Drilling Alaska: America Needs to Adopt Conservation Practices!
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I recently read an article in Scientific American (May 2001) titled “the arctic oil & wildlife refuge.” The article addresses the issue of whether or not science has the ability to clarify the potential economic benefits and the ecological risks of drilling into the nation’s last great coastal wilderness preserve. What I began to wonder after reading the article is, if we humans should continue our scientific and technological petroleum endeavors even though we are causing irreversible harm to our earth. My feeling is that we should not drill in Alaska’s Arctic.
In the early twentieth century, science and technology brought the automobile. In less than one hundred years, humans especially Americans have grown increasingly dependant on the conveniences born from widespread use of the automobile. In turn Americans are the most reliant population in the world on petroleum. Last year, Americans consumed 19.5 million barrels per day. It is estimated that our use will rise to 23 million by 2010 (Gibbs 2001)! Our insatiable appetite for petroleum has sparked a fiery debate within this country and this congress on whether or not taping into the Arctic oil supply is necessary. Proponents of drilling cite that exploration and production can be done without causing any adverse impacts on the Arctic wildlife. Critics however believe drilling will cause unretractable consequences on the pristine Arctic ecosystem. The debate is now in the hands of Congress to decide.
Senate bill S.389 could potentially open the 1002 Area of Alaska to oil and gas exploration and production. The bill would allow for the Bureau of Land Management to control activities to ensure that activities “will result in no significant a...
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...y’s population is reliant on science and technology to get us through the challenges we face, I know that we can develop other means to meet our needs, conservation being the key. More Americans must learn to accept conservation as a science. Conservation on practices that require enormous amounts of petroleum and conservation of our environment must be adopted. It is amazing that the US, the most developed country in the world, is so far behind our friends in terms of conservation. It is about time we drill into the American conscious and extract conservative practices. While humans remain here on Earth we will further science and technology and hopefully our betterment will not come at the cost of our world.
Gibbs, W. Wayt. “the arctic oil & wildlife refuge.” Scientific American May 2001:pages 62-69.