Thursday, May 15, 2008

Save the Polar Bear - From Bush, Harper & Big Oil

Okay, I know better, it's my fault. I know that if something sounds too good to be true, chances are it is.

Like the announcement yesterday that the US had declared the polar bear a species in imminent danger of extinction. Yippee, it's "Save the Bears Day!" Not.

What was I thinking? This is the Bush regime, the same pack of bait and switch clowns the world has had to endure for seven and a half years already. Surely if we've learned anything it's that, when these creatures say anything, you can bet they mean something else altogether.

Yes, Washington has declared the polar bear in imminent danger of extinction. But the Bushies have also effectively said "so what?" The Independent sums it all up very nicely:

"Yesterday marked the first time the US Endangered Species Act was used to protect a species threatened by climate change. The US Geological Survey says that two-thirds of the world's polar bears could be gone by 2050.

The bears will only be protected from the direct effects of hunting, and some other activities, because of limits imposed by the Interior Department. It invoked a seldom used loophole to make it easier for the energy industry to actually expand activities that already threaten the bears and their habitat.

The Interior Secretary, Dirk Kempthorne, who spent much of his political life opposing the Endangered Species Act, said it would be "inappropriate" to use the polar bear listing "to regulate global climate change."

American scientists believe that sea ice loss will likely result in two-thirds of the polar bears disappearing by mid-century.

The plight of the polar bear has also caused vehement disagreement within the Bush administration and last month the conservative Canadian government refused to list the polar bear as endangered. Canada has some 15,500 polar bears and it has given the polar bear its weakest classification, that of "special concern", saying the animals were in trouble but not at risk of extinction.

President Bush is publicly committed to the rapid expansion of oil and gas exploration along the Alaskan coast, even at the cost of the polar bears' habitat and opposes any moves to combat global warming through regulation.

But faced with overwhelming scientific evidence that already rapid loss of sea ice is accelerating, Mr Kempthorne said and he no choice but to declare the species threatened. "Sea ice is vital to polar bears' survival," he said. "This has been a difficult decision. But in light of the scientific record, and the restraints of the inflexible law that guides me," he had made "the only decision I can make."

So, kids, what's the lesson from all this? It's that these right-wing governments will follow the law when it's "the only decision [they] can make" but then they'll do everything in their power to make sure their decision is virtually meaningless.

The North American Oil Lobby, also known as Bush/Cheney/Harper, know that, so long as they're at the wheel, Big Oil rules baby!


Anonymous said...

I gotta bite on this one. The CWLS recorded approx 5,000 polar bears in 1972...the same CWLS now has traced appox 25,000 polar bears in both the western and eastern arctic regions...were you trying to save them from overpopulation? And..lets say for example that the population of the polar bear was begining to lesson, what is the solution? We..Canada, do not control the GHG's that are killing this planet. So, if you cut the partisan crap that will eventually kill the Liberal party and decimate Mr about an answer, a policy or an idea? You guys are like that lady from the Simpsons who whenever there is a problem in Springtown yells.."what about the children"!
You cant yell the polar bears are dying when facts and figures show that the population has increased, well, you can but if your trying to win an election by saying that right wing governments cant solve this problem and we can, but, we'll only tell after you elect us, most of us have seen that act before. billg

The Mound of Sound said...

Well Bill it seems you did bite.

Tell me that you believe that the disappearance of the sea ice does not place polar bears at risk of extinction.

That's the only issue here Bill, not disputes over populations but what those populations will be in twenty, fifty or one hundred years.

You've found what you take to be convenient claims that allow you to avoid the one clear issue.

What's the relation between the disappearing sea ice and the short and long-term prospects of the polar bear? If you don't believe that puts them at risk of extinction, say so and explain why.

Anonymous said...

I'm just going by the facts...if the sea ice is disappearing, and has been disappearing for some time, and the population of the polar bear is increasing, then, I dont know, you tell me, wouldnt a grade 8 student kind of figure out that the disappearance of sea ice is causing the polar bear population to grow? Now I know that in the eastern part of the arctic there has been a noticeable difference in the size of the polar bears, but there has been no detailed examination into why? There also has been no explanation as to why Nunavit's polar bear population is exploding. I'm assuming though that sea ice disappears everywhere...thats why its called Global Warming not Certain Area Warming. Again..1972 5000 polar bears in our arctic...2008 we have 25,000 polar bears, now, if I'm a scientist, and I'm not, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn once, I'd say that there's a pretty good chance that the arctic cannot support 25,000 PB's, I'd say that because 36 years ago there were only 5000...thats where I'd start. But, I know I wouldnt say that they face extinction when I know for a fact that they're population is growing. Maybe its the clear country air!

The Mound of Sound said...

Bill, you could be right. You might actually be able to fine a Grade 8 student somewhere who would figure out that the disappearance of the sea ice was causing polar bear populations to explode. At least you know where to look Bill.

Anonymous said...

Well you said it. The sea ice is disappering and the polar bear population has exploded in the last 36 years...maybe the lack of harsh climate and lifestyle has been one of the reasons why there are so many now compared to 1972. Hey..your the one who wanted to use the population explosion of polar bears to explain why they are at risk of becoming extinct not me. I look at things rationaly and without partisan bend to them...I distrust all politicans..except for backbenchers..I love those guys/gals. billg

Anonymous said...

We can go on and on and on and it wont solve anything. Anyways...check out Obama's response to yesterday's attacks on him....that man is one smooth dude!
Backbenchers and Obama...
Anyways...Canada v Sweden today..gotta run and get stuff done before I sit down at the local pub, let the pretty girl pour me a light wheat ale made locally, and watch Spezza and Heatly do what they couldnt do a month ago...score and win a big game. GO CANADA!! billg

Anonymous said...

I wonder if there would be any fuss if Canada's population were to suddenly decrease to 25,000. Would politicians accept it, try to lie about it and cover it up??????? Oh I know...bring more immigrants into the country. Politicans are politicans and it doesn't matter what party any Canadian supports, it is their duty to watch their government of choice like a hawk and not allow them to get away with anything. But in Canada, a person must support their party of choice as if it were "God" or be cruxified.

The Mound of Sound said...

Anon 6:40. Thank you for your very forceful clarity. I think Parliament needs an ethics referee to break a lot of these deadlocks and I think you're just the person for the job!

Anonymous said...

Actually Anon, Canada's population is decreasing, unlike the polar bears. The average Canadian couple give birth to 1.3 children. We will in 60 years cut our population in half. Its a serious issue and one that for some reason is not addressed. Your last comment is just silly. The 4 major party's have its core supporters, and, although I am a Conservative supporter and have worked for a candidate, I have voted for a Liberal more often then a Conservative the last 20 years, get your act together and you get my vote...and I think the majority of Canadians feel this way. My issue and disbelief with the Liberals right now is the chasing of ghosts instead of offering up cost the Tory/Reform/Cons 10 years in opposition and, will cost the Libeals the same. No ethics referee...politics should be partisan. We are a better Country when both Liberal and Conservative's are strong party's, lead by strong men/women. Mr Harper has to clean up his act and get his MP's behaving like a government, some days they border on disgusting, and Mr Dion and his party have got to oppose with a purpose, right now they are rudderless. We have an ethics referee...its called the voters.