Been reading this: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/magazine/7175652.stm and looking at various other polar bears are doomed related stuff. And, as always OMR has an opinion. Probably ill informed and possibly very wrong, but an opinion never the less.
Global warming is here. We have left it to late. The worlds largest polluter, the USA, still point blank refuses to reduce its emissions. Fortunately its moronic and evil president leaves office soon. Hopefully the next incumbent will actually give a damn about the planets future. But we all suspect it will be too little too late. The vast industrial boom in China and India continues apace. You’ve had your industrial revolutions they cry (with some justification) why shouldn’t we have ours? You want them to be eco friendly give us the technology. Give us the funding. And of course we won’t. The UK government has dithered and procrastinated on its energy policy for ten years. Nuclear? Severn Barrage? Carbon Capture? Now we face a massive & imminent energy shortfall, so it appears that against huge environmental opposition were going to build a big shiny new coal fired power station in Kent and massively increase our Carbon footprint. Sea levels will rise. The arctic ice will melt.
So were going to lose some species. Most noticeably big mammals. The tiger, despite huge conservation projects, will be virtually extinct in the wild in 20 years. (more human pressure than global warming, but still gone in 20 years) Fortunately, the Tiger adapts well to captivity. There is a very successful world captive breeding program. There will still be tigers in 50 years. We can look at our grandchildren and say ‘ok, we fucked up your planet. But you can fix it. You can make it right. You can reintroduce tigers into the wild’. There is still hope.
Not so the polar bear. One of the most depressing and disturbing sites of my life was a polar bear in Rome zoo. It paced in a small circle and tossed its head. Paced and tossed. Over and over. Clearly nuts. Polar bears are huge, vicious and solitary. They need the vast spaces of the arctic. There is no realistic possibility of a successful captive breeding program that leaves a vaguely sane polar bear population available to the future.
Now, don’t get me wrong. Its not all doom and gloom. We are an incredible species. Public opinion is turning. I firmly believe we can and will sort out global warming. I have huge hopes. Its just that its going to get worse before it gets better. A lot worse. And there’s going to be casualties.
Where does that leave the polar bear? Well they are the top of the food chain. Their extinction doesn’t have the massive implications for the planet that, say, the extinction of frogs has. And there really appears to be no realistic and humane way to save them. So, it hurts me enormously to say this. But perhaps we just have to let them go.
And pray our grandchildren forgive us.