Thursday, July 07, 2005

Meet the polar bear, a victim of climate change

AMERICAblog links to this important article in the Post. It seems that "polar bears are facing unprecedented environmental stress that will cause their numbers to plummet":

In a closed meeting here late last month, 40 members of the polar bear specialist group of the World Conservation Union concluded that the imposing white carnivores -- the world's largest bear -- should now be classified as a "vulnerable" species based on a likely 30 percent decline in their worldwide population over the next 35 to 50 years. There are now 20,000 to 25,000 polar bears across the Arctic.

"The principal cause of this decline is climatic warming and its consequent negative affects on the sea ice habitat of polar bears," according to a statement released after the meeting...

And what is the U.S. doing about it? Or, more specifically, what is Bush doing about it? Well, nothing:

The panel's conclusions became public this week as President Bush traveled to a Group of Eight meeting in Scotland, where U.S. officials have lobbied to prevent any specific targets for reducing greenhouse gases from being included in the meeting's final communique. The United States is the only member of the G-8 that has refused to ratify the Kyoto Protocol, which calls for reducing emissions that many scientists say are causing Earth to warm up.

Okay, it's not just Bush's fault, and it's not just an American problem. Needless to say, I want Canada to do more to address climate change, too. We know that those in Tuktoyaktuk are first-hand witnesses to climate change, and now we know that polar bears are actual victims of climate change. That's a sad enough story, especially to those of us who care deeply about other species on this planet, but don't think this is just about polar bears, or that somehow we stupid humans will get away with what we're doing without paying a severe price.

This is just the beginning.

And it'll only get worse unless we do something to reverse the environmental havoc we continue to wreak with reckless abandon and thoughtless complacency.

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  • I don't understand what's the big deal on climate change. The human species will always be able to adapt. Sure, there may be a few victims, but at least earth and a few other species will survive.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:23 AM  

  • Hmmm. Really? We may be able to adapt, but what kind of world will be adapting to? I don't share the apocalyptic pessimism of many in the environmental movement, but you seem to be ignoring the potential for disaster...

    By Blogger Michael J.W. Stickings, at 12:15 PM  

  • I'm afraid Agent Smith (The Matrix) was right. The Earth has a very bad case of humans. Consume, consume, consume and then move on. We are, with our current behaviour anyways, a virus. I was discussing something like this with a friend who argued that by the time the planet would become quite uncomfortable from pollution and what not he would be dead and he didn't plan on getting married so why should he care. I couldn't agree with him but couldnt really refute what he said either. However he did agree that animals don't deserve the shit they have put up with from us.

    I hope that humanity's sense of reason and morality looks isn't a recipe for disaster. A world with just animals would certainly be more healthy and harmonious in a sense but since there's no one there to appreciate it, it would still seem like a waste. I have a real love of animals and so thats my reason for trying to make decisions that make for a sustainable world. Not that I loathe humanity or feel that we are doomed or something like that but rather that I am moved by what I perceive as a real injustice (I think it helped that I grew up in a family that had 8 cats, a dog, a bird, some fish and a mother that took in any stray that came our way).

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:39 PM  

  • I think much of the environmentalist perspective sees the earth as itself a moral being with rights that we must protect. Frankly, I think that's crazy. The earth is the planet that we (people) inhabit. In my view, our responsibility is to future generations of humans not to the earth itself. People talk about humans polluting the earth as if we are some sort of alien being that came down to mess up this world. Humans are part of the world and human action is part of the earth. Obviously, we need to take better care of the world because that's all we have. But let's recognize that the human action that has led to pollution is as much a part of the world as the animals and plants.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:33 AM  

  • What in the hell did Anonymous write about people being able to adopt, yea no doubt, but how? By first being put through suffering and losing the lives of incident people!!!!!!! Dude climate changes affects the world, the planet in which we live in, it'll affect all of our future generations! It is definitely something that instead of F^%&$%^ Bush spending all the money, time and effort investing in why not put all that effort into the air he breaths in.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:55 PM  

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