Published March 30, 2016

Arctic stories

Draxler, environmental journalist, to tell ‘untold stories’ of region
What do salmon, natural gas, reindeer and wind turbines have in common? Breanna Draxler, an environmental journalist, will explore their connections during a talk at Monmouth College on April 7 at 7 p.m. in the Pattee Auditorium of the Center for Science and Business.

Titled “Move Over Polar Bears: Telling Untold Stories of the Arctic,” her talk is free and open to the public. It is sponsored by the College’s Environmental Studies and Sustainability Program.

“For people who live and work in the Arctic, this environment is not some faraway pristine place to be set aside and protected for polar bears,” said Draxler. “For them, it’s home. On a recent reporting trip to northern Norway, I saw the tension between human and environmental needs in both the fishing and energy sectors, as well as genuine and sometimes ingenious efforts to reconcile the two.”

Draxler says the salmon farming industry creates jobs and provides food, but it also pollutes fjord waters and poses genetic and health risks to wild fish populations. A local liquefied natural gas plant produces exponentially more energy than a neighboring hydroelectric plant and doesn’t interfere with reindeer herding like proposed wind turbines, but it’s still “a polluting fossil fuel.”

“My challenge in covering these issues, as an environmental journalist, is to track down and weigh different perspectives – however passionate or conflicted – in order to tell stories that matter,” Draxler concluded.
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