This month has seen a couple of extreme changes in environmental issues. Whales and Dolphins are now protected from sonar and explosives by the use of US Navy. It has also seen the continuing struggle to address Climate Change. And, now, the animals and other lives we share this planet with are showing the signs of what is going to happen to all of us.
A picture was released earlier this month depicting a Polar Bear starving in the Arctic Ocean. Without sea ice, Polar Bears can’t hunt. The mainstay of their food is out in the water, and they require the ice to reach it. The ice also has provided them with the means of hunting and trapping their prey. Without it, they’re no longer able to catch and eat. For instance, seals and fish are better equipped to evade bears in the open water. Since that is the bears main source of food, they have no hope.
What this means is not only will bears starve, but they will start coming to human settlements to find food. Bears, both Polar and Grizzly, have been known to forage the dumps. They walk the towns at night looking for dumpsters. Sometimes they’re really lucky and whale a beaches itself and they pick that thing clean. But whale beaching is really really rare. They can’t rely on this. Nor can they rely on humans to provide nutrition from their garbage. The encroachment on bear territory makes it precarious enough. Starving bears are going to become even more dangerous.
Who pays? We all do. The first answer will be to shoot the bears. Are we going to shoot them into extinction? That’s just simply a crime against life. The bears hold a specific niche in the environment, which is necessary. The seal populations require them to keep their population healthy and in reasonable numbers. I’m sure hunters will say, “Fine. We’ll then cull the seal herds.” Except that it’s not the same. Polar bears pick on the weak and sick, the genetically inferior and the plain stupid of the herd. Literally! Seals aren’t dumb, and display a sense of humor to boot. Bears are really lucky, even in perfect circumstances, to catch one of these goof balls. They do so with the trap method utilizing sea ice. Unlike hunters, they’re not looking for the best of the herd to mount on the wall. They’re looking for the one they can catch that will fill their belly until the next feeding.
Human hunting in lieu of the environmental niches has always been an inferior method of conservation. It leaves very little to chance, as humans seek out the best of the herd and destroy the best genes in that herd. It leaves the animals with inferior future generations. Look at the beaver as an example.
So, it’s time to put climate change denying aside. It’s going to cost us more than just lots of money. If the US Navy can finally come to terms with environmental groups on sonar and explosives, I think we the people of the US can come to terms with our changing environment, which we have caused, and do what is right before we end up starving too.
What’s going to be left when the seas rise, the bees are gone and the sun is too hot to grow things?
Retreating sea ice is contributing to starvation in the Arctic Ocean.