By Victoria McDonald
May 21, 2017
Eight villages in northern Alaska face fall and winter storms without the protection of sea ice that formerly shielded them. Although the federal government is spending millions to create barriers, funds cannot be used to move villages inland, necessary if they are to survive. Throughout the Arctic as permafrost melts, methane is released, a gas that retains greenhouse gas at least 30 times that of CO2. Melting arctic ice is taking a toll on wildlife. Polar bears are unable to hunt year round due to the lack of ice sheets that provide a stable platform.
But in the midst of discouraging events, the Chugach Alaska Corporation is leading the way to a sensible solution. The Corporation has an agreement with California, utilizing its cap and trade policy. If a California company exceeds its CO2 emissions, the cap and trade policy enables purchase of forested land to offset excess carbon. Chugach shareholders benefit and have potentially millions of carbon credits. In addition, the Corporation held mineral rights to the Bering River anthracite coal deposit, sold to New Forests who retired those coal rights. Old school thinking is out the door as standing trees are used for carbon sequestration and a valuable deposit of coal will not be mined and burned.
TCS held a climate action party on April 30. New members have suggestions for our community. Hopefully, we can work together to lessen our carbon footprint. If you have ideas, call 907-254-0914 .345.
Victoria McDonald for
Received May 21, 2017 - Published May 21, 2017
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