Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Asian "Sun Bear" Facing Extinction

What's killing the sun bears?

The Asian sun bear, the smallest of the bear species, is facing extinction because of deforestation and poaching. Only about 10,000 of these little bears are left.

The habitat of the sun bear stretches from India to Indonesia; the only area that the sun bear population appears to be stable is in Thailand, where they have a logging ban.

Meanwhile, the bear populations in the Mexico, the USA, and Canada continue to grow.

Although deforestation and poaching are to blame in the declining numbers of sun bears, Asiatic black bears, and giant pandas, what creates the deforestation and poaching in the first place?

The simple answer is the lack of free-market capitalism in the countries of the southeast Asia.

In the USA, logging companies in the free market have to plant trees to replace the ones they cut down or they would eventually run out of trees and go out of business. This is the reason that there continue to be plenty of forests for our bears to live in and increase in numbers.

In southeast Asia, people legally (logging)and illegally (poaching) strip their country of it's natural resources, like bears and trees, without bothering to replace them. Without the responsibilities that pressure both producer and consumer in the free market, people living under socialist and communist governments get what profit they can for now and don't plan for the future, which is inherently bleak.

What's killing the sun bears' future is oppressed people without a future of their own.

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