Economic Forum</a>.</em></span></p>
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