Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Drilling in the Arctic

    The danger of climate change is known all across the world but some have other priorities other than earth’s sustainability. Big oil companies have been pushing for the permission to drill in the Arctic for many years. The article I read presents the positive economic side of the Arctic glaciers melting.
    The article explains that melting glaciers will allow easier accessibility to fossil fuel resources in the arctic.  The US Geological Survey has said that about a quarter of the world’s undiscovered oil and gas lies in Arctic waters. During the influx of oil prices big oil companies were battling for the rights to drill in the Arctic. The attractiveness for big oil companies has lessened after the decrease in oil prices, there is too much risk. The Economist presents how the melting has aided in the shipping of goods. It has potential to cut shipment time by two weeks or more. The number of cargo ships taking the Northern Sea Route increases as the ice continues to melt. As glaciers melt more time becomes available in summer months for ships to pass through. The article describes reasons why businesses want an economic transformation of the Arctic.
    I do not support the ideas presented in this article. They attempt to rationalize the negative externalities that come with using the Arctic for transportation and drilling. There have been remarkable innovations in renewable energy and we need to start depending on those. Illustrating just how much renewables have grown--and how routinely EIA projections miss the mark--current U.S. solar capacity has already surpassed EIA's AEO 2012 estimates for 2030. -- By 227%. Wind's success story is similarly impressive, and the potential is enormous. The addition of carbon gas from the drilling would increase the speed of the melting. The shorter transit for cargo goods is not worth the environmental risk of pollution or a boat sinking in the Arctic Ocean. This would damage the ecosystem along with land species that already have a scarce food source and loss of natural habitat.
--Gus Ratcliff

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