Caroline Cannon, the 2012 Prize winner from Alaska, recently participated on a panel at Greenpeace’s Polar Emergency event in New York City. The event brought together scientists, journalists and environmental activists to discuss why the Arctic’s ice is melting so quickly and what should be done about it.
For Cannon and others in the environmental community, news that the Arctic ice cover has reached a new record low is especially disconcerting. Because, as it becomes easier to reach oil and gas deposits once hidden beneath the ice, developers grow ever more interested in drilling in the Arctic.
Cannon, an Inupiat from the Alaskan Village of Point Hope, was awarded the Goldman Prize for her efforts to prevent oil and gas drilling in the Arctic, insisting that oil companies are not prepared for the harsh conditions of working in the Arctic- where an oil spill would be disastrous.
In the Mother Jones article, “How Many Refrigerators Does It Take to Store a Whale?” Canon is described as ‘likely the only person in the room who’s gone mano-a-mano on her own home turf with disappearing permafrost and rising sea levels.’
At the Greenpeace event, Cannon explained her concerns, saying, “Our people rely on that ocean. And we’ve seen some dramatic changes.”