A public-service announcement from the Defenders of Wildlife
Global warming is the single greatest threat to the world's natural environment, said Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) as he announced new legislation on Wednesday outlining a national strategy to examine and address the impacts of climate change on America's most imperiled plants and animals.
The first-of-its-kind bill—which includes Senator Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), chair of the Senate Committee on the Environment and Public Works, as one of the original co-sponsors—would convene regional scientific discussions, create a new National Global Warming and Wildlife Science Center within the U.S. Geological Survey, as well as convene a National Academy of Sciences panel to examine the issue and recommend a plan of attack.Already, said Whitehouse, global warming has taken its toll on wildlife populations and ecosystems in his home state of Rhode Island and across the globe.
"As the waters of Narragansett Bay grow warmer, cold-water fish species with high commercial value, like winter flounder, have been replaced by warmer-water species, like scup, whose value to our fishermen is lower," Whitehouse said. "Melting sea ice in Greenland is pushing polar bears closer to inhabited villages in search of food." ::Environmental News Service