Two bears fight climate change

Polar Bear and Formosan Black Bear - Taiwan EPA\'s mascots in the battle against climate change

The Taiwan EPA has chosen two cartoon characters representing a Polar Bear and Formosan Black Bear to promote the battle against climate change. From the EPA's press release

Although the Polar Bear and Formosan Black Bear have developed separately in the Arctic and Taiwan, they are both affected by the impacts of climate change. They both face a life and death struggle. Therefore the EPA has invited the Polar Bear and Formosan Black Bear to hold the lifelong honorary positions of carbon cutting ambassadors. It can also let the Taiwanese people better understand climate change is not just a problem in the Arctic, it is our problem and a global problem. [English translation by David]

At least the EPA chose an animal endemic to Taiwan as part of its campaign, alongside the Polar Bear as a global symbol. Michael Turton has an interesting post today on the Pangolin, another one of Formosa's endemic species. Taiwan has a number of  endemic species that are now quite rare or endangered. The Formosan Clouded Leopard is already believed to be extinct. 

Meanwhile Taiwan News today reports that Taiwan is going in the opposite direction to sustainable development.

The Executive Yuan released yesterday its 2007 Taiwan sustainable development indicators compiled by the National Council for Sustainable Development Network showing that Taiwan's living environment degenerated in 2007, despite improvements in many sectors, including reservoir quality and waste recycling.

Compared with the similar indicators applied to illustrate the country's environmental sustainability in 2006, the report indicates that 15 of 41 indicators moved away from sustainability in 2007.

They include the carbon dioxide emission amount, water resources, garbage output per capita, the volume of public pollution petitions under government management and the pesticide consumption percentage of agricultural output in a year.

The problem is enormous. It will take more than two bears to solve it and I fear that for the Polar Bear and Formosan Black Bear it may already be too late.