05 March 2012

Forget about the polar bears, an even more important Canadian icon is facing extinction due to climate change.

The polar bear may be the poster animal for climate change, but there's more at stake than just an entire species if this environmental crisis continues apace. We, my friends, are in danger of losing our outdoor skating rinks.

All those back yard rinks, cleared patches of ice on lakes and ponds will soon be a thing of the past. Just like the doomed polar bear who will no longer have ice to hunt from, we will not be able to play shinny in our back yards. Like the majestic polar bear forced to invade northern towns in search of garbage to supplement its diet, we'll be forced to migrate further and further north in search of outdoor skating opportunities.

Tim Horton holiday artwork: also on the endangered list.
I envision a new subset of Canadians, similar to the migrant agricultural workers, except these people will wander aimlessly all winter, skates dangling from their necks, hockey sticks strapped to their backpacks, looking for illusive patches of ice. Thirty years from now, we'll be competing with the polar bears and other marine mammals for ice time. I think public support for the seal hunt is going to skyrocket when people realize we need their pupping grounds for Winterlude.

Although the article claims that the Atlantic provinces (handy guide for you, Oz) won't see much change in their winter ice-making abilities, I suspect Halifax has decided to skip winter altogether

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