Alaska’s natural resources, such as fish, metal ore, and predominately oil, play a pivotal role in the state’s economy. With the region’s recent climate changes (Alaska is on track to warm 8°F by the last quarter of the century), this has the potential to have major effects on ecosystems, as well as on the people and industries that depend on them. How can the state balance the economic potential of its undeveloped resources with the cost of their use?
Authored by Erin McKittrick, co-founder and director of Ground Truth Trekking, “A Fossil Fuel Economy in a Climate Change Vulnerable State” was featured in the May/June issue of Environment: Science and Policy for Sustainable Development and delves deeper into these issues.
“Climate change is a global issue. The fossil fuel industry is a global industry,” McKittrick said. “I think the most interesting thing is how here, in Alaska, those two [climate change and the fossil fuel industry] come together, and how they clash. But no one wants to talk about those connections.”
Both the risks and rewards of fossil fuel development are dramatic and clear, McKittrick said. “I think seeing how that plays out in Alaska will be an interesting case study for the world.”
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