Published: 11.30.2017
Level 4   |   Time: 2:45
Accent: American
Source: New York Times (11.29.2017)

Becasue of Alaska's climate and natural resources, it is often at the center of opposing environmental policies.


triangle Directions

  1. REVIEW the vocabulary / background.
  2. WATCH the video.
  3. ANSWER the questions.
  4. CHECK your answers. (Show Answers)

triangle Vocabulary

  • at the heart [exp] - at the center / really important
  • promote [v] - bring more attention to
  • pace [n] - speed
  • domestically [adv] - produced in the original country
  • fundamental [adj] - important / essential
  • eventuality [n] - something that will become true later
  • pristine [adj] - perfectly clean and beautiful
  • nub [n] - hinge; main part
  • pose [v] - be / present oneself
  • further [v] - to increase a situation or effect
  • incongruous [adj] - not matching
  • accelerate [v] - speed something up
  • microcosm [n] - small sample
  • wildlife [n] - wild animals
  • seeing [v] - experiencing
  • decades [n] - periods of 10 years
  • permafrost [n] - soil, rock or sediment that has been frozen for more than two consecutive years [ image ] [ image ]
  • century [n] - period of 100 years
  • elsewhere [n] - another place
  • particularly [adv] - specifically / especially
  • acutely [adv] - very
  • heritage [n] - tradition / valued history

[n] - noun,  [v] - verb,  [phv] - phrasal verb,  [adj] - adjective,  [exp] - expression

triangle Questions

  1. What is Alaska rich in? (Check all that apply.)
    Natural resources
    Climate change

  2. What is the state trying to balance?
    Economy vs. oil drilling
    Oil drilling vs. Jobs
    Environmental protection vs. glacier melting
    Environmental protection vs. economy

  3. Rising temperatures has led to ____. (Check all that apply)
    the destruction of villages
    the melting of sea ice
    the melting of permafrost
    the melting of permanent structures

  4. What is Lisa Murkowski aware of?
    the dangers of oil drilling
    the dangers of losing jobs
    the dangers of climate change
    the dangers of polar bears

  5. What two contradictory ideas is Murkowski trying to balance?
    Promoting climate change and the use fossil fuels.
    Promoting oil drilling and jobs.
    Promoting the use of fossil fuels and protecting the environment.
    Promoting the use of fossil fuels and protecting jobs.

  6. Why did former president George Bush want to drill for oil?
    To become wealthy.
    To create jobs.
    To avoid trading with foreign countries.
    To avoid dependency on foreign oil supplies.

  7. What did Obama try to do?
    Protect Alaska from energy development.
    Protect energy development projects .
    Protect energy jobs.
    Protect the land from natural disasters.

  8. How does the Trump administration feel about the issue?
    They agree with the Obama administration.
    They want no regulations on the energy industry.
    They want to buy energy from abroad.
    They want fewer regulations on the energy industry.

  9. How do does the narrator feel about the resources?
    They should be protected.
    They should be available to sell.
    They should help economic development.
    They should not be protected.

  10. Why is Alaska so fascinating? (Check all that apply)
    It is its own ecosystem.
    It represents and exemplifies what is happening at the national level.
    It is very different from what is happening at the national level.
    It is the biggest state in the U.S.A.

triangle Discussion

  1. What is more important: the economy or the environment?
  2. If you were a resident of Alaska, would you vote to protect the environment, or would you vote to create more jobs in the energy sector?
  3. Can you think of any solutions that would benefit both the environment and the economy?
  4. Which focus is better the for the short term (jobs or environment)? The long term? Are long-term or short-term goals more important?

triangle Script

Here's why Alaska is at the heart of so many environmental issues. Alaska has a little bit of everything. You know, it's rich in wildlife, it's rich in oil and natural resources; it is seeing so many impacts of climate change. And so, wherever you look in Alaska there's either something that the state wants and needs, like oil drilling - oil drilling has been a fundamental part of its economy for decades now - or a threat that they're facing. It is one of the most vulnerable states in the country to climate change. Rising temperatures has led to the melting of sea ice; permafrost has melted in parts of the arctic; in some places native villages are preparing for the eventuality that they might not exist in another century. The nub of this is: which is more important: Is it protecting this pristine wilderness? Or is it providing jobs and economic benefits to the state and maybe elsewhere in the country?

Alaska's lawmakers, particularly senator Lisa Murkowski is both acutely aware of the dangers that climate change pose to Alaska….

"We care for our land and our rich heritage."

Yet also…

"Alaska has led the nation in energy production for decades."

…promoting the further use of fossil fuels which is furthering climate change. She's kind of holding these two seemingly incongruous things in her hands right now.

"If we fail at that, our country will become more reliant on foreign crude oil."

The debates over Alaska lands has gone on for decades.

"The pace of the reductions of the glacier are accelerating rapidly each and every year."

Under the Obama administration there were a lot of efforts to protect the land and waters around Alaska from energy development.

The Trump administration has a very different view.

"It is better to produce energy domestically under reasonable regulation."

These resources should be available to help the state and the country develop.

Now Alaska is its own fascinating ecosystem. And sort of a microcosm of you know all these fights that are happening at a national level.

The Paradise Papers