Wednesday, April 25th 2012, 6:28 AM EDT
Just last year, the World Wildlife Fund’s climate blog headlined that “Polar Bear Population in Canada’s Western Hudson Bay Unlikely to Survive Climate Disruption.” But it seems that since then this subpopulation, previously believed to be among the most threatened subpopulations due to global warming, has made a miraculous recovery. According to aerial surveys released by the Government of Nunavat this month, their numbers are at least 66% higher than expected. This region, which straddles Nunavat and Manitoba, is critical because it’s considered to be a bellwether for how well polar bears are faring elsewhere in the Arctic.
And to top off that happy news, recent space satellite images reveal that 36 colonies of Antarctic emperor penguins are twice larger than researchers previously thought. In fact four additional colonies that scientists hadn’t known about were discovered as well.
But don’t get complacent. Now, just when growing public immunity to feverish global warming hype is relieving hallucinatory sweats, another climatic crisis looms nigh. While some of it is still attributable to “climate change” along, with other human-caused dilemmas, there is a big difference. Yup, this one is much worse. I’m referring here to mass extinctions of species we don’t yet even know about…not to mention even some that we do. This constitutes nothing less than a planetary biodiversity crisis!
Alarm over biodiversity peril got a big boost a decade ago when Harvard ant biologist Dr. Edward O. Wilson estimated that 50,000 species are going extinct. When Environmental activist Tim Keating of Rainforest Relief was asked if he could name any of them he replied: “No we can’t, because we don’t know what those species are. But most of the species we’re talking about in those estimates are things like insects and even microorganisms.” Apparently they primarily inhabited the computer hard drive that generated his theoretical model.
Regarding Wilson’s predictions, U.K. scientist and professor emeritus of Biogeography at the University of London Philip Stott commented, “The Earth has gone through many periods of major extinctions, some much larger than even being contemplated today.” He went on to say “…the idea that we can keep all species that now exist would be anti-evolutionary, anti-nature and anti the very nature of the Earth in which we live.”
Adding fuel to the fire of extinction frenzy is a March 4, 2011 paper published in the journal Nature proclaiming “World’s Sixth Mass Extinction May be Underway: Study”. It states that “Over the past 540 million years, five mega-wipeouts of species have occurred through naturally-induced events. But the new threat is man-made, inflicted by habitation loss, over-hunting, over-fishing, the spread of germs and viruses and introduced species, and by climate change caused by fossil-fuel greenhouse gases.”
Greenpeace co-founder and ecologist Dr. Peter Moore believes that the paper is seriously flawed and should never have made it through the peer-review process. In an interview posted on Climate Depot he observed that “Since species extinction became a broad social concern, coinciding with the extinction of the passenger pigeon, we have done a pretty good job of preventing species extinctions.” He also believes that “The authors [of the journal Nature] study greatly underestimate the rate new species can evolve, especially when existing species are under stress,” noting: “The polar bear evolved during the glaciations previous to the last one, just 150,000 years ago.”
Again, let’s take another look at those climate-threatened polar bears …the ones adrift and stranded on melting ice caused by our coal-fired power plants and oil-fueled SUVs. A federal investigation into those claims has seriously questioned that. It seems a 2006 paper in the journal Polar Biology indicating that “drowning-related deaths of polar bears may increase in the future if the observed trend of regression of pack ice and/or longer open-water periods continues” lacked any real evidence.
That conclusion, which may have been largely responsible for getting polar bears listed as a “threatened species”, was based upon a sighting of four bear carcasses from an aircraft at an altitude of 1,500 feet over the Beaufort Sea that likely died during a storm. Biologist Charles Monnett, the lead scientist on the paper, has returned to work after being placed on administrative leave over the matter. Quite obviously, his own livelihood isn’t threatened. He presently manages $50 million in studies at the Interior Department’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement. What have been endangered, however, are any near-term prospects for Arctic drilling.
Then there’s the matter of those minnow-size “delta smelt” that were determined to be endangered by agricultural and urban fresh water diversions from California’s San Joaquin and Sacramento Rivers into their briny eastern marsh habitats. Based upon their listing by the California Fish and Game Commission as an endangered species, water channeled to the Central Valley was cut by up to 90%. This led to 40% unemployment in the San Joaquin Valley, turning that major food basket into an empty dust bowl.
Click source to read FULL report by Larry Bell with links