CURRENT SOCIETAL CONCERNS
Elpidio V. Peria
2 May 2015
This past week saw updates from The Guardian which reported a new meta-study from Science, a leading journal on science, which show that extinction risks will accelerate with future global temperatures, threatening up to one in six species under current policies. Extinction risks were highest in South America, Australia, and New Zealand, and risks did not vary by taxonomic group.
Which species will be affected most, you may ask, the above-cited meta-analysis of some 131 studies worldwide indicate that endemic species with smaller ranges and certain taxonomic groups such as amphibians and reptiles are predicted to face greater extinction risks.
Whether the Philippines will be severely impacted, the study cannot say, even admitting that the studies reviewed were mostly done in North America and Europe, suggesting a need to give emphasis to areas which are less studied and more threatened, including the Asian region.
Further in Slate magazine, it is reported that for the first time, climate change has received full treatment in an important US State Department planning document, joining terrorism, democracy, and the global economy among the nation’s top diplomatic priorities. It’s the clearest sign yet that the warming climate has the full attention of the Obama administration.
This changed priority by the US government, through US Secretary of State John Kerry will be validated and demonstrated, if indeed it is serious enough, by concrete US proposals and willingness to compromise with other developing countries, in the ongoing climate treaty negotiations that is set to wrap up in Paris later this year.