On Thursday, August 15th, The Wall Street Journal reported that President Donald Trump has shown interest in buying Greenland from Denmark. “In meetings, at dinners, and in passing conversations, Mr. Trump has asked advisors whether the U.S. can acquire Greenland, listened with interest when they discuss its abundant resources and geopolitical importance, and, according to two of the people, has asked his White House counsel to look into the idea.”
This is an interesting idea and one that has been attempted in the past. The U.S. State Department tried to purchase Greenland from Denmark in 1946 due to its strategic location and the desire to keep an eye on the area after World War II. It is unclear whether the offer was rejected by Denmark or if it was ignored altogether. In the end it didn’t really matter because in 1951 America was allowed to build bases on the island.
Greenland is considered to be the world’s largest island at 836,000 square miles, which is just a little larger than Alaska. Australia and Antarctica are both larger than Greenland, however, they are not considered islands, but landmasses. Greenland has a population of just 56,000 people as roughly 75% of the island is covered in a permanent sheet of ice. The island is owned by Denmark, but was granted home rule in 1979 while Denmark maintained its control of Greenland’s foreign and security policy.
Some of the most prominent industries on the island are its fishing, hunting and whaling, tourism, oil, and mineral mining industries. Many geologists believe that Greenland might be home to some of the world’s largest remaining oil deposits. Greenland is also about 70% dependent on renewable energy, mainly due to hydropower, giving it one of the highest shares of renewable energy in the world.
You know what they say…buy land, they’re not making it anymore.