Of all the obscure places in the world, Greenland, the largest island in the world, is suddenly in the news. It came up because Pres. Trump suddenly tweeted that he wanted to buy it for the USA. Its not so absurd as it sounds and as the Danish PM said it is, after all it has the lowest population density of any country in the world with barely 60,000 people, mostly in the capital of Nuuk, that is closest to Canada. It has incredible resources of hydroelectric power and mineral resources, much of it hard to extract because of the cold.
It was discovered by the Norwegian Vikings in the 10th century and in the Saga it was called “Green” in order to attract settlers. Leif Erickson sailed from Greenland to Canada 500 years before Columbus “discovered” America. Most of the population are Inuit (known to us as eskimos) and Danish settlers. It became a Danish colony in 1814 and became autonomous (self-governing) in 2008, although it is not considered a sovereign country and is still a province of Denmark. Pres. Truman soon after WWII and amidst the Cold War was the first President to consider buying Greenland, but a large US base was established at Thule in southern Greenland and has been there ever since.
Pres. Trump was due to begin a State visit to Denmark in two weeks, but after the Danish response to his suggestion to buy Greenland, he took offense and has cancelled the visit. This is unfortunate since Denmark has been a good ally of the US for a long time. These imaginative ideas that Trump gets and publicizes are not so stupid, since buying Alaska from Russia turned out be a bright idea after all, not to mention the Louisiana purchase from France. I bet they’d like to have them back.