The Endangered Species Act was established to protect animals that are threatened or at risk for survival because of human actions.

This week, the Department of the Interior refused to provide protection for the emperor penguin. Overfishing, net issues -- these are things we might have control over. But their icy habitat melting away...what can we do about that? Really.

"Right now penguins are marching toward extinction due to the impacts of global warming," said Shaye Wolf, a seabird biologist with the Center for Biological Diversity. Are they? How does Shaye Wolf know this? Is it because man-made models predicted that our actions are causing warmer temperatures to melt their homes away?

How smart do we think we are? How important do we think we are? I tend to think not very on both scores, but we tend to have a "we're-in-control-of-the-planet" mindset.

I think there is a lot more uncertainty out there than many scientists are willing to admit. What do you think?

L.K. Williams

Posted by L.K. Williams, EPonline on Dec 19, 2008

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