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 Endangered Species

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PostSubject: Endangered Species   Mon Feb 04, 2008 5:19 pm

How about those cute and cuddly polar bears, eh? A couple of weeks ago I read a most disturbing article on the web about how drilling in the Arctic is far more important than worrying about climate change and/or ruining the natural habitat of the polar bear. Sad

Here's part of what I read:

Drilling ourselves into a hole

by Kate Truesdell 1/18/08

I have something to admit about what happened while I was in Germany last summer: I had a European love affair. Far from being tall, dark and handsome, my crush was a dainty 110 pounds with razor-sharp teeth and a body covered in thick white fur. His name was Knut.

Knut is the famous polar bear born in captivity at the Berlin Zoo. Unlike the lack of interest Americans have in environmental issues, I was struck by how much passion and concern the German people had for Knut's well-being and protecting biodiversity. This was put in sharp contrast for me when I learned what was happening to Knut's bear cub compadres.

Polar bears have been having a bit of trouble lately. First of all, there's the whole global warming thing. Polar bear habitats have been severely cut back as Arctic ice melts, a result of global warming. The problem has become so concerning that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service was considering whether the species qualified to be protected by the Endangered Species Act. Originally, the organization was scheduled to hand down its decision this month.

Then, rather mysteriously, the organization announced it was postponing its conclusions. In a surely unrelated act, the U.S. Department of the Interior's Minerals Management Service announced at the beginning of the year that it would allow oil and gas exploration in Alaska to start at the beginning of next month. Drilling will take place in a 46,000 square-mile area off of the state's northeastern coast in the Chukchi Sea. This area just happens to be one of the two remaining polar bear habitats under U.S. jurisdiction.


Read the rest here: The Michigan Daily

I think it is going to take more than sweet and fuzzy Coke commercials, movies like The Golden Compass or zoo publicity on saving a few cubs. The polar bear's habitat is melting under their feet. They're starving and drowning. Sad


Here's a piece of an article linked to on the Perceval Press home page that tears at me.

Quote :
Images pop up regularly of scrawny, exhausted bears dragging themselves onto ice floes looking like bones covered in sodden white rugs. So do reports of struggling bears swimming wearily in open water. It's a shocking contrast to the pop-culture image: smiling animated bears guzzling Coca-Cola in commercials, fat lounging bears drawing crowds at zoos or fluffy Polyester stand-ins adorning children's bedrooms.

The article is titled :
U.S. close to decision on polar bears
Associated Press
A polar bear mother and her two cubs are shown in Wapusk National Park on the shore of Hudson Bay near Churchill, Manitoba, Canada in this Nov. 6, 2007 file photo.

It could be the first species to be listed as threatened with extinction primarily because of global warming.
By Kenneth R. Weiss, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

February 3, 2008

I don't know if I could handle seeing that image. Sad And how are the other species listed I wonder? What criteria puts them on an endangered species list? Is it only when it is in this list that people take the problem seriously? Suspect
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