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Climate Change Skeptics Encounter Trouble In the Rockies

If I were to say to a group of global warming skeptics that there was a new study that showed that an animal is becoming endangered because its environment is increasingly cold, they probablywould jump all over it, and forward the news on over to the American Petroleum Institute… until they discovered that the study actually supports established theories of climate change.

That sounds like a contradiction, but it’s not. The animal is the American pika, a small, rodent-like animal (acutally a lagomorph, a relative of rabbits). It lives up in the Rocky Mountains, in areas that have had snow cover.

As a part of climate change, temperatures in the mountains have been increasing, and the snowpack has been melting. In the summer, it’s warmer as a result, with rocks absorbing more sunlight heat. However, the winters, although they’re warmer, are still dangerously cold to the little pikas – if they don’t have shelter. With the snowpack decreasing, the pikas have less insulation. That’s why, though the mountain climate is warming, the pikas are getting colder, and it’s why the American pika is in danger.

The Center for Biological Diversity is filing a petition to have the American pika listed under the Endangered Species Act. Actions required under the act could include stronger efforts to combat climate change.

Goodness knows that the Congress has not been acting to deal with climate change swiftly or certainly enough on its own. Thanks to the Center for Biological Diversity for their efforts, and their attention to ecological detail.

5 comments to Climate Change Skeptics Encounter Trouble In the Rockies

  • ReMarker

    Even if Congress acted post haste, it may not be soon enough to save the American pika. Global temperature “fluctuations” are a difficult thing to manage, IF they can be managed at all. Even by doing the things we can control, like fuel effiency standards, etc., it may not be enough. I am glad for an “endangered species” list so we can track the “earth climate change” implications on our animal populations. I hope all endangered species make the list.

    What Congress is doing and/or trying to do (excluding most current GOP Congress members) is adjusting our (America’s) policies (fuel effiency standards, support for renewable energy technologies, etc.) so they better take into consideration replacing finite energy sources, awa probable implications of the continued use of carbon based fuels (global warming, pollution, etc).

    As implied in this thread and others on this site, the implications of humans (Congress or otherwise) doing nothing is unacceptable, and may cause global warming among other things.

    To repeat myself: It is dumb to take no action!!!

    PS. Cudos to the NY Green Fest participants. That kind of action helps us all even if the actions of others is limited to making posts in blogs poopooing things mortals attempt in an effort to improve America/earth. Surely the pooerspooers aren’t influenced by the “God controls everything” crowd. I VOTE and my vote goes to people that believe mortals control their own destinies to a very large degree. Example: I live inland (138 ft. above the current sea level) in the event the dumb and/or naive people (that supported the Bush administration) continue to win the global warming argument and nothing is done.

  • James Mayeau

    A lot of codswallow and blarney.
    Snowpack totals for Aspen

    a few examples of the returns:

    After a very dry fall, several intense storms brought heavy accumulations to boost snowpack totals to well above average by the Jan. 1 surveys. …
    http://www.greeleytribune.com/.

    Jan 7, 2009 … Snowpack in the Rio Grande basin is 140 percent of average, which is the highest January total since 1985, and 135 percent of average in the …
    http://www.aspendailynews.com/section/home/131459

    Local snowpack levels just shy of average. Aspen Daily News Staff Report … Maximum snowpack totals were reached on April 19 across most of the state, …
    http://www.aspendailynews.com/section/home/134443

    • ReMarker

      This comment is taken from another thread with no changes except 1 spelling correction. It may have some relevence to your post. You decide.

      August 10th, 2009 at 8:32 am · Reply
      Global warming or not, climate change or not, scientist or not, all life on earth has a “footprint”. Humans have the most profound footprint, short of volcanos and meteors. Unless someone is as dumb as a stump or doesn’t think about it (the difference is debatable) they realize that fact.

      One of the main ways humans obsolve themselves from the responsibility of mitigating the negative effects (also debatable) of their “footprints” is to believe God is controling earthly things, so humans don’t have to fault themselves. (God is doing it so it’s 1. OK and 2. not my bad).

      I choose to believe there are things I can do to help my home, my county, my state, my country, and the “spaceship earth” be a better place for all of us (dumb or not) by embracing the fact that I leave “footprints” and taking actions that 1. mitigate my negative impact and 2. aid improvement.

      I believe the NY Greenfest participants want to 1. mitigate their negative impact and 2. aid improvement.

      It’s probable the anti-global warming faction of the “global warming pissing contest” DON’T.

  • James Mayeau

    So when the main assertions of your thesis are shown to be wrong, your response is name calling?

    Right. Gotcha.

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