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07/22/2013

Protecting America's Arctic: One Man's View

People across the country care about saving the Arctic, including many in Chicago, Illinois who recently gathered to talk about how they could help protect a region thousands of miles away.  When it comes to what motivates them, the answers vary, but they are all inspiring.  This is what volunteer Idriss Bangi Sharief had to say about why he's working to protect America’s Arctic:


Idriss_groupMy name's Idriss Bangi Sharief, and I am from Sudan in northeast Africa.   I have been living in Chicago since my arrival to the U.S. four years ago.  I was so lucky to come and settle in this beautiful land - America in which you can see and feel all kinds of weather on the planet.

When we talk about protecting America's Arctic it is also about protecting the whole world's climate, because impacts on the Arctic will immediately affect the global climate.  Although it’s thousands of miles from the Arctic, the effects will even reach my small remote village in Sudan.

Global warming, or climate change, is not only America's responsibility but an international issue, which touches everyone in all corners of the world. Let’s ask ourselves some questions that we all know the answers to.  What's causing global warming?  Our earth is the most beautiful place, but human greed is threatening it for the sake of development.  Why didn't we invest in clean energy since there are many sources around us, like wind, sun, and so on?  There is still time.

The disadvantages of drilling in the Arctic are well known.  Now we have the chance to unite and stop those that want to develop one of our nation’s last special places.  Everybody has a role to play in this important matter.  First, we need to lead by example and teach our children how to protect natural areas from destructive companies.  This starts with protecting places in America’s Arctic from dirty fuel development, like the Arctic Ocean and the Arctic Refuge.  Let’s educate our communities all over the country and spread our actions globally.  Our future generations depend on us. 

Thanks should be given to people who care about us and our planet.  On this particular point I want to say bravo to President Barak Obama for touching this issue for the first time in America's history.  Now is the time to push forward and help President Obama fulfill his promises to fight climate change in his second term in White House.

Good luck everyone in your efforts to make positive steps in this critical problem.

Thank you,

Idriss Sharief                                                        

Do your part to urge President Obama to fight climate change by stopping new dirty energy development in America’s Arctic.  Sign the petition today.

Photo: Idriss, middle, with others gathered in Chicago


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