Thursday, March 31, 2005

Oil on Ice: ANWAR + Drilling = Problems for future

I was just at a little Pacific University viewing of Oil on Ice. It was good. It goes into depth about the Artic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWAR), and the proposed drilling in this vital area.

ANWAR is a diverse area, home to many species of wildflowers, musk ox, wolverines, grizzly and polar bears, swarms of insects, and over 180 different species of birds. Not to forget to mention the cornerstone species of the area, the Caribou. There are tens of thousands of caribou that use ANWAR for calving (raising their young), they travel hundreds of miles from all over Canada and Alaska to get there, and drilling would destroy their habitat, and scare them off. This in effect, would drastically hurt the native Gwich’in Tribe of this area.

However, this is not the extent of the problem. Currently, there are 1,000 square miles of land that are being used at their full potential for oil drilling. This is in Prudhoe Bay. These people were guaranteed that there would be no problems, and in fact, they would receive a small part of the profits that the oil companies would make through drilling. This was good for a while, until it scared off the caribou, the main source for food of the Gwich’ins. The oil companies also said that the people should not be afraid of oil spills, and they were right, for a little while. Then there was the largest oil spill ever, Exxon Valdez killed destroyed another cornerstone species, the herring. Without the herring there would be no other fishes or birds that ate them, and there were many. After the spill Exxon made a clean up where they polished some rocks, and made everything look pretty good. It was not good. They created glossy pamphlets, and made it seem like they did the right thing, and most people believed them. Unfortunately for Exxon a group studying the spill came back 12 years later and found that many of the beaches were still contaminated with oil, under the rocks, in the soil, everywhere.

These are risks that we can not take. Oil on Ice also points out that when the oil is tapped, it does not belong to the United States, it belongs to the drillers. And the drillers have a say where it goes, no matter how desperate the U.S. situation may seem. It is more economically sound to send drilled oil from Alaska to Asia, rather than to mainland United States.

There is a funny part in this movie when a man says “When we are addicted to drugs, we are told to cut off the supply. If we are addicted to oil we are told to increase the supply.” This does not make sense, and Oil on Ice offers a couple ideas on how best to fix our dependency on oil rather than drill.

Oil on Ice message to us is that we need to stop wasting gas, and use our modern technology of bio-diesel and hybrid cars to help us. They also point out that if we increase our standards for fuel efficiency we would not be reliant on foreign oil, nor ANWAR oil. John Kerry in a 2002 speech said that 88.9% of Americans want better fuel efficiency. Why is it that we aren’t getting it? Everyone should see this movie, or at least go to their website, even after ANWAR’s recent turnover.

Oil on Ice ends this entry well when they say:
    “On March 16th, the U.S. Senate voted to not strip Arctic Refuge oil revenues from the Federal Budget Resolution by a vote of 51-49. Activists say the battle is far from over and have vowed to continue to block drilling in the Refuge. To have your voice heard, call the Arctic Action Hotline at 1-888-8-WILDAK (1-888-894-5325).


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Adsense Strategies said...

This issue is complicated by the fact that it is a transnational one; not only does it affect other countries (particularly Canada), but it also affects the world, at least potentially, in that we are talking about the Arctic here, you know, that place that is losing ice ... for me this is less about this issue per se, and more about signaling (or not) that the Arctic, or at least the North, is up for grabs economically, and nature be damned (and potentially us along with her).

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jsmappy said...

Drilling for Oil in the Artic is a great idea. God gave us Oil for a reason. Reasonable stewards of the Earths resources can find a balnce of protecting the environment and improving peoples (all) peoples standards of living. This all or nothing irrational behavior is putting our standard of living behind other countries who are not afraid of technology. Get over yourselves. Wanting to protect the environment is admirable. Taking it to extremes brings hardships on others that you care less about. It becomes more about you than about the environment. Conservation and new technology are not the answer! They MAY be part of the answer but we need to stop being so close minded. Ethenol orgasms have now killed enough in the 3rd world to put the Artic to shame. Lets get a grip and start working together to harvest what God created.

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