Global climate change, exacerbated by increased CO2 emissions creating a heat-trapping blanket in Earth’s atmosphere, is “opening” the Arctic so that we can extract petroleum to emit more CO2. Ironic? Perhaps. However, our modern societies benefit significantly from oil and its many, useful byproducts. Just for one example, without oil, we would lose important advances in medical techniques for infection control, joint treatment, and vision correction (all use oil byproducts such as plastics).
In addition to its oil resources, an intact Arctic environment is important to global systems such as climate and sea level. Protecting Arctic ecosystems should be a high priority not only for commercial fishermen and local communities, but also the global community. The key to effectively managing the changing Arctic is informed decision-making at every level – individually, as a community, nationally, and internationally.
Go through Unit 3 and discover how interpreters can help build an informed community by conveying the importance of the Arctic to audiences from around the globe. Also, find ways to stay up-to-date on the changing Arctic.
PHOTO CREDIT: Alaska SeaLife Center. An interpreter for the Alaska SeaLife Center talks about the Exxon Valdez spill next to the ASLC's Exxon Oil Spill exhibit.