The Australian government is planning to build a massive concrete airport on Antarctica, The Guardian reports today.
Nobody actually owns Antarctica – it is governed internationally by the Antarctic Treaty.
The Australian government justifies their airport plans by arguing that it is necessary to ensure continuity of access to their research base.
Somehow I don’t fully buy into that argument, nor do many of the scientists and environmentally minded, The Guardian interviewed for their article.
Building that airport will be a slippery slope, a precedent for other big infrastructure projects on the continent.
It has the potential to broaden the pursuit of profit from the exploitation of resources and tourism in the Southern Ocean to the landmass of this great wilderness, with all the usual disrespect for nature and wildlife seen on all other continents.
Can this project, and others not motivated scientific research and unperturbed by consideration of sustainability, be stopped?
I think it is imperative to do so.
Featured image: “Globe centred on Antarctica – Satellite image – PlanetObserver” by PlanetObserver is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0