The friction between the United States and China on a range of issues threatens to slow global action on climate change at a critical time.
In the U.S., the Trump administration is hurriedly clearing the way for oil exploration in the pristine Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, seen above, as part of the administration's campaign to exploit fossil fuels and erase restrictive policies protecting the environment and addressing global warming.
After reviewing the permit application, Peter Nelson, director of federal lands at the advocacy group Defenders of Wildlife, said: "One thing is pretty notable: how many inaccuracies and missing pieces of information there are. It really provides more evidence that industry and the Trump administration are being pretty reckless with this process."
Oil exploration in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge- a vast wilderness in northeastern Alaska those coastal plain is home to polar bears in winter and porcupine caribou and hundreds of migratory bird species in summer-has sparked a fierce debate for four decades. No drilling has been done there since it became a refuge in 1980 and no seismic work has been done since the mid-1980s.
Jenny Keatinge, a senior federal lands policy analyst at Defenders of Wildlife, said in an interview that conducting seismic testing when polar bears have retreated to dens could imperil the federally threatened Southern Beaufort Sea populations, of which there are roughly 900 polar bears left. She noted that 77 percent of the coastal plain is designated as critical habitat for polar bears.
Given the effects of climate change, "those bears are using the coastal plain more and more, " Keatinge said.
Keatinge questioned why the firm's proposal did not include detailed maps of areas to be excluded from testing, or how it would address the harm that could stem from the disturbance that could result from the operation. Some caribou winter on the plain, and additional caribou come in during the spring, she said, when the seismic exploration may still be underway.
"They don't identify sensitive wetland areas or sensitive wildlife areas," she said of the firm, adding that when it comes to the prospect of federal approval, "we are ready to fight any attempt by the administration to shortcut any protection for the coastal plain and the people and wildlife it supports."
Now we know why President Trump continuously says that "climate change is a hoax" and truly this is due to the influence from these oil companies pumping money into his own pipeline as well as many of his dirty businesses he owns and manages....big money in his dirty pocket!