Thoughts by LEE BRANN
Some Troubling Decisions on Endangered Species by US Department of Interior
Many species advocates are understandably dismayed by the October 4 Department of Interior decision to deny federal protection for twenty-five seemingly deserving species under consideration for listing as ‘Endangered.’ Many of these species – including the Pacific Walrus, Florida Keys mole skink, and Bicknell’s Thrush – are thought to be extremely vulnerable to climate change, but will be deprived of federal protection nonetheless. Read More
Thoughts by JORDAN KINCAID
Alex Lee recently wrote that “the term ‘climate change’ isn’t working anymore” because “most people don’t understand what the term climate means.” Generally, he argues, people confuse “climate” with “weather,” “climate” is too scientific of a term, and “climate change” doesn’t really reflect the “acute environmental crisis” people actually experience; we should stick with “global warming” because floods, hurricanes, higher temperatures, wildfires, and the like, are directly tied to heat. People will better connect with “global warming” because it’s easier to understand than the broader, more nuanced idea of “climate change.”
This is a fairly common hypothesis. Essentially, the argument is that people tend to not be science-literate enough to make the term “climate change” rhetorically effective; most people know too little about science or lack the capacity to assess scientific information necessary to get a firm grip on the real risks at hand. If we take it at face value, we essentially have two options: improve public science education, or play rhetorically to science illiteracy. It seems that Lee would have us do the latter.
In truth, however, this is a false choice based on a false hypothesis. Read More
Thoughts by ALEX LEE
Close to 20 million acres of northeast Alaska became the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) in 1980. Before that, it was a federally protected area; calls for the preservation of this area go back to at least the 1950s.
ANWR is not a ‘range,’ as Congressman Don Young if fond of saying, but a ‘refuge,’ set aside as a sanctuary for nature. This area is also the calving grounds for the massive Porcupine Caribou heard and home to a vibrant ecosystem. Read More
Thoughts by ALEX LEE
As the icy arctic thaws, animals reliant on sea ice are at a greater risk of extinction – plain and simple. The Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) is currently leading a charge to protect the Pacific Walrus from such a fate by listing them as ‘endangered.’ However, efforts to protect these animals often come with an unintended cost tacked onto the bill and paid for by native communities who depend on these animals as an essential component of culture, tradition, and food security. Read More