We are reaching a point of no return.
PUBLISHED: THE HILL: Changing America by Cyril Christo, Opinion Contributor Sept 2, 2020
It’s great to know that some arch conservatives don’t want to ruin Bristol Bay in Alaska, the greatest salmon ecosystem in North America. That’s very kind. But it shouldn’t be about politics should it? To ruin a place that is home to 29 species of fish and 40 species of mammal would be a sacrilege. I understand that such a place would mean much to individuals who like to fish for personal recreation and gain, but the argument should not be just about personal affection for a place. But about conscience for life. While the WWF and others are fighting very hard not to allow the mining industry to desecrate, essentially evaporate a supreme gem in the Alaskan wilderness where we once had the extreme honor of walking among grizzly bears, the fight for what is left of America should transcend political division.
It is rather arrogant to want to save a place only for what it can do for one’s leisure and recreational time.
That has been the conservative stand. And their actual record in the last three and a half years for the environment is abysmal. How can saving the planet be about politics? Alaska’s 19 million acres of wilderness in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge could be eviscerated by the very people who allowed this administration to lust after the great intact spaces on the continent. That is not leadership. You are planning to upend the greatest wilderness left in North America, for a few weeks’ worth of oil? The very substance we need to wean ourselves from.
Because this decade looks like it could be the last one in which we will plausibly be able to appreciate, walk in, breathe and contemplate majesty in its most basic form. In 20 years time too much will have been lost to even be able to fight or have the strength to fight. Nothing will be left to fight for! Wanting to save an area just so one can go fishing ignores the ecological genius and irreplaceable power of the Earth that supports it. It needs to stand for its own sake. The battle for the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is a battle that cannot be lost. Let’s be sure to not let the Arctic become an Arctic National Refuse Park for industrial waste. It will have repercussions for the rest of American history and “civilization.”