Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Polar bear needs protection

Polar bear needs protection
January 9, 2008

Alaska's Gov. Sarah Palin, a persistent advocate of increased oil and gas drilling, doesn't want the polar bear protected under the Endangered Species Act. Her position is not surprising: There is a clear conflict between saving polar bears and continuing to massively pollute the atmosphere with greenhouse gases. We can't do both.

What is surprising is Palin's attempt to cloak her position in science. She would have us believe that polar bears are thriving, with the southern Beaufort Sea population off Alaska's North Slope being stable for 20 years. Also, that the melting of the Arctic due to global warming is not foreseeable.

The international Polar Bear Specialist Group -- the pre-eminent scientific body on polar bear science -- has determined that the southern Beaufort Sea population is declining. Bears are drowning, starving and even resorting to cannibalism as their sea ice habitat rapidly melts away. Without sea ice, they are unable to hunt ice seals that make up the bulk of their diet. As the sea ice declines, fewer cubs survive, and those that do are smaller.

Read the rest of the story:
Polar bear needs protection

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