“Let’s delay these permits until we’ve mopped up the oily media mess, shall we?”
That’s the conversation I expect drove US Interior Secretary Salazar’s decision, as yet unannounced, to delay permit applications for Arctic oil drilling for a year. OK, with my rose-tinted Hippy Glasses I’ll raise a glass with everyone who has been working to stop this insane plan — we have a year to work at killing them off permanently, but with my cynical/pragmatist hat on I’ll say this looks to me more like a decision made to ensure the drilling goes ahead rather than to kill it off, by removing the spotlight of negative media.
As the Arctic ice retreats due to global warming, the oil companies are salivating over rich new fields of more global warming goo they can now access. We can’t afford to burn the oil we already have — let’s not further extend our fossil fuel addiction while endangering a polar environment already reeling with the impacts of climate change.
The courageous move would have been to ban it, Obama, just ban it.
The polar seas are the common heritage of all humanity. They ought to be a fully protected marine reserve.