Well, in finally admitting what the rest of us have known for some time, the Bush Administration and the Secretary of the Interior have announced that polar bears are a "threatened" species under the Endangered Species Act. Of course, because this is still the Bush Administration we're talking about, the announcement was sure to point out that just because polar bears are threatened doesn't mean that global warming is a real threat. Huh? Thanks for jumping on board, guys.
"Listing the polar bear as threatened can reduce avoidable losses of polar bears. But it should not open the door to use of the Endangered Species Act to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from automobiles, power plants, and other sources," said Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne.
Oh, okay. How's this though: While there are an estimated 20,000 to 25,000 polar bears now in the Arctic, scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey predict two thirds of the world's polar bears will disappear in the next 50 years because of a decline in Arctic sea ice.
And that, my friends, is because of global warming. Ugh, but how about this gem:
Rep. Edward J. Markey, D-Massachusetts, is Chairman of the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming. "After years of delay, the Bush administration was forced to face the reality that global warming has endangered the polar bear and that the polar bear needs to be placed on the Endangered Species Act," said Markey in a statement to CNN. "But the administration has also simultaneously announced a rule aimed at allowing oil and gas drilling in the Arctic to continue unchecked even in the face of the polar bear's threatened extinction. Essentially, the administration is giving a gift to Big Oil, and short shrift to the polar bear."
Jeez, can't these guys do anything just for the good of the planet or something? Why is it always, here's this, but we're gonna take that? I can't wait for these jokers to be out of office and someone with some foresight into the future can take over and perhaps do something good for the environment.
The Bush administration was supposed to make a decision on the status of the polar bear by January 9 of this year. Early this month, U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken of the Northern District of California agreed with conservation groups, ordering that the Department of the Interior announce a decision by May 15.
Some environmentalists say the delay of a decision was made to make it easier for oil companies to finalize $2.7 billion in offshore oil leases in the Chukchi Sea. That area between Alaska and Siberia is home to about 20 percent of the planet's polar bears.
"Had the polar bear been listed prior to January 9 as the law required, that lease sale could not have moved forward without some substantial additional review of the impacts to polar bears," said Siegel.
Well, I guess Bush's retirement sponsored by oil companies is well assured. Good for you and fuck the environment, huh, Mr. Pres.? How can this guy sleep at night with all the planetary resource raping he's allowing to proceed?