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Shell’s Arctic-bound drilling rig would most aptly be named The Pequod after the ill-famed whaling ship in Herman Melville’s novel “Moby Dick” [“Enticing Arctic oil patch is slippery game of risk,” Opinion, May 21]. Besides the danger both vessels represent to whales and humankind, Shell’s pursuit of oil under the Arctic ice mirrors Captain Ahab’s hunt of the white whale: visionary obsessiveness run amok. Refusing to heed the consequences, Ahab would not cease and Shell will not rest until the last barrel is gouged from the Earth’s core.

No sane person proposes that every last square inch of the planet be made to reflect our image. Some small measure left to reflect the endowment of our Creator furnishes ballast, physical and spiritual, for our course.

If we will choose that only one small spot on the planet be preserved to be least marked upon by us, should that not be the Arctic? And if there is only one nation rich enough to forgo a few shekels in hand and so honor the evolutionary process and the future, is that not the United States?

Instead, propriety and logic are waived while Shell drags us into a venture parroting Ahab’s madness.

Scott Goddard, Tacoma