Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Endangering the Endangered

Before he leaves office, GW feels compelled to pull the temple down around him. Now comes his plan to gut the Endangered Species Act by removing any oversight from scientists and placing it in the hands of the would-be endangerers. My familial endangered-species expert doesn't think it'll fly, but comments that their evil knows no bounds. Their reason seems to be that too many reviewers are using global warming as an excuse to protect animals -gasp-.
"It is important to use our time and resources to protect the most vulnerable species. It is not possible to draw a link between greenhouse gas emissions and distant observations of impacts on species."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

In diametric opposition, I give you a) the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (www.ipcc.ch), where hundreds if not thousands of scientists state that it can be done; b) the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (http://www.millenniumassessment.org/en/index.aspx), where ditto; and c) just one of many such papers, "Ecological and Evolutionary Responses to Recent
Climate Change" by Camille Parmesan at Annu. Rev. Ecol. Evol. Syst. 2006. 37:637–69.

Her abstract says: "Ecological changes in the phenology and distribution of plants and
animals are occurring in all well-studied marine, freshwater, and
terrestrial groups. These observed changes are heavily biased in the
directions predicted from global warming and have been linked to
local or regional climate change through correlations between climate and biological variation, field and laboratory experiments, and physiological research. Range-restricted species, particularly polar and mountaintop species, show severe range contractions and have been the first groups in which entire species have gone extinct due to recent climate change. Tropical coral reefs and amphibians have been most negatively affected. Predator-prey and plant-insect interactions have been disrupted when interacting species have responded differently to warming. Evolutionary adaptations to warmer conditions have occurred in the interiors of species’ ranges, and resource use and dispersal have evolved rapidly at expanding range margins. Observed genetic shifts modulate local effects of climate change, but there is little evidence that they will mitigate negative effects at the species level."