In Princess Mononoke, the master storyteller, Hayao Miyazaki, weaves a tale of human efforts to undo the results of their own, self-inflicted environmental damage. The movie is as beautiful as it is visually disturbing in parts, but the message rings loudly throughout — for every choice, there is a consequence:

Imagine a world where sagebrush grows in the northernmost reaches of Alaska. Where the Baltimore oriole no longer lives in Baltimore and the American finch can be found only in Canada.

Snowshoe hares will turn white before the snow arrives, making them easy prey. Birds and bats will arrive in the spring before the insects – their main source of food.

Along with the pikas and polar bears, 20 to 40 percent of the world’s known species could go extinct within a century – no matter what wildlife managers do.

That world may not be a figment of imagination, and it may come sooner than you think. It is the world that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s scientists predict we’ll see before the end of this century – and one they presented to federal land and wildlife managers, scientists and others Tuesday at the Boise Centre on The Grove on the first day of a two-day conference to examine how climate change will affect natural resources management….

Even if people can dramatically reduce greenhouse gases, which scientists say are the major cause of warming, experts warn the warming will continue for decades until the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere dissipates….

We are paying for all of our choices. Would that we would make better ones going forward.

(YouTube — music from Princess Mononoke.)