We’re opening an exhibit in June about the impact of global warming on polar bears in Alaska – and with the status of the polar bear under the Endangered Species Act currently under review by the federal government, we’ve been keeping a close eye on the debate raging between climatologists, environmentalists, wildlife scientists, land developers, Alaskan residents, and government officials over its protection.
Some parties expect the protection of polar bears to do for global warming awareness and reform what the endangered status of the bald eagle did for pesticides reform, while others think it will wrongfully cripple Alaskan development. This issue is loaded with conflicting priorities and expectations, summed up nicely in NPR’s brief report by Elizabeth Arnold today. Take a listen to this crash course in the debate: “Polar Bear Isn’t Endangered.”
Photo (c) Steven Kazlowski,www.lefteyepro.com. On view in The Last Polar Bear: Facing the Truth of a Warming World, opens June 8, 2008 at the Burke Museum.