U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

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?