As long as columnists and pundits refer to the proposed drilling location in ANWR as a “wilderness,” these same columnists will contribute to a lack of domestic energy.
We use particular words for particular reasons, and “wilderness” connotes trees and shrubbery and mountains, lakes and streams unspoiled by civilization.
All well and good, but the picture forming in the mind from “wilderness” bears absolutely no relation to the ANWR drilling site. As long as the mind’s eye of the reader is “wilderness,” the writer will have done a disservice to his/her cause of communicating reality.
The site in question is well under 500 acres of a bug-ridden ice-encrusted swamp. There are no trees, shrubs, lakes, streams, rivers, mountains with their snow-capped peaks — or anything else one associates with “wilderness.”
Those who have hiked through the place on, yes, Sierra Club-sponsored backpacking trips, have found the place to have no redeeming aesthetic value whatsoever. In fact, some who actually have been there have said, “Drill it.”
Until and unless those writing columns understand their word choice, something one normally associates with writers, the goal of energy independence will remain a distant glimmer at best.