The Willow Project.

The Willow Project. A name passed around all the corners of the internet. Although almost anyone with internet access has heard of it, not too many people actually know what this project is. Misinformation has spread like wildfire since its first mention. People saying that it was canceled, or it was shut down, or that it was already underway, or that if a petition got enough signatures they could shut it down for good. The truth got crossed and stepped on and manipulated. Most people have already forgotten just how dangerous this was, and what the project supposedly means for humans.

So what really is the Willow Project? According to, “ConocoPhillips is a Houston-based energy company that has been exploring and drilling for oil in Alaska for years. The company is the only one that currently has oil drilling operations in Alaska’s National Petroleum Reserve, though its two operating projects are smaller than Willow would be.” The project was initially proposed to the Trump Administration in 2020. At first they were approved for five new drills, but the Biden Administration lowered it to three. The Biden Administration said they did their best, but the documents allowing ConocoPhillips to drill were solid and legal. This means that Biden’s promise to end oil drilling on public land has been broken. Ultimately, the green light was given, and construction has begun.

ConocoPhillips’ massive oil and gas project presents a real threat to the wildlife, ecosystems, and communities of Arctic Alaska…If they’re allowed to break ground, the Willow project would be a disaster for the climate, the effects of which would be felt for decades.”

— Mike Scott of the Sierra Club, one of the complainants in the suit

What does this mean for humans? Nothing good. As the drilling is to take place on public land, it will be very close to where people live. Although they will be compensated, it is not enough. A few native villages live very near the drilling sites. Nuiqsut will be the closest. They will suffer the most from health and environmental impacts. The primary concern is pollution. The natives who live nearby are at quite a risk of facing the contaminated air, as well as any and all wildlife nearby.

Mike Scott of the Sierra Club, a nonprofit organization supporting wildlife, says, “If they’re allowed to break ground, the Willow project would be a disaster for the climate, the effects of which would be felt for decades.” This is not an exaggeration. There will be 329 million metric tons of carbon emissions added to the atmosphere across the next 30 years.

Willow is being called the carbon bomb. Animals will be forced to move out of the drilling areas, and likely very far. Their migration habits will be affected. Plants will be killed underground as the soil is drilled and disrupted. The roads humans built can suffocate plants in alkaline dust.

There is practically nothing we can do to stop this. Some lawsuits have been filed, but nothing has stuck. ConocoPhillips has already begun drilling. The carbon emissions they release will be equivalent to half a million homes. It will be almost impossible to recover from this without incredibly drastic measures, and they won’t be implemented.

Humanity is on a very short timer and we seem very intent on pushing it forward.