To ring in the new year, I’ve made some changes to Cryopolitics to make it a bit more (hopefully) visually appealing. A few more tweaks may be on the way, so thank you in advance for bearing with the upgrades. This will be my ninth year writing an Arctic blog of some sort, so it’s time for a fresher look and something a bit different. I’m hoping to feature more photography and reflect more on my past experiences, travel, and research in the Arctic. In other words, maybe a bit less news and a bit more stories.
Thank you in advance for bearing with the upgrades.
In part, this reflects the fact that I’ve (finally!) finished my dissertation and, as I move forward in my career, am trying to lay the groundwork to eventually write a book on the Arctic. What the exact topic will be I have yet to figure out, but continuing to blog and write as regularly as I can should help me to discern that.
I’ve also started a new position in Hong Kong in which I’m shifting my focus more towards researching China’s Belt and Road Initiative. The Arctic certainly plays a role within Beijing’s $1 trillion plan to rejigger the world’s infrastructure network. Russia’s Northern Sea Route, for instance, is now sometimes referred to as the “Ice Silk Road,” a rather sensuous name for a route developed under the Soviets and now riven with nuclear icebreakers, natural gas facilities, and, at times, rock-solid H2O. But the Arctic is only a part of the picture. As I turn my attention to events in Eurasia’s more temperate latitudes, I hope that Cryopolitics will still provide me with an outlet to keep an eye on developments in the North, too.
In fact, it’s already happening. I was running along the waterfront one morning dodging kids in fresh-pressed uniforms on their way to school and commuters rushing for the cross-harbor ferries. Suddenly, I turned a corner and came across none other than Greenpeace’s Rainbow Warrior – the very vessel that tried to stop a Russian oil tanker from delivering the inaugural shipment of oil from the country’s first offshore Arctic oil field, Prirazlomnoye, to Rotterdam in April 2014. Nearly four years later, here was the green tall ship serenely docked in the waters of Hong Kong that still manage to hold a turquoise sheen despite the 230,000 ships that pass in and out of the port each year.
I suppose it was just another lesson that when you least expect it, you can find what you’re looking for.