Yes. Trump is reportedly interested in buying Greenland.
According to a report yesterday in The Wall Street Journal, which spoke to sources familiar with Trump’s conversations on the matter, the president has apparently said he’s interested in acquiring the autonomous Danish territory situated between the Arctic and North Atlantic oceans.
Really? Well, according to the article he’s at least serious enough about it to have asked White House counsel to look into it for him.
Trump probably got the idea in his thick head last spring at a dinner when someone mentioned that Denmark funnels $591 million in subsidies to the 56,000-person territory every year. It was struggling to provide that financial assistance and suggested that the U.S. should seek ownership.
The source present viewed the remark as more of a boastful joke than a serious question, but Trump asked everyone,
“What do you guys think about that? Do you think it would work?”
The U.S. has some defense stakes there, too, including its northernmost military holding, Thule Air Base. (My late grandfather was stationed there, at one point in his Air Force career.)
Buying Greenland would give Trump the glory of adding an 811,000-square-mile island to the U.S., giving him a legacy that neither President Harry Truman’s nor President Andrew Johnson’s administrations could claim after their failed attempts to buy Greenland from the Danes.
Denmark has made no indication that it wants to sell off the island. In fact, Danish politicians on Friday poured scorn on the notion. Former Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen tweeted.
“It has to be an April Fool’s joke. Totally out of sesson.[sic]”
Trump is scheduled to visit Denmark next month, though the White House has only said the trip is to
“participate in a series of bilateral meetings and meet with business leaders.”
Greenland’s fate with climate change, however, hangs in the balance. Though Trump has repeatedly expressed disbelief in the realities of soaring global temperatures, scientists say the island could eventually be plunged underwater as a result of its rapidly melting ice sheet. Industries there have already started to take a hit.
The island has seen staggering melting last month when Europe’s record-high temperatures moved northward and formed a heat dome over Greenland. In July, it lost 197 billion metric tons of ice.
Petteri Taalas, the secretary-general of the World Meteorological Organization, pointed to the July melt as a dire consequence of global warming said,
“This is not science fictionIt is the reality of climate change. It is happening now and it will worsen in the future without urgent climate action.”
As usual, satirist Andy Borowitz flips the script and nails it,
“Denmark offers to buy the United States…
We believe that by giving the U.S. an educational system and national health care, it could be transformed from a vast land mass into a great nation.” –Danish spokesperson
It must be an April Fool’s Day joke … but totally out of sesson! https://t.co/ev5DDVZc5f— Lars Løkke Rasmussen (@larsloekke) August 15, 2019
(Photo Wikimedia Commons; via HuffPo)