Governor of Alaska, Bill Walker has addressed the need to pay for climate change in quite an odd way. He has said to raise money for addressing environmental issues such as relocation policies they need to drill for fossil fuels.
Alaska has been impacted by coastal erosion and a drop in oil prices. Relocation of some towns are necessary and as Alaska makes a substantial amount of revenue from oil sales, the Governor has argued they will need to expand drilling to pay for these projects. The irony of course is that drilling for oil and burning fossil fuels is what is contributing to climate change. In 2015 BBC News reported that Governor Walker said:
We are in a significant fiscal challenge. We have villages that are washing away because of changes in the climate, I don’t see anyone putting together contribution funds to help move [the village of] Kivalina; that is our obligation, we stand by that — we need to figure out how to do that. But those are very expensive — we have about 12 villages in that situation.
A year ago Barack Obama gave a speech at a conference in Alaska also addressing climate change.
Obama asked the audience in Alaska to take a look around when they left the conference at a glacier or at least out the window of their plane. In emphasizing the importance of environmental causes he said:
Take in the God-given majesty of this place.
He asked those listening to imagine the future and whether our grandchildren will get to see the beauty that we see today. He then asked:
Are you doing everything you can to protect it?
The sad answer is we are not. Alaska is a vulnerable state and many people in small communities are facing the reality of being climate change refugees. It seems to have hit a new level of ridiculous to fund the needed moves with money made from drilling oil.
The future is clean energy and Alaskan people are facing radical devastation due to climate change not just in the future but right now.
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Featured image via YouTube.