Wild animals have had some hilarious reactions to discovering cameras set up to watch them, and one curious little marmot in Montana who decided to step into a project dedicated to protecting its home is no exception.
Members of Greenpeace USA had set out to make a timelapse video of a stunning valley in Glacier National Park to raise awareness about climate change and how it’s impacting the park’s shrinking glaciers and alpine tundra. Instead, they got something that’s arguably even better – a kiss from a marmot.
Writing on Facebook, the group said, ‘Though we didn’t capture the timelapse video of Glacier National Park that we intended to, we captured something much cooler…Marmot Love.’
Even though the adorableness factor of the video is off the charts, the underlying message is sobering. The video was intended to be part of the organization’s campaign to ‘Keep our coal in the ground,’ which is raising awareness about climate change and the problems with the federal coal leasing program, in addition to raising opposition against the Department of the Interior (DOI) and Bureau of Land Management for auctioning off our public land for coal mining.
Writing in the video’s description, the organization stated: “In Glacier National Park, global warming is melting glaciers and shrinking the alpine tundra environment as treelines move higher up the mountains. Shrinking tundra threatens marmots and other animals that live up high in these mountains.”
At the end of July, the organization took to the skies with an airship in Montana during the Magic City Balloon Festival, to highlight the trouble that comes with mining and exporting coal from the West and to raise awareness about plans for the expansion of several mines in the state.
While the Obama Administration is trying to address climate change, greenhouse gas emissions and the problems burning coal causes by reducing its use here, the U.S. is still extracting and selling it abroad, which is undermining global efforts to curb carbon pollution.
According to Greenpeace, the DOI just sold 8 million tons of coal at 36 cents a ton from public lands in Colorado, despite attempts by environmental organizations to stop it over concerns that it would be exported. Soon the agency will try again to expand the Decker coal mine in Montana, which will unlock as much carbon pollution as 14 million cars a year.
Wherever it’s burned, our use of coal is fueling climate change. Greenpeace hopes to help stop the use of the one of the dirtiest fuels on the planet by getting Interior Secretary Sally Jewell to issue a moratorium on coal leases that will force companies that are taking advantage of taxpayers and destroying our environment to be stuck in the domestic market, where the use of coal is being rejected.
Now Greenpeace is urging us all to call on Jewell to help ensure a future for marmots and the other creatures who call our national parks home, and to ensure these national treasures are around for future generations, by keeping coal in the ground.
Photo credit: Greenpeace USA via Youtube