July 15, 2005 [LINK]

Global warming in Costa Rica

ABC's Nightline program had a report on global warming last night. To my surprise, much of it was filmed in the cloud forests of Monteverde National Park in Costa Rica, and there was a brief clip of a Violet saberwing. We didn't go to that park, but we did encounter similar fog-shrouded habitat at Poas Volcano. Scientists report that a number of tropical plant and animal species are in decline in Costa Rica, presumably because of global warming. (Pollution or other factors may play a part as well.) In an ideal world, more folks who are concerned about conserving nature would recognize that the only hope for restraining consumption of hydrocarbons and forest products lies in making prices reflect scarcity, either by taxation or by removing implicit subsidies. In the real world, much of that concern is wasted on utopian campaigns that ignore the way that human beings actually behave. Hence the ungodly tragedy of extinction.