SEPTEMBER 10TH, 2020
We have been working on a documentary for over a year about The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. The full documentary will be released on September 22, 2020 and we will be hosting a live stream that same day with the people who produced it including William Matthews, Jamie Lee Finch, Christian Adkins, Anna Jane Joyner, Karlin Itchoak and others.
As we prep to launch the film, we wanted to re-release this episode from October 2019. In the last 3 weeks the refuge has come under even more severe threat as the Trump Administration takes steps to open it up for drilling. In August of 2019, Michael Gungor, Science Mike, William Matthews, and Jamie Lee Finch embarked on a trip to the Arctic circle to experience some of the last untouched wilderness on the planet and hear from the Gwich’in people. The Gwich’in are Athabaskan-speaking Indigenous peoples who live in the Arctic region of Alaska and Canada. Their sacred lands include areas within the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
In September 2019, the Trump Administration said it would “seek to open up the entire coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas exploration, picking the most aggressive development option for an area long closed to drilling” to cite The Washington Post. The violence and destruction caused by the removal of long standing protections by the United States is difficult to overstate. This episode is the story of our trip to that area, and what we learned from the people there. We want to give a special shout out to The Wilderness Society for making this episode possible and to Dan Ritzman from Arctic Wild for his guidance in Alaska.