Magazine | July 6, 2015, Issue

Letters

Cold Comfort

Ian Tuttle’s article on a proposed road through congressionally designated wilderness in Alaska (“Deadly Environmentalism,” June 22) omitted several salient facts.

While people on both sides of the issue respect the emergency-transportation concerns of the residents of King Cove, Alaska, a road through Izembek National Wildlife Refuge’s wilderness is no solution. It is estimated that driving to the community of Cold Bay would take nearly two hours, if the route were passable. The severe weather Tuttle describes — thick fog, lashing rain, driving snow — would often render the road useless.

By comparison, planes, helicopters, and a hovercraft that was purchased with millions of federal tax dollars can transport people much more quickly. The hover­craft transported a full ambulance and crew to Cold Bay in about 20 minutes. Former Aleutians East Borough mayor Stanley Mack once called it “a life-saving machine.” It successfully performed 32 medical evacuations from King Cove until the borough decided it was too expensive to operate.

Dr. Pete Mjos, former Eastern Aleutian medical director for the U.S. Public Health Service, has told the U.S. Department of the Interior that attempting to drive the road during extreme weather would jeopardize lives.

Supporters of the road proposal routinely cite long-ago aviation accidents as justification for a land route, but the fact remains that no one has died during a medical evacuation from King Cove during the past quarter century.

The U.S. Department of the Interior has repeatedly and exhaustively studied the road idea and consistently declined to approve it. Let us hope that all sides can move forward with finding a solution that solves King Cove’s emergency-transport needs while keeping our national wildlife refuge intact.

Nicole Whittington-Evans

Alaska Regional Director

The Wilderness Society

Ian Tuttle responds: I appreciate the work that the Wilderness Society and similar organizations do, but Ms. Whittington-Evans’s response pointedly avoids the indisputable conclusion: that a road is not only the best, but the sole feasible option for getting injured or ill King Cove residents quickly to Cold Bay’s all-weather airport. Ms. Whittington-Evans recommends aircraft — when the unreliability of air travel is precisely the problem. She recommends, too, the hovercraft that operated briefly between King Cove and Cold Bay — despite the fact that, as I wrote, it failed to operate 30 percent of the time and ultimately was too expensive to operate. She says the road will take two hours to travel — but doesn’t mention that it would cut the average bad-weather travel time by two-thirds.

Ms. Whittington-Evans recommends solutions that have been shown to be infeasible, and argues against the sole remaining option. I am sympathetic to desires to protect flora and fauna, but despite her words about “finding a solution,” Ms. Whittington-Evans has none to offer.

Members of the National Review editorial and operational teams are included under the umbrella “NR Staff.”

In This Issue

Articles

Politics & Policy

Judging Lee-Rubio

Of the top three candidates for the Republican presidential nomination, judging from the RealClearPolitics average of national polls, only one has released a detailed tax plan: Marco Rubio, the senator ...
Politics & Policy

Not Me

Right now, two-thirds of all Americans own a smartphone. By the end of 2016, there will be 2 billion smartphones in use worldwide. That means 2 billion smartphone cameras in constant ...

Features

Politics & Policy

The Campus-Rape Lie

There is a lie that is sweeping American higher education — a lie so compelling that it is motivating the systematic violation of constitutional rights, transforming the most intimate of ...

Books, Arts & Manners

Politics & Policy

¿Se Habla Coulter?

Ann Coulter is bold, brash, provocative, talented, fearless, witty, and outrageous. If she were on the left, she’d be lionized. (Lionessized?) She’d be widely regarded as an adornment to society. ...
Politics & Policy

The Way We Teach Today

‘The effect of Dewey’s philosophy on the design of curricular systems was devastating,” Richard Hofstadter wrote over 50 years ago in his Pulitzer Prize–winning book Anti-Intellectualism in American Life. Mark ...

Sections

Politics & Policy

Letters

Cold Comfort Ian Tuttle’s article on a proposed road through congressionally designated wilderness in Alaska (“Deadly Environmentalism,” June 22) omitted several salient facts. While people on both sides of the issue respect ...
Politics & Policy

The Week

‐ Bruce Jenner is female, Rachel Dolezal is black, and Donald Trump is a presidential contender. ‐ Just because she’s an uninspiring figure doesn’t mean she can’t win. Hillary Clinton gave ...
Athwart

She Said She Said

Hillary’s speeches are like Roman candles that blurp out wet clods of sawdust — a flash, perhaps, but no sparkle, no light. In her Roosevelt Island rebooted reset retooled relaunch, ...
The Long View

@donaldjtrump­potus

From the Twitter feed of @donaldjtrump­potus The USA turnaround starts tomorrow as soon as I take the oath of office and attend to a few personal duties such as negotiating a ...
Politics & Policy

Poetry

SEX IN THE ENGLISH GARDEN Light, feathery Astilbe Sways gently in the breeze, Afraid she always will be Faint fluff beneath the trees Concealing dear Sweet William, Who rings each foxglove’s bell Mid coreopsis ruffles, White lily, like ...
Happy Warrior

Not Avid for Ovid

Not long ago, four members of the Columbia University Multicultural Affairs Advisory Board wrote a letter of complaint to the university alleging that the study of classic works of Western ...

Most Popular

Politics & Policy

Elizabeth Warren Is Not Honest

If you want to run for office, political consultants will hammer away at one point: Tell stories. People respond to stories. We’ve been a story-telling species since our fur-clad ancestors gathered around campfires. Don’t cite statistics. No one can remember statistics. Make it human. Make it relatable. ... Read More
National Review

Farewell

Today is my last day at National Review. It's an incredibly bittersweet moment. While I've only worked full-time since May, 2015, I've contributed posts and pieces for over fifteen years. NR was the first national platform to publish my work, and now -- thousands of posts and more than a million words later -- I ... Read More
Economy & Business

Andrew Yang, Snake Oil Salesman

Andrew Yang, the tech entrepreneur and gadfly, has definitely cleared the bar for a successful cause candidate. Not only has he exceeded expectations for his polling and fundraising, not only has he developed a cult following, not only has he got people talking about his signature idea, the universal basic ... Read More
Culture

Feminists Have Turned on Pornography

Since the sexual revolution of the 1960s, the feminist movement has sought to condemn traditional sexual ethics as repressive, misogynistic, and intolerant. As the 2010s come to a close, it might be fair to say that mainstream culture has reached the logical endpoint of this philosophy. Whereas older Americans ... Read More
White House

The Impeachment Defense That Doesn’t Work

If we’ve learned anything from the last couple of weeks, it’s that the “perfect phone call” defense of Trump and Ukraine doesn’t work. As Andy and I discussed on his podcast this week, the “perfect” defense allows the Democrats to score easy points by establishing that people in the administration ... Read More
Elections

Democrats Think They Can Win without You

A  few days ago, Ericka Anderson, an old friend of National Review, popped up in the pages of the New York Times lamenting that “the Democratic presidential field neglects abundant pools of potential Democrat converts, leaving persuadable audiences — like independents and Trump-averse, anti-abortion ... Read More