No Arctic Drilling

No Arctic Drilling

If it weren’t such an urgent problem, it would be ironic: Global warming, caused by the massive burning of oil, is melting the Arctic⎯exposing tundra, permafrost and forests that were previously inaccessible. And in response, the big oil companies want to move into this new frontier and…that’s right: Drill for more oil.

Sadly, it’s not an ironic punch line, It’s a genuine scramble for money and power that NPR has referred to as the “new gold rush.” And it’s a huge threat to our environment.

If you want to know how this story will end, you need only look at Prudhoe Bay in Alaska. This massive oil field is a scar on Alaska’s North Slope. There have been hundreds of oil spills, sending tens of thousands of gallons of crude into the once-pristine environment every year. Is this what we want for the rest of the Arctic — to turn the wilderness into a wilderMESS?

The Arctic is a vast area of tundra, rivers, forests, coastal waters and wetlands. It’s home to almost 200 species of birds that nest on the tundra, and wetlands that are already threatened by global warming. Just look at polar bears, which are rapidly losing sea ice habitat and therefore the ability to hunt for food. Already facing the possibility of extinction, the polar bear won’t stand a chance if the oil rigs move in.

There’s only one answer: We need to ban all oil drilling and exploration in the Arctic, and we need to do it now. We don’t have many frontiers left. We must act now to save the ones remaining from Big Oil.