The good news? Polar bears are being added to the protected species list. While there are currently as many as 25,000 polar bears currently in the Arctic, scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey predict that two thirds of the world’s polar bears will disappear in the next 50 years. The culprit? A decline in Arctic sea ice because of global warming. This is the first time an animal has been added to the protected species list because of dangers posed by global warming. Which is where the bad news comes in. While the being added to the protected species list will make practices like the trading of polar bear hides illegal, it won’t really affect global warming that much.
But in announcing the listing, Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne said the decision should not be “misused” to regulate global climate change.
‘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 Kempthorne.
‘That would be a wholly inappropriate use of the ESA law. The ESA is not the right tool to set U.S. climate policy.’
What a shame. I really liked polar bears.
Polar bear now listed as ‘threatened’ species – [CNN.com]