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Tuesday, 19 December 2006
Giant Polar Bear of Oxted

Christmas bling

I have been known to comment at length on the symbolic meaning of garden ornaments.  The above ornament, which appears ritualistically at this time of the year on the lawn of a garden in Oxted, does not require much analysis. It is a statement of how human beings are destroying the environment through wasteful over-consumption of resources, thereby placing much life on earth (including polar bears) in peril.  According to a a study that was reported on in 2004:

Amid all the studies and first-hand observations relating to climate change, it is the small details that often convey the bigger message most effectively. One such is the forecast, contained in a comprehensive study released this week about climate change in the Arctic, that polar bears could become extinct. The study, the work of more than 300 scientists, says that the thinning of Arctic ice is depriving polar bears of life-sustaining conditions for hunting. The risk is that they could become so thin that they lose the ability to reproduce.

While the decline of the polar bear population, like any diminution of the diversity of animal life, would be highly regrettable, it is but one symptom of the adverse effects of climate change on our planet overall. Among the findings of the same study are a significant rise in average temperatures in Alaska, northern Canada and eastern Russia; the much earlier break-up of sea ice in Hudson Bay and the eventual melting of the polar ice cap altogether. This is some of the most compelling evidence ever presented for the accelerating effects of global warming. It needs to be treated seriously.

Posted by bigblue on 19/12/2006 at 05:44 AM
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