The climate of Earth is changing. There is absolutely no doubt about that. We know a great deal, in fact, about the specificities as to how, when, where and why it’s changing. But for US Wildlife officials, that’s apparently not enough to protect the future of endangered or at-risk wolverines.
According to the Associated Press (by way of the Squamish Chief), US Fish and Wildlife Director “Dan Ashe said predictions about climate change's localized impacts remain ‘ambiguous.’ Rejecting the conclusions of the agency's own scientists, Ashe said that made it impossible to determine whether less snow cover would put wolverines in danger of extinction in coming decades.”
See, Ashe’s theory is that while climate is changing, the wolverine population will also change. And therefore, putting in place protection now is useless.
It’s kind of a banging-your-head-against-the-wall argument. Or, in scientific terms, dumb.
While it is true that we can’t accurately predict the exact temperature of a specific acreage 50 years into the future, and we don’t know necessarily how specific wolverines in that specific acreage will adapt, we do know that right now, the outlook isn’t good.
Wolverines require deep snow to den. Their entire evolution has been in areas of deep snow and heavy winters. Yes, some may adapt. But right now, the species is poorly suited for changing climate. The precautionary principle dictates that basic protections are put in place today.
Because tomorrow, when temperatures may spike more and we find that wolverines are dying off in alarming numbers, it will be too late.