The Arctic is in Danger

Francesca M., Staff Writer

One of the most pressing issues that faces the Arctic, a region ravaged by climate change and threatened by the loss of indigenous cultures and wildlife, is oil drilling. Since the start of the industrial age, the Arctic’s climate has increased by 3ºC. By the year 2050 the ice covering the Arctic’s surface will be reduced to almost nothing. People around the world have started to take action. Over 8 million people have signed the petition to stop the drilling of oil. 

‘Greenpeace’ is an organization that prioritizes the protection and preservation of the environment. One of their main projects, ‘Save the Arctic’, involves pressuring oil companies to stop taking advantage of the current state in the area. 

“There is already more oil in the world than can be safely burnt. There is simply no sane argument for the huge risk of Arctic drilling. If governments won’t act, it’s up to people around the world to stand up to greedy oil companies and demand Arctic protection,” according to peoplevsoil.com. 

Oil dependence is a large issue in the country. With the continuous burning of fossil fuels, it will only increase the earth’s climate. 

“While I understand the benefits of oil companies seeking domestic oil to reduce our nation’s dependency on oil imported from foreign countries, it’s far too risky to drill in the Arctic,” said lead teacher of science Charles Guercia, in an email. 

However, oil drilling has some economic benefits. If the United States drills oil in the arctic, it will reduce the amount the country spends on foreign oil. However, it will be at the expense of the environmental integrity of the region.

“Unless there is an economic incentive for companies and everyday people to use them, the climate will continue to suffer,” said social studies teacher Sean Prahalis, in an email. 

 Along with the other risks of oil drilling in the Arctic, it can potentially lead to oil spills. The harsh weather of the Arctic can affect drilling causing oil spills to occur which will continue to harm wildlife. 

“ I remember the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill and the catastrophic damage it caused to the ecosystem off the coast of Alaska. A similar event like that in the Arctic ocean would be much worse and almost impossible to clean and contain given the harsh conditions Arctic ocean poses,” said Guercia. 

Climate change has already destroyed many sacred parts of the world. Continuing to drill for oil at the expense of precious regions such as the Arctic will further accelerate the rapid deterioration of the environment.

“Losing the arctic would further reduce the stability of our planet,” said Living Environment teacher Frank LaMagna,  in an email. 🔳