Right before the G7 summit in Biarritz, France, American president Donald Trump had already won the most attention from the world, again. This time he was commented by a rival candidate as "crazy like a fox" when he floated the idea of buying Greenland.
Everything started with news leaked several days before the summit that Donald Trump had expressed interest in acquiring Greenland from Denmark. When many were thinking it was another Trump's joke, the American president responded to the Danish prime minister's dismissal of the idea as "absurd" by cancelling a visit planned for September.
Critics argue that it is essentially a problem of resources. Donald Trump is right that Greenland is valuable. It has vast stores of zinc, copper, iron ore and uranium — all of which are becoming more accessible with global warming. It lies conveniently between North America and Eurasia. But his notion that the way to access this value is to buy it from another country is a throwback to the 19th century.
Then, the United States bought or conquered a great deal of land, from the Louisiana Purchase in 1803 to the Philippine annexation in 1899. That pattern of forthright acquisition ended in the middle of the 20th century, though, as colonized people worldwide rebelled against imperialism.
Greenland Is Not Green
Greenland's relationship with Denmark stretches back thousands of years, and the island officially became part of the Kingdom of Denmark in the 1920s. It was granted home rule in 1979 and is now considered an autonomous area within the kingdom of Denmark. The Danish government handles foreign affairs and national defense, but the Greenland government controls everything else.
Unlike its name, Greenland has little "greenness". It is not even an easy place to call home — 80% of the island is covered in an ice sheet that can be up to 3 km thick, and temperatures regularly drop below -30 degrees Celsius during the dark winter months.
Despite the tourism potential and abundant resources, Greenland is an alarming symbol of how human activity has accelerated the course of climate change. The glaciers of Greenland are contributing to a rise in the global sea level faster than was previously believed. Between 1991 and 2004, monitoring of the weather at one location showed that the average winter temperature had risen almost 6 degrees. Keep it cool, is probably the best option for Greenland.
dismissal: n. 不予理睬
throwback: n. 返祖
forthright: adj. 直截了当的