Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Polar Bear Plight

Global warming stories always depress me. They depress me to the point that instead of getting me fired up, I tend to feel overwhelmed and helpless. Sure, fighting for social justice during the reign of the Conservatives may seem like a lost cause – but compared to global warming, I feel that there’s at least something I can do.

But I cannot stop the rapid melting of glaciers and icebergs, the break-up of the Arctic, the rising of ocean levels and the steadily increased global temperature. Sure, I dry my clothes outside, compost my compostables, plant trees, park the car, support environmental organizations ... but these seem ludicrously small efforts when I look at things like the tar sands or big industry.

I tend to be an optimistic person and believe in the best in people. But it’s hard to be optimistic when thinking about global warming. So ironically, the fact that I care about this so deeply means I give it less thought.

But a news story today about climate change actually has a nice balance of the dire (polar bears are dying) with the positive (Coca-Cola is putting its muscle behind a campaign to help protect their home). Really, it’s only decent of them, seeing as they’ve capitalized on the polar bear image for so much of their advertising.

But it’s encouraging to see that over the next 5 years, Coke will donate up to $3 million to the World Wildlife Federation (although what does ‘up to’ mean??). I’m a big fan of WWF – and encourage anyone who may be approaching the holiday season with a desire to give gifts that matter to look at WWF’s wildlife adoptions.

Anyway, back to the polar bears, WWF will be focusing two efforts in the Arctic – one which is a series of conservation projects and the other which will try to identify the location of year-round Arctic ice which could become a sanctuary for polar bears. (Will they be sending doomed seals to the sanctuary too?)

Canada may also place the polar bear on its list of species at risk, which would require the government to develop plans to prevent them from becoming further endangered or extinct.

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