Picture this: a vast area of stunning, intact wilderness, where grey wolves roam and female polar bears nurture cubs in their dens, where millions of caribou migrate to calve and hundreds of species of birds nest and feed. Where you will find one of the last unspoiled ecosystems in the world and where Donald Trump has now called for oil and gas companies to stake a claim to drill for untapped reservoirs of fossil fuels.
Yes, in the dying days of Trump’s presidency, the future of Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge coastal plain hangs in the balance.
Just as the writing is emblazoned on the wall – in Trumpian Twitter-style CAPS – for fossil fuels, the outgoing US president pulls the pin and chucks a grenade into a natural wonder.
The move has sparked widespread condemnation.
“We could see the end of polar bears on the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in our lifetimes,” warned Jamie Rappaport Clark from Defenders of Wildlife.
“To promote new oil drilling in the region most vulnerable to climate change impacts is misguided, especially at a time when most Americans are opposed to the idea,” said Margaret Williams, the World Wildlife Fund’s