Well, surprise, surprise. In his last few months of office (155 days left!!), Bush takes the opportunity to screw things over once again:
“The administration of US President George W. Bush has proposed revisions to the Endangered Species Act (ESA) so that the law can not be used to regulate the emission of greenhouse gases.
The new regulations would reduce reviews by government scientists that have been mandatory whenever federal agencies propose projects such as dams or highways that could threaten endangered species.”
The Administration’s excuse is that there is no proven link between warming and species loss. Well, they’re wrong. There is plenty of evidence that warming will harm whole ecosystems, including individual species.
Exhibit A: A peer-reviewed paper from the National Academy:
“The biological impact of rising temperatures also depends on the physiological sensitivity of organisms to temperature change. We integrate empirical fitness curves describing the thermal tolerance of terrestrial insects from around the world with the projected geographic distribution of climate change for the next century to estimate the direct impact of warming on insect fitness across latitude. The results show that warming in the tropics, although relatively small in magnitude, is likely to have the most deleterious consequences because tropical insects are relatively sensitive to temperature change and are currently living very close to their optimal temperature.” [emphais mine]
Here’s another, from Geophysical Research Letters:
If current trends continue, annual average SSTs in northern parts could be ∼0.5°C warmer and those of more southern parts ∼2.0°C warmer within the next 100 years. These rapid changes in oceanic climate are already causing responses in Australia’s tropical marine ecosystems and these responses, if present rates of warming continue, can only intensify.
That’s what I came up with in a 5 second search with Google Scholar. I didn’t put a whole lot of effort into it. I don’t, for example, have a whole agency of scientists that can produce similar results to smack Bush over the head with. (Preferably, repeated smacking. But I could be projecting here.)
If what he’s waiting for is a direct link from your car’s tailpipe to a melting ice cap, he won’t get that kind of evidence. It’s not the kind of evidence science produces.
This might be a good time to revisit a post about the Yes Men, that discusses the way in which the Media manufactures dissent about scientific evidence.