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Frozen EmpiresAn Environmental History of the Antarctic Peninsula$
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Adrian Howkins

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190249144

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190249144.001.0001

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Melting Empires?

(p.194) Conclusion
Frozen Empires

Adrian Howkins

Oxford University Press

The conclusion considers the contemporary implications of an argument for imperial continuity in the environmental history of the Antarctic Peninsula region. The significant role played by the British Antarctic Survey in the discovery of a hole in the ozone layer over Antarctica offered the British government another opportunity to assert environmental authority in the region. The dire threat of a warming planet adds to the importance of Antarctic science and further justifies the political regime that supports such research. Over the past several decades, tourists have flocked to the Antarctic Peninsula region in search of the world’s “last wilderness,” yet they remain very much second-class citizens behind scientists in the Antarctic hierarchy. All three of these examples suggest that assertions of environmental authority remain at the heart of the political justification used by members of the Antarctic Treaty System, and this has implications for other parts of the world.

Keywords:   ozone layer, tourists, British Antarctic Survey, Antarctic Treaty System, last wilderness

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