Letter to the Editor: Don’t drill in the Arctic

Posted 10/31/19

As an engineering student who has made mitigating the effects of climate change his number one priority, I feel strongly that the threat of possible oil and gas drilling …

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Letter to the Editor: Don’t drill in the Arctic

Posted

Don’t drill in the Arctic

As an engineering student who has made mitigating the effects of climate change his number one priority, I feel strongly that the threat of possible oil and gas drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska is deserving of more public attention. The refuge is one of the world’s last major untouched hubs of biodiversity, and it is home to polar bears as well as thousands of other species, many of them also endangered. The notion of destroying this habitat for oil and gas-an unknown and speculative amount of it-is distressing and deeply concerning.

Beyond the Arctic Refuge ecosystem itself, the entire Arctic is being heavily impacted by climate change, warming at twice the rate of the rest of the world. As the Arctic sea ice declines, possibly to the point of disappearing entirely during the summer in the very near future, the warming ocean temperatures and loss of reflective ice cover affect the entire planet. If drilling were allowed in the Arctic Refuge, the increased shipping and industrial activity around the Arctic would break up even more ice and exacerbate the problem.

Colorado’s Senators must fight to protect the Arctic Refuge from drilling; the state of Alaska lacks representatives on the side of environmentalism and conservation, so the rest of the country must step up on the refuge’s behalf. The fate of those native species, as well as the rest of the planet, depends upon it.

Arthur Rickard, Denver

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