Dr. Michael Byers on Arctic Sovereignty

Reaching the Arctic Sea, Photograph by Will HybridToday we aired our second episode of Prof Talk. Niamh Scallan, a student at UBC’s graduate school of journalism, interviewed Dr. Michael Byers from UBC’s Political Science Department.

Dr. Byers spoke with us about the issue of Arctic Sovereignty, and his new book, “Who Owns the Arctic?”, which addresses this topic.

What is it about the Arctic that intrigues Dr. Byers?  It’s first and foremost a strong commitment to the environment. Byers told Prof Talk that the Arctic is on “the front lines of climate change.

With climate change as perhaps “the single most challenging public policy issue of the 21st century,” Dr. Byers is committed to raising Canadian’s awareness of our northern lands, people and resources.

The Arctic is forever dependent on a fine balance between frozen and unfrozen, ice and water, permafrost and land, and a change of just a fraction of degree could have massive consequences for our northern territories.

40% of Canada’s territory is in the Arctic. As Dr. Byers said, “We are an Arctic nation.”

Also, the Arctic has trillions of dollars worth of hydrocarbon. To further complicate this, some of the hydrocarbon resources exist at areas of overlapping claim.

Dr. Byers questions, “are we truly the true, north, strong and free?”

Click on the link below to hear our podcast interview with Dr. Byers.

Prof Talk Episode Two Podcast

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