16 J. Envtl. L. & Litig. 467 (2001)
Antarctic Mining Regimes: An Appreciation of the Attainable

handle is hein.journals/jenvll16 and id is 473 raw text is: DAVID W. FLOREN*

Antarctic Mining Regimes: An Appreciation
of the Attainable
Men are eager to tread underfoot what they have once too
much feared.'
There was a time before the exploration of Antarctica when
mere mention of the Continent sent icy shivers down the spines
of seasoned sea-captains.2 After an age of exploration and a pe-
riod of familiarization, Antarctica has shed much of its ancient
ominousness, but its natural hazards still command an abiding
respect. Today, human activities in Antarctica are governed by
the Antarctic Treaty of 1959 (AT) and closely associated agree-
* J.D. candidate, Class of 2002, University of Oregon School of Law; B.A., Politi-
cal Science, 1992, University of California, San Diego. Thank you Richard G. Hil-
dreth for your insights and helpful criticisms. For their contributions, tangible and
otherwise, appreciation is extended to my student colleagues, especially those pursu-
ing curriculums in environmental law.
1 LUCRETIUS, DE RERUM NATURA, bk. V, 1., 1140 (Russel M. Geer, transl. 1965).
2 Vessels sailing on latitudes as far north as Tierra del Fuego proceed with great
caution, for good cause, when rounding Cape Horn. Former U.S. attorney for Mas-
sachusetts during the Civil War, Richard Dana, sailed these waters as a Harvard
undergraduate and describes the fear:
[B]ut ill luck seemed to have lighted upon us.... [I]t fell dead calm, and in
half an hour it clouded up, a few straggling blasts, with spits of snow and
sleet, came from the eastward, and in an hour more we lay hove-to under a
close reefed maintopsail, drifting bodily off to leeward before the fiercest
storm that we had yet felt, blowing dead ahead, from the eastward. It
seemed as though the genius of the place had been roused at finding that
we had nearly slipped through his fingers, and had come down upon us
with tenfold fury. The sailors said that every blast, as it shook the shrouds,
and whistled through the rigging, said to the old ship, 'No, you don't!' 'No,
you don't!'. . . From saying 'when we get home,' we began insensibly to
alter it to 'if we get home', and at last the subject was dropped by tacit
ed. 1996) (1840).


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