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Photo by Paul Nicklen

Paul Nicklen on the Arctic

Following the publication of my last post, I received information from Paul Nicklen, a scientist and a photographer for Sea Legacy and National Geographic magazine. The document Mr Nicklen sent me was on official White House stationary and, I suspect, many individuals were sent a copy. It was signed in the following manner.

Paul Nicklen
Wildlife Photojournalist
Nanoose Bay, British Columbia, Canada.

The document seemed private, which may no longer be the case.

The link below took me to Mr Nicklen’s fascinating but alarming account of the Arctic and the word “yesterday” was the day before yesterday, probably 20 December 2016. The following is a link to the document, but the document inserted itself at the bottom of my post automatically:

Yesterday, President Obama designated vast portions of the United States’ Arctic Ocean as indefinitely off limits for future oil and gas leasing.

https://www.yahoo.com/news/president-obama-issues-permanent-arctic-213340950.html

I am not a scientist. Therefore I cannot speak personally and accurately about the effects of global warming in the Arctic. I have to rely on the testimonial of experts. All I know is that the Arctic is very rich, but I have now read that:

“The danger of an oil spill would deliver a fatal blow to this pristine and critically important ecosystem.”

Mr Nicklen wrote:

“As a scientist, what I know about the Arctic is terrifying. Currently, it’s warming twice as fast as anywhere else on the planet. As a photographer, I can observe and document these effects first-hand: receding glaciers, struggling wildlife populations, and cities impacted by rising sea levels.

And as the landscape changes, driven by climate change, I am watching the Arctic region become increasingly vulnerable. In particular, we should see the rapid disappearance of sea ice here for what it is: a sign of imminent and catastrophic change. The danger of an oil spill would deliver a fatal blow to this pristine and critically important ecosystem.”

But — with the leadership of President Obama — we’ve taken a step forward.”

I gather that, given the above, Mr Putin cannot come in and drill. The Arctic may be very rich, but it is “off limits” for excellent reasons. We cannot kill the Arctic because we would lose what it has to give. There would be no remedy. In other words, it’s a “Poule aux œufs d’or” (Hen with the Golden Eggs) narrative. (See RELATED ARTICLES.)

Privatization

  • good and bad
  • education, an example
  • healthcare
  • global warming

The Trump presidency will affect Americans in many ways, but, first and foremost, we must expect privatization. In this regard, citizens of the United States must act. In certain areas, privatization will not be harmful to citizens, but in others, it could wreak havoc.

For instance, limits must be put on the privatization of education. An education cannot be the privilege of the rich. A good education is an extraordinary tool in that it gives everyone more freedom. For instance, it allows informed voting, which was needed on 8 November 2016. The 2016 American Election was so flawed we can call it a disgrace!

However, everything has to be put into perspective and we must then go from plan A to plan B.

Healthcare, for instance, is a “right.” Taxes buy protection and safety. They also buy a good education or job-training,  adequate housing and, as we advance, they may also guarantee a universal minimum income.

The well-to-do can also buy safe and effective contraceptives, a vasectomy, tubal ligation, a hysterectomy and an abortion when it constitutes a medical imperative, which is why the Ohio “Heartbeat” Bill is a slap in the face for women belonging the middle-class and poor women. It is the beginning of serious cuts in health-care legislation and must not be voted into law. A five-year old is too young to carry a child. (See Lina Medina, Wikipedia.)

However, if Insurance Companies have a monopoly on healthcare, the United States will be stepping back to an era where cancer was considered a pre-existing condition and the sick were left to die in pain. An insurance company’s first goal is a profit. They are in business. The same is true of pharmaceutical companies.

Mr Trump has stated that he does not “believe in” global warming. Well, global warming is not a matter of faith (I believe in); it is a matter of fact. If the United States does not protect the environment, the world will not survive. This would be the ultimate genocide.

Canada and the United States: an Agreement

On 10 March 2016, Canada signed an agreement with the United States concerning the Arctic and the environment:

http://pm.gc.ca/eng/news/2016/03/10/us-canada-joint-statement-climate-energy-and-arctic-leadership

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and President Barack Obama hold a joint press conference in Washington, D. C.

Conclusion

As I surfed the Internet yesterday, I saw a comment that caught my attention. Mr Trump likes Russian President Vladimir Putin because he is a good “leader.” What does Mr Trump mean? Mr Trump would have liked to silence the press, a freedom the press will not abandon. Mr Trump may also intimidate a few leaders, but all he does will be screened by the press.  Freedom of speech will never have been so free and focused. Moreover, it will still be the government of the people by the people.

Mr Trudeau fils should perhaps remember his father Pierre Trudeau‘s words:

“Living next to you [the US] is in some ways like sleeping with an elephant. No matter how friendly and even-tempered is the beast, if I can call it that, one is affected by every twitch and grunt.”

  • « Être votre voisin, c’est comme dormir avec un éléphant; quelque douce et placide que soit la bête, on subit chacun de ses mouvements et de ses grognements. »
  • Addressing the Press Club in Washington, D.C. (25 March 1969)

The Latest in Canada

Canada freezes arctic drilling.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-12-22/imperial-oil-bp-in-limbo-after-canada-freezes-arctic-drilling

Love to everyone

RELATED ARTICLES

Sources and Resources

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seals

A Seal by Paul Nicklen

© Micheline Walker
22 December 2016
WordPress

View story at Medium.com