Skip to content


News Posted on September 7, 2011

David Caron, ASIL President, Speaks on the Arctic in CILC Event

David Caron, the C. William Maxeiner Distinguished Professor of Law at UC Berkeley School of Law and President of the American Society for International Law, delivered a lecture on "Images of the Arctic and the Futures They Suggest" on September 1 in the Kalmanovitz Appellate Courtroom.  Caron, a widely respected international law scholar, addressed an audience of King Hall faculty and students on the changing nature of the Arctic and the many legal and political issues associated with those changes in an event sponsored by the California International Law Center at King Hall (CILC).

Following a brief introduction by Professor Anupam Chander, CILC's director, Professor Caron projected images of the Arctic on the screen behind the podium and spoke on how they represented the changes occurring there as the polar ice has receded and what the future may hold if projections hold true and the ice continues to recede.   The three main images were "The Impassable Region," a black and white photo of frozen wasteland representing the Arctic's past as an inaccessible and largely forgotten region; "The Ring," a 2005 NASA photo of the region showing how the ice has retreated; and "The Semi-Enclosed Ocean," a depiction of what the Arctic may look like by 2030.

"Each image contributes an essential part of the Arctic's future," said Caron.  "The first image gives us a respect for the nature of the Arctic.  It reminds us to be cautious and carries in it an appropriate sense of awe.  The second image, in contrast, carries in it a sense of opportunity and excitement as we view this frontier and its challenges.  The third image reminds us that the excitement and challenges that come with frontiers can come at a great price.  It reminds us that change brings both development and destruction, and it reminds us that the first and foremost challenge is that we govern our affairs responsibly."