This might be the best video describing Arctic ice melt I’ve ever seen. It is also the scariest. The Arctic is the Earth’s air conditioner. It helps regulate temperatures around the globe in a variety of ways. Most importantly, the Arctic provides stability. Once the ice is melted, the system blows up and gets all out of wack. It impacts everything from fisheries to weather to coastal infrastructure to animal habitat. Click here to read an easy summary by WaPo for more reasons why this matters.
I’ve seen, heard, read, viewed, participated, and debated dozens and dozens of aspects of climate change. This one, this video, is one of the best explainers of how much trouble the Earth is in.
…produced by independent videographer Peter Sinclair for The Yale Forum on Climate Change & The Media explains what expert scientists now find to be the lowest extent of Arctic sea ice in recorded history.
The Department of the Interior…granted Royal Dutch Shell conditional approval of its plan to begin drilling exploratory wells in the Arctic Ocean next summer, a strong sign that the Obama administration is easing a regulatory clampdown on offshore oil drilling that it imposed after last year’s deadly accident in the Gulf of Mexico.
The move confirms a willingness by President Obama to approve expanded domestic oil and gas exploration in response to high gasoline prices and continuing high levels of unemployment. It comes as the issuing of drilling permits in the gulf is quickening, including the granting on Thursday of a permit for a Shell floating drill rig for a 4,000-foot-deep well. That means that that all five of its rigs there will be back to work after a long drilling halt.
The decision to tentatively approve Shell’s plan to drill four exploratory wells in the Beaufort Sea off the North Slope of Alaska represents a major step in the company’s efforts to exploit the vast oil and gas resources under the Arctic Ocean, although some hurdles remain.
The company has spent nearly $4 billion and more than five years trying to win the right to drill in the frigid waters, against the opposition of many environmental advocates and of Alaska natives who depend on the sea for their livelihoods.”
NOAA Fisheries invited comments and input from the public, organizations and interest groups, local governments, and Federal and state agencies on issues surrounding the proposal, including input on the range of actions, alternatives, and impacts that should be considered in the EIS. Comments on the draft report will be accepted at public hearings, email firstname.lastname@example.org, and mail during the public comment period. Comments will be accepted through February 28, 2012. The full draft report and information about upcoming public hearings are available on the project website at: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/permits/eis/arctic.htm.