Casting a Cold Eye on Arctic Oil
After rafting and backpacking through this wilderness for a week, weighing whether Congress should allow oil drilling here, I’ve reached a few conclusions. One is that both the oil industry and environmentalists exaggerate their cases.
Naturally. He knows all about it after a week.
I have my Alaskan-born opinions about this. People who are not FROM there will just not get it. It takes longer than a week to shed the expectation that some touch of man will be just around the corner. People from crowded areas don’t get how VAST the Alaska wilderness is.
They forget how small we human beings are. Remember Jack London? “To Build a Fire”? It’s just one teeny human animal against the whole forces of nature. You have to work hard to make a dent in it.
But this is what NY Time Journalist has to say about it:
The argument that I find most compelling is that this primordial wilderness, a part of our national inheritance that is roughly the same as it was a thousand years ago, would be irretrievably lost if we drilled. The Bush administration’s proposal to drill is therefore not just bad policy but also shameful, for it would casually rob our descendants forever of the chance to savor this magical coastal plain — and to be slapped in the butt by a frisky polar bear.
My face curls back from this facile, unsophisticated answer. WHAT?! If we put a little oil drilling town in the primordial ooze (and it is oozy) of Alaska, this prevents our CHILDREN (think of the children!) from seeing the primordial ooze.
What is the point of preserving stuff, anyway? Yes, it is nice for lots of people to get to see the primordial ooze of alaska. They might begin to have a respect for nature that seems to be utterly lacking in paved-over areas. So yes, let’s save it so that people can look at it.
But observation changes that which is observed, right? you have to build ROADS for people to be able to get out there to observe that primordialness.
And why not have the road be built by the oil companies, who could take advantage of the oil while they were up there?
While they were at it, they could get some money to the native alaskans who could use it. What’s wrong with that?
Nature is vast up there. It will be just fine if we take a patch to drill for oil and make some roads to check it out.