Let Them Dig Coal. (Correspondence)

By Gray, Roland F. | Monthly Review, September 2002 | Go to article overview

Let Them Dig Coal. (Correspondence)


Gray, Roland F., Monthly Review


I read with great personal interest Pete Seeger's review of Doris Haddock's trek to Point Hope, Alaska and her efforts to stop Edward Teller's plan to use an H-bomb explosion to create a harbor at Cape Lisbon (near Point Hope) which could be used to ship coal from nearby deposits. * In reality this was Teller's attempt to evade the then existing Test Ban Agreements with the Soviet Union.

As it happened I was school superintendent at Fort Yukon and attending a summer session at the University of Alaska at the time of Teller's visit there to persuade the academic community to support his efforts. Because of my experiences on the Arctic Slope as well as at Port Yukon, I was invited to attend a small seminar at which Teller spoke (in 1959 or 1960).

The biologists and most other scientists were strongly opposed to Teller's plan. They pointed out that the radioactive fallout from the explosions would kill the tundra vegetation thereby wiping out the caribou herds on which the Eskimos (Inuit) depended for food and clothing. …

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