March 5th, 2014, was independence day for South America’s newest nation—or is it just a publicity stunt? Well, it has a flag and embassies and seems to be quite serious. It is called the Glacier Republic, and it consists of the 23,000 square kilometers or so of the Republic of Chile’s territory that is covered by glaciers. The republic was declared by the international environmental organization Greenpeace to call attention to the fact that Chile does not take care of its glaciers, which make up 82% of the continent’s total glacier-covered land. More specifically, glaciers are ill-defined under Chilean law, which classifies them as neither public nor private—a loophole that this week’s declaration of independence exploits.
|82% of South America’s glaciers are in Chile—or|
at least they used to be.
The Glacier Republic maintains its capital, according to Greenpeace, in a tent erected high in the Andes Mountains in an as yet undisclosed location, in the Patagonia region shared by Argentina and Chile where all of South America’s glaciers lie. It seems quite possible that the as yet unnamed capital will exceed the current record held by La Paz, Bolivia (11,942 feet), for the national capital at the highest altitude above sea level.
|Nicanor Parra, age 99, is one of Glacier Republic’s first citizens.|
|Is there a special rule where professional poets are allowed|
to cover their faces in anguish in their passport photos?
|Scottish nationalist Nick Hancock and the plastic “pod”|
in which he plans to dwell for 60 days on Rockall
Related article from this blog:
“Breaking News: Easter Island Wants to Split from Chile, Join French Polynesia” (Jan. 2013)