How Arctic Drilling Will Trample Junk Science Obstructionism

Guest slam-dunk by David Middleton


How Science Got Trampled in the Rush to Drill in the Arctic

By ADAM FEDERMAN with photographs by NATHANIEL WILDER and video by PETER ELSTNER | 07/26/2019

Every year, hundreds of petroleum industry executives gather in Anchorage for the annual conference of the Alaska Oil and Gas Association, where they discuss policy and celebrate their achievements with the state’s political establishment. In May 2018, they again filed into the Dena’ina Civic and Convention Center, but they had a new reason to celebrate. Under the Trump administration, oil and gas development was poised to dramatically expand into a remote corner of Alaska where it had been prohibited for nearly 40 years.

Tucked into the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, a bill signed by President Donald Trump five months earlier, was a brief two-page section that had little to do with tax reform. Drafted by Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski, the provision opened up approximately 1.6 million acres of the vast Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas leasing, a reversal of the federal policy that has long protected one of the most ecologically important landscapes in the Arctic.

[Blah, blah, blah… caribou… polar bears… Orange man bad]

Politico

The article drones on with a bunch of Obama maladministration bureaucrats and holdovers whining about polar bears, the Porcupine caribou herd and features this “gotcha” map.

Figure 1. Drilling in ANWR will kill caribou calves! (Patterson Clark / POLITICO)

Firstly, there are no “untapped reserves of oil” anywhere. Reserves, by definition, have been tapped. ANWR Area 1002 contains enormous resource potential according to the USGS. Resources have the potential to become reserves, they can also become dry holes. We won’t have any idea what ANWR’s ultimate oil & gas reserves will be until quite a few wells have been drilled and some production history established… And the drilling probably won’t commence before modern 3d seismic data over ANWR Area 1002 become available.

The thesis of the Politico article is that the acquisition of 3d seismic data in ANWR will devastate the “main calving grounds for the Porcupine caribou herd” and some how wipe out all of the polar bears who weren’t shot by Democrats.

Caribou, not just the title of a 1974 Elton John album

Figure 2. Caribou range in Alaska (Alaska Department of Fish and Game)

In Europe, caribou are called reindeer, but in Alaska and Canada only the semi-domesticated form is called reindeer. All caribou and reindeer throughout the world are considered to be the same species, but there are 7 subspecies: barrenground (Rangifer tarandus granti), Svalbard (R.t platyrhynchus), European (R.t. tarandus), Finnish forest reindeer (R.t. fennicus), Greenland (R.t. groenlandicus), woodland (R.t. caribou) and Peary (R.t. pearyi). Alaska has predominantly the barren-ground subspecies and one small herd of woodland caribou, the Chisana herd, which moves into Canada in the Wrangell-St. Elias area of Southcentral Alaska. Canada has three subspecies, the Peary, woodland and barren-ground.

Caribou in Alaska are distributed in 32 herds or populations. A herd uses a distinct calving area that is separate from the calving area of other herds, but different herds may mix on winter ranges.

Alaska Department of Fish and Game

The Porcupine herd is one of the largest caribou herds in the world and they do calve on the ANWR coastal plain in SUMMER.

However, exploration season is not in summer

Busiest exploration season in decades planned for this winter
By: 
Alex DeMarban
Anchorage Daily News
Post date: 
Tue, 01/29/2019

The number of exploration and production rigs working on the oil-rich North Slope should reach its highest level in 20 years this winter, state officials say.

Oil field employment is higher than last year, modestly, but a first in more than four years.

And the state just had one of its strongest North Slope lease sales in recent history.

Those factors and others show the recent plunge in oil prices has not dampened industry’s expectations for the region, amid newfound interest in a little-tapped geological formation, the Nanushuk, state officials indicated in a meeting with the Senate Finance committee last week.

But with long development windows for Alaska projects, much of the new oil production is still years away.

[…]

Alaska Journal of Commerce

Winter is also the season for seismic surveys…

PUBLIC NOTICE
Greater Prudhoe Bay 2019 3D Seismic Program

The Alaska Department of Natural Resources (ADNR), Division of Oil and Gas (Division), has received a Geophysical Exploration Permit Application from BP Exploration (Alaska), Inc. (BPXA) for the Greater Prudhoe Bay 2019 3D Seismic Program. The Division is providing notice to all upland land owners that could be affected by the project.

[…]

BPXA plans to conduct a three-dimensional (3D) seismic program on state lands and waters in the Prudhoe Bay area of the North Slope during the 2019 winter season. The survey will be conducted between January 1 and May 31, 2019. The survey area lies mainly within the Prudhoe Bay Unit with a western boundary near the Kuparuk Operations Center continuing east to the Sagavanirktok River. Additional program details are outlined in the Application.

[…]

State of Alaska

The proposed ANWR 3d survey was supposed to have begun in the winter of 2019 and finished in the winter of 2020, if not completed in one season.

SEISMIC EXPLORATIONON THE COASTAL PLAIN
Purpose and Need

SAExploration has requested to conduct 3 Dimensional (3D) Winter Seismic Exploration Surveys on the Coastal Plain of the USFWS Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska. The proposed seismic exploration would begin in winter 2018/2019 and, if not finished in one year,
would continue through winter 2019/2020. Seismic exploration generates acoustic waves that are picked up by sensors as the waves bounce off subsurface formations. From this information, images can be created that show subsurface topography and formations including those areas of potential hydrocarbons.

The purpose of the proposed seismic activity is to acquire quality, high resolution seismic data, using vibroseis techniques to identify potential oil and gas reserves. Approval of the proposed action would authorize SAE to conduct 3D seismic surveys beginning when frost and snow
cover are at sufficient depths to protect tundra and would continue through the winter seasons until tundra travel has been closed.

Analysis of this project will include access to the program area from Deadhorse, storage of fuel, and the use of up to two mobile camps, each capable of housing up to 160 people. The total proposed project area would encompass the entire Coastal Plain, approximately 2,600 sq. miles
(1,664,000 acres) (program area).

[…]

US Bureau of Land Management

The start date in SAE’s application has been delayed to December 2019. SAE will acquire the 3d seismic data with Vibroseis sources.

Land Acquisition
Source
s

Land acquisition for reflection seismology uses an array of sources and receivers. The choices of which sources and receivers to use depend on the goals of the survey along with cost and environmental conditions.

Explosive Sources
Dynamite is a commonly used impulse source for exploration. Dynamite is preferred when the survey area is in harsh terrain that Vibroseis cannot traverse such as marshes, mountains, or environmentally sensitive areas. The dynamite must be buried prior to detonation to increase the amount of energy transmitted into the subsurface and for safety. Since the energy is produced instantly from the detonation, dynamite sources produce a wavelet that is roughly minimum phase. However, dynamite does have its drawbacks. Inconsistencies in the blasts along with variations in the burial depth and the local ground conditions will cause variations in the produced signal. Another impulse source used is modified shotguns called Betsy Guns. Betsy Guns are used for shallower and smaller surveys.

Vibratory Sources
Another commonly used source type for petroleum exploration are vibratory sources. Vibroseis trucks, as shown in figure 1, are used to transmit energy into the earth using a specified range of frequencies over a specified time. The trucks feature a heavy mass that vibrates vertically on a base plate to transfer energy into the subsurface. The range of frequencies (i.e. how fast the mass vibrates) and the length of time that the vibration occurs are unique for each survey. Since the signal inputted into the subsurface is known, it can be mathematically removed in processing to help remove noise and create a trace that resembles the true reflectivity of the survey area. In an effort to improve the post-correlation signal to noise ratio, an array of vibroseis trucks may be used, as the post-correlation signal to noise ratio is S:R = F(LN)^1/2, where F = the weight of the truck(force applied), L = the length of the sweep and N = the number of sweeps[1]. Using an array of trucks will increase the force applied, therefore enhancing the Signal to noise Ratio (SNR). Generally, Vibroseis trucks generally only produce P-waves as they are designed to vibrate the mass vertically. Vibroseis trucks that produce S-waves exist, but they are rare and infrequently used. Vibroseis trucks are typically used when the acquisition region features no extreme topography, densely populated areas, and a relatively dry climate. Vibroseis trucks do not do well in wet climates, as they are very heavy and tend to get stuck and leave high amounts of property damage in wet terrain.

Weight Drops
Weight drops are another type of source. These are impulse sources which are generally used for shallow subsurface due to being much lower energy than dynamite or vibroseis. Examples of weight drops are sledgehammers hitting a metal plate on the ground and weights dropped heights of at least two meters. Accelerated weight drops (AWD) also fall in this category. AWD work by using a hydraulic system to lift a heavy steel hammer up, and a gas-charged piston forces the piston down. These have been proven as viable sources for VSP’s and tool-orientation for micro-seismic surveys. [2]

SEG Wiki
Figure 3. “A picture of a vibroseis truck (or “thumper”) used by Dawson Geophysical. The plate in the middle is used to transmit energy into the Earth.” SEG Wiki

This sort of activity will be taking place while the Porcupine caribou herd are at their maximum migratory distance away from the ANWR coastal plain.

The only potential environmental impact of this seismic survey is the possibility of tire and/or tread tracks in the tundra. By the time the Porcupine caribou herd returns to the ANWR coastal plain in summer, the seismic crews will be long-gone.

Happy Seismic Trails to you

Figure 4. 1984-1985 ANWR 2d seismic survey “stick map.” (U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service)

Seismic exploration, authorized by the U.S. Congress, was conducted on the coastal plain of the Arctic Refuge during the winters of 1984 and 1985. Exploration during winter causes less damage to tundra vegetation and soils than in summer, but damage does occur. Snow cover on the Refuge coastal plain is normally shallow, usually less than one foot deep. Strong winds blow the snow into depressions, leaving higher areas with thinner snow cover, making them more susceptible to impacts from vehicles. 

As a result of the 1984-85 seismic exploration, known as 2-D (two-dimensional) seismic, 1250 miles of trails – made by drill, vibrator and recording vehicles – crossed the coastal plain tundra (see map above). Additional trails were created by D-7 Caterpillar tractors that pulled ski-mounted trailer-trains between work camps. 

Refuge staff have monitored recovery of the seismic trail damage on the Refuge by periodically collecting vegetation data at 100 permanent plots. To determine how much trail is still disturbed they rate another 200 points for disturbance level. While 90% of all trails recovered well during the first 10 years after exploration, 5% of trails had still not recovered by 2009, 25 years after the disturbance. 

[…]

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

Effects of 1984-1985 Seismic Trails on Porcupine caribou herd

Porcupine Caribou Herd reaches record high population

Shady Grove Oliver, The Arctic Sounder

January 8, 2018

The Porcupine caribou herd has a record high number of animals. That’s according to a photocensus compiled last summer by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

The herd has been growing at a rate of about 3 to 4 percent annually since 2010, Northeast Alaska Assistant Area Biologist Jason Caikoski said last week. As of this year, the herd reached an estimated 218,000 animals.

[…]

That’s nearly 40,000 more caribou than were present during the herd’s last population peak in 1989.

However, recent advances in photocensus technology have also made estimating the herd’s numbers more accurate over the years.

[…]

Since the herd’s peak in the late 1980s, the population declined to a low of 123,000 in 2001, Fish and Game noted. Since then, the herd has been steadily growing, based on census counts.

[…]

Anchorage Daily News

The Porcupine caribou herd population was growing while those “evil” seismic trails were being cut. The important question is this:

Why did the Porcupine caribou population decline from 1989-2001?

I’m sure Yale Environment 360 can answer this question.

A Troubling Decline in the Caribou Herds of the Arctic

Across the Far North, populations of caribou — an indispensable source of food and clothing for indigenous people — are in steep decline.

Scientists point to rising temperatures and a resource-development boom as the prime culprits.

BY ED STRUZIK • SEPTEMBER 23, 2010

[…]

According to scientists, the causes of the global caribou decline are straightforward: rapidly rising Arctic temperatures are throwing caribou out of sync with the environment in which they evolved; oil and gas development, mining, logging, and hydropower projects in the Far North are impinging on the caribou’s range; and, though not a major factor, hunting is further depleting already beleaguered caribou populations.

[…]

Anne Gunn, a former biologist with the government of the Northwest Territories and now a scientific consultant, is concerned that the whittling away of caribou habitat is occurring just as the animals are feeling the effects of global warming. Unlike some scientists, Gunn, who has more than 30 years of field experience, believes caribou can adapt to the climate changes occurring now. She is most concerned that very little is being done to protect critical caribou habitat, especially the critical calving grounds and migration corridors. Of 24 large caribou herds being tracked by CARMA — the Circumpolar Rangifer Monitoring and Assessment Network — only the calving grounds of the Porcupine and Bluenose West herds are fully or largely protected.

“For caribou it is all about ‘space’ — their perceptions of what space they need, including the space needed to distance themselves from us,” said Gunn. “Climate change and overhunting are very serious factors that need to be addressed. But unless we give caribou the space they need, I’m afraid we’re going to see these declines continue.”

Yale Environment 360

So… Global warming and “oil and gas development, mining, logging, and hydropower projects” caused the decline… Except there were no “oil and gas development, mining, logging, and hydropower projects” upon which the Porcupine population decline could be blamed… And the global warming that shrank the population was supposedly still ongoing while the Porcupine caribou herd reached a “record high population” in 2017.

Why can’t environmentalists just be honest? All they have to say is, “We have no idea why the Porcupine caribou herd population did what it did… We just hate anything related to capitalism.”

“For caribou it is all about ‘space’ — their perceptions of what space they need, including the space needed to distance themselves from us” …

Porcupine caribou herd will still have plenty of “the space needed to distance themselves from us” because most of the exploration activities will occur when they are as far away from ANWR Area 1002 as they can get. It would be geographically impossible for them to have any more space. Any oil discoveries made, will be developed from small pad sites, which will be the focus of very little human activity during calving season.

Today’s drilling leaves a small footprint
Nov 24, 2014

When Prudhoe Bay was developed in the 1970’s, about 2 % of the surface area over the field, or 5,000 acres, was covered by gravel for roads and drilling and production facility sites. If Prudhoe Bay were developed today, using lessons learned since the 1960’s, gravel would cover less than 2,000 acres, a 60 % reduction.

Extended-reach Drilling
Advances in directional, or extended-reach, drilling now allow producing companies to reach a reservoir three miles from the surface location. Soon “extended reach” wells out to four miles will be possible on the North Slope. When Prudhoe Bay was first developed, wells could reach out only one and a half miles.

Well Spacing
In the 1970’s, production wells on drill pads in Prudhoe Bay were spaced 100 feet or more apart. New directional drilling techniques and drill equipment allow wells to be spaced 25 to 15 feet apart, and in some cases 10 feet apart. A drill pad that would have been 65 acres in 1977 can be less than nine acres today. The same number of wells that required a 65-acre pad in the 1970’s can be drilled on less than a nine-acre pad today.

Drilling Mud Disposal
New technology allows producing companies to do away with reserve pits for drilling fluid (“mud”) and cuttings. Mud and cuttings are now injected the below-ground through disposal wells.

Ice Roads and Drilling Pads
Instead of building a gravel pad for exploration drilling, companies are now building temporary pads of ice, which disappear after the exploration well has been drilled. Temporary ice roads have long been used to support winter exploration drilling on the North Slope.

ANWR.org
Figure 5. Evolution of North Slope drilling pads. (ANWR.org)

Speaking of “it’s about space”…

About the author

David Middleton has been a geophysicist/geologist in the oil & gas industry since 1981. He has worked the Gulf of Mexico since 1988, and East Texas from 1981-1988. He has visited many seismic survey crews, a couple of Vibroseis crews in North Central Texas in 1981, quite a few dynamite crews in East Texas from 1981-1988 and has never seen a caribou or any other hoofed animal injured during seismic survey operations… Although it is really cool when a shot hole blows out.

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53 thoughts on “How Arctic Drilling Will Trample Junk Science Obstructionism

  1. I read the Politico article, which was mostly bemoaning the effort to start developing the field, and why it must be delayed until a more favorable administration will block it entirely.

    • It was basically former Obama people and Obama holdovers pretending Obama was still president.

  2. Depending where you are up north, summer is a miserable season. You can’t travel. In winter, on the other hand, you hop on your snowmobile and go wherever your heart pleases, like the next community 200 miles down the coast for instance … at 40 below zero. Those folks are waaay tougher than I am.

  3. The non-resources sector of the population, most of the public, most of the popular media, most of academia – these people have very little idea of the reality of resource exploration and utilisation. What is more, they commonly have no useful knowledge of what lies below the ground surface (think, buried, inhabited cities, streams replete with vegetation along their banks, fairy story pictures like the Brothers Grimm told, as seen in Journey to the Centre of the Earth and so on.) Further, most lack any appreciation of national and regional scales, such as the mere pin pricks on the large map that are from exploration and utilisation. We had a Federal Minister here who fondly used the expression – over and over – that miners would make a Swiss Cheese of a place.” In this case, it was Kakadu National Park, proclaimed area of 20, 000 square km, of which about 20 sq km are actually used for extraction of minerals (unless you include roads and towns that were likely to have been built anyhow as population expanded).

    It is the old story of argument against extreme ignorance, on one hand, and argument in favour of keeping extreme ignorance by the alarmists with cries like “Keep it in the ground”. It is quite hard to argue against entrenched, supported ignorance, but heck, someone has to do it. Good on you, David Middleton. Geoff S

    • Yes, and remember area 1002 was set aside ab initio in ANWR for the express purpose of future oil and gas exploration. Summer on the North Slope? Here’s a clue the Alaska State Bird is a mosquito, not the kind that land on you, they hold you down and start an IV. Exploration on the North Slope is initially only in the winter when everything, mosquitos included, is frozen. Drill baby drill!

      • R.L. – I’ve spent lots of summer months on the Slope. The Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA) is federal law passed in 1980 that states in §1002. (a) PURPOSE.–The purpose of this section is to provide for a comprehensive and continuing inventory and assessment of the fish and wildlife resources of the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge; an analysis of the impacts of oil and gas exploration development, and production, and to authorize exploratory activity within the coastal plain in a manner that avoids significant adverse effects on the fish and wildlife and other resources.

        • Based on the recent surveys, it sounds like the wildlife are doing much better than the narrative.

          • “Better” than what? There’s never been any oil development in Area 1002. The Porcupine caribou herd population was expanding while the 2d seismic were being acquired in the winters of 1984-1985. The population peaked in 1989, declined until 2001 and then reached an all time high in the most recent survey. The decline can’t be attributed to oil development, nor can the record growth be attributed to a lack of oil development.

          • Better than the “narrative” as you say.

            I realize the caribou herds and counts fluctuate. I’ve been in the 1002 and witnessed them migrate onto the coastal plain. Funny thing is how much tundra damage is done when they come through by the 1000s. Caribou herds scar the tundra far more than seismic crews.

            I’ve also seen caribou stressed around oil facilities and the Deadhorse airport when being herded away by trucks. How much does that effect them? Hard to know.

          • Yeah… But the tire and tread tracks from the seismic crews leave a coherent pattern… Whereas the caribou don’t. The optics are perfect for environmental propaganda.

            The key point though is that most of the E&P operations, including the seismic surveys, will be conducted while the caribou are about as far south of Area 1002 as they annually migrate. If ANWR turns out to be a bust, the caribou might not ever realize we were there.

          • “The key point though is that most of the E&P operations….will be conducted while the caribou are about as far south of Area 1002 as they annually migrate.”

            This is correct for Exploration but not for Production operations. ANWR is devoid of enough lakes suitable for extracting water for ice roads. Gravel roads will be required to support development. Gravel drill pads, gathering pipelines oil processing facilities and sales quality crude pipelines will operate 24/7. Oil Development will have an impact.

            But, if exploration is a bust then caribou will be the last to know.

          • And we won’t know until the 3d is shot, processed, interpreted, have a few lease sales, drill enough wells, hopefully make some discoveries… I have no doubt that development operations will have to be conducted with a great deal of deference to the caribou and the wildlife biologists oil companies will have to hire to watch over all operations.

        • Note that says, “significant adverse effects”, not “any adverse effects”. Local wildlife adjusting their established patterns slightly would not be considered “significant” to 99% of people.

    • Reminds me of an old (1987 or so) story I could have included in tbe post… too long to post here, but I’ll append the post tomorrow.

    • Another bullseye, David, and spot-on comment, Geoff. Sadly, in my introductory geology courses most of the dozens to hundreds of students enroll simply for their science credit, don’t attend classes or just sit there fiddling with their phones, and so miss out on the wonderful new knowledge and insight geology brings. A terrible waste.

  4. “Why can’t environmentalists just be honest? All they have to say is, “We have no idea why the Porcupine caribou herd population did what it did… We just hate anything related to capitalism.”

    Admitting uncertainty is not something a Leftist will ever do and remain in good standing with their fellow Leftist environmentalists. Most of modern environmentalism today is a belief system, not rational science. Belief systems rest on a faith in dogma.

  5. Thank you, Mr. Middleton, for yet another in a long series of informative and useful contributions to WUWT.

  6. DO NOT Google Shot Hole Blow Out. Really. Just don’t. But OK, if you must be sure you have Safe Search turned on.

    • I never even thought about that… 🤤

      Sometimes, when they fired a shot, it would blow the cap off the shot hole and mud & water would shoot up into the air… other times, there would just be a thump… either way, you had to sit still for 6 seconds. This probably didn’t help… 😉

  7. “Why can’t environmentalists just be honest? All they have to say is, “We have no idea why the Porcupine caribou herd population did what it did… We just hate anything related to capitalism.”’

    Good grief, you don’t actually expect Those People to be honest, do you? Really, that’s just asking too much of them.

  8. David,

    It is obvious you are just INSENSITIVE to the needs of special-need Ungulates. The Caribou now need a safe room (uh, marsh? glade?) to recover from all your meany talk. As my young daughter once called me (she was about 8 at the time)…”You are a meany-head”. (My hat is off to you…)

    All populations of animals that form groups (herds, troops, flocks, etc.) go through natural cycles in their numbers. This is so basic it is embarrassing I should feel compelled to mention it – but apparently they skipped all this when training Arctic Biologists. The group of animals, if not heavily preyed upon, will eventually outgrow the resources available to support it, and then disease and hunger will thin the group out.

    Exactly how vibrations in the ground will decimate their numbers is a complete mystery to me. If they were nearby, it might startle them for an hour or so, make them uneasy for a day or so, and then like all mammals capable of learning (meaning not activists), they will learn to ignore it. They might keep a healthy distance which would mean they are smart (well, for animals and activists).

    People just seem to not know ANY of their own history. For example, most of Colorado would be unapproachable by cars, trucks, or jeeps if their had not been many mining roads built to service the extraction of ores. The railroads would not have been built to go to the non-existent mining towns. Colorado is a paradise for hikers, jeeps, bicycles, train enthusiasts, and general visitors BECAUSE mining opened up the state.

    Yes, the mining of the late 1900’s through about 1960’s produced a lot of pollution – pollution we are still dealing with today, but it isn’t 1890 anymore and industry is much easier on the environment, produces much less pollution, and puts money aside for reclamation – all of which did not exist in the past.

    The entire northern area of Alaska could benefit – more people would be able to see it, study it, and enjoy it. Last I checked, when we stop the wholesale slaughter of animals their populations bounce right back (A.K.A the wolves, the bears, the big cats). I actually consider myself an environmentalist – not the nut jobs calling themselves that today but the old kind that actually respected nature, occasionally hunted, and want to protect broad areas so that all species can thrive (including people). Most activists would be dead in 3 days if left out in Alaska’s wilds – they have NO CONCEPT of what they talk about.

    I am all for extracting resources – in a responsible manner and with calculated risks. We should NOT be leaving these decisions to industry because all they care about is profit. But we also cannot leave these decisions to the whack-job activists who know nothing about what they speak.

    By the way…sorry I called you a “meanie-head”. I actually really enjoy your articles and I personally bear the title with pride.

  9. “… an indispensable source of food and clothing for indigenous people.”

    An unstated implication of the above quote is that the “indigenous people” are very sensitive to the total number of caribou and would be adversely affected, perhaps even at risk of starvation, if there were to be a slight reduction in the number of caribou. While caribou may be important to the local diet, I doubt that the annual harvest is anything but a very small percentage of the total caribou population. Yes, if there were no caribou at all, it would have serious consequences. But, nowhere do I see any support for the idea that caribou would be at risk of extinction as a result of petroleum exploration or production.

    One reason that dogs are better than ‘snowflakes’ is that dogs only whine when they need to go outside.

    • The fact that about almost 40% of adult Alaskan Inuits suffer Type 2 diabetes confirms their adoption of Western diets chockful of processed carbos.

      • Joel,
        I spent a month in Point Barrow in 1967. I was told that the Inuit women did not nurse their babies anymore because White women didn’t nurse. Instead, they would buy cow’s milk or formula, at about 4x the cost in the Lower 48 because everything had to be flown in or shipped by cargo boat when the pack ice broke up.

      • “I said to my wife ‘Our kids are spoiled.’ She said all kids smell that way.”

        – Rodney Dangerfield

        • One of my favorite Rodney quotes was from Back to School

          The football team from my high school was tough, after they sacked the quarterback they went after his family.

  10. I remember seeing a bumper sticker which sums up, well, everyting:

    IF IT WASN’T GROWN, IT WAS MINED.

    Yes, everything. The no-nothings who would block oil exploration (mining) are denying reality.

  11. “Tucked into the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, a bill signed by President Donald Trump five months earlier, was a brief two-page section that had little to do with tax reform.”

    In fact the provision was fundamentally relevant to tax reform, and a very clever addition to the tax reform bill, because the huge and predictable Federal revenues generated by resource extraction are used to allow tax cuts from other sources, allowing the whole bill to pass Reconciliation muster. Trump outsmarts the liberals, and Presidents back to Jimmy Carter, again.

  12. It should trample junk science obstructionism, but it won’t. They will just find some other specious and illogical reasons to obstruct. These people don’t give up. But maybe someday they will grow up.

  13. At Prudoe Bay I remember reading that the caribou and other North Slope animals crowded around the pipeline because of the heat from the passing crude in the pipe, and the herd and others flourished.

    • My experience was in the 80s. Moose often seemed to be hiding from the mosquitos in summer, less attacked under the heated pipelines.

      Caribou herds loved to walk on oilfield roads. Apparently much better than tundra. Heaven forbeit if you needed to go somewhere right then. They had the right of way.

  14. “Why can’t environmentalists just be honest? All they have to say is, “We have no idea why the Porcupine caribou herd population did what it did… We just hate anything related to capitalism.”

    I have nothing to add to this except “hear hear”, well said. Why indeed cannot these people be honest. Of course the truth is the entire supposition is built on massive fraud, which has been exposed, but the media is still ignoring- for now.

  15. “Christopher Gordon is a Democrat. While I can’t be 100% certain he doesn’t work in the oil & gas industry (no LinkedIn page), he lives in the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge, votes Democrat and apparently likes to eat whale meat… Then again, maybe he’s Cajun.”

    Christopher Gordon isn’t a typical cajun name. Just saying.

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