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Thursday, March 19, 2009

No choice?

Just catching this story from the Canadian Press.

Canada forced to link climate change, polar bears.

Canada is conceding that a treaty on polar bears signed 35 years ago is now forcing it into action on climate change.


The agreement calls for an urgent and effective response to address climate change.

The article doesn't name this agreement signed 35 years ago, but I find it interesting that Canada is being "forced" by this mystery agreement to act on climate change.

Thirty five years ago, polar bear populations were indeed in decline. Changes were made to limit hunting, and the total population has increased by 500%. This in spite of roughly 30 years of warming, which in turn followed about 30 years of cooling.

So even though polar bear populations have increased dramaticly simply by restricting hunting, even though most of the populations are currently either stable or growing; even though the local Inuit populations are actually having problems because there are too many polar bears, Canada is being forced to "act" on climate change to protect them? All this based on an agreement signed when circumstances for polar bears were considerably more dire than they are now?

Oh, and there's this little gem.

Canada has also agreed that industrial development in polar bear habitat must be carefully monitored and controlled.

Well, duh! They make it sound like Canada wasn't intending to do that in the first place.

I'd like to know more about this agreement, but the article doesn't even name it.

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