been a lot of talk about drilling oil in the
Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, or ANWR, pronounced
"an-waar," lately, and having visited Alaska and been
wowwed by its untouched magnitudenous beauty, I
thought it a good topic to discuss, as teevy news
shows often show soundbites only and leave you without
enough information to make an intelligent decision of
your own. I guess we are supposed to rely on the
"experts" who know that whatever they decide is right
and the other sides' side is beneath consideration.
great herds of caribou, or reindeer as we
Michiganders call them when we aren't listening to
Elton John's "Caribou" CD, use ANWR's lands throughout
most of the year, sometimes also venturing into Yukon
and the Northwest Territories.
also has more polar bear babies born near the Arctic shore than
any other area in Alaska, let alone the United States, of course....we
have one at the Detroit Zoo named Talini. She is three now....
I was thinking
maybe building a pipeline for the oil
to Fairbanks might be a compromise between leaving the
Refuge a true refuge, and turning part of it, the
parts most vital to the polar bears, into a drilling
terrain and long distance to Fairbanks might
make such an idea fiscally untenable, but transporting
oil via the Arctic Ocean is an environmental disaster
waiting to happen, what with ice bergs and drunken
captains and equipment failures and mishaps.
that there must be a better way than to take away a refuge from
golden eagles and polar bears and reindeer and a host of other animals
and plants. It would take seven years to get the oil going and it
would not even necessarily lower the price of oil. A half of one
percent of all the world's oil is there, so Brit Hume on FoxNews
ever held out your hand to a baby polar bear? Thank God, Senator
John McCain of Arizona is against the risk of destroying the beauty
of the Refuge with an unnecessary risk.
But if there
is more talk of drilling there in
Congress, I hope they will invite members of the
Alaska Wilderness League and other leading
environmental groups to tag along on a trip to ANWR.
I don't think any legislator should vote to destroy
America's greatest refuge for Artic wildlife without
seeing it and hearing from its strongest advocates.
It is about
time our politicans think deeply and not
be held sway to the oil lobby or whoever else wants
them to risk the eternal destruction of a refuge that
Teddy Roosevelt would surely defend with his big
Alaska in August 2000. I saw some reindeer, two grizzly bears, and
a lot of other animals. I also saw Mt. McKinley at sunset.
I know we
need to get the price of gasoline down, or at least keep it where
it is, but we have to keep our thinking caps on. A refuge is a refuge.
The polar bears did not raise the price of gas on us. Don't blame