Message from Jan - Peut Researcher
- 31 May 06, 05:04 PM
Joining the Planet Earth Under Threat team is very exciting – this is a huge and important subject that I’m delighted to get my teeth into, if a little over-awed by the sheer volume of information. How to choose what we include?? One of the first things on my long to-do list is to line up some stories in the Americas for Howard Stableford to cover for us. A trip to the far north seems likely to look at the changes in the ice and permafrost and the resulting effects on polar bear and caribou populations. But hey, isn’t this all a bit familiar? Haven’t we all seen the pictures of stranded polar bears and submerging Pacific Islands? The BBC is currently running a Climate Chaos Season and on all sides there are signs of doom and gloom fatigue. So how can we engage with this subject so that we don’t all turn off, but are in equal parts inspired, informed and motivated?
In that spirit, one of the themes of this series will be the durability and inventiveness of nature. That’s not to say that we won’t also look at what needs be done about climate change – and fast - but we also want to celebrate the amazing ways in which plants and animals are responding and adapting. I came across a story about population outbreaks of mountain pine beetles in Canadian forests. They are doing very well, thank you very much, but in the process are apparently decimating large areas of lodgepole pine forest. I’m intrigued to ask the scientists where there’s there any such thing as long-term beneficiaries of climate change, or are such outbreaks destined to be short-lived before they wipe out their food species?
Meanwhile … do you know of any new and interesting stories in the Americas, north, central and south? I’d be very grateful to hear!