The Heritage Foundation’s Foundry Blog has a useful summary today of the real state of the polar bear and the politically motivated sillineness of trying to list the animal as an endangered species.
Environmentalists are in their normal state of righteous frenzy over the Department of Interior’s continued deliberations on whether or not to list the polar bear as “endangered” pursuant to the Endangered Species Act. Responding to a California judge’s decision ordering Interior to make their decision by May 15, Natural Resources Defense Council’s Andrew Wetzler said, “The science is absolutely unambiguous that the polar bear deserves protection.” The Center for Biological Diversity’s Kassie Siegel added: “The science is perfectly clear. There’s no dispute. The polar bear is an endangered species.” This rhetoric is 100% typical of the environmental movement. All scientists agree with us. There is no debate. Politicians need to conform to our agenda or we’ll all soon die. The problem in this case is that someone forgot to tell the Canadians.
An independent committee of scientists told the Canadian government last Friday that the polar bears are not, in fact, threatened or endangered. The Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada did give the bears a “special concern” status, though, Canada’s weakest classification. Chairman Jeffrey Hutchings announced: “Based on the best available information at hand, there was insufficient reason to think that the polar bear was at imminent risk of extinction.” Hutchings went on to explain that the polar bears were facing threats from over-hunting and oil and gas development, but that the current modeling is not reliable enough to determine exactly what impact global warming is having on the bear.
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