Thursday 9 June 2011
Highlights: Anchorage Museum
Early start with bus pickup at 7 am, which while becoming common is leaving me tried by the middle of the day. Still this was an easy travel day today with a 8 hour trip back to Anchorage including a short stop at Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge.
The Anchorage Museum was the highlight of the day. The indigenous people exhibit was fascinating and the history of Alaska from pre-Russian, Russian, the USA purchase and finally Alaska becoming a State was very insightful.
However the history on oil development has the most noteworthy exhibit for the wrong reasons. First off the exhibit was funded by the oil industry. Secondarily it mostly praised the great benefits the oil industry brings and lastly it down played the Exxon Valdez 1989 oil spill and talked about the heavily regulation.
Now I’ll admit the information on how the The Trans Alaska Pipeline was constructed and its history was very informative, but the rest of the ‘exhibit’ was so bias it was hard to believe. There was no mention of the species that have still not recovered. How a Museum can sell its soul like this is hard to believe, but I’ve noticed that there is a very pro-oil feeling in this state. I suppose you can understand it when up to 80% of government revenue is from oil and that residents actually get a cheque each year just for living here, due to oil taxes.
It’s a shame as the State is so beautiful. I’m not saying I have the answers but believing that a corporation can do no wrong almost always leads to disasters. The government, educators and museums shouldn’t just be focusing on the good and ignore the risks they need some balance. I worry about a future disaster if there is no effective oversight.