Saturday, March 10, 2007

Save the polar bears

I have nothing against polar bears and I am all in favor of protection of endangered species, including polar bears, especially if their habitats are endangered. If we have solid science that shows that their population is decreasing and in serious danger of being on its way to zero, by all means polar bears should be "listed." I'll accept that their natural habitat may be dwindling and contributing to the population decline, assuming there is solid science to back up those assertions. Where I have difficulty, is the huge leap from the local environment of polar bears to global climate or so-called "global warming" and so-called "climate change." Once again, it should be a matter of solid, sensible science, and not politics, social engineering, passion, or rhetoric, or mere opinion.

I think we can and should protect polar bears based evidence of local changes to their habitats, independent of whether global factors are causing the local changes. We don't need to argue or demonstrate global factors to agree on local conditions. For this reason, I am deeply skeptical of any perceived "need" to try to link the plight of polar bears to so-called global warming and climate change.

In short, we do not need to debate and settle discussion of global climate issues to go forward and grant protection to polar bears.

This all comes up as we read an article in The New York Times by Andrew Revkin entitled "Memos Tell Officials How to Discuss Climate" and an article in The New York Times by Felicity Barringer entitled "Protocol Is Cited in Limiting Scientists' Talks on Climate" concerning an minor uproar over whether the Bush administration was once again trying to limit discussions of government scientists on the topics of greenhouse gases, global warming, and climate change. Maybe the memos in question were a little heavy-handed, but in the given context, it wasn't clear that the relevant people had any expertise outside of the immediate purposes of their trips. I would suggest that there is nothing wrong with reminding government employees to restrict their public statements to their respective areas of expertise.

In any case, the good news is that the polar bears will be protected, assuming the relevant science demonstrates the threat of a dwindling population.

-- Jack Krupansky


At 1:05 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here is a url that you can send to friends and family that will direct them to the video "The Great Global Warming Swindle".

For more information on the documentary you can go here.


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