But examples are not limited to poor developing countries. Where energy policy is unwise -- for example in the U.S. (Friedman) -- large animals (which, as James Hansen reminds us [slides, pdf, 23 June], don't vote and don't talk) are among the first to be affected . Two examples. First (from New Scientist, 23 June),
The US Fish and Wildlife Service stands accused of giving oil companies a "blank cheque to harass polar bears". The row revolves around the seven oil companies that paid $2.6 billion in February for the rights to look for oil in the Chukchi Sea, off the coast of Alaska. Some 2,000 polar bears live in the region - a significant chunk of the estimated 20,000 to 25,000 bears worldwide.Second, between a fifth and quarter of land in Wyoming is now leased to oil companies, says Alexandra Fuller, author of The Legend of Colton H Bryant. Fuller compares the high plains to the Serengenti and suggests that the animal migrations under threat [or already destroyed] are [or were] comparable.
1. Ethanol production can also impact animal wildlife of course, whether it be in Amazonia, S E Asia, Africa (see this case from Kenya), or elsewhere.
2. Related comments on oil extraction and energy policy here and here.