Why is arctic oil drilling a terrible idea?
What is the problem?
In the event of a well blowout, a relief well must be drilled to stop the oil flowing into the ocean. However because of how sea ice expands in the winter months, the drilling season is cut short, and oil could be left flowing for the whole winter period.
Furthermore standard spill clear-up technologies are useless in the Arctic because of thick ice. Currently we have no real way of clearing up these oil spills. In addition to this oil takes more time to break down in the Arctic than in regular spills, due to the cold climate and lack of sunlight in winter.
Due to global warming the Arctic environment is already under threat, with both land and sea ice decreasing each year. Oil drilling will only expedite this problem.
In addition, thanks to industrial activities such as drilling, many Arctic habitats are being destroyed. This is devastating for animals, such as polar bears and arctic foxes, as well as the many bird species that migrate to the Arctic in the summer.
Because of the extreme conditions in the Arctic, looking for oil is incredibly expensive. In the last two years a single energy company has spent over $1 billion, without even finding any oil.
Furthermore an American geological survey estimates that the Arctic contains around 90 billion barrels of oil, which would only fulfil 3 years of the world’s oil needs.
What can you do to help?
Donate to organisations such as Greenpeace and their Save the Arctic campaign, aiming to take oil companies to court and end Arctic drilling.
Spread the word about the issues surrounding Arctic drilling. The easiest way to do something is by sharing this post!
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