At the Youth Environmental Summit, 300 environmentally-concerned high school students vote to restrict oil drilling in the Alaskan national wilderness. Five of them then raise the money to travel to Alaska "in search for the truth." Accompanied by videographer Jeff Barrie, they interview residents of large towns and small indigenous villages, governmental employees, and environmentalists -- and are introduced to the complexity of the issue.
Most local residents support development because it provides jobs and strengthens the local economy. We hear the voice of an environmentalist who states that if "locals" in every region in America had had their way, not one of America's natural treasures such as the Grand Canyon, Yosemite, or Yellowstone would be in existence today. The visitors also see magnificent vistas and thousands of caribou and visit the Gwich'n people who are fighting to maintain their heritage and culture. They also explore the massive destruction of the land at Prudhom Bay, the center of the oil industry's operations.
This film provides a detailed and thought-provoking introduction to the heated issue of oil drilling in Alaska and its larger environmental implications. It also gives the viewer a first hand look at the human implications of global warming and helps us identify with populations who face the threat of becoming environmental refugees. We also hear the inspiring voices of those who are working constantly to minimize the impact of climate change, examine its causes, and encourage change.