Driving Species to Extinction
The environmental costs of fossil fuel extraction and use are generally viewed in terms of pollution, specifically particulates and their impacts on public health, and GHGs and their contributions to climate change. A new report goes deeper by identifying specific species whose habitats are being devastated by the fossil fuel industries. According to the progressive news site CommonDreams,
"[A] new report [from the Endangered Species Coalition] highlights the destructive impact of fossil fuel consumption in the United States. The report, called Fueling Extinction: How Dirty Energy Drives Wildlife to the Brink, highlights the top 10 US species whose survival is most threatened by the development, extraction, transportation, and consumption of fossil fuels. Coalition members nominated species for inclusion in the report; submissions were then reviewed, judged and voted on by a panel of scientists.
Whether or oil exploration in the arctic (Bowhead Whale and Polar Bear), mountaintop removal and coal mining in Appalachia (Kentucky Arrow Darter and Tan Riffleshell), tar sands extraction in the US West and Canada (Whooping Crane and Wyoming Pocket Gopher), or western shale oil and gas development (Graham's Pentsemon and Sagebrush Lizard), the pattern holds. [As Mitch Merry at the Stop Extinction blog puts it] 'They're being driven closer to the edge of extinction by our nation's continued reliance on energy sources produced in the age of dinosaurs.'"