Polar bears rely on sea ice for hunting ringed seals. In recent years, summer sea ice has receded far beyond the relatively shallow, biologically rich waters of the outer continental shelf, giving polar bears less time in prime feeding areas. Polar bear researchers fear recent effects of the loss of sea ice on Alaska polar bear populations. A 2006 study by the U.S. Geological Survey concluded that far fewer polar bear cubs in the Beaufort Sea were surviving and that adult males weighed less and had smaller skulls than those captured and measured two decades previously — trends similar to observations in Canada's western Hudson Bay before a population drop. A U.S. Geological Survey study completed last year as part of the petition process predicted polar bears in Alaska could be wiped out by 2050. Kempthorne said last week he considered every point Palin made, and rejected them. However, he sought to limit the economic effect of the decision with the inclusion of "administrative guidance" that said the listing would not be used to create back-door climate policy outside the normal system of political accountability. He also said that the threat to polar bears did not come from the petroleum industry. I beg to differ and drilling in Alaska's ANWR will be the end of them in the wilds of Alaska! What the hell is wrong with us?
In response, conservation groups including the Center for Biological Diversity, Greenpeace and the Natural Resources Defense Council are seeking to overturn Kempthorne's administrative actions and seek limits on greenhouse gas emissions. Palin and other state officials called arbitrary a decision to list a healthy species judging by what they deem uncertain modeling of future climate change and unproven long-term impact of any future climate change on the species. State Natural Resources Commissioner Tom Irwin said it could have wide economic effects. "Inappropriate implementation of this listing decision could result in widespread social and economic impacts, including increased power costs and further increases in fuel prices, without providing any more protection for the species," he said. Deborah Williams, a former Interior Department special assistant for Alaska and an advocate in the state for global warming response, said Palin's lawsuit was not a prudent use of state money. "Clearly Secretary Kempthorne put a tremendous amount of thought into the listing decision and concluded correctly that listing was required," she said. Pleas look at the link for additional compelling pictures! Alaska Will Sue to Block U.S. Listing of Polar Bears as Threatened
I am just blown away! With the terrible effect oil and the environment is going to have on our near future let along our distant future if we are that lucky what the heck is it going to take to make our Government act responsibly? They show no concern for surviving into the future so...