polar bears

Polar Bears Fate - Klempthorne

Bumped and promoted. -- GH

Just who the hell does this Klempthorne guy think he is.....? Please take a minute and read the article. I signed up at the Alaskan site and posted a comment. I am beyond disappointed in the Bush Administration as well as Governor Palin. I don't know why the people of Alaska aren't outraged.

Kempthorne affirms 'special rule' for polar bears

As Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne announced new rules to reduce the influence of federal scientists on endangered species decisions, he also made permanent a "special rule" that will block steps that could protect threatened polar bears.

Kempthorne today made permanent a rule that says the listing of polar bears will not be used to limit greenhouse gas emissions, a leading cause of global warming, and the primary reason for the loss of Arctic sea ice, the main habitat of polar bears.

Summer sea ice this year shrank to 1.74 million square miles, the second lowest level on record and 860,000 square miles below the average between 1979 and 2000.

Kempthorne's rule also declares that decisions on petroleum management off Alaska's coast will continue to be governed by the Marine Mammal Protection Act, a law that conservation groups say has been interpreted too loosely to afford adequate protection for whales, polar bears, walrus and seals that depend on ice.

 

Making 'em Sweat: Delayed Action Further Endangers Polar Bears

Just a brief blurb from a Reuters news article by Deborah Zabarenko from Monday, January 7:

WASHINGTON, Jan 7 (Reuters) - The United States delayed a decision on whether global warming threatens polar bears, saying on Monday new data and public comment required more time. Environmentalists vowed to sue for quicker action.

Apparently, while denying that the potential reason for the exception was that "substantial scientific uncertainty" existed with regard to the threat to the bears, no really adequate answer was provided, and the head of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said it would take "as much as a month" to analyze all the pertinent details.

The blog just2hands provides some additional information about the initial decision to consider listing the bears under the Endangered Species Act:

well, a few weeks ago, the dept. of interior finally pulled its head out and put out a proposal to list polar bears as a threatened under the endangered species act ... gee, i wonder what convinced them? was it the reports of polar bear drownings or was it the cannibalism?

You can check the link to the blog for three action sites where you can either sign a pre-written letter or add one of your own.

Important Update: A guest post by Alisha Fowler via WattHead on DailyKos draws attention to some additional -- and more sinister -- reasons behind the delay. Check it out:

the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service was due to make a decision about its "threatened" status by this Wednesday. The Service has, however, delayed the listing for up to one month!

This leaves the bear and its habitat unprotected. Coincidentally, one of the largest oil and gas lease sales is set to occur on February 6, in the Chukchi Sea off of the northwest coast of Alaska –

Does anyone smell a rat burning Bush in the room?