The Heat is On...
Scientists believe that within our lifetime there likely won't be any polar bears breeding in many parts of the
Arctic. Even more alarmingly, a similar fate awaits many other species who now find shelter in Canada's
national and provincial parks.
Although Canada's parks were established to protect endangered species as a part of our natural heritage
for generations to come, they are made up of life supporting ecosystems which are now at risk. The relationship
between endangered species and threatened spaces means that if a wild animal's home disappears, so will the
endangered species and their young which depend on them for food and shelter.
This time the threat is not just from poachers armed with high tech gear, weapons, traps and snares. The threat
is no longer just too many tourists, pollution or development. Now we all face climate change, a powerful human
caused force that is sweeping across Canada and every country of the world. This time the special interest
group is a big one, and includes not just plants and animals, but every man, woman and child that depends on
earth's life support system.
In Canada and around the world, many have dedicated their lives to protecting animals and the earth. Together,
we have spent trillions of dollars and devoted our time and energy to develop and execute complex plans to
save plants and animals. Climate damage has the potential to undo all of these wonderful efforts to protect
endangered species and their homes.
A report published earlier this year in the influential scientific journal, Nature, concluded that by the year 2050,
more than 1 million species of plants and animals would disappear or are on a one way trip to extinction if current
climate changes proceed as projected. Even under a increase of no more than 1.7 degrees C over the next 50
years, the researchers concluded that the disappearance of suitable wildlife habitat would mean that that these
species would become extinct.
There are predictions that boreal forests could shift northwards several hundred kilometres. That in the Arctic,
the tree line will shift northwards, with the southern permafrost boundary retreating even faster. Glaciers in the
Southern Rockies that are less than 100 km thick could will completely disappear over the next 20 years.
Stonehaven Productions has produced The Great Warming - a 3 part documentary narrated by
Grammy-Award-Winning songwriter & musician Alanis Morrisette & international movie star Keanu Reeves.
World Premiere was on April 22nd 2004.
Visit www.thegreatwarming.com for updates about global warming and how to make a difference