What a difference a 100 years makes. Almost within the living memory of thousands, the culture has gone from praising the exploitation of previously unusable land to fretting that someone might be clever enough to do so.
That attitude is nowhere better represented than in the NRDC's Transition to Green recommendations for the incoming Administration.
The new Administration should take a precautionary approach to any new industrial activities in the Arctic, including pursuing natural gas hydrates or allowing new oil and gas leasing or activities offshore or in priority conservation areas onshore, until a thorough scientific assessment is completed and a comprehensive plan in place.That "assessment" — to be carried out by you can guess what type of investigators — you can bet would take 10 generations and at the end recommend that business leave things entirely alone. The "comprehensive plan" would consist solely of one sentence: let no one do anything to extract any natural resources in the Arctic.
No facts discovered that suggested it could be done safely in an 'environmentally benign' manner would matter to them in the least. Proof? The continuing opposition to development of both Alaska's oil fields and areas far off the coast of Louisiana. Dozens more examples could easily be cited. There's simply no amount of data that will convince them.
So, as a result (since Obama and the majority of Congress side with the viros), promising fields of natural gas hydrates will lay fallow until their anti-human philosophy is finally put to rest. That's toxic waste that should definitely be left deep underground.