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Harbinger of things to come?

Climate change is happening, rube, so put down the AmbienProzacViagra and crotch-shots on CNN/Faux News Kool-Aid and turn off the television, because

Polar bears are now being observed by scientists resorting to cannibalism, and expect to see more as Arctic sea ice declines. In “Observations of cannibalism by polar bears(Ursus maritimus) on summer and autumn sea ice at Svalbard, Norway,” published in the journal Arctic, polar bear biologist Ian Stirling and photojournalist Jenny Ross describe seeing three different killings and cannibalism of polar bear cubs by adult males, a known behavioral response to food scarcity. At the American Geophysical Union conference in San Francisco, Ross described the kills, showing her photographs of one of the most gruesome signals of global warming.

A couple or three million years ago there were two hominids roaming the African savannas – Australopithecus afarensis, and Australopithecus boisei. The boisei were much large, stronger, and roamed in larger social units  – packs. Essentially pastoral creatures, they were vegetarian. Afarensis, on the other hand, was much smaller, weaker, less social. He went on, however, to become “human”, while the boisei became extinct, because he was omnivorous – he would eat anything.

We need to grow thicker skin when it comes to global warming. Billions, we potentially amongst them, will needlessly and probably quite painful, die.

It isn’t necessarily the “strong” who survive.

  • DJ

    More likely the lucky will survive – and perhaps the prepared. Here in Utah, warmer winters have allowed the bark beetle to spread and, say scientists, without sudde3n and severe freezes, gradually acclimate to colder temperatures. Our forests are dying, which means less CO2 is being absorbed from the atmosphere even as ever larger quantities are being produced. Rainfall in the southwest is falling, while demand for water continues to rise. It seems that as we make the problem worse, nature follows suit.

    I have a year’s worth of wheat in storage. Then what?

    Maybe we can eat bark beetles…

    • Demand for Colorado River water exceeds supply. A panther was spotted in Arizona recently. Ten Bears says that could be due to a warming climate. Disturbing tends.

  • Here in Cascadia our High Desert pine forests are dead, standing, waiting to burn from Mt Shasta to Southern Alaska. And the beetles, having exhausted their food supply (they only attack live trees) are enjoying the warmer atmosphere by moving to the higher elevations, attacking the heretofore unassailable Mountain (Western) White Bark pine, a species unique to Cascadia. As to the High Desert pine forests, reports are surfacing that the atmosphere has warmed just enough that the lodgepole pine, the weed tree and linchpin in the beetle/fire cycle, won’t be coming back, effectively ending the at minimum ten thousand year (Wisconsin Ice Age) fire cycle maintaining the grand-daddies of the High Desert pine forests: the Ponderosa pine. No one as yet has hazarded a guess as to what will happen to the Pondos under these conditions, but to This Old Logger warmer and wetter is an invitation to coastal and lower elevation species, the firs, oaks and perhaps even sequoia grandis – the “redwoods”, which will necessarily choke out the more open floored species.

    Wish I had a year’s worth of something.

    • DJ

      Our Ponderosas are standing dead. I have four cords of them to keep me warm this winter. The good news is, there are still young ones growing among the deadwood.

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