'Remember Me When I'm Gone'
30x30 Acrylic on Gallery Wrapped Canvas
The declining status of polar bear populations in Alaska and elsewhere is underscored by dire predictions of accelerated sea-ice loss, and growing evidence that polar bears worldwide are already experiencing more difficulty surviving in their melting environment due to climate change. In addition, America’s greed for oil has threatened the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for decades. Willing to sacrifice this pristine wilderness, Big Oil’s lobbyists have repeatedly pushed to open the refuge to drilling. So far, Arctic supporters have managed to fend off these attacks. But the new Congress, has brought a number of climate-change deniers to Washington, and could also bring renewed efforts to drill in sensitive Arctic habitats. This could be catastrophic for polar bears. Experts agree that the greatest direct risk to polar bears from oil and gas development is oil spills. Oil spills not only directly harm polar bears, but also deplete their prey and contaminate their habitat. Even without an oil spill, some level of pollution from oil and gas activities is inevitable with expanded development and the associated increase in operational discharges of contaminated processing waters, cuttings and drilling mud into the Arctic Ocean from offshore platforms. The additional noise and infrastructure could also frighten off seals, making it more difficult for polar bears to hunt.