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The message below, an open letter from Robert Redford about the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, was sent to you by Connie Mah from
I've never circulated this kind of e-mail before. But I am so appalled by President Bush's plan to open up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to massive oil development that I feel I must do whatever I can to help stop it.
To me, the Arctic Refuge represents everything spectacular and everything endangered about America's natural heritage: a million years of ecological serenity . . . vast expanses of untouched wilderness . . . an irreplaceable sanctuary for polar bears, white wolves and 130,000 caribou that return here each year to give birth and rear their young. For 20,000 years -- literally hundreds of generations -- the native Gwich'in people have inhabited this sacred place, following the caribou herd and leaving the awe-inspiring landscape just as they found it. Our own presidents going back to Eisenhower have kept a bipartisan promise to safeguard this world-class natural treasure. But not THIS president. It is a sad day indeed when our president and congressional leaders would sacrifice America's largest wildlife refuge for the sake of a possible six-month supply of national energy. A six-month supply! We could save that little oil by improving the fuel efficiency of cars and light truck! s by a mere one mile per gallon.
Only one group of Americans will benefit from the destruction of the Arctic Wildlife Refuge: the oil giants. Everyone else loses. Arctic wildlife populations will decline, the Gwich'in people will see their land marred by pipelines and poisoned by oil spills, you and I will become even more dependent on oil, and the planet will suffer catastrophic global warming from the burning of even more fossil fuel.
Unless we get millions of Americans to lodge a protest right now, this nightmarish scenario may well come to pass in the next two to three months. The Republican energy bill, which would fulfill the president's promise to drill the Arctic Refuge, is moving through Congress today. House and Senate leaders may also try to sneak through the Arctic drilling provision by attaching it to a "must-pass" appropriations bill. These votes will be decided by the moderates in both parties. We must reach those moderates and hold them accountable.
Here's what you can do: go to http://www.savebiogems.org/arctic
The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) has set up this new website to make it extremely easy for you to send messages of protest to your senators and represenative. It will take you only a minute.
I've been on NRDC's board for 25 years, so I know how effective they are at waging and winning environmental campaigns. Last year, NRDC used web activism to help generate a million messages of protest to Mitsubishi and stopped the company from destroying the last unspoiled birthing ground of the Pacific gray whale.
We'll win this time too if each of us does our part for the Arctic Refuge. Please visit http://www.savebiogems.org/arctic right now. And forward my message to your family, friends and colleagues. Congress cannot ignore millions of us.
If we let them plunder our greatest wildlife refuge for the sake of oil company profits, then no piece of our natural heritage is safe from destruction. Please go to http://www.savebiogems.org/arctic and help keep the Arctic wild and free.
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