Resource-Rich Greenland Looks to Break Free

Another consequence of climate change may be independence
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 16, 2007 8:36 PM CDT
Dines Mikaelsen, a hunter and tourist guide in Tasiilaq, Greenland, gets a hand from his assistant Mikisuluk with a seal he has just killed on an iceberg on Ammassilak Island, Greenland Thursday July...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Global warming has put Greenland’s mineral and oil deposits within reach, raising the volume on long-simmering chatter about independence. Denmark supplies much of the island's budget—including a substantial welfare system—but the self-sufficiency offered by melting ice means Greenlanders may no longer need the Danes at all, reports the Christian Science Monitor.

Copenhagen may not yield readily: The prospect of Greenlandic resources has upped Danish interest in colonial rights, says an island MP. The 56,000 inhabitants have craved greater home rule for decades, but some in Europe say new wealth might make Greenland want new protection. There's even concern about US designs: The American military may want to build missile-defense systems.