Oil extraction in Alaska is causing irreversible damage to the last virgin shelters of the wild nature.
▶ Spanish video: http://planetdoc.tv/documental-petroleo-en-alaska
We are changing the climate of the planet.
The global warming of our atmosphere is a fact. Our climate is gradually heating up, the glaciers are retreating, the poles melting… We are causing a global change of magnitudes similar to those that marked the great extinctions of prehistory. And, paradoxically and sadly, we are in great measure doing so by burning fossil fuels, derived from oil, which are hidden beneath some of the last virgin refuges of unspoilt nature.
In a world in which man has taken over most of the land, Alaska is one of the few remaining refuges for wildlife. An extreme climate marked by very low temperatures and six months of perpetual night makes the territories of the north a forbidden place for the majority of human settlements. And until now, this has been the life insurance of hundreds of animal species that live in a fragile, rich balance during the few months of spring and summer in which the climate of Alaska declares a truce. And that is what makes Alaska, like all the lands of the Arctic region, an extremely fragile place where all the species live at the very edge of the impossible, adjusting their lives and adapting their biologies so that they complement each other.
It is, more than any other place, an extraordinarily synchronised world, so dependent on the scarce resources that a small alteration could destroy the entire system. But that would not be too worrying if it were not for the fact that underneath this apparently poor land their lie huge reserves of oil.
An enormous pipeline runs across Alaska, from north to south, from Prudhoe Bay to the Valdez coast.
1,300 km of pipeline to transport the 20,000 million barrels, which is the estimated production of oil. The companies try their best to achieve clean extraction. But experience tells us just how easy it is to inflict irreversible damage on such delicate ecosystems.