04 December 2006

Alaskans vs. Their Own Paradise (CS)

There's an interesting case developing involving 12 U.S. states suing the Environmental Protection Agency to force it to curb emissions of carbon dioxide, the most common greenhouse gas.

The Economist article relating it (linked above) is worth a read to understand the particulars of the case, but what caught my notice especially was the included map of the plaintiffs, their supporters, and states that opposed the action.

The state that really caught me by surprise was Alaska. I've been there and loved it. The sort of untainted natural beauty you can find in Alaska is nearly unparalleled... Which is actually the problem we all face, when you think about it. Places like Alaska are becoming fewer and further between and cliched phrases like "untainted natural beauty" are in danger of falling out of use entirely.

It's memories of Alaska, more than most anything else, that inspire my largely pro-environmental stance. I hope to return someday and find the same shocking wilderness with all its flora, fauna, sights, sounds, and smells intact.

Apparently Alaskans don't feel the same (at least, in general). Apparently they wouldn't mind losing the creatures and plant life that find refuge there. Apparently they might not know what they've got 'till it's gone.

Then again, perhaps they're simply enjoying a slight upturn in the weather within a typically cold climate.* Perhaps, given a couple changes here and there, if Alaska's beauty begins to (unfortunately) fade, Alaskans will come to their senses. Then again, this is the state that managed to elect Ted Stevens to office and keep him there for the past 38 years or so.

*here in New York, I am finding the unusually warm weather for early-December/late-November to be disappointing and disconcerting.