Skip to comments.Global warming threatens polar bears [ESA listing as "threatened" to be announced]
Posted on 12/27/2006 9:26:31 AM PST by cogitator
WASHINGTON Polar bears are in deep trouble because of global warming and other factors and deserve federal protection under the Endangered Species Act, the Bush administration is proposing Wednesday.
Pollution and overhunting also threaten their existence. Greenland and Norway have the most polar bears, but almost 5,000 live mainly in Alaska and travel to Canada and Russia.
Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne plans to announce later Wednesday that polar bears should be listed as a "threatened'' species on the government list of imperiled species, a department official confirmed Wednesday. The "endangered" category is reserved for species more likely to become extinct.
Such a decision would prevent the U.S. government from allowing any activity that could jeopardize polar bears or the sea ice where they live. Thinner sea ice reduces the amount of food polar bears can find, including ice seals that are their main prey.
Environmentalists hope that invoking the Endangered Species Act protections eventually might provide impetus for the government to cut back on its emissions of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping ``greenhouse" gases that are warming the atmosphere.
The proposed listing also marks a potentially significant departure for the administration from its cautious rhetoric about the effects of global warming.
President George W. Bush's steadfast refusal to go along with United Nations-brokered mandatory controls on carbon dioxide, the chief global warming gas, has contributed to international tension between the United States and other nations.
Polar bears, an iconic and cold-dependent animal, are dropping in numbers and weight in the Arctic. In July, the House approved a U.S.-Russia treaty to help protect polar bears from overhunting and other threats to their survival.
That vote put into effect a 2000 treaty that sets quotas on polar bear hunting by native populations in the two countries and establishes a bilateral commission to analyze how best to sustain sea ice. It also approved spending $2 million a year through 2010 for the polar bear program.
The Polar Bear Specialist Group of the World Conservation Union, based in Gland, Switzerland, has estimated that the polar bear population in the Arctic has dwindled to 20,000 to 25,000.
The group lists the polar bear among more than 16,000 species threatened for survival worldwide, and projects a 30 percent decline in their numbers over the next 45 years. It says sea ice is expected to decrease 50 percent to 100 percent over the next 50 to 100 years.''
The Interior Department plans to allow up to 90 days of public comment on its proposal, which was first reported by The Washington Post on its Web site on Tuesday night.
A little over a year ago, three environmental groups the Center for Biological Diversity, Natural Resources Defense Council and Greenpeace filed suit to force such a proposal from Interior's Fish and Wildlife Service, which oversees endangered species. Fish and Wildlife officials have been reviewing the status of polar bears more than two years.
They were pleased by the decision Wednesday.
"This is a victory for the polar bear, and all wildlife threatened by global warming," Kassie Siegel, a lawyer for the Center for Biological Diversity, said Wednesday. "There is still time to save polar bears but we must reduce greenhouse gas pollution immediately.''
"Environmentalists hope that invoking the Endangered Species Act protections eventually might provide impetus for the government to cut back on its emissions of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping ``greenhouse" gases that are warming the atmosphere."
The old bait and switch. IT'S FOR THE BEARS!! but not really Typical.
Why would "the Center for Biological Diversity" need a "lawyer" unless their shenanigans involve money? Big money. MONEY MONEY MONEY.
As long as 'It' says it, it must be true.
Yep, this is a bad deal. We should do what we can to protect polar bears, but this is really seen as an in by the evironmental whacos to try to sue the government so some leftwing judge can legislation CO2 emmissions controls from the bench.
It's all for blackmail of developed countries. Money grubbing criminals using treehuggers for tribute.
All animals seem to have acclimated to climate change as well as humans over the centuries -
Shave 'em and move 'em south.
I like the way they insert the word "Artic". There are a lot of polar bears that live below the Artic. Also, native populations are permitted to take approximately 600 to 800 bears per year. Saying that the Artic Poplulation has dropped from 25K to 20K is playing loose with the numbers.
If they are just interested in the "Artic" Bears, just stop granting permits for 7 or 8 years.
More junk science.
It sounds as if Polar Bears survive by eating snow. Although it does keep their Coke ice-cold.
If the bears are starving because there aren't enough seals, we could just air-drop some garbage dumpsters to feed them!
This is exactly the sort of "interior redecorating" that I spoke of in the thread on Singer and Avery; if this is the best that can be done about global warming then we have put the inmates in charge of the asylum..
The greatest threat to the polar bears is overhunting and we are powerless to stop that short of a policeman assigned as a personal bodyguard to every bear in Alaska.
The NRDC was formed on the heels of the 1970's acts signed into law by Nixon that empowered the alphabet agencies and made them virtual legislatures.
The founders were college classmates having graduated law school and saw a perfect opportunity to create their own guaranteed employment program by suing the federal government and they haven't stopped yet.
The founders are millionaires and have gone on to greater political glory as well.
Soon the seals will be overpopulated because the bears can't get them, then we'll have to club the baby ones to keep them from getting overpopulated. Better yet, we could spend millions on a bridge to the seals for the bears. Probably wouldn't cost much more than the "Bridge to Nowhere".
I thought Polar Bear lived in the Antarctic - after all I saw a Coke commercial that showed 'em partying with penguins and everybody knows that penguins live the Antarctic, right?
Penguins, puffins, what's the difference?
Polar Bear live wherever he want. Him heap big bear don't take no scat from nobody.
I just have to wonder if the 30% projected decline over the next 45 years is expected to be due mainly to overhunting or due to environmental changes.
"If they are just interested in the "Artic" Bears, just stop granting permits for 7 or 8 years. More junk science. "
It isn't science. It's a backroad to Kyoto.
Well me not going to argue wit' him.
Gee, and seeing that global warming is caused by changes in solar magnetism, not human activity, there's not much we can do about it other than breed polar bears in zoos.
Properly speaking, polar bears and brown bears are really just different subspecies (or races). This means that they have fairly great genetic diversity. Genetic diversity allows a species to adapt to a range of environments at a given time, or to adapt to environmental changes that occur over time.
This is a total non-issue. Just another made up story to get people worked up over something that is beyond our control anyway.
Fervid imagination is all you need consider.