The Truth About Global Warmingbyandtheend©
With the help of a polar bear, a man proves, conclusively, that global warming exists.
Dave lived in Alaska. He's lived here all his life. Just after Alaska was purchased from Russia in 1867, his family settled here in the 1880's, long before it became a state, in 1959.
Rejecting the wild west gold rush that panicked people with dreams of instant wealth to make a mad dash across the country, hoping to unearth a pot of gold, Dave's ancestors traveled more west and more north than the multitude of pioneers in Conestoga covered wagons, who sought a new home for their families. Most pioneers headed west to stake their claim for land during the creation of the Homestead Act, that started in 1867 and that ended in 1976. Alaska's Federally subsidized land grabs didn't end until 1986.
Where some settlers headed for California's gold coast, Dave's family was attracted to the lush, desolate, and beautiful, albeit cold wilderness of the northwest territory. Making their way as trappers and traders, they didn't mind the harsh winters, as much as those others, who stopped their push west, once they reached Ohio, Missouri, and Kansas. Then, there were those who continued further and stopped, when jolted by the beauty of Colorado's Rocky Mountains to make that their home. The untamed wilderness of the plush and lush rainforest that Dave's ancestors saw provided everything they needed to not only survive but also to thrive.
Accustomed to the hardship of living in a rainforest and having lived off the land his entire life, Dave witnessed, firsthand, what has happened to his land, to his state, to the country, and to the world because of global warming. Because he's right here and living in the biggest rainforest in the world, he's seen the changes himself and not had to trust what he read about them in newspapers or rely on the slanted televised news reports for his information. He didn't need to be a scientist to see the signs of a warming earth and a dying planet. Comparing the old photographs his family had taken and saved over the years, when his family first rooted here, to how the landscape looks now that global warming has ravaged the planet and especially this area, he had his own proof.
With his father and grandfather before him feeding him information on how the land had negatively changed over the years, Dave remembered how much better the environment was, even when he was a kid, just a mere 50 years ago. Changes in evolutionary environments that typically take eons, the negative full effects and side effects of global warming have been drastic, dramatic, immediate, irreversible, and everlasting, and have played out in only decades. You'd have to be an idiot not to see the devastation of global warming, or a politician serving corporate America, instead of the average American citizen, who voted you in, or a self-serving lobbyist paid and bought by companies to spin lies for big business and to pretend that global warming doesn't exist, as they typically do in Washington.
Good at polluting things, land, air, water, and even issues, too many, politicians pushing their own greedy agendas, cover it up, and lie about it to the American people by pointing a finger of blame across the aisle. To the people who live here in Alaska and who know the real story, they think that those in Washington are scallywags and carpetbaggers for not forcing the issue of truth about global warming and telling the American people that the world is succumbing to unprecedented planetary changes, along with the dwindling rainforests. Exasperated by our polluting chemicals punching a hole in the Ozone Layer, the truth of global warming is that there is a real and not an imagined warming trend, a devastating danger, and that the polar cap ice is, indeed, melting.
Global warming is more than just a unproven theory dreamt up by some mad scientist trying to make a name for himself or herself in looking at and analyzing data in a lab and on a computer screen. Global warming is the definitive truth proven by every scientist using every scientific discipline the world over. Because of the immensity of the rainforest here, the scientists have been all over the state of Alaska probing and prodding, as if using the land, air, and water here, as their own personal laboratory. Talk to the scientists, those that are not bound by contracts, kickbacks, grants, weighted research labs, and big business agendas and they'll all tell you the same, honest, and sad story about the irreversible effects of global warming.
Instead of staying stagnant, as it should and as it was for millions of years, the glaciers are receding. Chicken Little's modern day fable of the sky is falling, the glaciers are melting. Even Dave's family photos have captured images that scientists don't get to see, unless they've lived on the planet for millions of years and have had the technology of time lapsed photography available to them throughout that period. In addition to the problem of the melting glaciers, instead of growing, as it should, the rainforest is disappearing. Dave has seen it firsthand.
You only need to sit and talk with the Chief of any one of three tribes who live here, the Yupi, the Inuit, and Aleut, to get the real story how the white man, in their thirst for oil and hunger for fish, land, and lumber, has ruined not only their lands but also fouled the air and poisoned the water. In tuned with nature and all things natural, the Indians who live here and who live off the land, taking only what they need to survive, as did their prior generations, see things differently through their experienced eyes, things that we cannot and/or refuse to see. Catalogued by decades within each generation, much like Dave's own personal time lapsed photography, over the more than 100 years that his family has inhabited Alaska, Dave has the photographs that his Dad and his grandfather took of the glaciers and of the rainforest. Conclusively, the photographs prove the irreversible effects of global warming. To say that it's a tragedy that the planet will not survive humankind is a gross understatement.
Since the creation of the Earth, every living organism we needed to survive was already set in place for us to use to our benefit. Now, with people decimating the planet with their vehicles and with the network of public interstate highways, their factories polluting the air we breathe and oil spills fouling the water we drink, along with offshore oil drilling giving toxins to the fish we eat, and farmers poisoning the animals and plants with growth hormones, it's only a matter of time, before we all go the way of the dinosaur. The truth is, and we all know what the truth is, that the rainforests around the world are being eradicated by developers.
Urban sprawl with new home construction has taken over land that animals need to feed. The land that we need for the wilderness and need to set aside to save and allow the rainforests to flourish are being used for parking lots, shopping centers, amusement parks, and cookie cutter condo developments. With all of us continuing to pollute the air we breathe and the water we drink, and grabbing land that should be saved and untouched, we are causing the extinction of the fauna and flora that we so importantly need to continue to survive and thrive on this Earth.
Every animal, insect, plant, fungi, and bacteria are here for a reason, some of which we don't even know their purpose. Life that we haven't even yet identified and catalogued, have already disappeared. What else has gone extinct that we didn't even know existed and that we needed to live and breed as a species? What else is out there that we need to save before it goes extinct? Those plants, animals, and insects already lost, could come around and bite us in the ass, when, suddenly, there's a widespread virus and the antidote that researchers needed to save ourselves is already gone.
Creating complex and interrelated communities, living organisms co-exist in their environments and depend upon one another for food, shelter, and support. A chain reaction that may affect many other species, especially when the loss occurs near the bottom of the food chain, happens with the extinction of any one particular species. That one extinction may cause a ripple effect, a fish or a small animal that depends on foodstuff that has gone extinct will eventually become extinct, too. Their extinction can threaten the survival of larger predators that prey upon them.
We're all so interrelated that, when even the smallest life form is removed, it starts a chain reaction that removes another and another. All we humans have done is to continue to upset the natural order and the natural balance of nature by walking with a much bigger carbon footprint than we need to survive and thrive, as a species ourselves. It's time we took a step back and realized the harm we have done and are still doing by not paying attention and being in tune with our environment.
Then, there's the moral dilemma. As humans, even though we act as if we do, we don't own the planet. We are all but temporary guests here. We only have as much right to this planet, as does the lowest life form. Much in the way of all things natural and in the balance of nature, as humans, we share the planet and are responsible to restore whatever in nature we upset for our need for land and in our greed for other natural resources.
Before humans there was a natural order of things in nature, a balance. We've upset and interfered with all of that. Our wasteful lifestyle is incompatible with the mere survival of other species. Now, it's up to us to save those species that are facing extinction because of us and to help restore nature's balance, a balance that, when restored, may even save our kind, the human species.
Nonetheless, where do we draw the line? Which species do we save? Do we save them all or do we save just the cute ones and not the ones we fear? Are we responsible for saving every species on the planet? Maybe their extinction is inevitable, part and parcel of nature and we should just mind our own business, while treading lightly and allowing nature to run its course. In a world where the strong survive and the weak perish, who are we to play God? Only, we are part of the chain, too. If we fail to save one, that may affect saving others, and that may be the beginning of our demise as the human race and for us to save ourselves.
Sure, it won't happen in your lifetime or the lifetimes of your kids and grandchildren. Yet, if we all took that selfish attitude, if not for those before us, who have pioneered the way and worked so hard and dedicated their lives to helping save and preserve this planet, we know as Earth, our humankind may have been exterminated by disease or some other natural or manmade disaster already. Much in the way that a doctor takes an oath to heal and not hurt, we all need more to act, as if we've never even been here.
Yet, the question of our moral dilemma becomes diluted, when the act of saving plant and animal life infringes on people's property rights, recreational activities, and their way of making a living. Too many of us are too ready to help, so long as it doesn't cost us anything, especially our time and our money, in the process. In their own small way and to the meager extent that too few of us help, as a way of soothing our guilty consciences, is to donate a few dollars to help save the wildlife, before sending off their tax forms. The least we can do, as a race, is to recycle to not further pollute the planet and to help cleanup an already polluted environment.
Much like everyone else, content to sit in their homes and let someone else worry about cleaning up the planet, it all hit home when Dave saw a polar bear, his first polar bear sighting that wasn't behind bars in an Alaskan zoo. It's not unusual to see bears where he lives, mostly brown bears and grizzly, Alaska is loaded with bears, but he never saw a polar bear this far inland. This lost bear was more than 50 miles inland, where Dave lives. Polar bears never wander more than 20 miles from shore, away from their habitat and their eating ground. For this bear to have wandered here, he must have been lost and walking for days.
At first he thought it was a hybrid bear, the offspring of a brown bear that had mated with a polar bear. Yet, after closer examination of it through his binoculars, it had all the obvious markings of a polar bear, the snout, the shape of the head, the paws, and the obvious white fur, now more dirty grey from walking so far on land. Even though he felt bad for the bear, he knew enough about bears, especially hungry and/or hurt bears, which this one obvious was one and/or the other, to stay clear of him.
Bears can be unpredictable, when feeling threatened. When that happens, there's nothing you can do to escape the inevitable but to play dead. As surprising as it is amazing, for an animal so large, nine to twelve feet tall, when standing on its hind legs, and so heavy, nine hundred to fourteen hundred pounds, we, as humans, can't outrun them, out swim them, and out climb them. Only, even when using our last resort defense, playing dead doesn't always work, especially with a hungry bear intent on eating you.
When that happens, when the charging bear doesn't leave you alone and allow you to play dead, rather than being eaten alive, you must stand your ground and fight for your life, punching him in the snout and gouging at his eyes, while avoiding his lethal claws and his powerful bite. Most humans don't stand a chance with a bear but, much in the way of David with Goliath, sometimes someone may get lucky. Pepper spray sometimes works with bears, that is, if you have the time and the presence of mind to stand your ground close enough to effectively spray the bear in the snout, mouth, and eyes, and without spraying yourself in the process.
In this case, it didn't matter, the bear already knew he was there. The perfect predator, bears have a sense of smell five times greater than that of a bloodhound. We should train bears to find lost people, instead of dogs, he thought. Dave had a lot of respect for bears. They are an amazing animal and it hurt him that this already too thin, hungry polar bear was so far out of his element and natural habitat.
This bear was bone thin. It looked hungry. It looked lost. He was looking for food out here, no doubt, but in his condition and in bear country, he'd be no match for a hungry brown bear or an angry grizzly bear. He'd be more prey than he'd be predator.
Dave figured he got turned around after drifting out to sea on a piece of floating ice that had broken off from the polar ice cap. From his weakened condition, he must have swam hundreds of miles back to shore. Now here, lost in the dense rainforest, a territory as unfamiliar to him as the Arctic Ice is to Dave, he needed to help the poor bear and he took it upon himself to do just that.
Normally polar bears thrive on the ice, but there's been less and less of it for them to hunt their favorite food, seal. The bears need for the seals to come and bask on the ice because, even though polar bears are great swimmers, they are no match for a freewheeling sleek seal. The ice gives the polar bears the advantage. Lying in wait, even knowing enough to hide their black noses with their big, white paws, the polar bears blend in with the snow and use the ice formations to cover their advance, when tracking a seal from a distance. The seals, sometimes a bit too far from the shore to waddle in the water in time, seldom see the charging bears, before it's too late.
Sometimes, polar bears get cut off from the main ice cap, when a piece of ice breaks off. Mama bears with their cubs floating out to sea don't stand a chance of swimming back to shore. He wondered if that's what happened to this one. Maybe it's not a male but a female. Maybe she was able to swim back but her cubs drown. A viscous cycle, needing to go out on the ice to eat, swim or starve, too many polar bears drown, when having to swim from a city block size chunk of ice that has suddenly broken off and is now drifting out to the sea.
A recent occurrence, it was once rare for large chunks of ice to break off in the way they regularly do now. Recently, an iceberg 58 miles by 24 miles, about the size of the state of Rhode Island, that had broken off from the polar ice cap decades ago, crashed into the Mertz glacier and dislodged a piece nearly equally as big 48 miles by 24 miles, and they are now both drifting out to sea. Here we go again, much like Chicken Little warning everyone that the sky is falling, the ice is, indeed, melting and that is the undeniable truth about global warming.
Not yet making the endangered species list, recently making the threatened species lists, polar bears are now protected animals by the United States Government. Knowing this, Dave did everyone a favor by calling Fish and Game. A hungry bear would kill anything to eat, a dog, a horse, even a human. Besides, Dave didn't want one of his neighbors taking a gun to it, just for its skin. After being inundated with lawsuits by Greenpeace against the United States Government to help save the polar bears, there were already too many polar bears drowning from global warming without having one of his trigger happy neighbors bagging one.
Bears are cagey animals and it took Dave and the Fish and Game Officers three days to track the bear, find her again, tranquilize her, and relocate her closer to her habitat. Just as Dave had suspected, she was a female. Once tranquilized, they called in a helicopter to move her to where she belongs. Before they let her loose, they examined her and put a collar with a tracking device to monitor her progress and for scientists to learn more about their behavior in the wild.
Since it was a female bear and since it was Dave who gave her another chance at life, he named her Aurora, after the northern lights, the aurora borealis. It was a small victory in man and nature against global warming, but it was a big victory for Dave and one he'd never forget. While that bear was still tranquilized, dazed and unable to move, but still conscious, she looked Dave in the eye and Dave felt the uncontrollable need to pat and reassure her, which he did. Even though she was thin and dirty, she was still a beautiful animal, an animal that he so respected. How could he have turned his back on that bear and not helped to save her? How could he not have helped her to survive?
Dave tired of reading the reports in the newspapers about the effects of global warming. He didn't live in New York or LA, he lived here in the wilderness of Alaska, the Alaskan rainforest, the biggest rainforest on the planet but one that is shrinking, along with the ice on the polar caps. He was witness to what was happening to the planet for the detriment of everyone and he wished there was more that he could do for the sake of everyone, more than just saving one polar bear. He didn't need someone from the big cities that were thousands of miles away warning him about global warming. He witnessed firsthand what was happening to the ice cap and to his shrinking rainforest.
Now, to spin their lies, corporate America was spending millions of dollars paying lobbyists, running ads, and even taking Congressmen and their staffs on junkets to see proof with their own eyes that there was no such thing as global warming. They wanted them to see that the Alaskan rainforest and the polar icecap were still in pristine condition. Sure, the Alaskan rainforest and polar icecaps are immense areas and a case could be made for either opinion, depending upon where you took the interested parties.
The best way to see the signs and the effects of global warming and to end the mystery and quell the argument was to see the area from the sky. Our intelligence factions had already captured the images from outer space that told the truth about global warming. The ice is indeed melting.