Barrow, the northernmost town in the United States, 350 miles north of the Arctic Circle, is a bit of a mess. It can't even make up its mind how far it actually is from the North Pole, let alone from its southern counterpoint.
It's out of the darkness and into perpetual light for the community of Barrow. The northernmost community in the United States saw the sun rise at 2:37 a.m. Monday, and it won't set again until 2:09 a.m. Aug. 2.
In June, President Obama said, "we can't just drill our way out of the energy and climate challenge that we face." I am hopeful that the president will heed his own advice, and keep our Arctic Ocean safe from dirty and dangerous oil drilling.
So whether you are rooting for polar bears, whales, us or the earth, what's the harm in the U.S. government demanded that Shell prove it can clean up a spill? If there's a problem, any spill will make the Exxon Valdez or BP oil spills look like minor mishaps.
A few years back, on a whim, I flew way north for turkey day. While my friends enjoyed Thanksgiving dinners with their families, I sat shivering in a tiny Chinese restaurant in Barrow, AK, chowing down not on turkey but Mongolian beef.