John Galt

'Light tomorrow with today.' -- Elizabeth Barrett Browning --

Sunday, January 07, 2007

A Different Take

On this most of us agree: The planet is warming.

What we don't agree on is why. Some blame humans. Others understand, based on data amassed from centuries past, that it is a trend that is part of a cycle that has existed since the dawn of the universe.

Although this too has its doubters, some believe that the polar bear's Alaska habitat is being threatened by the warming of its environment. So President Bush has asked that something be done to protect it and has called for it to be placed on the "threatened" species list.

Seems fair. If polar ice is melting and that ice is an essential part of the bears' environs, it would be only right to protect it in every way we can.

What's not fair is to take that effort and from it draw outlandish conclusions and make totally unreasonable demands. Such as this:
Threatened by Warming
Polar bear as harbinger
Washington Post editorial


The Bush administration has done everything in its power to do as little as possible about climate change. Yet the reality of global warming has a way of intruding even on the most willfully heedless of politicians. Not even an administration dead set against mandatory curbs on carbon emissions can deny that the habitat of the polar bear, as Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne put it the other day, "may literally be melting." In response, the administration is proposing to list the polar bear as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act.


Such a listing would have symbolic and practical importance. Polar bears live most of their lives on sea ice, which is diminishing in an Arctic region warming much faster than more temperate regions of the globe. A formal designation, following a lengthy period of comment and analysis, would acknowledge that the law compels action at least to mitigate the effects of global climate change. What's more, it's hard to see how one could act to preserve polar bear habitat without taking steps to reduce fossil fuel consumption and slow the rate of carbon emissions into the atmosphere. (link) [my emphasis]
Hard? Not really. It's this simple: If, as some of us suspect, the globe is warming, and will soon be once again cooling, then it is prudent to protect the polar bear for the duration of that warming trend. And it is just as prudent to fight the urge to destroy our way of life out of fear or misjudgement.

It's that easy.