That was the prevailing reaction late Thursday after the Wall Street Journal reported President Donald Trump has expressed interest in having the U.S. buy Greenland.
Seriously, read this: Trump eyes a new real-estate purchase: Greenland
The report said Trump’s interest has had “varying degrees of seriousness,” but said he has asked advisers about it repeatedly. Sources told the Journal that Trump may see Greenland as an Alaska-like purchase that would expand America’s reach and serve as his lasting legacy.
Of course, another source said it was more of a joke meant to indicate he’s powerful enough to buy a country, and told the Journal “since Mr. Trump hadn’t floated the idea at a campaign rally yet, he probably isn’t seriously considering it.”
Greenland, the world’s largest island, is mostly covered by glaciers and is an autonomous territory of Denmark. It’s also not on the market, and its residents have been eying independence.
Out of the blue as it may sound, the idea of the U.S.’s buying Greenland is not entirely new: The U.S. made an attempt to buy the land mass from Denmark in 1867 and again in 1946.
Greenland occupies a strategic spot in the North Atlantic that will likely gain importance as the melting Arctic opens up new shipping lanes and areas for energy exploration. It also has vast natural resources, including uranium and oil.
But it’s also losing its ice at an alarming pace. Warming temperatures have reduced Greenland’s glaciers and ice caps by record amounts in recent years. NASA found Greenland’s ice sheet lost about 255 billion metric tons a year between 2003 and 2016, the Associated Press reported Thursday. If all of Greenland’s ice were to melt, it would raise global sea levels by about 20 feet.
Which of course led many on social media to proclaim: Future beachfront property available!
First reactions ranged from — well, take a look yourself:
If nothing else, at least the Great Greenland Meme of 2019 provided a welcome, if momentary, break from otherwise ongoing market, geopolitical and societal stresses.
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