May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous,
leading to the most amazing views. May your mountains rise
into and above the clouds. May your rivers flow without end,
meandering through pastoral valleys tinkling with bells, pat
temples and castles and poets' towers into a dark primeval
forest where tigers belch and monkeys howl, through miasmal
and mysterious swamps and down into a desert of red rock,
blue mesas, domes and pinnacles and grottoes of endless stone,
and down again into a deep vast ancient unknown chasm where
bars of sunlight blaze on profiled cliffs, where deer walk
across the white sand beaches, where storms come and go as
lightning clangs upon the high crags, where something strange
and more beautiful and more full of wonder than your deepest
dreams waits for you--beyond that next turning of the canyon
walls. So long.."
From "Benedictio" by Edward Abbey, in THE
northeastern Alaska, just east of the North Slope
oil-drilling area, lays several million acres of Arctic refuge,
considered to be one of the last pristine wildernesses in
the country. Within
those several million acres are two thousand acres that the
statement for environmental impact of the refuge describes
as "the only conservation system unit that protects, in an
undisturbed condition, a complete spectrum of the arctic ecosystems
in North America." The statement goes on to say, "It (the proposed 2000 acre drilling area) is the most biologically
productive part of the refuge for wildlife and is the center
of wildlife activity."
These two thousand acres are home to 135 species of
migratory birds, polar bears, musk oxen and are the breeding
grounds for thousands of caribou.
refuge also happens to be oil-rich and in 2004 the House approved
drilling with President Bush's support and approval.
Opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is at the
top of Bush's proposed energy agenda.
The oilman's mindset seems to be somewhat like a" dollar
burning a hole in his pocket" or "we've got it, let's use
it". A shortsighted
mindset to be sure; and one indifferent to the region's fragile
and finite ecosystem.
Senate, which convenes in January and is comprised of a Republican
majority, is expected to be the last stumbling block for the
passage of the drilling proposal. Nobody can say for certain
how much oil is beneath the surface of the Arctic refuge but
the U.S. Geological Survey estimates that recoverable oil
is somewhere between 6 and 16 billion barrels.
Production would depend on the price of oil, the higher
the price the greater the incentive to drill.
proponents justify the drilling by noting that the wells,
pipelines, roads and airstrips necessary for the project would
only impact two thousand acres. They also claim that because
of greater detection technology, fewer wells would have to
be drilled than a decade ago.
This is small consolation for those of us who argue
that the continued eradication and extinction of any remaining
wilderness sanctuaries, and the wildlife that inhabit them,
will lead to the demise of our planet.
some point, in the not so distant future, fossil fuel will
no longer exist. Rather than drilling madly and blindly, in
our ever-growing gluttony for self-gratification and rather
than pillage the last of our sacred resources we have the
option of perfecting and utilizing the technology of alternative
option is not an instant fix but neither is drilling. It would take as long as a decade to even see oil from the
higher mileage cars and alternative sources of fuel could
be accomplished sooner.
Republicans are looking to attach the issue of drilling to
the federal budget resolution. In other words, the budget would include estimated revenue
from the sale of federal drilling leases in the refuge. The strategy being, that once the budget is passed legislation
for drilling, naturally would follow.
opinion polls show that the majority of Americans oppose drilling
in the refuge. I
encourage those of you who are committed to preserving this
unspoiled sanctuary, in the small picture, and ultimately
the planet, in the big picture, to become proactive.
your senators with phone-calls, letters and e-mail.
In the end the politicians still have to answer to
us, the American people.
Grey Or Timber Wolf (Canis Lupus) In The Alaskan Snow., Alaska,
this Photographic Print at AllPosters.com
Alaska Tundra in Autumn Glory
this Framed Art Print at AllPosters.com