From today’s newspaper:
OTTAWA -- Polar bears will be extinct within 25 years as global warming shrinks the ice cover they depend on for feeding and giving birth, says a renowned Australian scientist.Yipee! Capitalism is great! More cars! Less bears!
The Arctic ice cap is shrinking by eight per cent a year and polar bears are already showing signs of severe stress, says Tim Flannery, one of Australia's best-known scientists and author of the current best-seller The Weather Makers.
In the past, polar bears typically gave birth to triplets, but now they usually have just one cub, he said. And the weaning time has risen to 18 months from 12, while the average weight has declined 15 per cent.
"Polar bears are going to go with the ice cap. They're not going to actually last that long,'' Flannery told a news conference Friday.
Citing other warning signs, he said British Columbia's Fraser River has been fatally warm to salmon for five of the last 13 years, while West Coast forests are being decimated by an infestation of pine beetles able to survive milder winters.
"These are unheralded signs of change. They simply haven't been seen in the past. They persuade me and the vast majority of my colleagues that the debate on climate change is well and truly over. The science is solid and the effects are there for everyone to see.''
(See also An Anti-Capitalist Perspective On Global Warming)