The Obama administration this month declined to declare the rabbit-like American pika an endangered species, even though environmentalists say the cool-weather rodents are vanishing from the mountains of the West. Scientists say the pika could be the first mammal driven extinct by global warming, but the Obama administration says pikas have adjusted well to higher temperatures. Are environmentalists' fears overblown, or are pikas global warming's "canary in a coal mine"? (See the pika in the wilderness)
Obama's letting politics trump science: Government scientists know that pikas are threatened by climate change, says RL Miller at Daily Kos. The snowpack they need for insulation is melting, so many pikas are freezing to death. Democrats complained that "politics trumped science" under George W. Bush, but "Obama seems no better."
"Obama won't protect pika endangered by climate change"
Environmentalists are using pikas to hype their cause: The climate-change zealots are at it again, says Erik Rush in the Fort Collins Coloradoan. Biologists only say global warming is a "potential" threat to pikas, and the science regarding global warming itself isn't even settled yet. So clearly this is just another case of overhyped environmentalist propaganda.
"It's not settled science yet, data suggests"
Protecting the tiny pika has big implications: Even if the mountain pika is directly threatened by global warming, making it an endangered species opens a "huge can of worms," say the editors of the Yellowstone Insider. With the designation, the tiny rodent's plight could be used to oppose "wide swaths" of development and emissions that might cause global warming. That's an awfully big "load for a tiny rodent to bear, so it's no surprise the Fed demurred."
"Yellowstone Pika not worthy of protection"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Why Pakistan won't hunt down the terrorists within its borders
- Sorry, GOP, tax cuts don't pay for themselves
- How academia's liberal bias is killing social science
- Pope Francis' American problem
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Hey, bosses: Stop giving bonuses to your employees
- Why torture doesn't work: A definitive guide
- Why the Sony hack changes everything
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
Subscribe to the Week