Yesterday, Seattle Times editorial columnist Bruce Ramsey seemed puzzled:
I am trying to figure out the argument not to drill for oil.
Um.. okay, Bruce, how about this…?
The Arctic Ocean’s sea ice has shrunk to its second smallest area on record, close to 2007’s record-shattering low, scientists report. The ice is in a “death spiral” and may disappear in the summers within a couple of decades, according to Mark Serreze, an Arctic climate expert at the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colorado.
Look, nobody’s saying don’t drill any new oil wells (well, some people probably are, but nobody’s listening)… but the Republican campaign slogan, “Drill, Baby Drill,” is just plain crazy. Opening up environmentally sensitive coastal areas to more drilling and exploration won’t do anything to lower short term prices at the pump, and in the end is little more than a twentieth century solution to a twenty-first century problem.
Drill if you want. Potentially sully some shorelines or damage a few more fisheries. But for McCain to put offshore drilling at the center of his energy proposals may make for some effective election year sloganeering (or not), but it does nothing to address our long term environmental and energy crises. The future is in wind, solar, geothermal, biofuels and yes (gasp), even nuclear (if we can deal with the waste issue)… not to mention the most promising technology of them all: conservation.
The call for more drilling is nothing but a distraction… an empty promise that perhaps six years from now, gasoline might only be $7 a gallon instead of $8 or $9. Meanwhile, we’ll all be enjoying the consequences of an iceless Arctic sea.