Thankfully, national sovereignty concerns have kept the U.S. Senate from ratifying the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, aka LOST. But there also are economic and environmental reasons for the Senate to stand fast.
Drafted between 1973 and 1982 and declaring oceans and seabeds mankind's common heritage, LOST had the Soviet Union among its biggest backers, according to Iain Murray of the National Center for Policy Analysis. He says ratification would subject America to a collectivist economic regime.
U.S. sea mining would be controlled by an international authority. Charging ever-larger fees without honoring property rights, it inefficiently allocates resources via winner-picking central planning. It empowers a few untrustworthy nations, inviting corruption — and can even “internationalize” industries.
Because the Constitution gives international treaties the force of law and U.S. citizens can sue to ensure their government obeys laws, U.S. ratification would be particularly perilous environmentally. With LOST giving credence to extremist pseudoscience, Mr. Murray warns, “endless pressure from the international environmental movement” could lead to “the end of fossil fuels in the United States.”
LOST “would reduce the United States to one voice at a noisy dinner table — a voice that could find itself at best paying for the entire meal, and at worst find itself on the menu,” Murray writes.
It's an invitation the Senate must continue to decline.
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments â either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.