The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is a tundra in the northeast corner of Alaska. It is the home to many arctic animals, including grizzly and polar bears, caribou, wolves, and many species of birds, which migrate to the refuge to breed. It is also the home to two native villages. Destroying the refuge destroys the life there and no economic pursuits or oil needs should be used to justify this.
Former President Donald Trump held an auction selling leases to the drill oil on the land on Jan. 6, and the auction did not get the turnout he was hoping for. With three bidders, one of them being the state of Alaska, many environmentalists were happy that the auction did not get the expected attendance.
With President Biden putting a stop to the Keystone XL pipeline permit, I am hopeful that oil drilling will become a thing of the past. Is this the start of the end of oil drilling? Will the United States of America finally make the transition to completely renewable energy? It is known that destroying this refuge, melting the tundra to get the oil that lies beneath the ice, is the last straw for us.
“Climate change is ensured. We are way past the point of no return. It is the melting of the tundra and the release of frozen methane that is the positive feedback loop,” said AP environmental science teacher Nathan McCreary.
There is no room for destroying our climate any more than we already have. You hear all these arguments about how oil drilling is necessary for our economy, our energy systems. But it shouldn’t be. It has always angered me how America prioritizes wealth and the economy over the well-being and future of its citizens. This disregard for the citizens and their lives makes us the largest contributor to climate change in the world.
How do we change this narrative? Isn’t it time for the government to step up and realize that the time is now to make changes in our country to benefit everyone in the long run, not just them?
“We have more than enough environmentally safe ways to get energy. Our government just refuses to switch them out of greed,” says junior Aaron Gallagher.
The greed of our former president was obvious and it has been disheartening to see these past four years. We can only hope that as we make the transition into a new presidency our leaders will take the citizens’ well-being into account as they make decisions that will continue to impact us even after their term ends.
Now that power has transferred to Biden, we can change what needs to be changed, undo what needs to be undone, and buy land that needs to be bought back. Most importantly, we can make laws that will impact the future of our planet in positive ways and continue to push our country into a new era of renewable energy and climate friendly living.