|NATIONAL PARKS QUICKLINKS|
You may not have heard, but Saturday kicked off the first National Park Week, a Presidentially-endorsed celebration of our many natural and historic national parks. National Park Week runs through Sunday, April 27. From the mouth of President Bush himself:
"Our National Parks belong to each of us, and they are natural places to learn, exercise, volunteer, spend time with family and friends, and enjoy the magnificent beauty of our great land. During National Park Week and throughout the year, Americans of all ages can pledge to help maintain and enhance America's national treasures for future generations.That sounds serious — we better get out there. Several national parks have scheduled official events for National Park Week, including outdoor skills schools, nature walks, and Junior Ranger days. And, in another bit of auspicious timing, the first roads have opened up in both Yellowstone and Glacier. The holiday seems a bit early, considering that summer remains the busiest season for most national parks, but maybe even the Fed prefers to avoid bear jams on Going-to-the-Sun road.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim April 19 through April 27, 2008, as National Park Week. I invite all my fellow citizens to join me in celebrating America's national parks by visiting these wonderful spaces, discovering all they have to offer, and becoming active participants in park conservation."
If polar bears are the unofficial ambassador species for the fight against global warming, then glaciers are the official geographical feature. It's no surprise, really: Both are photogenic, mysterious, and disappearing faster than fries at a fat farm.
"We're talking about something that happens in your and my lifespan. We're not talking about something hypothetical, we're talking about something dramatic in its consequences," he said.Food security will likely become the most immediate crisis; farming regions in China and India that rely on glacial melt for irrigation already struggle to water their crops. As the World Glacier Monitoring Service announced their findings, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair met with Chinese, Japanese, and Indian leaders in Chiba, Japan, in hopes of ironing out solutions to the potential "catastrophe." Blair leads an international team that hopes to iron out a global pact to fight climate change. U.S. representatives were noticeably absent from the bargaining table.
"If the average person in the US is, say, to emit per capita, one-tenth of what they do today and those in the UK or Japan one-fifth, we're not talking of adjustment, we're talking about a revolution," [Blair said].