I don’t read Outside magazine and neither, apparently, does the Weekly Standard crew. So, we both missed this:

THE SCRAPBOOK is not very big on the outdoors, but we do sometimes take vicarious pleasure in reading Outside magazine. We were more than a little astonished to come across an article headlined “The Case for Drilling ANWR” in the eco-glossy’s February issue.

Author David Masiel, who worked on barges before turning to writing, interviewed Washington wonks and Alaskan oil crews, as well as environmentalists and indigent tribesmen. What he’s produced is a model of one-man investigative journalism. He argues that carefully targeted oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge can be done safely. The Bush administration has made this argument in the name of energy independence; more important to Masiel is the economic benefit that would flow to the Inupiat villages of Kaktovik, on Alaska’s northern shore.

With special issues devoted to the nation’s water supply and in-depth coverage of tropical rainforests, no one’s about to accuse the crunchy-cute Outside magazine of being a patsy for Bush.

Which makes it all the more courageous of them to publish this piece.