Endangered Species Fight Against Global Warming
I melted at the sight on the cover of Newsweek that James brought in from the postbox. Readers here know I have a love affair with bears be they in the arctic, or the fields back home. Newsweek has a must read article on a major issue facing those of us who want to assist animals that are being harmed as a result of global warming. While polar bears have been the ‘poster animal’ for this cause recently, they are by no means the only species to suffer from the effects of our mishandling of the environment. The recent court victory on behalf of the polar bears, that forced the Bush Administration to admit that global warming was impacting this species, was brilliant work from environmental activists.
As Newsweek writer Jerry Adler writes this court decision is a big one.
…if global warming is threatening the polar bear’s habitat, the government could be forced to crack down on greenhouse-gas emissions, a step that environmentalists consider vital to the survival even of species that live in houses and would never dream of biting the head off a walrus.
Can’t you see big business wetting their pants? Tough! With all the ways that the Bush Administration has looked out for the financial interests of the companies, why not have activists look out for the animals? Someone needs to.
The conservatives and monied business interests would like to paint the ‘use’ of the polar bear as a way to extract some concessions from the Bush White House on global warming as a sinister political act. In fact, it was just good politics, and also might I add, it was also the moral thing to do. There is a duty that we have as stewards of the earth to insure that these species not be eliminated due to our greed. Need I remind anyone that Bush and Company have been almost alone in the world community to not recognize the impact of global warming. Shocking, isn’t it?
To wind up in federal court is the fate of much of American wildlife now. One might well ask whether the term “wildlife” has any meaning when the creature in question is tracked by satellite across its designated swath of critical habitat that’s been drawn up by negotiation among bureaucrats who wouldn’t recognize a flattened musk turtle if it landed in their soup. Even the majestic polar bear, roaming the far reaches of the Arctic, is exhibit A in lawsuits planned by conservation groups aimed at getting the government to act more aggressively to save it, and also in a suit announced by Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin to reverse the listing, on the ground it might hurt the state’s oil- and gas-dependent economy. (And another one by a big-game hunting group, protesting the ban on importing trophies.) The fate of the entire planet is a lot of responsibility to lay on just 20,000 bears, but those are the rules set by the only species whose opinion counts at the moment. Let’s hope it chooses wisely.