Greenland is the world’s largest island whose natural beauty is breathtaking. It is an autonomous Danish dependent territory with limited self-government and its own parliament, the capital city as Nuuk. Greenland government expanded its Self Rule the year 2009. Before that, it was a part of Denmark since 1953. Although Greenland is geographically a part of the North American continent, it has been politically and culturally associated with Europe for about a millennium. It is located between the Arctic and Atlantic oceans. Denmark contributes two-thirds of Greenland’s budget revenue, the rest coming mainly from fishing. Defined quotas are set which ensures that there’s no overfishing. Other than seafood and hunted animals, the country survives on imports for all other items. The total area of Greenland is 2.16 million square kilometers. But surprisingly there are no roads or railway system that connects settlements to one another. 80% of the island country is under snow/ ice sheet cover. The other 20% has around 56,000 inhabitants. Because of the Arctic climate, the people of Greenland mostly live on the coast in settlements and cities. Greenland’s climate and geography make farming almost impossible. Greenland witnesses an astounding phenomenon i.e. midnight sun when the sun does not set from May 25th to June 25th!
Knock, Knock! The glacier-covered island lost 12.5 billion tons of ice in one day. Scientist Martin Stendel points out, that’s enough to cover all of Florida with almost five inches of water. Considering that only a small fraction of this massive island has been properly explored, in the coming years more data gathering and analysis would be helpful to assess the full potential. It is believed eventually large-scale mining will take place in Greenland. Increased surface glacier melt due to warming atmosphere can trigger increased ocean melting of the glacier hence making mineral and energy resources including iron ore, lead, zinc, diamonds, gold, rare earth elements, uranium and oil more accessible. These unconventional sources mostly require special metallurgy for processing. Here’s when the Trump card is being played. The story that Donald Trump has asked his advisers about buying Greenland has spread across global media like wildfire. Also, President Harry Truman offered to buy it from Denmark in 1946 for $100 million when the Cold War took root and it occupied a central position between the US and the Soviet Union. From the United States, earlier purchases are the well know United States Virgin Island from Denmark in 1917 and over two million square kilometers of North America from France in 1803.
The sale of the country is now in the hand of Greenlanders and its sovereignty is up to its population to decide in a referendum. This whole scenario reveals the riskiness of running the country “like a business,” particularly when that person worked in the world of real estate where deals are almost always transactional. Nonetheless, the fact that in connection with this history, there are mixed feelings in Denmark towards Greenland. It is regularly argued, suggested or implied that Greenland should be more thankful for the help Denmark offers. In general, there is a strong understanding of Greenland’s desire for greater independence, but a majority of the population still supports the continued unity of Greenland and Denmark. For all these reasons, and against the backdrop of a long and complicated history, the offer from Trump was not only seen as ridiculous but by many Danes as insulting towards both Greenland and Denmark. Trump has now canceled his official visit to Denmark because Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen rejected his offer leaves an understanding gap between the Danes and the US government that is hard to bridge. It’s difficult to see where the two nations go from here, given the highly unusual situation.