Cold is the new hot, judging by this avalanche of books on polar economics. Until recently the Arctic has languished in the southern imagination as a romantic hinterland of bergs and pack, a region that made headlines only when Santa mounted his sleigh. Now scarcely a day goes by without a media story relating a fresh bout of geopolitical manoeuvring north of the Arctic Circle. Why?
The four titles under review reveal all. A warming climate has triggered a race for millions of tons of hydrocarbons previously locked beneath the Arctic Ocean’s icy lid. All these books cover roughly the same ground, focusing on the larger economic and political role of the Arctic as