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  1. #1
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    Animals: Climate Change's Other Victims

    Animals: Climate Change's Other Victims
    by Bruce Roney, President & CEO, Ottawa Humane Society
    Aug 27, 2020


    Lately, I find the news exceedingly depressing: so many stories of illness, death and destruction. Adding to the long list of heartbreaking news in 2020 has been the long-expected catastrophes caused by climate change. As I write this, two hurricanes are headed toward landfall in the U.S. one, Marco, has been downgraded, but the second, Laura, is being described as "unsurvivable." It occurs to me that if humans won't survive it, neither will animals. Just last January, Australia's bushfires were estimated to have caused the deaths of over one billion animals.

    Well beyond the horrific images of burned Koalas and starving polar bears, the effects of climate change on animals is profound. Here are just a few examples:


    • Hurricanes generate strong winds that can completely defoliate forest canopies and cause dramatic structural changes in wooded ecosystems. Animals can either be killed by hurricanes or impacted indirectly through changes in habitat and food availability caused by high winds, storm surge and intense rainfall. They destroy bird nests, kill hatchlings and disrupt bird migrations - leading to death.
    • Warming temperatures are driving many species to move to higher latitudes in search of cooler temperatures; however many are already at their northern limits. Animals such as caribou, snowy owl and arctic fox cannot move further and are consequently losing their natural habitat.
    • Warmer temperatures allow insects, such as ticks, to migrate to new areas. Disease that was never experienced before can spread to humans and animals, including the family dog.
    • Warmer temperatures cause greater winter precipitation, which can affect many species. Increasing precipitation means deeper snow, which can make it difficult for animals like deer and elk to forage for food.
    • The warming of waters causes the loss of vegetation and coral, which impacts the sea life that requires vegetation as a food source, and breaks the food chain for animals and people who rely on sea life to survive.
    • As humans seek refuge during natural disasters, sometimes they are forced to make the unimaginable decision to leave their companion animal behind - possibly to die.


    For me, the challenge is that I don't always know what to do about the climate crisis. I believe in individual action and its importance, but the scale of the calamities and their causes simply seems too big for individuals to confront. Mostly, it probably is. Only governments truly have the ability to make the massive changes that will be required to save the planet and its human and animal inhabitants.

    So, maybe I do know what I can do - what we all can do. We can demand government action on climate change. And we can vote.

  2. #2
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    Re: Animals: Climate Change's Other Victims

    I cannot believe how many people are living in a dream world where global warming is no big deal.


    https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/...ht-on-climate/

  3. #3
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    Re: Animals: Climate Change's Other Victims

    I agree, @Daniel.

    Not only are we killing ourselves and creating a scenario where our children and grandchildren will grow up having to cope with pollution, extreme weather conditions, loss of food supplies, hunger/starvation, and disease, but we are also condemning many other life forms on our planet to extinction.

    Our descendants deserve better. And the other species which inhabit this planet deserve better.

  4. #4
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    Re: Animals: Climate Change's Other Victims

    If you are under 34, you have never experienced a month of below average temperatures
    The Guardian
    9 Oct 2019

    If you are less than 43 years old you have never experienced a year with below average temperatures.

    If you are under 34 you have not even experienced a month of below-average global temperatures -– because the last such month was February 1985, and even that was a bit of an oddity as it was just the second such month in six years.

    Even if you are 65 years old and ready for retirement, 79% of your life has been spent in a world with above-average temperatures.

  5. #5
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    Re: Animals: Climate Change's Other Victims

    Scientific American backs Biden for its first presidential endorsement in 175 years
    The Washington Post

    September 15, 2020

    The October issue of Scientific American will carry what has never been seen in the magazine’s pages in 175 years: a presidential endorsement.

    In an urgent and impassioned editorial first published online Tuesday, the editorial board endorsed former vice president Joe Biden, the Democratic nominee, calling him the candidate “who is offering fact-based plans to protect our health, our economy and the environment.”

    It was a striking move for the oldest continuously published magazine in the United States and one its editor in chief, Laura Helmuth, said was both carefully considered and entirely necessary. (Helmuth previously worked as The Washington Post’s science editor.)

    Four years ago, the magazine flagged Donald Trump’s disdain for science as “frightening” but did not go so far as to endorse his rival, Hillary Clinton. This year, its editors came to a different conclusion.

    "A 175-year tradition is not something you break lightly," Helmuth told The Post on Tuesday. "We'd love to stay out of politics, but this president has been so anti-science that we can't ignore it."

    ..."The evidence and the science show that Donald Trump has badly damaged the U.S. and its people -- because he rejects evidence and science," the endorsement reads, citing his push to eliminate health rules from the Environmental Protection Agency, his rejection of stricter air pollution standards and his continued denial of climate change...
    Last edited by Daniel; September 15th, 2020 at 08:14 PM.

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