From this perspective, there is need to conserve the environment since it has sustained long-term benefits to the society.
It is indisputable that the environment has had positive economic contribution to the economy. By sustaining the environment, the government benefits from tourism, which is a major economic contributor (Cato, 2011). Besides, the government can exploit natural resources from the environment, which will contribute to employment and foreign income (Dupler, 2006). Therefore, it remains a dilemma whether the government should focus on environmental conservation or economic development that has short-term drawbacks. When such a situation arises, there is need to conserve the environment as it has long-term benefits rather than exploit the land, which would have short-lived benefits.
In situations where there are natural resources within a national park system, such as in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in North East Alaska, there arises the need to evaluate the costs and benefits of either course of action. First, given the increasing cost of oil, exploiting the reservoir will attract high income from exporting oil besides providing employment (ORourke & Sarah, 2003). However, income from tourism, however small, will be lost and the land may be destroyed permanently. Others cost will include soil and air pollution, which have long-term impacts on land and the environment. Besides, on depletion of the non-renewable oil resource, the land will be left to waste (Wiese et al., 2001). From this viewpoint, drilling oil will have long-term costs on the environment and hence this project should be shunned to protect the environment.
In conclusion, the government should refrain from drilling oil from the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in North East Alaska. While drilling oil will give the country an economic boost and provide employment, it will lead to