Bush Belittles Global Warming As A Threat To Animals

November 26, 2008 |

The Bush administration is finalizing changes to the Endangered Species Act (ESA) that could make sure that federal agencies wouldn’t have to take global warming into consideration when evaluating risks to plants and animals. The new rule would block federal officials from having to consider a carbon cap.

The main purpose of this change is to eliminate the long-held provision that required independent scientific review to be performed by either the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service or the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration.

The rule states: “Federal agencies are not required to consult on an action when . . . the effects of such action are manifested only through global processes and (i) cannot be reliably predicted or measured at the local scale, or (ii) would result at most in an extremely small, insignificant local impact, or (iii) are such that the potential risk of harm to species or habitat are remote.”

Read my original post on Bush’s midnight changes.

Yet animals worldwide are facing threats from global warming. An article from Scientific American lists polar animals that are imperiled by global warming. Among those listed are thin-shelled shellfish, Adeile penguins, walruses, Artic sea ducks, polar hears, narwhals and hooded seals. Also at risk are amphipods, diatoms and krill, and all those higher in the food chain that rely on them.

“In a very short amount of time, you’re going to drastically rearrange that [polar] ecosystem,” says Brendan Kelly, a marine biologist at the University of Alaska Southeast in Juneau. “There will be some biological community there, it just won’t look like anything like what’s been there.”

A report by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) found that half to three-quarters of major Antarctic penguin colonies will likely experience significant decline or disappearance due to climate chance.

“From polar bears in the Arctic to penguins in the Antarctic, climate change is having a devastating impact on animals around the world,” said Dr. Sybille Klenzendorf, managing director of species conservation for WWF. “Penguin colonies on Antarctica have already experienced sharp declines over the past half century as rising temperatures have diminished sea ice conditions and the penguins’ access to food.”

The latest critter found to be a victim of global warming is the koala. Koalas are likely to die in greater numbers due to new dangers they have to face as a result of climate change- more intense bushfires, increasing temperatures and drought, and drop in nutrient levels of food. Rising greenhouse gas concentrations increase toxins and lower nutrients in eucalyptus leaves. Koalas will have to travel further to forage, and travel by ground, where they are more likely to fall victims of dogs and cars.

With all this adding up….how can we not take global warming into account when dealing with endangered species???

Read the full entry

3 Responses to Bush Belittles Global Warming As A Threat To Animals

  1. coglanglab December 2, 2008 at 6:04 am #

    and welcome to scienceblog. I hope to be reading more posts in the future.

    Please try my web-based experiments

  2. Anonymous December 1, 2008 at 5:05 am #

    What human greediness has to do with the colossal failure of many leaders within the family of humanity to address humanely, reasonably and sensibly the looming, already visible global challenges that are posed by destabilizing, human-driven changes to Earth’s environment……

    The great majority of the human community appear to be witnesses to the triumph of avarice that seems to be directly derived from the idolatry of poisonous fruits of the “tree of greed” by many too many leaders.

    Perhaps it is time for the same ol’ business-as-usual, pin-stripe-suited leaders, the ones who adamantly espouse and religiously exemplify an apostate’s creed of greed, to be replaced by new leadership.

    Too many leaders of this patently unsustainable culture of avarice evidently define the culture’s efficacy by the endless accumulation of material possessions; by the unbounded acquisition of more money, money, money, money; by recklessly overconsuming and relentlessly hoarding limited resources. They demonstrably declare to all the world that greed is good.

    Are we not members of a culture that worships consumerism? Are the products of greed nothing more or less than the objects of our idolatry?

    Are the pin-striped suits, fleet of cars, chauffeurs, private jets, McMansions, distant hideaways, secret handshakes and exclusive clubs “signatures” of success in a culture promoted by the ‘goodness’ of greed?

    Consider for a moment what perversity greed has wrought.

    Steven Earl Salmony
    AWAREness Campaign on The Human Population,
    established 2001

  3. Anonymous November 26, 2008 at 12:19 pm #

    Too bad we can’t put folks in the Bush Administration on floating icebergs…

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