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In 40 years, polar bears will be aspiring to stay alive.

Okay, I wish I could take credit for that catchy title, but it actually came from Kady O’Malley and Susan Riley on Saturday’s CBC. Unfortunately, it’s a very serious topic behind the quick wit of poking fun at APEC’s “aspirational goals”. This is what’s going to be the result if groups like APEC dont get serious, and/or people allow leaders like Harper, Bush and Howard to make no meaningful cuts to GHG emissions:

The Arctic ice cap has collapsed at an unprecedented rate this summer and levels of sea ice in the region now stand at a record low, scientists said last night. Experts said they were “stunned” by the loss of ice, with an area almost twice as big as Britain disappearing in the last week alone. So much ice has melted this summer that the north-west passage across the top of Canada is fully navigable, and observers say the north-east passage along Russia’s Arctic coast could open later this month. If the increased rate of melting continues, the summertime Arctic could be totally free of ice by 2030.

This of course has major catastrophic consequences to the indigenous animal population – the polar bear being the main species to bear the brunt of man’s inaction if it continues to occur:

Two-thirds of the world’s polar bears will disappear by 2050, even under moderate projections for shrinking summer sea ice caused by greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, government scientists reported on Friday.

And by the way, to those detractors who claim you can’t use computer models and projection to accurately forecase climate change, in this case you’re right, but in the opposite direction: the Arctic icemelt rate is accelerating FASTER THEN THE MODELS HAVE PREDICTED.

But as always, there is still a chance to stop this, and not throw up our hands:

All of this is indeed horrifying, but it is not cause for despair, but rather a call to action. The good news is that there is still time to save the Arctic, though the window is closing. Our hope lies in a rapid response including both deep and immediate carbon dioxide reductions, as well as a full-court press on other greenhouse pollutants such as methane.

The way to do that is to remove out of power those governments who refuse to take the necessary steps to combat climate change with real mandated targets, real cuts, real caps. We don’t just want to “aspire” to meet them, for the sake of the planet, we MUST meet them, and the way to do that is through legislated mandated cuts, because everyone knows Big Oil and other industries will not do it on their own – why would they voluntarily do something to cut into their millions and billions of profit margin?

If we do not, the planet’s health or lack therof will be clearly on the heads of Harper, Bush and those people who support them, who cry foul at so-called “socialist schemes” to deprive them of making as much profit and money as possible.


2 comments to In 40 years, polar bears will be aspiring to stay alive.

  • Scarey Conservative

    So, how did the polar bears survive the medievial warm period?

  • I think 40 years is optimistic.  Ice is melting faster than was thought, so now all has to be re-calculated.  Also, it is difficult to predict how much more emissions will increase (rate of industrial development in other countries, increase in oil field production, Bush giving the go-ahead on more coal mining…)  Change one element, and the whole has to be re-calculated.  I've spoken with a couple of scientists who firmly believe we have passed the "tipping point" and while we need to reduce emissions, we also need to look at how we are going to survive in a world whose climate is drastically different.

    Pisses me off, how so much talk goes on, but little is done, and plans are for 2020, average.  Look at what the last decade brought, and think how much more damage willoccur if we don't take serious action for another decade.

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