Back in my days on the continent, my colleagues there and I have long waxed on about what is going to happen to Antarctica once the treaty is no more and the rhetoric doesn’t seem to be isolated to those of us who have been to the continent:
Government policy in Antarctica is negligent on many levels. Australia is failing to invest in the scientific potential of the continent. Science is the currency in Antarctica, and our failure to invest has several consequences. It weakens our claim to 42 per cent of the continent when we are overshadowed by so many others, including China and Russia.
Who knows where this is all headed for certain? Personally, I suspect that with 70% of the planets fresh water being on Antarctica, every country, especially those with rapidly growing populations, will want a foothold.