Year 2, Month 8, Day 7: Water Wings. That’ll Help.

The Long Island Press for July 19 runs an article on polar bears and their increasingly difficult lives:

A new study reports that polar bear cubs have a higher mortality rate as their icy habitat melts. As their habitat melts away at faster rates than before polar bear cubs alongside their mothers are forced to make longer trips swimming across the icy waters, leading to an increase in death rates.

According to Reuters, the new study shows that these long distance swimming trips pose great risks to the survival of polar bear cubs. Polar bears are not aquatic animals. In fact, the majority of their lives are spent on ice or land–where they hunt, feed, and give birth.

I sure am glad I’m not a polar bear, facing eventual extinction. Oh, wait…

Sent July 21:

As the poster children for Arctic ice loss, the world’s polar bears get quite a bit of media attention. No wonder: they’re photogenic, their plight is arresting, and they are sufficiently distant from our day-to-day lives that news about them constitutes a distraction of sorts. But in our sympathy over bear cubs losing their habitats, we should not forget that these charismatic predators are only one of millions of species existing under the very real threat of runaway climate change. All forms of earthly life are vulnerable — environmental shifts can trigger rapid extinctions within a very short time — but some are more vulnerable than others. Our complex and intricate human civilization is no protection against a collapsed food supply. Looking down the road a bit, it’s frighteningly clear that polar bears aren’t the only ones who’ll be facing an uphill struggle to survive. Are humans an endangered species?

Warren Senders

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