Saving the Arctic

Protecting the Arctic for people, wildlife and the planet

The Arctic is one of the most unique places on Earth. It spans eight countries, is home to more than 13 million people and provides a habitat for some of the most incredible wildlife on Earth. And now, it’s the battleground for what could be the most important fight in environmental history.

Most of us will never get the chance to travel to the Arctic. Even so, this far away region touches our daily lives in ways you may not realize.

While the movement to save the Arctic won a major victory when Royal Dutch Shell halted its drilling plans, there is more work ahead of us. The Arctic is not safe from the dangers of oil drilling or climate change until we have long-term policies in place to keep all fossil fuels where they belong—in the ground.

And so the struggle continues. Because when it comes to protecting the Arctic, it’s about all of us.

It’s About Climate Change

Scientists have called the Arctic “the world’s air conditioner.” The region plays a huge role in regulating global temperatures and counteracting climate change.

Here’s how it works: Arctic sea ice keeps the planet cool by reflecting sunlight. As climate change takes hold and the world gets warmer, the ice is melting, and the oceans are absorbing sunlight. This makes the planet even warmer, causing the ice to melt even faster.

As the Arctic ice melts, the oil under Arctic waters becomes an increasingly attractive target for the oil industry. That’s right—oil that was once out of reach because the Arctic was frozen is now accessible because of climate change. And the very companies responsible for climate change want more oil to make climate change worse.

It’s About Wildlife

The Arctic is home to incredible animals found nowhere else in the world. All of them depend on sea ice to survive.

The amazing land animals that call the Arctic home include polar bears, foxes, reindeer, and oxen, many of which are endangered. In fact, experts warn that polar bears could completely disappear from the Arctic in the next 100 years if we don’t take action soon.

And there are equally wonderful creatures living in Arctic waters. Numerous whale species, seals and walruses can only be found in the Arctic.

It’s About People

Threats to the Arctic are threats to the 13 million people who live there, particularly indigenous groups. These communities depend on this environment for food and resources, and have stewarded it for centuries.

The Arctic is home to more than 40 distinct ethnic and cultural groups. As this environment disappears, so does the land of their heritage, languages and way of life.

“What affects her community affects my community, what affects us affects them. When one nation loses the right to subsist on their own foods, it affects all of us.”

Faith Gemmill-Fredson, native Alaskan and founder of REDOIL (Resisting Environmental Destruction On Indigenous Lands)

Save the Arctic

The best way to protect the Arctic, its wildlife and its people is to keep fossil fuels in the ground. This means telling all companies and governments that the Arctic—and its oil—is off limits.

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