Shell and U.S. Navy Are Planning War on the Arctic and Alaska!

Tomgram: Dahr Jamail, The Navy’s Great Alaskan “War”

[Note for TomDispatch Readers: This site will be taking off Memorial Day. The next post will be on Tuesday, May 26th. Tom]

It isn’t the best of times for the American Arctic and let me explain why.

The world is in the midst of an oil glut. In the last year, oil prices bottomed out before rising modestly. A NASA study just offered the news that a massive ice shelf in Antarctica, half the size of Rhode Island, will disintegrate by 2020, and not so long agoScience magazine reported that the melting of that region’s ice sheets is proceeding far faster than expected. Sayonara, Miami Beach! All of this, of course, is happening thanks to the burning of fossil fuels. In March, the Obama administration responded to such a world by preparing the way for a rather familiar future. It lifted a ban on drilling for oil and gas off the U.S. southern Atlantic coast, opening those waters and their untapped four billion barrels of oil and 37 trillion cubic feet of gas to future drilling. Then, less than two weeks ago, the Interior Department green-lighted Shell Oil, a company with a memorably bleak record of exploration anddisaster in the Arctic, to launch this country into a drill-baby-drill future in northern waters.

If Shell gets all its other permits in place, it will begin drilling this summer in the Chukchi Sea off the Alaskan coast. This will happen under what might be some of the worst weather conditions on the planet in an area “prone to hurricane-force storms, 20-foot swells, pervasive sea ice, [and] frigid temperatures.” We’re talking, of course, about another four billion barrels of potentially exploitable oil just in that region, which is also a sanctuary for whales, polar bears, and other species that have no vote in this matter. Subhankar Banerjee put the environmental problem in a nutshell (or perhaps an ice cube) at this site back in March in a piece aptly titled “Arctic Nightmares.” Of the dangers of letting Shell loose in those waters, he wrote, “Just think of the way the blowout of one drilling platform, BP’s Deepwater Horizon, devastated the Gulf of Mexico. Now, imagine the same thing happening without any clean-up help in sight.” Keep in mind that this sort of far north drilling can only go on because the past drilling and burning of fossil fuels has helped melt Arctic sea ice and open up its potentially vast energy reserves to exploitation. It’s a little likewatching the proverbial snake eat its tail.

So, thanks to our environmental president, things look bad off Alaska. And as TomDispatch regular Dahr Jamail reports, in June they’re about to get significantly worse. The U.S. Navy is arriving in the Gulf of Alaska big time — and we’re not talking about the cavalry riding to the rescue here. In waters that are starting to seem like Grand Central Station, that service is planning to launch massive war games with a new set of potentially deleterious effects on those seas and what lives in them. But let Jamail explain. Note that this is a joint project of TomDispatch and Truthout, the invaluable website where he now works. Tom

Destroying What Remains
How the U.S. Navy Plans to War Game the Arctic
By Dahr Jamail

[This essay is a joint TomDispatch/Truthout report.]

I lived in Anchorage for 10 years and spent much of that time climbing in and on the spine of the state, the Alaska Range. Three times I stood atop the mountain the Athabaskans call Denali, “the great one.” During that decade, I mountaineered for more than half a year on that magnificent state’s highest peaks. It was there that I took in my own insignificance while living amid rock and ice, sleeping atop glaciers that creaked and moaned as they slowly ground their way toward lower elevations.

Alaska contains the largest coastal mountain range in the world and the highest peak in North America. It has more coastline than the entire contiguous 48 states combined and is big enough to hold the state of Texas two and a half times over. It has the largest population of bald eagles in the country. It has 430 kinds of birds along with the brown bear, the largest carnivorous land mammal in the world, and other species ranging from the pygmy shrew that weighs less than a penny to gray whales that come in at 45 tons. Species that are classified as “endangered” in other places are often found in abundance in Alaska.

Now, a dozen years after I left my home state and landed in Baghdad to begin life as a journalist and nine years after definitively abandoning Alaska, I find myself back. I wish it was to climb another mountain, but this time, unfortunately, it’s because I seem increasingly incapable of escaping the long and destructive reach of the U.S. military.

Click here to read more of this dispatch.

  • Greenpeace Gather Support to Stop Shell Drilling on Alaska …

    Jan 30, 2015 – “A wave of public opinion is rising against Shell’s drilling plans, justOver “500,000 people have already written to the [US] Bureau of Ocean and Energy Management in protest of Arctic …. Soros: US on the Brink of World War III With ChinaUS Navy Destroyer to Enter Black Sea for ‘Peace and Stability’.

  • Energy in America: EPA Rules Force Shell to Abandon Oil ……/energy-america-oil-drilling-…

    Fox News Channel

    Apr 25, 2011 – Shell has spent five years and nearly $4 billion dollars on plans toThat’s how much the U. S. Geological Survey believes is in the U.S. portion of theArctic Ocean.Production on the North Slope of Alaska is declining at a rate of about…. Navy gunner whose crew fired first US shots of World War II laid to  …

  • [PDF]Changes in the Arctic: Background and Issues for Congress

    Federation of American Scientists

    May 1, 2015 – Alaska, is an Arctic country and has substantial interests in the region.U.S. military forces, particularly the Navy and Coast Guard, …. January 2014 Implementation Plan for National Strategy for Arctic Region . …… the United States,Shell operates in 50 states as an oil and natural gas producer, gasoline  …

  • The Coming Arctic Boom | Foreign Affairs…/coming-arctic-b…

    Foreign Affairs

    Lucas Jackson / Courtesy Reuters U.S. Navy safety swimmers stand on the deck of the …. and this summer, they are finalizing plans for jointly responding to oil spills.Shell has invested $5 billion to look for oil in Alaska’s Chukchi Sea, and the ….Whereas the United States closed its Cold War–era military base in Iceland in  …

  • arctic drilling threatens gray whales and polar bears…

    Apr 3, 2015 – JUDGE RULES NAVY UNDER-ESTIMATED SONAR DANGERS TOnear a beach 40 miles southwest of Kodiak City, Alaska, Thursday, Jan.forward with a plan that has a 75 percent chance of creating a major spill in the Chukchi Sea. We can’t trust Shell or any other oil company with America’s Arctic,”  …

  • Paddle Up! Resistance to Shell’s Arctic Drilling Grows on …

    May 16, 2015 – Seafaring activists are planning a direct action off the coast ofabout protecting all of Cascadia, the coastal region from Alaska to … With Shell’s Arcticdrilling rigs headed to Seattle, we have a unique … the “mosquito fleet” for fleets used at various times in US naval history, …. War Against All Puerto Ricans  …

  • Atlantic Council of Canada » Frozen Plans for the Arctic

    3 days ago – With the United States‘ Department of the Interior’s conditional approval ofShell’s proposed exploratory drilling in the Chukchi Sea northwest of Alaska, international attention has once again returned to the enormousProposals for the establishment of a naval base in Nanisivik, …. “Art of War” Roundtable  …

  • Impact of an Ice-Diminishing Arctic on Naval and … – STAR….

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

    STAR Home; > 4th Symposium: Impact of an Ice-Diminishing Arctic on Naval and …the ongoing U.S. Coast Guard’s Arctic Requirements and Planning efforts, andas the Arctic Marine Shipping Assessment (AMSA) and the CNO Naval WarUniversity of Alaska Fairbanks – International Arctic Research Center this link  …

  • Activists board Shell rig to protest Arctic drilling – Deutsche ……arctic…/a-1836547…

    Deutsche Welle

    Apr 7, 2015 – Greenpeace activists who have boarded an oil rig to protest ArcticLast week, the United States Department of the Interior approved Shell’s drilling lease for the Arctic.Royal Dutch Shell has filed a complaint in federal court in Alaska tothe plan for the Chukchi Sea which is rich in marine mammal life.

  • The Arctic drilling controversy – Al Jazeera English…/arctic-drilling-controversy-1505191933…

    Al Jazeera

    5 days ago – Shell oil company under fire over its controversial exploration plans inThe rig is due to head to the waters off Alaska this summer after theYou hereby provide us with an irrevocable, unlimited, and globalA year after the military seized power in a bloodless coup, criticsWar & Conflict, Asia, Pakistan  …

About eslkevin

I am a peace educator who has taken time to teach and work in countries such as the USA, Germany, Japan, Nicaragua, Mexico, the UAE, Kuwait, Oman over the past 4 decades.
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2 Responses to Shell and U.S. Navy Are Planning War on the Arctic and Alaska!

  1. Wolke4 says:

    Omg, it sounds like the conspiracy theory

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