Monday, March 2, 2015

What Can be Done to Protect Animals from Climate Change?

Dear Editor,
Reading your article ”How Pace of Climate Change Will Challenge Ectotherms” on ScienceDaily opened my eyes. The topic of climate change is often overlooked by humans, even though we are one of the major causes. And our ignorance is part of the problem. We need to start realizing that we are the root of the problem and become the solution.

Since we rarely think of climate change and how it affects us, we are definitely not thinking of how it affects animals. I imagined all animals were threatened by climate change, but after reading your article I learned that those most affected are ectotherms, animals who rely on the on the environment to control their body temperature. Such animals include reptiles, birds, snakes, lizards, turtles, etc. These are animals that are not as 'protected' by wildlife charities, so they are already at a disadvantage.
With the dramatic changes in weather, ectotherms will not be able to acclimate as efficiently as they previously could. Acclimation is one of the main reasons why animals are able to survive, and if that is taken away from them, extinction of species will be another thing we could add to the list of  problems caused by humans. And the extinction of species could give rise to a whole new set of problems.
Recently, I read another article, ”Attitudes to Climate Change Depend on People's Sense of Belonging to the Planet” from ScienceDaily which was the result of research led by the University of Exeter. The study said that more people realize they are the cause of climate change if they first have a sense of belonging. If people would feel an "attachment" to the world it would cause them to make efforts that would make the world a little greener. Even the smallest efforts would be more than what we are currently doing. 
I think that this study done at the University of Exeter is extremely important. The sense of belonging driving people to care more about the planet would hopefully cause people to think of animals. When the realization that we are the problem hits worldwide then progress starts. It will take a long time to reverse the problem we have caused, but if we start now and teach future generations to be aware of how they impact the environment, the solution would come closer than if we did nothing.
After reading these two articles, I have questions that maybe you could answer. Do you think there are other ways to successfully raise awareness of climate change and our role in it? And what are these ways?

Your article made me think that I, along with everyone, need to think of how my actions affect our planet. I realized we must acknowledge that we are not the only ones on the planet and that we can do something about it while, on the other hand, animals cannot. And we must act before it is too late, before all of our problems are because of climate change. Your article raised awareness of the problem of climate change and the roles human play. I hope to see more articles like these in the future.

Edith Carpio

University of Exeter. (2014, December 15). Attitudes to climate change depend on people's sense of belonging to the planet. ScienceDaily. Retrieved February 18, 2015 from

University of Sydney. (2014, December 9). How pace of climate change will challenge ectotherms. ScienceDaily. Retrieved February 18, 2015 from

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