October 22nd marked the final day for comments on a proposal to list the polar bear as “threatened” under the Endangered Species Act. Federal officials will now review the hundreds of thousands of comments on the proposal with a decision expected in January.
In addition, Capitol Hill could finally lend a hand to polar bears and other wildlife that are facing a grim future due to global warming. Last month, the Global Warming Wildlife Survival Act — crucial legislation already passed in the House — was introduced in the Senate as Senate Bill 2204.
The Bill includes:
- new national strategies to address the impact of global warming on wildlife and oceans;
- solid scientific research to inform the strategies development and implementation over time, including a special study toassess global warming’s impacts on endangered species; and,
- a cooperative long-term effort among federal, state, tribal, and private landowners to implement those strategies.
The House of Representatives has already passed its own version of the Global Warming Wildlife Survival Act as part of its overall energy bill – H.R. 3221. The House vote should surprise no one, but here it is just in case there is a doubt as to where our Representatives stand:
1st District – Visclosky (D) – Aye
2nd District – Donnelly (D) – Aye
3rd District – Souder (R) – Nay
4th District – Buyer (R) – Nay
5th District – Burton (R) – Nay
6th District – Pence (R) – Nay
7th District – Carson (D) – Aye
8th District – Ellsworth (D) – Aye
9th District – Hill (D) – Aye
The top picture, taken in 1928, is of the Upsala Glacier, which is a part of the South American Andes in Argentina. The bottom picture is of the same glacier in 2004. The Upsala Glacier is retreating by at least 180 ft. per year.
Take a moment to contact your senators and urge them to support the Senate Bill. Once a species is exterminated – whether through human action or natural consequences – it is gone. Imagine a world without wild animals. I can’t even to begin to think of it, and it takes so little from us as fellow occupants of this planet to take action.