Polar bears have been the canary in the ‘climate change’ coal mine for climate change for years now. The media, scientists, politicians, researchers, campaigners have all used the plight of these arctic bears as attention-grabbing indicators of impending changes in our climate, resulting in a certain amount of viewer fatigue.

But as current news shows, there’s no reason to write them off as a cliche yet.

Yesterday, Environment Canada officials reported in this article that temperatures in certain areas of the Arctic are “consistently warmer” than previous years, meaning that ice will take longer to form, a key factor in our furry white canaries’ hunt for food.

“The later it gets [without formed ice], the more weak bears there are who probably aren’t going to make it through.”

Polar bears and humans — our communities and economies included — face the same challenge: the longer we go without implementing adaptation and mitigation measures, the more our ability to survive the impacts of climate change will be compromised.

To protect species diversity, genetic diversity, and ecosystem diversity, policy-makers need to be reminded (no matter if it takes some repeated pulling at our heartstrings) that the need to adapt to climate change is constant.

As ACT suggests in our inaugural report on Climate Change Adaptation and Biodiversity, making the transition to an ecosystem-based economy would ensure that ecosystems in British Columbia (and across Canada) are fully valued in our resource decision-making.