The Battle for the Arctic Begins Here

by Travis Nichols

October 10, 2012

The Greenpeace ship Esperanza sails along the pack ice edge at 71º20' North and 163º34' West in the Chukchi Sea near a proposed Shell drill site north of Point Hope, Alaska. The Greenpeace ship Esperanza is on an Arctic expedition to study unexplored ocean habitats threatened by offshore oil drilling, as well as industrial fishing fleets.

© Jiri Rezac / Greenpeace

More than 2 million people have joined the movement to Save the Arctic since it began earlier this year, and last night 3 million more got to see why.

On ABC Nightline the top-rated late night program in America correspondents Cecilia Vega and Alex Waterfield showed the stark contrasts in what they called The Battle for the Arctic.

On one side, you have Shell and other multinational corporations who want to exploit global warming for profit. They see the melting ice in the Arctic as an opportunity to squeeze the last drops of oil out of this pristine ecosystem despite the huge risks the area presents.

And on the other you have Arctic defenders such as Greenpeace, the worlds best scientists, and the millions in the #SaveTheArctic movement who want the Arctic off-limits to just this kind of industrial exploitation.

We took the ABC correspondents on board the Esperanza in the Chukchi Sea this summer to see just what was at stake. Cecilia and our own John Hocevar took a Waitt Institute submarine to the sea floor where Shell plans to drill for oil (which they swear theyll do as soon as the reality of their drilling program meets the fantasy of their PR), and there they found unique sea raspberry corals, animportant part of the delicate Arctic ecosystem that Shell plans to drill.

If the Battle for the Arctic is new to you, watch and then come back here to find out how you can help join us in our fight to #SaveTheArctic.

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