In a much anticipated announcement yesterday Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne declared the Polar Bear a threatned species. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dale Hall was able to successfully lobby Secretary Kempthorne to list the bear as threatened under the Endangered Species Act.
Framing his announcement between the familiar dirge of man-made global warming and genuine concerns about the economy Secretary Kempthorne said, “While the legal standards under the ESA compel me to list the polar bear as threatened, I want to make clear that this listing will not stop global climate change or prevent any sea ice from melting. Any real solution requires action by all major economies for it to be effective. That is why I am taking administrative and regulatory action to make certain the ESA isn’t abused to make global warming policies.”
Mr. Kempthorne's decision was based in part on studies he cited that showed differences in sea ice from the fall of 1979 to the fall of 2007. The studies and charts from the survey showed the Artic sea ice fell to the lowest level recorded by satellite and were 39 percent below the observed average between 1979 and 2000. The study also showed the loss of sea ice between 2002 and 2007. (http://www.doi.gov/issues/polar_bears.html)
Secretary Kempthorne stated that this decision is not intended to set U.S. climate management policy but will permit the nation's ability to, "develop our natural resources in the arctic region in an environmentally sound way." Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dale Hall was given the responsibility to give, "guidance to staff that the best scientific data available today cannot make a causal connection between harm to listed species or their habitats and greenhouse gas emissions from a specific facility, or resource development project or government action."
The rationale behind today's announcement from the USDOI stands in stark contrast to environmental news coming from Greenland that ice between Canada and southwestern Greenland has reached its highest level in 15 years. An a February 12th article written by staff of 'Sermitsiak on the "Deep freeze in western Greenland" says, "Satellite pictures show that the ice expansion has extended farther south this year. In fact, it's a bit past the Nuuk area. We have to go back 15 years to find ice expansion so far south. On the eastern coast it hasn't been colder than normal, but there has been a good amount of snow."
The writers go on to claim the reports of the deep freeze do not take away from the paper's belief in global warming but advise their readers to, "accept that the cold weather continues for some time." In short, Global Warming causes the build up of ice according to man-made Global Warming enthusiasts. Sermitsiak also notes in a February 14th edition, More polar bears seen at Sisimiut. It appears the polar bears around Greenland were uninformed of their soon-to-be-declared endangered status by the USDOI.
As for the dissappearance of Artic Sea Ice cited as the leading indicator of global warming and the rationale for placing the Polar Bear on the "Threatened Species" list a graphic posted by Artic Climate Research at the University of Illinois shows the current Northern Hemisphere Sea Ice Area for the past 365 days. While the graph clearly shows the anomaly in the 1979 to 2000 mean mentioned by the USDOI in yesterday's ruling, the graph also shows the levels of Artic Sea Ice increasing over those levels observed in 2007 with the overall trend for more Artic Sea Ice measured in 2008 versus the volume seen in the previous year.
As to the implied paucity of Polar Bears prowling about in the Artic environs by the U.S. Secretary of the Interior there has in fact been a population explosion of Polar Bears for the past several years due to the abundance of available prey for these giants of the north. Canada which has the major portion of Polar Bears has seen only 2 of 13 Polar Bear populations in decline according to a recent survey. In addition the worldwide population of these amazing animals is estimated to be somewhere between 20,000 to 25,000. Today's number of Polar Bears padding about in the Artic is in fact five times greater than that estimated to have existed in 1950's according to data compiled by The New York Times, Covebear.com, the International Bear Association and International Wildlife to name a few.
The more you delve into what is actually happening in the environment and veer away from the orthodoxy of the church of global warming the more you begin to see that the motivation for the alarmists has more to due with a political agenda than with science.
Major hat tips to Gateway Pundit, Small Dead Animals, Watts Up With That and Michelle Malkin.