Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Oil On Ice

My father-in-law recently asked me what I thought about drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) of Alaska. I replied that I would prefer that we move as quickly as possible to making petroleum a 'secondary' fuel only (with electricity as the primary fuel). Then we would not need to drill anywhere else for a long time. And during this time we could work on better alternatives. 

As far as ANWR specifically, I didn't know anything about it. However, I am sure that unless we curb our demand, we will end up drilling there eventually (and anywhere else we can find oil), whether it is the right thing to do or not.

After this conversation, I started looking into ANWR more. Alaska is beautiful.

In 2002 I took an extended vacation in Alaska and Canada. We didn't go to ANWR. We ferried up the inside passage of the Alaskan pan handle stopping at Ketchikan, Petersburg, Sitka, & Juneau. On the first night we were lucky enough to see the auroraborialis. The ferry captain announced it and said that this was the farthest south that he had ever seen it. It was white sheets waving in the night sky, not the colorful aurora that you see in pictures. Whales swam beside the ferry each day. We went to Haines AK, hiked and watched for wildlife. Here is one of my favorite pictures of an eagle from that trip.

We traveled to the Yukon (that is me in the picture above) and here we saw the aurora again. It was bigger and more colorful this time but I could not get a good picture. Here is an artist's rendition. I admit it was not that colorful, but beautiful none the less.

One last comment about my travels, if you are ever in the Northern British Columbia area be sure to stop at the Liard Hotsprings. We stumbled on to it just looking for a place to camp for a night. It was great. After days of driving and with the cold days of late Sept this was a generous largess from nature. Below is a picture of the hotsprings.

When I was looking into ANWR, I found a documentary that discusses exactly the topic my father-in-law had asked about. What would be the impact of drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. It is worth watching. It is called Oil On Ice. Here are a couple links about the movie.


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