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The new cold war in the Arctic

Type Investigation
A Greenlandic boy watches a U.S. Army helicopter land at Thule Air Base in 1966. On Nov. 28, 2003, the Danish Supreme Court ruled the expropriation of native Greenlanders’ land to expand the U.S. base, in 1953, was legal.

On this edition of Your Call's One Planet Series, environmental journalist Adam Federman discusses his recent investigation about US efforts to expand its military and economic presence in Greenland.

He writes: Over the past 15 years, a quiet race has been underway among the world’s superpowers to gain control over the Arctic, with the United States, Russia and China all vying for dominance in a region with enormous strategic and economic value. As the world seeks to develop the supply chains needed to produce the minerals used in batteries, electric vehicles, fighter jets and missile guidance systems, Greenland has also become particularly attractive, given its proximity to North America and the fact that, by one estimate, the country holds a quarter of the world’s rare earth elements.


Adam Federman, reporting fellow with Type Investigations author of Fasting and Feasting: The Life of Visionary Food Writer Patience Gray

Web Resources:

Type Investigations: The New Cold War in the Arctic

The New York Times: The World Wants Greenland’s Minerals, but Greenlanders Are WaryThe glacier at Narsarsuaq in Greenland.

Malihe Razazan is the senior producer of KALW's daily call-in program, Your Call.
Rose Aguilar has been the host of Your Call since 2006. She became a regular media roundtable guest in 2001. In 2019, the San Francisco Press Club named Your Call the best public affairs program. In 2017, The Nation named it the most valuable local radio show.