Business, Economics and Jobs

In Search of GroundTruth: A new view of the Arctic oil quest


The Italian sailing vessel Best Explorer, piloted by Capt. Nanni Acquarone, navigates icebergs north of Upernavik, Greenland, July 19, 2012. It is the first Italian boat to complete the Northwest Passage, roughly 600 miles north of the Arctic Circle.


Stefano De Luigi/VII

Every week we will be on the lookout for the best examples of GroundTruth in the media. This week, we take our search north.

GlobalPost's recently published Special Report, "The Arctic Melt," aims to get at the huge stakes — economic, environmental, and political — raised as the Arctic melts faster than ever. The melt has spurred a battle at the top of the world that threatens to alter the environment and change residents' way of life. And at the heart of this battle is oil.

On October 12, The Daily Climate published a photograph of Shell's Kulluk oil rig off the coast of Alaska, 12 miles away from the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. In an interview with The Daily Climate, photographer Gary Braasch said, "The location has been published for years in Shell's permits…But having the landscape behind it was so amazing, and I don't think the public has realized how close it is."

You can see Braasch's photographs on The Daily Climate, and on Braasch's website, World View of Global Warming.

For other stunning images of a part of the world that is a mystery to most of us, here are a few other collections of photographs of the Arctic that caught our eye:

Arctic Aerial Photos — National Geographic

Northwest Passage — Stefano Luigi/VII Photo Agency

Photos: Arctic National Wildlife Refuge — Alaska Dispatch