…or the canary in the coal mine. These phrases are interchangeable as of late.
As we watch the fearless and formidable predator, the largest bear on earth, face its downfall as a result of loss of natural habitat, we cannot help but imagine our ultimate fate if we continue to treat the environment as we do now. The polar regions are more sensitive to small changes in climate; in essence we are catching a glimpse into the future. What we do with this glimpse is very telling of our future.
The listing of the polar bear on the Endangered Species list by the Bush administration focused our attention on science, rather than politics (even if only for a minute). The listing of a creature under the ESA is done with regards to all relevant science, and therefore the administration must consdier the best available science to assist the bear’s recovery.
The cause of the bear’s decline is listed as loss of adequate sea ice habitat. However, the cause of the loss of habitat is not clearly defined in the listing. It describes rising temperatures, but does not connect this to greenhouse gases. How frustrating! This is an unfortunate case where politics has twisted science…
Hopefully only for the moment as the IPCC has clearly stated the cause of our global temperature increase. We must connect the science to save this species, and ultimately ourselves.