Well, it’s either a very sad or happy day for the polar bears…I can’t decide which. Today, the US Government has decided that the polar bear species should be protected as a threatened species. The problem is the decline in Artic sea ice from global warming. According to World Wildlife Fund, “If current warming trends continue, they may disappear within 100 years.” That would mean my great-grandchildren wouldn’t know what these elegant and beautiful animals would look like in the wild.
Climate change is destroying polar bear habitat, putting the species at risk of extinction. Sea ice, which polar bears depend on for hunting animals, melted to record low levels last summer. The projection for ice melting this summer is expected to be “extreme” also. Geoffrey York, coordinator of WWF’s Polar Bear Conservation Program says “Based on the best available science, if current sea ice trends continue, two-thirds of the world’s polar bears will be lost by 2050. We should be taking every action possible to reduce stresses on polar bears, and we believe that oil and gas activities pose formidable risks to the Arctic sea ice ecosystem and the polar bears that inhabit it.”
I find eye-opening information like the above quote, a great platform for discussions with my kids. I showed Angelo some polar bear pictures from the web and explained what was happening with the bears. He had two comments. “I KNEW Francesco should have saved the polar bears at his birthday party!” (Francesco’s party benefitted the tigers from friends bringing a donation in lieu of gifts.) And his other comment “Well, thank goodness Sophie is saving them if we can’t!” (It’s timely, but the boys are attending a birthday partythis weekend, where the little girl decided she wanted to help the polar bears rather than receive presents.) If only children ruled the world… Countries would be on time-outs – rather than at war and the preservation of animals would be more important than the excessive importance of oil and gas!