Polar bear article for MarkC

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Oct 28, 2002
Everson WA - Pacific NW USA
In a previously closed thread - I cited an article. Here is the entire piece:
Article Title: "Those Bad News Bears " Author: Section: Issues & Insights Date: 12/29/2006 Climate Change: The Bush administration buys into global warming hype by proposing that polar bears be listed as an endangered species. The only thing endangered about polar bears is the truth. Polar bears are cute and cuddly, at least when they are small. Certainly the marketing department of Coca-Cola thought so when it featured the critters in a famous ad campaign. Now the greenies have made them the poster pets of global warming, and the Bush administration is going along. Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne proposed on Wednesday that polar bears should be listed as "threatened" on the government's list of imperiled species, a step below "endangered," a category reserved for those facing imminent extinction, which greenies believe applies. A little over a year ago, three environmental groups - the Center for Biological Diversity, National Resources Defense Council and Greenpeace - sued to force just such a designation from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which oversees endangered species. "This is a victory for the polar bear, and all wildlife threatened by global warming," said Kassie Siegel, a lawyer for the Center for Biological Diversity. "There is still time to save the polar bears, but we must reduce greenhouse-gas pollution immediately." Taking a somewhat different view is Mitch Taylor, a polar bear biologist with the government of Nunavut, a territory in Canada. According to Taylor, and contrary to greenie hype, climate change - particularly in the Arctic - is not pushing them to the brink of extinction. They have adapted and will continue to adapt to their environment. In a 12-page report to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Taylor stated: "No evidence exists that suggests that both bears and the conservation systems that regulate them will not adapt and respond to the new conditions." Taylor emphasized polar bears' adaptability, saying they evolved from grizzly bears about 250,000 years ago and developed as a distinct species about 125,000 years ago, when climate change also occurred. Writing in the Toronto Star in May, Taylor opined: "Of the 13 populations of polar bears in Canada, 11 are stable or are increasing in number. They are not going extinct, or even appear to be affected at present." The current population of polar bears is said to have dwindled to 22,000 to 25,000. A half-century ago, before SUVs doomed the planet, there were only 8,000 to 10,000 polar bears, according to science writer Theo Richel. Much of this increase is due to hunting restrictions that were put in place. And if polar bears, as reported, seem to be losing weight, it may be because increasing populations are competing for the same food supply. Actually, global warming might help in that area. A reduction in ice cover creates a better habitat for seals, which are the bears' main food. Less ice cover means more sunlight producing more phytoplankton, increasing the supply of other food sources. On land, blueberries, which the bears adore, would become more plentiful. Taylor says he's seen bears so full of blueberries they waddle. "Life may be good," Taylor said, "but good news about polar bear populations does not seem to be welcomed by the Center for Biological Diversity. It is just silly to predict the demise of polar bears in 25 years based on media-assisted hysteria." It's even sillier to base public policy on it.
Thanks P. I won't respond with any counter-studies. This guy has interesting points. Hard to say whose numbers are right without seeing everybody's, all the relevant data, etc. I hope he's right and everything's fine with bears. (Notice, he didn't claim the Arctic wasn't changing).
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