Notice of Online Archive

  • This page is no longer being updated and remains online for informational and historical purposes only. The information is accurate as of the last page update.

    For questions about page contents, contact the Communications Division.

Lafayette Environmental Awareness and Protection (LEAP) will host a free screening of the one-hour documentary Oil on Ice 5:30 p.m. Thursday in the Oechsle Hall auditorium as part of a campaign to promote the purchase of wind energy by the College

A vegetarian, potluck-style dinner will be served. Those attending are encouraged but not required to bring a dish to pass, a fork, a plate, and a cup. LEAP coffee mugs will be available to purchase for $4 each.

Oil on Ice is a comprehensive documentary connecting the fate of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to decisions America makes about energy policy, transportation choices, and other seemingly unrelated matters. “Caught in the balance are the culture and livelihood of the Gwich’in people and the migratory wildlife in this fragile ecosystem,” according to the film’s web site.

The event will serve as a kickoff for LEAP’s wind energy campaign.

“Campus wind energy purchases are a growing trend in the Northeast, and especially in Pennsylvania,” says LEAP President Michael Werner ’07 (Neenah, Wis.), a double major in biology and geology & environmental geosciences. “Many communities look toward local institutions for environmental stewardship. LEAP believes Lafayette has the potential to lead the way in the Lehigh Valley. LEAP will be petitioning students and faculty throughout this semester and next. We will also bring in speakers to advocate the advantages of clean, renewable energy, and the long-term effects of campus wind purchases.”

LEAP was inspired to go forward with the campaign by the 3rd Annual Northeast Climate Conference Feb. 18-20 at the University of Vermont in Burlington, which seven members attended. They met an expert on the Alaskan oil reserves who appears in the film, as well as a native Alaskan whose community has been directly affected by current oil operations in Alaska. Other keynote speakers included Vermont Governor Jim Douglas; Burlington Mayor Peter Clavelle, who has been a key architect of his city’s progressive environmental policies; and Jon Fishman, former drummer of the band Phish.

“Those of us who attended the conference were somewhat awakened,” says Werner. “We were awakened not only to many of the environmental threats we now face, but also to the growing culture of environmentally responsible citizens from all corners of life who are rising to take on these threats.”

March 3 has been chosen as a nationwide day to screen Oil on Ice. More than 400 college campuses will do so and lead discussions about U.S. energy policy and the unintentional effects it has on national security, the environment, and public health.

“We’re hoping that Oil on Ice will dispel some of the myths about the amount of oil that is actually available in Alaska,” says Werner. “We also want viewers to come away with a greater appreciation of the delicate balance that really does exist between our activities and our environment. We often think that our individual actions have no environmental consequences, but that is simply not true. One of the great assets of our country is how much open space we have. Unlike many cultures, we live in a waste society that can always just dump our stuff elsewhere with little direct effect on our lives. However, the situation in Alaska reminds us how our shortsighted actions are hurting the environment and our people. Hopefully, the film will be the first installation in a series of events that promote wind energy as a viable alternative.”

Categorized in: Academic News