“The weather really changed. Every year we have mild weather”, says Alaskan elder Eleanor Sam, as she plucks the feathers from a freshly killed goose. “When we were children we all wore thick fur clothing. We don’t wear clothes like that no more.” “That ocean out there should be four feet thick.”, says Clifford Weyiuoanna, a subsistence hunter who has seen his catches plummet. “This year the ocean was only one foot thick.” Stories like these are pouring in from all over America’s last great wilderness. And they’re backed by science: temperatures in Alaska are rising 10 times faster than the rest of the world. Set against this alarming example of climate change is a plan for further oil development along the Arctic Refuge – an issue that has divided the native Alaskan people. The Inupiat people want the jobs and money. The Gwitchin Indians think it will destroy the caribou reindeer on which they depend. The oil industry has brought great prosperity – every Alaskan citizen receives a yearly cheque from oil profits – but each barrel of oil sent south and burned comes back to Alaska as damage to the delicate balance of Arctic life. Baked Alaska visits the outermost US State where the benefits and disadvantages of burning fossil fuels stand in stark contrast.
Films in this series