Is Drilling In The Arctic A Good Idea? ‘Shell No!’ Say The Environmentalists

Posted on June 5, 2015 in Environment

By Rishvik Chanda:

Shell, the multinational oil and gas company, is all set to start drilling for oil in the Arctic this summer. Exploration for fossil fuels has become a necessity with the reserves of fossil fuels in the world dwindling at a very rapid rate. The Arctic is relatively unexplored and the resources remain untapped in the region and it is estimated that the polar region houses about 20% of the world’s undiscovered oil and gas. But as we are forced to hunt for more energy, the damage to the environment caused by technology is fast becoming an insurmountable problem.

Picture from Twitter
Picture from Twitter

On the 20th of April, 2010, Deepwater Horizon, an oil rig, exploded and sank in the Gulf of Mexico. Oil kept leaking into the sea till the 15th of July when it was finally capped. In light of accidents like these which damage the environment and marine life, Shell’s decision to dig exploratory wells in the Arctic is a huge concern for many environmental groups. The consensus among scientists and environmentalists is that we simply do not know enough about the Arctic to initiate drilling operations and more research is needed. When starting a project like this, an important component is safety regulation. The environmental groups are alleging that Shell isn’t taking proper precautionary measures and there isn’t enough preparation and precaution in the case of an oil spill in the Arctic region.

The local Alaskan community which lives off the land is torn between tax revenue and potential environmental harm. The young generation needs jobs which the Shell project would entail, but this comes with a possible damage to the way of life that has been practiced by the Arctic natives for ages. Protesters in Seattle have begun efforts to resist Shell’s move to drill in the Arctic region. Shell promises to be clean and green, but protesters are not taking their word for it. Multinationals are not exactly known for their concern for the environment.

A Song of Oil, Ice and FireShell could be drilling in the Arctic in less than 5 weeks. It’s a choice between our natural world and an oil slick. Which will you choose? vision of the future seen from Shell’s eyes. Watch and share this video to expose Shell’s risky Arctic drilling plans.

Posted by Save The Arctic on Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Environmental concerns have become very important and much debated political issues. Recently, the Indian Government froze the bank accounts of Greenpeace India, the international environmental organization, for being ‘anti-development’. Sustainability is the order of the day. The damage done to the environment is used as the most powerful criticism of industrial excesses. Environmental crises are piling up, polar ice caps are melting at a worrying rate and the polar bear numbers are declining. We can’t afford to be short-sighted and rely on immediate gains and instead should take stock of the long term impact of science and technology.

More responsibility and caution should be exercised in the usage of technology. Projects such as these should be allowed only after adequate research and employment of safety mechanisms. The dangers posed to the environment by powerful corporations in pursuit of economic development need to be addressed. Fundamental questions such as ‘what do we mean by development?’, and ‘development at what cost?’ need to be pondered over.