In late December an amazing event happened. The Bush Administration proposed “listing the polar bear as threatened under the Endangered Species Act, putting the U.S. government on record as saying that global warming could drive one of the world’s most recognizable animals out of existence.” This was quite an about face considering the history of this administrations staunch denial of Global Warming.
U.S. Wants Polar Bears Listed as Threatened – Washington Post
Today it was revealed “Internal memorandums circulated in the Alaskan division of the Federal Fish and Wildlife Service appear to require government biologists or other employees traveling in countries around the Arctic not to discuss climate change, polar bears or sea ice if they are not designated to do so.”
Memos Tell Officials How To Discuss Climate – New York Times
Considering the track record of this administration to distort and raise doubt across the general population about Global Warming I don’t find this surprising. It’s tough not to think that this is a primer to an about face on the proposal to list the Polar Bear as an endangered species.
If I didn’t see the retreating ice first hand I might be more likely to discount articles like this. When I traveled to the Arctic this summer I wanted to capture the grand scale of the terrain and share as best as I could the environmental changes occuring there. See the retreating polar ice yourself in the following panoramic. More panoramic photos of the Arctic can be found in the various articles I’ve posted on my web site.
click to enlarge
|Day 11: Arctic National Wildlife Refuge – Coastal Plain View (1.1 MB)
(180 Degree View / Made From 20 Vertical Images)
Background: The coastal plain here is at its narrowest point, approximately 20 miles. The visbility is likely 35-50 miles as you can clearly see Arctic Pack Ice. To the Right (East) is the canadian portion of the Arctic Coastal Plain and extending to the Left (West) is the Alaskan Portion of the Coastal Plain. This Photo was taken From an Elevation of 2300 feet.
For a sense of scale look to see if you can spot the ship in Demarcation Bay.
|MORE PANORAMIC PHOTOS OF THE ARCTIC NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE|