America's Plan to Drill for Oil in the Arctic

Under a new energy proposal from the Obama administration, the Atlantic and Pacific coasts would remain off-limits to further oil drilling schemes but the Arctic would be opened up.

What's the Latest Development?

Within the next few years, the U.S. plans to lease its territory near the Arctic to energy companies that will begin to explore and drill for oil. The proposal, released by the Department of the Interior, breaks with President Bush's plan to explore for wells off the Atlantic and Pacific coasts. "Most of the new leases would be offered in the Gulf of Mexico, which accounts for more than a quarter of the nation's domestic oil production." Plans to drill in the mid- and southern Atlantic coast were scrapped after the Deepwater Horizon spill.

What's the Big Idea?

The prospect of opening the Arctic for drilling disquiets environmentalists who see both a symptom of global warming, as melting ice opens new territory, and reckless environmental policy. The weather conditions in the Arctic are formidableextremely cold temperatures, rough seas and a dark winterwhich makes drilling far harder and cleaning an oil spill more than daunting. Athan Manuel of the Sierra Club said: "Spill prevention, containment and response systems are not equipped to work in challenging Arctic conditions."

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

Think you’re bad at math? You may suffer from ‘math trauma’

Even some teachers suffer from anxiety about math.

Image credit: Getty Images
Mind & Brain

I teach people how to teach math, and I've been working in this field for 30 years. Across those decades, I've met many people who suffer from varying degrees of math trauma – a form of debilitating mental shutdown when it comes to doing mathematics.

Keep reading Show less

A world map of Virgin Mary apparitions

She met mere mortals with and without the Vatican's approval.

Strange Maps
  • For centuries, the Virgin Mary has appeared to the faithful, requesting devotion and promising comfort.
  • These maps show the geography of Marian apparitions – the handful approved by the Vatican, and many others.
  • Historically, Europe is where most apparitions have been reported, but the U.S. is pretty fertile ground too.
Keep reading Show less

How KGB founder Iron Felix justified terror and mass executions

The legacy of Felix Dzerzhinsky, who led Soviet secret police in the "Red Terror," still confounds Russia.

Getty Images
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Felix Dzerzhinsky led the Cheka, Soviet Union's first secret police.
  • The Cheka was infamous for executing thousands during the Red Terror of 1918.
  • The Cheka later became the KGB, the spy organization where Russia's President Putin served for years.
Keep reading Show less