Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Artic National Wildlife Refuge Rally (Environmental News)

Incidentally, last night (technically Tuesday night but really early Wednesday) I caught some* of the Artic National Wildlife Refuge rally that occurred on Tuesday on Capitol Hill (on Cspan-2). I'm glad I caught this on tv since I actually didn't hear about it, since I was buried in homework and then had to go to class. It was very intriguing to not only hear about the issue but also see the different techniques people used to present their speeches. In one of my classes ('Translating Environmental Policy and Science into Action', taught by environmentalist great Dr. Lee Talbot), I am learning the kinds of tools/strategies people use to promote action, and I really saw one of them (building rapport) coming into play. The speakers really tried to connect to all types of people from all walks of life, to bring the people together to induce change. They had children speak, a young budding environmentalist from Yale, Democrat and Republican Congressmen, a Jewish religion leader, well-known environmentalist advocates like Robert F. Kennedy, former government officials from the Clinton administration, etc. The speeches ranged from cute but informative (the children) to passionate to quite detailed.

One thing that made me really angry was the amount of money that drilling for oil in the Artic NWR would actually save: 1 penny per gallon off the price of gasoline in twenty years. Twenty years' time? And only a penny? One of the children had a better idea: by 'pumping it up'; by making sure tires are properly inflated, the U.S. could save 40 million gallons a year. Other interesting facts are that we use 25% of the world's oil, and that even if we drilled all the oil in the U.S. (including the Artic NWR and every other reserve we have) the U.S.'s oil reserve only accounts for 2% of the world's reserves. 2% versus 25%. As R.F. Kennedy said 'do the math, we don't have enough'. Bottom line--drilling in the Artic NWR is unnecessary and it won't solve any of our energy problems. The only things drilling will accomplish are destroying one of the last pristine areas left in the U.S. and filling the pockets of the greedy.

I hope those on the Capitol heard the message loud and clear.

(*I am sad that I missed John Kerry's and Hilliary Clinton's speeches since I had to go to bed--I saw this on C-span 2 around 3 am in the morning, and had to sleep so I could wake up early to do more homework. Ahh, the work of a grad school student. Well, at least I saw Robert F. Kennedy Jr.'s speech).

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