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May 14, 2008

Breaking News: U.S. declares polar bears "threatened"

Posted: 02:44 PM ET

U.S. Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne announced that the polar bear will receive protection as a "threatened" species under the U. S. Endangered Species Act. Conservation groups had petitioned the U.S. to give protection to the mammals - citing a rapid decline in Arctic sea ice, and U.S. government studies predicting a rapid decline for the bear population due to loss of habitat. The government was under federal court order to rule on the bears' status by tomorrow.

CNN.com will have full details soon.

-Peter Dykstra, Executive Producer, CNN Science & Technology

Filed under: Animals • climate change • environment • Polar Bears


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Mario   May 14th, 2008 2:57 pm ET

ONLY "THREATENED" there goes our genius president at work again!!!!!!


mo   May 14th, 2008 2:57 pm ET

One of the saddest things I've seen this year was a Polar Bear swimming for miles and being to weak to kill food to live.
Amazing animals indeed. I hope we can help them out.

I just hope that this isn't turned into a global warming issue. The bears are dying, focus on that.


Save the Polar Bear   May 14th, 2008 2:58 pm ET

Everyone should watch the documentary video "Growing Up Arctic". We are destroying the planet and killing off countless species of living beings.


Pam   May 14th, 2008 2:58 pm ET

It's about time. This is the best news I've heard in a long time.


James   May 14th, 2008 2:58 pm ET

Atleast they can decide on something!!


RFox   May 14th, 2008 2:58 pm ET

Have they checked the Island in the TV show Lost!


Martin   May 14th, 2008 2:58 pm ET

Is this the truth or just another ploy for an arguement against drilling for oil in Alaska.


karfar   May 14th, 2008 2:59 pm ET

it's about time


Tom, Kansas   May 14th, 2008 2:59 pm ET

Let me guess, this guy works for G.W.


Steve Morrissey   May 14th, 2008 2:59 pm ET

It's about d**** time that they did!


Steven Colbert   May 14th, 2008 2:59 pm ET

Bears are the number 1 threat to America!


kingdeon   May 14th, 2008 3:00 pm ET

Oh no!! But what will the world do/be without polar bears??


Nancy   May 14th, 2008 3:00 pm ET

Duh, are they just now realizing this?


Theresa   May 14th, 2008 3:01 pm ET

The real issues here is global warming. The reason the polar bear is being listed is becuase ice is melting. There is a need for global change to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.


Ron Vollick   May 14th, 2008 3:01 pm ET

Finally, the U.S. has announced what other nations have been saying for the past few years. Did it take this statement, by a country that has denied global warming, either man made or natural, to make the polar bear proiblem official?
You are a little late to the party folks.


Yie Lee   May 14th, 2008 3:01 pm ET

Extinction for certain species is a good idea: bears, sharks, tigers, pretty much anything higher on the food chain than me can go extinct and I'll be ok with it. Really.


Brian Hoelting   May 14th, 2008 3:01 pm ET

The polar bears can't be on the endangered species list , because that would mean that the current presidential administration would have to acknowledge that global warming existed and do what they could to protect the animal.


Eric Yule   May 14th, 2008 3:01 pm ET

They need to be protected to the fullest extent.


AZM   May 14th, 2008 3:01 pm ET

If the ice is what's declining... shouldn't it be put on the list?

Just kidding... however I'm curious that if the ice begins to come back will the Bears be taken off the list... since their current numbers aren't an issue?

I'm also wondering how we can protect an animal should it not be within our controled boarders?


M. Snyder   May 14th, 2008 3:02 pm ET

I wonder how long it will take for us to realize what is killing the Polar Bears. Take a close look at what we drive, as a popuplous. Those BIG Gas Guzzling SUV's and recreational Pick Up Trucks are creating a lot of green house gasses. Wake up America, before it's too late to save the Polar Bears along with a few other species, including ourselves.


Gabriel   May 14th, 2008 3:02 pm ET

The government also recognized that the Pope is Catholic, the earth is a sphere, and water is wet.


Spencer Hopping   May 14th, 2008 3:02 pm ET

Interesting announcement by the Interior Secretary.

As of Monday of this week the Government of Canada announced the Polar Bear populations in the Canadian arctic and north are not going to be classified as endanged. This is in contrast to the US Dept of Interior announcement of today.

Something to check up on.


chris Dickinson   May 14th, 2008 3:03 pm ET

so does this mean the US will stop all oil exploration in alaska to save the polar bears habitat??? i would hope that it does, as the more they destroy the natural habitat the more risk it puts the bears in. Will money win over nature??? Can america practice what it is preaching on this topic. I guess we will soon find out.


Al Bartz   May 14th, 2008 3:03 pm ET

How many human lives will be lost as we save or attempt to same the lives of polar bears? What is the value of the polar bear vs a human life? The loss of access to oil and the resulting affect on the human population of the world in my mind is of greater value than the potential long term loss of habitat for bears.


Adam GB fan   May 14th, 2008 3:03 pm ET

I'm all for conservation of a species that is actually threatened, but polar bear numbers have increased 5-fold in the past 20 years or so, and there are no studies showing a decline in Arctic sea ice. If anything sea ice is at its second highest levels since we started measuring it. This is a backdoor to stop the the US from drilling for domestic oil.


Liz   May 14th, 2008 3:04 pm ET

It's about time!


Taylor Martyn   May 14th, 2008 3:04 pm ET

How does this affect hunting polar bears?


Mark Kennedy   May 14th, 2008 3:04 pm ET

Give it a half hour...Sen. Clinton will come out with sweeping environmental policy changes in order to save the Polar Bear. Thanks CNN for giving the Senator from Pennsylvania, I mean West Virginia...sorry New York; another discussion piece that will be used to pander the constituency. GO OBAMA – VOTE FOR CHANGE!


Kevin   May 14th, 2008 3:04 pm ET

Its about time that the greedy oil companies lose a round in the fight to keep drilling out of those areas.


Rob S   May 14th, 2008 3:05 pm ET

What's sad is that this is part of agenda by the Far Left to ...

Step 1) Get the Polar Bear listed as Endangered.
Step 2) Use the Endangered Species Act to
A) prevent the development of anything that emits CO2 (cars, power plants, etc)
B) prevent any drilling for fossil fuels in the artic area.

The ranking member of the US Senates Standing Committee on Environment and Public Works (Senator Inhofe) stated:
"It's unfortunate that the debate has become more about timelines than actual science. What has become clear through this heavily litigated process is that listing the polar bear as a threatened species is not about protecting the polar bear, but rather advancing a particular political agenda"

It's too bad that, this spring, the ice isn't melting in the Artic as fast as the environmentalists want it to.


Sandy   May 14th, 2008 3:05 pm ET

It's about time...although the loss of their habitat is primarily due to the melting caused by global warming I'm not optimistic that the bear's story will have a happy ending.


dl   May 14th, 2008 3:05 pm ET

it's about time! too bad it took so long to come to this obvious decision. polar bears should definitely be on the endangered list.


B. Krause   May 14th, 2008 3:05 pm ET

Listing the polar bear as "threatened" is as blind, ignorant, and stupid as this administration's late recognition of "flawed intelligence" that propelled America into Iraq. Having worked in the Arctic NWR, I can say, with authority, that the animal needs "endangered" status, and it needs that designation, now. How can we be so dumb as to allow these folks access to such important decisions?


Its me again   May 14th, 2008 3:05 pm ET

Its about time. They Pushed this off forever in an effort to drill for oil up North.

Thank god our Grand Kids will hopefully have the option of seeing a Polar Bear NOT just in a zoo or book.


ShakaZuluVoodoo   May 14th, 2008 3:05 pm ET

are we ordering the sea ice to stop receeding? Every little bit helps I guess.


Polar Bears officially listed as a "threatened" species. - SpartanTailgate.com - Michigan State Spartans Forums   May 14th, 2008 3:06 pm ET

[...] Polar Bears officially listed as a "threatened" species. SciTechBlog: Blog Archive – Breaking News: U.S. declares polar bears "threatened" – Bl... [...]


dl   May 14th, 2008 3:07 pm ET

it's about time! too bad it took so long to come to this obvious decision. polar bears should definitely be on the endangered list.


Irwin   May 14th, 2008 3:07 pm ET

Finally! It's about time Bush showed concern for someone other than Big Business. Who knows, maybe he'll take seriously the problem of climate change – finally! Whether it's just to help the Republicans or not, it's sure good news for the planet.


onizuka   May 14th, 2008 3:08 pm ET

controlled borders? did you know alaska was one of the united states?


Karen Jones   May 14th, 2008 3:08 pm ET

I am outraged by the Bush Administration's cynical, manipulative and wanton disregard for the environment while pushing for more oil and gas exploration in sensitive habitats. The polar bear is obviously and heart-breakingly endangered, and the U.S. as the largest consumer of products which produce greenhouse gasses is perhaps the most responsible for targeting endangered wildlife (which may soon include humans) and taking action. The only good thing is that this administration will be out of office soon–though not soon enough for me!


stag   May 14th, 2008 3:08 pm ET

Lot's of animals and plants have become extinct...maybe the polar bear will join the list.


SAM2008   May 14th, 2008 3:08 pm ET

What about HUMAN PROTECTION everything is going up
GAS and FOOD prices is going skyrocket people start starving in this country
Is there any law to protect us?


ADZ   May 14th, 2008 3:08 pm ET

Thank God! We need to protect the environment, including animals as much as possible. We're killing this planet, including it's natural inhabitants.... the animals who don't know how to protect themselves from the problems caused by man!


lisa   May 14th, 2008 3:08 pm ET

Why is this breaking news???? This should have been decided about 5 years ago scientists have shown these findings to the administration!!! What you should focus on, is that the republican administration is NOW saying Glabal Warming EXISTS! it actually exissts, they said aloud a few dys ago. Thats the sad part. We're so ignorant as Americans.


biologist   May 14th, 2008 3:08 pm ET

The polar bear population is facing drastic conditions with mass starvation for not being able to hunt for seal during the summer months. The lack of sea ice will drive polar bear cubs during the hibernation season.


Barrie   May 14th, 2008 3:08 pm ET

Imagine a world with out the great white wandering bear. The frogs are vanishing while get excited about hybrid suv's that get 16 rather than 12 MPG, time for a radical rethink methinks....


Neil   May 14th, 2008 3:09 pm ET

WOW – we put an animal on the protected list because of what MIGHT happen... nothing good can come from this bottomless pit of governmental involvement based on hypothetical possibilities.

Neil


Zimm   May 14th, 2008 3:09 pm ET

Dang, does this mean Betty Crocker will stop carrying its tasty 'Polar Bear Helper' line of boxed dinners?


TJL   May 14th, 2008 3:10 pm ET

I better shoot as many as i can before that happens... Silly Libs!


James B   May 14th, 2008 3:10 pm ET

This is something that should have been done a while ago!


roger   May 14th, 2008 3:10 pm ET

People BEFORE animals, simple as that. Now lets get to drilling up in Alaska. We are no worse off is these bears disappear.


Andy   May 14th, 2008 3:10 pm ET

Should we go to war with Russia to protect the polar bears in their region if we don't feel they're doing enough to protect them? Since China's now the leading emitter of CO2, should we make sure they take action to protect the polar bear?


Charlotte   May 14th, 2008 3:11 pm ET

Well, it could be a start if it weren't a cynical effort by the current Administration to forestall having to give a rats about something besides money. We can only hope that the next administration won't continue to ignore the science and won't put their buddies' monetary profits above the moral imperative of tackling climate change and considering the inheritance (other than fiscal) of future generations.


Dean Monaco   May 14th, 2008 3:11 pm ET

don't think "ice" is classified as a living thing...


TY; mississippi   May 14th, 2008 3:11 pm ET

who cares about the ^^^%^$^ polar bears if we dont get this thing off the ground with our ecnomy we gone sink . SO MR polar im sorry but we gotta eat also


Denise Moran   May 14th, 2008 3:12 pm ET

Our government has failed us once again. The polar bear is endangered and by listing it as threatened, nothing will be done to protect it. Its habitat can still be destroyed and they can still be hunted. Our govenment was under a court order to answer to the American people by tomorrow. They have been dragging their feet so that they can give the specail interest groups such as oil companies, drilling rights to our public lands. The American people own our national parks and wildlife refuges and our government is selling our public lands to the oil, mining and logging companies with no concern for what we want them to do with OUR LAND. The Polar Bear is endangered and should have been listed as such. The Bush Administration once again has their way. The polar bear will die and these men will just become richer. We no longer have any voice in our country and this is morally wrong.


Bob   May 14th, 2008 3:12 pm ET

Polar Bears.... I mean... What have you done for me lately?


Doug S   May 14th, 2008 3:13 pm ET

Wow! A science based ruling? Who woulda thought. I bet heads will roll over this!


Sean   May 14th, 2008 3:13 pm ET

When the polar bear receive the protection as a “threatened” species under the U. S. Endangered Species Act. it will stop Bush from allowing his Oil partners from drilling in the arctic, which wouldn't do us any good anyhow since it would take at the very least 10 years to hit the market for use. This is not a fix for the problem we are all in, But it is a way for Bush and his friend to make even more money at our expence. Bush needs to pull his head out of his ass!


Edith   May 14th, 2008 3:14 pm ET

They put the bears on the list to prevent us from drilling. It's not about the bear, it's about politics. These environmentalists need to leave us alone. Almost nobody I know recycle anything only because we are sick of all this nonsense. We buy bottled water to drink and cook with and we throw all the plastic bottles in the trash. Forget recycling, we never will!!!!


dougie   May 14th, 2008 3:14 pm ET

The only thing that's threatened right now is the American Middle Class.


Oregon Ted   May 14th, 2008 3:14 pm ET

How is it the government is being ordered by a judge to make a ruling? Is the Polar bear being treated as a citizen? If a judge can order the government to make a ruling then why doesn't a judge make the government provide womb to tomb support and care for every citizen?


SHAKIRA   May 14th, 2008 3:14 pm ET

Ahahahaaha


JTG   May 14th, 2008 3:14 pm ET

Good points by AZM. Also, isn't this just a round about attempt to curb CO2 emmissions? If the polar bear is endangered and the only way we can save it is to cut CO2 then wouldn't they have plenty of ammo to go after many companies, cars, our preffered way of life etc.?


Jay   May 14th, 2008 3:15 pm ET

The ice is crowing this year; not declining.

http://www.cbc.ca/technology/story/2008/02/15/arctic-ice.html

Polar bear populations have gone up 500% since the 1970's.

I hope people wake up to this scam.


Bob   May 14th, 2008 3:15 pm ET

Threatened ? How can they be considered threatened when there are 20,000 to 25,000 and there is no direct census. According to a 2007 USGS Polar Bear population Status Report in the Northern Beaufort Sea, that the estimated populations size "and was not significantly different from estimates for the periods of 1972"

This is all about Government Bureaucratic control, nothing else. Anything that purportedly affects climate can now be regulated by calling on the Endangered Species Act.

Beam Me Up Scottie... Please!


Pip   May 14th, 2008 3:15 pm ET

But of course they won't link ice loss to emissions. Nothing will change.


ford   May 14th, 2008 3:15 pm ET

If the Ice is causing the endargerment, Lets make the ice stop from melting, I need my polar bear steaks
"GET REAL PEOPLE!"


Joe   May 14th, 2008 3:15 pm ET

Problem with the Endangered Species Act is that it doesn't do anything, other than ruin people's lives. Not one species has ever been saved by that act, although they try to take credit for it.


Andy   May 14th, 2008 3:16 pm ET

How are their numbers "threatened"? Of the 19 different polar bear populations, 6-8 are increasing, 2-4 are stable, 5 don't have enough data on them, and only 4 are declining. This seems to be more political than scientific.


Jon   May 14th, 2008 3:16 pm ET

Too bad the right clings to the belief global warming is a myth. No wonder libs are more educated.


af   May 14th, 2008 3:17 pm ET

Rob S.–

Please tell me this is a poor attempt at some kind of joke. You are probably one of those people who really believes that Global Climate Change is debated by a majority of the scientific community.


Brent   May 14th, 2008 3:17 pm ET

Declaring a species threatened won't change the climatic differential induced by forces outside of ourselves. We think much to highly of ourselves and the earth is much more resililien that we want to admit. Who are we anyway? Isaac Watts said it best when he penned these words, "What timorous worms we mortals are!"


S Bor   May 14th, 2008 3:17 pm ET

What's sad is that part of the agenda by the Far Right is to ...

Step 1) Get the Polar Bear to not be listed
Step 2) Continue to emit CO2 and drilling in the artic area.

It's too bad that, this spring, the ice isn't melting in the Artic as slow as the non-global warming believers want it to.


RG   May 14th, 2008 3:17 pm ET

Rob,

Does environmental legislation cost you money? Probably!


joaquin   May 14th, 2008 3:17 pm ET

It took almost 8 years to Bush to do something right.

He finally did.

Congratulations George.

Now, get out from the white house, and let someone else fix your mess !!


Ted Auch   May 14th, 2008 3:18 pm ET

I would like to express to all reading this that you need to act against Dirk Kempthorne and Stephen Johnson's continued attacks on the rights of our natural world. This is not the end ALTHOUGH this is huge and shows the power of grassroots movements. We need to look in the mirror and reduce our CO2 emissions. Walk, bike, or run to work sometime ya'll


DWalla   May 14th, 2008 3:18 pm ET

Polar ice caps have returned to near norms....

http://www.cbc.ca/technology/story/2008/02/15/arctic-ice.html


Don M   May 14th, 2008 3:18 pm ET

"What’s sad is that this is part of agenda by the Far Left to …

Step 1) Get the Polar Bear listed as Endangered.
Step 2) Use the Endangered Species Act to
A) prevent the development of anything that emits CO2 (cars, power plants, etc)
B) prevent any drilling for fossil fuels in the artic area."

Ah.... agendas or not, anything that emits CO2 is dangerous for the planet, period. What's wrong with preventing things that are dangerous for the planet? Right wingers or left wingers, whatever, who cares! We all have to live here. BTW, point B is redundant, drilling for fossile fuels contributes to the development of CO2.

Its not about agenda, its about living and sustaining on a planet thats not destroyed by humans comsumption.


Andy J, NY   May 14th, 2008 3:18 pm ET

I'm just wondering....

How is it possible that a species who has quintupled (yeah, thats 5x) in population in the last 30 years needs to be put on an endangered species list?

there were about 5,000 polar bears in 1975. Now, there are more than 25,000.

Also, the NOAA last week said that the polar bear ice shelf, the sea ice shelf is at the second largest point it has ever been, unprecedented growth in the last year.

Also- There is evidence to support the notion that the Antarctic ice is actually growing larger at its core, and recent ice shelf collapses may be attributed to localized, underwater volcanic activity.

The list goes on and on, and the science is far from settled.

p.s.- Doesn't anyone care that if you met a polar bear in the wild, it would almost certainly rip you to shreds and eat you? Yeah.


christine   May 14th, 2008 3:18 pm ET

THREATENED versus ENDANGERED?? The Polar Bear is an Endangered species. Threatened status is just another lame attempt by the Bush Admin just like their flawed EPA standards and losing battles with California over Auto Emissions.


Walter Graff   May 14th, 2008 3:18 pm ET

Al Gore has done it again spreading his misinformed information and convincing the world that we are all in for a heat wave and the bears and everything else is dying. And now others are starting to believe it. The only thing dying is intelligence and logic. Too bad the populations of polar bears are at very healthy levels. Better not tell them this. It might create the same false panic it has for humans.


toby hill   May 14th, 2008 3:18 pm ET

Get ready for $10 a gallon of gas. I have never seen so many dumb-asses in my life.


Bernard   May 14th, 2008 3:18 pm ET

No, what's really sad is that there's no agenda at all, yet extremists on the right assume political motivations behind things that are just common sense by the stewards of the planet – humans.

A species is put on the Endangered Species list because it's endangered. Polar Bears are endangered because their habitat is gradually turning into water. Photos taken over the last 5, 10, 20, and 50 years show the steady ice loss.

There was no "agenda" in the ice melting and there's no agenda in saving this incredible species.

Put away your political pellet gun and starting thinking and acting responsibly.


Wally   May 14th, 2008 3:18 pm ET

Why are our children taught "natural selection" and at the same time, we try to interfere with "natural selection?" At least we got to enjoy the white bear for a little while. Now there's another place we're not allowed to extract oil from!


vataylo   May 14th, 2008 3:18 pm ET

I lived in Idaho for almost 30 years where Dirk Kempthorne was the mayor of Boise and then the governor of the state. He is not liberal nor to the 'far left' as you implicated in your statement. He is a very conservative Republican. Your theory that this is due to the agenda of partisan politics and not about the real issues of greenhouse gasses and global warming is off base. You need to read up on what the scientific community has concluded and is unanimous in their concensus that this is real and approaching more rapidly than we realized.


James P.   May 14th, 2008 3:18 pm ET

Senator Inhofe is also famous for repeating his claims that "global warming is the greatest hoax perpetuated on the American people."

Back when Republicans controlled the House and Senate it was also he that stacked the panel of climatologists testifying on the issue of global warming with oil and coal industry-paid "scientists" whose work was never peer-reviewed nor accepted by any credible scientific publication or community at large.

Not to mention that Mr. Inhofe's largest supporters, and contributors, come from from the same industrial base.


Baja   May 14th, 2008 3:19 pm ET

What a joke.. don't be so gullible to believe such nonsense. All the tree huggers are trying doing is socializing the U.S. by controlling the resources. Get a life


DGM   May 14th, 2008 3:19 pm ET

There is a law that requires the federal government to have a balanced budget. That law is conveniently – and illegally – ignored.

There is a law that requires funds collected for social "security" to be placed in the social security trust fund and not be used for other purposes. That law is conveniently – and illegally – ignored.

Will the federal government now take the actions required by it own law in response to the declaration of the polar bear as a threatened species?


venturellak   May 14th, 2008 3:19 pm ET

It is so sad what the degradation of the environment is doing to our furry friends. I just hope people will smarten up, and learn to worry about how our actions affect our surroundings.


MarkJMarshall   May 14th, 2008 3:19 pm ET

Of course tomorrow the Bush administration will announce that it is eliminating any power in the endangered species act.

Narrator: Watch now as Bush merrily drives all of us over the cliff.


Goat   May 14th, 2008 3:20 pm ET

Polar bears are giant cats who like snow. YEEHAZ!


Liz   May 14th, 2008 3:20 pm ET

Mo,
At this rate we will be next, focus on that.


Mark Austin   May 14th, 2008 3:20 pm ET

This year was so cold the caps have refrozen and some. the temperature that went up .5 degrees over 100 years went down 1 degree this year. global warming is a marxist farce to destroy the wealth of America. It snowed in seven states during the month of May.
Why are we letting enviromental wack jobs set policy?


Tom   May 14th, 2008 3:20 pm ET

Far Right also has a political agenda too – which in effect dumps more toxins into our air for our kids. To me it's sad to see our country challenging laws that protect our environment.


Anthony Henderson   May 14th, 2008 3:20 pm ET

Stop Globel Warming.............Save the Polar Animals......


Matt   May 14th, 2008 3:20 pm ET

Impressive, the polar bear population has increase 5X in the last 30 years, but it is now politically expedient to list them as threatened.

Come-on CNN, run more Planet in Peril stuff... it is not like you don't have a evsted interest in whipping up the hysteria.

Mark my words, twisting science for political gains (i.e., the Global Warming consensus versus actual scientific research) will come back to haunt this political movement. Case in point, using the courts to "find" and enforce rights versus convincing people that the rights where important and should be firmly imbedded in our laws. The Supreme Court is swinging the other direction, and all those "found" rights gained through questionable legal reasoning are now in danger. Because something is hard, is a good indication that it is important... and will take effort to achieve. Will you ever learn?

Sadly, the answer is probably no.


Will   May 14th, 2008 3:20 pm ET

If the so-called agenda of the Far Left (according to Rob S) results in recognition of the environmental catastrophe and the ensuing incalculable human suffering that will result from drilling for even more oil in a pristine wilderness, the ever-increasing emissions of CO2, and the global warming that will eventually flood half the state of Florida, then I for one am proud so say that I'm a Liberal and damn proud of it.

Even soon to be ex-President Bush has finally acknowledged that global warming is real, there is no real debate about it. The question now becomes do we try to mitigate its consequences, or keep drilling for oil, burning it, and make it worse for our children.


Rjmcg88   May 14th, 2008 3:20 pm ET

Hey Mario, what else do you want to blame the president for? Hurrican Katrina, Chinese Eartquake, Myanmar Cyclone, Kennedy assassination, American Idol, Hugh Jackman...?


Ian   May 14th, 2008 3:20 pm ET

Post by: mo May 14th, 2008 2:57 pm ET

"One of the saddest things I’ve seen this year was a Polar Bear swimming for miles and being to weak to kill food to live.
Amazing animals indeed. I hope we can help them out.

I just hope that this isn’t turned into a global warming issue. The bears are dying, focus on that."

How can you say you hope this shouldnt become a global warming problem...IT IS A GLOBAL WARMING ISSUE. READ THE FACTS.


Onan   May 14th, 2008 3:21 pm ET

This is ridiculous on so many levels. The polar bear does not fit any classification of "threatened" or "endangered" species. The only reason they make this list is because the prophets of Global Warming have said that the polar bear habitat is disappearing. But as any true accounting of polar bear numbers will prove...their numbers are increasing not decreasing. CNN and all other news agenices need to stop showing the canned footage of ice caps breaking apart with polar bears on them and start reporting that polar bears can swim for hundreds of miles if necessary and are in no "immediate" danger.


Jeff, Hampshire, IL   May 14th, 2008 3:22 pm ET

Hey "Mo"-

"I just hope that this isn’t turned into a global warming issue. "

What would you call it then?


Omar   May 14th, 2008 3:22 pm ET

I'm no expert in the field, so this may sound crazy, but...
has anyone thought about sending maybe a couple thousand polar bears to antarctica? There's no melting danger there, and seals and penguins are abundant... it might be a great habitat for polar bears.. if only they had been able to reach it on their own.
Not that this would justify not caring for them in the Arctic...
Omar


Dianne   May 14th, 2008 3:22 pm ET

It's about time, what idiots are running this country. Only hope it's not too late for them ,and for us.


tim   May 14th, 2008 3:22 pm ET

Who in there right mind would choose oil over a living thing? A change to the ecosystem, even a slight one, could send this planet to disaster and I see comments about the importance of oil???? People have been on this planet for a couple thousand years and we have used oil for what a couple hundred. Of course in this country I have seen a shift in priority....we live in a "what's best for me and screw everybody else" kind of world....really sad. For the people that think oil is more important than wildlife, I hope the bears get a chance to meet you up close and real personal and we'll see who wins the habitat.


Robert   May 14th, 2008 3:22 pm ET

What is so bad about putting the polar bear on the threatened list?
We humans tend to forget that we are but one species on a planet where life flourished for countless eons before we arrived.
Will humanity be the guardians of this fragile little rock we live on? Or will we be the virus that sickens and ultimately causes it to be yet another lifeless speck of dust in this unimaginably vast universe?


Tere   May 14th, 2008 3:22 pm ET

How about putting people on the Endangered Species list and focusing on saving them? We could start with Myanmar, China, Darfur, kids who are pimped out to pornography, the homeless, those who will soon be homeless....


Alan Tobey   May 14th, 2008 3:22 pm ET

Those rows of claw marks we've been seeing across the arctic tundra weren't from the bears - they were from the anti-green administration dragging their fingernails trying to slow down the inevitable, doing as little as possible for as long as possible.

AFT, I'd say - and only another 8 months till the next administration moves the polar bears to full endangered status.

The Republican Interior Dept. should have put THEMSELVES on the endangered species list - they'll be extinct in 2009.


Common Sense   May 14th, 2008 3:22 pm ET

Who are we kidding. There were 5,000 bears in 1970 and now there are 26,000. Most populations are growing. This is obvious global warming politics.


James   May 14th, 2008 3:23 pm ET

Maybe they wouldn't be threatened if you Americans stopped using up all the natural resources, Your Iphone isn't worth the extinction of a species


AlGoreToldYouSo   May 14th, 2008 3:23 pm ET

I know I'm only saying what you already know, but just in case you didn't know by now, then here it is again: AL GORE TOLD YOU SO.

Not to be pessimistic but the sad thing is that this is just the beginning of more severe effects that earth and everything in it will experience.

It will be interesting to know whether the interior dpt will take this long to issue an endangered status for the species of Sean Hannibal, Junk head Limbaugh, & their supporters.

It's time for a new era, one where America and its magnificent people, democrat republican independent or other, begin to make their own conclusions about the dynamic changes going on around us instead of taking advise from fraudulent hippocritical pundents such as the ones I already named above.

Cheers & blessings to all from a proud registered democrat :~)


George Wiseman   May 14th, 2008 3:23 pm ET

Hey Al Bartz. You talk of how many human lives will be lost by decalring polar bears as threatened. Isn't it time to ponder this thought?? Don't you think there are WAY TOO MANY human beings on this planet as it is? And we are the culprits. We selflessly destroy everything else all in the name of greed and profit. Heres an idea: Lets share this beautiful planet with all the other species that exsist instead of drilling and paving the entire planet at the cost of beautiful but helpless species. I personally would like to see about 5 billion LESS humans on this planet. We can start with the politicians, then the greedy corporate execs. And mother nature always has the upper hand, so in due time the human species will be the ones on the endangers species


jay merr   May 14th, 2008 3:23 pm ET

If anyone is wondering why they price of oil is so high, this is the reason. When you look at the facts the polar bear population have been growing. The global population of polar bears is 22,000, about double what it was just four decades ago. The environmentalists have taken control of the government and global warming is the scam of the century.


amy   May 14th, 2008 3:23 pm ET

I guess we'll just now have to pay $20 a gallon for gas while the polar bear continues to roam for free


Emily   May 14th, 2008 3:24 pm ET

They need to add humans to the endangered species list.
Genocides, earthquakes, cyclones, wars, global warming...
Eventually it's going to need to be done. I wonder if we'll stop being so stupid if we are added.


dall   May 14th, 2008 3:24 pm ET

They are really delicious meal for tose in the artic good they having something done .


Zoltan172   May 14th, 2008 3:24 pm ET

to Mario:

"ONLY “THREATENED” there goes our genius president at work again!!!!!! "

Can you read and tell me in the article where does it state the president announced this???


Austin Stevenson   May 14th, 2008 3:24 pm ET

This has to be a first. Declaring something endangered even though there is no evidence that the numbers are any lower today then they ever have been is irresponsible!

Its just bunny huggers watching anecdotal videos! Ask an Alaskan what they think the effectiveness of more Federal Regulations is!


Ray   May 14th, 2008 3:24 pm ET

I just finished watching the Planet Earth series and it showed much of what the Polor Bear is going through. It's sad to think that they may be gone in our lifetime...I hope and pray that we can save them and so many more species in danger of being extinct.


Michael in NYC   May 14th, 2008 3:24 pm ET

Wow. It's amazing that enforcing a federal law, which the Bush Administration has simply dragged its feet on, is suddenly an agenda of the "Far Left."

And now we are quoting the infamous Senator Inhofe for objective, "actual science" on the causes of global warming and his views on drilling in the arctic?

Senator Inhofe has received over 1 million dollars in campaign contributions from the oil and gas lobby, the second highest amount in the U.S. Senate after Texas Senator John Cornynn. I'm sure he doesn't have an agenda.

Let's put it this way, I'd rather rely on the "actual science" of environmentalists and the vast majority of the scientific community than a senator who receives most of his campaign money from the very industry that opposes the concept of global warming.

Yes, the push to protect the the arctic from unncessary drilling, global warming and threats to animal species that thrive on the fragile arctic climate, is in fact a political agenda. Fortunately, it is an agenda, that while not perfect, is based more on objective science than on corrupt congresspeople who receive all of their money from gas & oil companies.


Randomthoughts   May 14th, 2008 3:24 pm ET

Too little too late, sadly. Of course, the hope is there that this will help slow the inevitable, however, as hard as it is to swallow, this move will most likely not save the polar bears... or other species in peril due to mankind's constant tinkering.


Fish   May 14th, 2008 3:24 pm ET

Rapidly declining Arctic sea ice, so funny. Well I guess the media isn't the only ones buying the crazy enviromentalists propaganda anymore. Try telling a Canadian about Global Warming and they will laugh in your face.


Lee   May 14th, 2008 3:24 pm ET

So, now that the polar bear is on the list, what does this mean going forward for drilling for more oil, putting coal plants on line and also nuclear plants? I love our planet as much as the next person, I also hate seeing what we are doing to it environmentally, but people have to live too. If we do not stem the rising cost of diesel fuel, we will all be paying huge amounts for our food, truckers will stop hauling supplies, then where will we be.
The short sightnedness of our government for decades has led us to this dire situation, we have no alternative fuels on line to bail us out. Ethanol has proven a disaster, as it is driving up food costs all over the world. It also dispurses more carbon into the atmosphere during production. What genius thought this up? I for one am sick of the mismanagement of our country, but honestly don't see anyone on the horizon with the fortitude to take the measures necessary to come up with a plan to fix things.


Stephanie   May 14th, 2008 3:25 pm ET

First of all, yes the melting ice is within our controlled borders. Ice is melting off the coasts of Alaska which has been part of the habitat of the polar bears (also that of our Inuits aka. Eskimos).

Also to address Rob, yes this might be part of the agenda of the far left however there is nothing wrong with preventing the production of processes that emit CO2 since that is what is causing global warming and for the ice to melt. And to quote Senator Inhofe (R-Oklahoma) is an unwise choice since he is one of the few Senators out there delusional enough to still believe that global warming either a) does not exist or b) has not been caused by human factors.

It has been addressed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change which advises the United Nations that global warming is caused in part by human activity and even our own President Bush has had to come to terms that global warming is caused by humans when the National Academy of Science came to the same conclusion. Not to mention all other national academies of science to all developed nations.

So yes this might just be a ploy of the far left to pass legislation to fight global warming but whats so wrong with that when it will be beneficial to us in the end?


The Wiggler   May 14th, 2008 3:25 pm ET

The best way to save the polar bear is to convince Texas Ranchers they are easy to farm, and taste delicious!


VRWCDude   May 14th, 2008 3:25 pm ET

OK, tree huggers. All of you who ascribe to global warming theories and complain about SUVs are now forever prohibited from complaining about gasoline at $4/gallon, as polar bears live on (or at least near or around) a gigantic lake of domestic oil known as ANWR.


Cissy   May 14th, 2008 3:25 pm ET

I'm not exactly certain that I understand what reduction of ice pack has to do with declining bear populations. Most of the things that the bears eat live in the ocean, right? Less ice, more ocean, more habitat for the things bears eat. More food equals fatter, healthier bears, which should mean that more bears survive.


Matt   May 14th, 2008 3:25 pm ET

I think we should sacrifice some virgins to appease the god 'Climate Change'. Polar bears? Hasn't the population hit record high levels in the past few years?


thesquibs   May 14th, 2008 3:26 pm ET

HELLO!!!

POLAR BEARS ARE EXPERT SWIMMERS.

THERE ARE MORE POLAR BEARS NOW THAN THERE WERE 100 YEARS AGO!

THIS SYMPATHETIC OUTPOURING FROM MOST OF YOU IS AN UNSCIENTIFIC, KNEE JERK REACTION TO A FAUX PROBLEM.

WAIT TO SEE WHAT OUR THEORETICALLY BENIGN GOV'T DOES WITH THIS NEW POWER. MOST OF YOU ARE BEING MANIPULATED!!!


Jeremiah   May 14th, 2008 3:26 pm ET

This makes me laugh. Global warming is a hoax.


Mark   May 14th, 2008 3:26 pm ET

I commend the Bush adminstration for not bowing to the bleeding heart liberals and special interest groups who think that human beings should put reptiles and animals above the necessities for human survival.


Jeff, Hampshire, IL   May 14th, 2008 3:26 pm ET

Some of you use the word "environmentalist" as if it's a bad thing. How long do you expect us to enjoy our world as we keep destoying it for profit?


Realist...   May 14th, 2008 3:27 pm ET

Couldn't care less about the polar bear. A little too high up on the food chain. Call me when algae starts going endangered. Aside from polar bears being cute they really don't affect much. Sianara polar bear, it's been a good run. Keep some polar bear DNA on file should we want to see one a couple hundred years in the future.


Bob   May 14th, 2008 3:27 pm ET

Tips to help save the Polar Bear!
Stop driving motor vehicles.
Turn off all electical devices.
Stop cutting the lawn.
Stop the earth from emitting naturally occurring CO2.
Last but not least, Stop breathing.

If every coolaid drinking person on the planet could follow these simple steps. This Global Warming thing would be reversed, well whenever the earth feels like it.


isaac novick   May 14th, 2008 3:27 pm ET

About time. Regardless of what some have posted, the arctic sea ice has and is declining significantly. Not only are polar bears threatened, but the harp and bearded seals they prey on are threatened as well as the fish such as arctic cod that feed on organisms that grow under the ice. In fact, the entire arctic ecosystem faces collapse if the ice disappears. If polar bear numbers have increased in the past 20 years, it is because of hunting bans and not because their habitat has improved. It should be noted also that decreasing arctic ice is not the only threat to the polar bear. Accumulation of PCB's in their bodies, mainly due to uncontrolled release of these substances from the former Soviet Union, is killing bears right now, with very little we can do about it.


danielle varner   May 14th, 2008 3:27 pm ET

The ESA has broad responsibility outside the US. If the record showed that listing wasn't warranted, then the species would not have been listed. Oil development on the north slope should be minimally affected by the listing since federal agencies already apply measures to protect the species under the Marine Mammals Protection Act. The regulation of CO2 emissions or other activities that occur outside of the Arctic region will not happen due to the listing unless those activities will have a "reasonable certainty" of taking the species (this has been confirmed by ESA case history). The govt is required to use the best available information to make decisions, anything less would be subject to potential loss during subsequent litigation. Obviously with the administration's energy initiaitves, if listing was not supported by science, it would not have been listed. By the way, a listing does not preclude activities that could impact the species. The ESA was designed to prevent a species from becoming extinct not eliminate activites that potentially affect the species. To date, no information regarding oil development on the north slope has been documented to adversely affect polar bears. The only potential impacts result from conflicts with denning and site development, currently den sites are buifered by at least one mile during development planning and the USGS is developing a model to predict where dens could occur in the future. Please educate yourselves outside of the spin created by the Center for Biological Diversity and also those on the right. Many folks work directly in this arena and the facts are often hidden or twisted by the media and special interest groups.


DC   May 14th, 2008 3:28 pm ET

Unfortunately, this is just another way the Bush Administration has side-stepped it's moral obligation to protect a truly endangered species in the interest of Big Oil. Not a single animial has been listed endangered in his entire 2 terms as President. Listing the Polar Bears as "Threatened" will still allow oil drilling to take place....what happens when there is a spill, and the polar bears are covered in oil....the WILL die....along with many other species. For Dirk Kemperthorne to say that the polar bears and global warming are two separate issues is laughable....they ARE tied to one another and he has all the scientific facts to prove it!!! Make a difference people....get out there and demand your local goverment reps and the candidates running for president make global warming and alternative fuel issues that are addressed!


what a joke   May 14th, 2008 3:28 pm ET

There are more polar bears now then 50 years ago. The ice isn't melting. Most of them don't even live on the ice. Filming 1 bear drown is not a trend.


Concerned   May 14th, 2008 3:28 pm ET

It never ceases to amaze me how people are so willing to listen and buy what the media has to offer. Global warming is a farce, we all should be more worried about the next ice age occurrying. Even the founder of the weather channel has stated what a hoax all of this is, however, you all just keep believing. It is a known fact that there are many issues way more important than the plight of the polar bear. Addiitionally, if you would take time to do some internet research, there are studies by reputable individuals, living among the polar bears that have stated there population is thriving. Oh.. and for the poor polar bear that was swimming until he could no longer swim. THAT IS A LIE AS WELL.. Polar bears can swim for over 50 miles before even tiring. If you going to spend your time worrying about life, why not spend it worrying about the plight of the human race itself. My guess. I'm sure you all voted for Al Gore for president too! It is the arrogance of the human race that thinks we can truly control the earth's climate. Guess what folks. It's been around for alot longer than we have, and my guess. It will survive much longer than we will as well. Let's get things put into their proper perspective!


Lies   May 14th, 2008 3:29 pm ET

Greedy environmentalists win again! I hope they "feel" better now.


Knowing Better   May 14th, 2008 3:30 pm ET

Aside from the fact that this ruling has been delayed for months while oil leases were negotiated by the "friends of big oil", this half measure is consistant with a president that puts his interests ahead of the people who he is elected to serve. Wasn't Mr. Bush the last person on the planet to acknowledge global warming even exists? I hope the polar bears can survive the incredible shortsightedness and lack of respect for scientific fact displayed by this president's most recent behavior. I worry for my children's sake. I wish he would as well.


Mark   May 14th, 2008 3:30 pm ET

Idiotic. This will end up blocking, delaying and adding to the cost of every consruction project in the United States. No one is even sure if the polar bear is in actual decline. Some studies show an increase. This is pure madness and nothing but a backdoor attempt by environmental activists to shut our power industry down. Like gas at $4.00.? You'll love it at $10.00. The repurcussions will dwarf the ethanol disaster.


JB   May 14th, 2008 3:30 pm ET

If I recall correctly, Senator Inhofe was the same guy who in 2003, claimed to offer "compelling evidence that catastrophic global warming is a hoax".

Still haven't seen the evidence, but coincidentally, only Texas Republican Senator John Cornyn has received more campaign donations from the oil and gas industry.

As an Independent voter, quoting Senator Inhofe on the environment is like asking Darth Vader for his opinion on Mary Kay products. It cheapens your argument.


Gary   May 14th, 2008 3:31 pm ET

There are 5 times more polar bears now, than there was in 1960.
Where is the problem?
The problem is the fact that the voters responsible for the politicians passing such legislation, are just as stupid as the politicians. Enjoy your new Marxist government, it is just what you are choosing.

I KNOW YOU FEEL THE POOR POLAR BEARS PAIN ! !
What a silly bunch of idiots.


thesquibs   May 14th, 2008 3:31 pm ET

AND IF MR. WISEMAN BELIEVES WHAT HE SAYS...

"Don’t you think there are WAY TOO MANY human beings on this planet as it is? "

...THE LOGICAL CONCLUSION IS THAT IF SOMEONE IS REALLY CONCERNED ABOUT THE ENVIRONMENT, THEY SHOULD REMOVE THEMSELVES FROM THE ENVIRONMENT ENTIRELY, AND THERE'S ONLY ONE WAY TO DO THAT...

too many people, Puh-lese,
go tell it to the Chinese.


Robert   May 14th, 2008 3:31 pm ET

To all the people who say that global warming is a hoax-
Can you deny that we are adversely affecting life on this planet?


what a joke   May 14th, 2008 3:32 pm ET

He meant there are too many other people.


Felipe Moura   May 14th, 2008 3:32 pm ET

Unfortunate is to late to decide on alternative in saving the polar bear species which is in emerging extinction, is just up to society to be conscious of what the overpower of industry and financial lust would do to the word.


sparks   May 14th, 2008 3:32 pm ET

people need to understand
if you want to put people first,,,then you must put the enviroment first,,
everything is a chain,,one won't survive without the other.
so if your worried about yourself surviving,,your better worry about the enviroment and that includes our animals.
people need shelter as well as food etc.
in the big picture,,planet earth is our shelter, our enviroment,,,destroy it,,and you destroy humanity.
polar bears are one link, but remember, its a chain, and a broken link causes a chain reaction


chad   May 14th, 2008 3:32 pm ET

Hmmm...I bet the first people to hail this ruling to "protect" the Polar bear are also the first to whine about high gas prices and first to blame Bush and the GOP.

Liberalism is a Mental Disorder


MoonRat   May 14th, 2008 3:33 pm ET

By reading the comments, it's obvious this issue is mainly about politrix and not really about the bears. Our country, as well as many others, have put the environment on the back burner for way too many years. Unfortunately, with our economy collapsing at an even faster rate, the environment may have to stay on the back burner. Rising fuel costs, as well as rising food costs, are squeezing the life out of many of us. I believe that endangered species should be protected, but feeding and protecting your family will always be important.

Now, while I enjoy seeing animals in the wild on those rare occasions, I'm pretty sure I wouldn't want to see a polar bear in the wild, especially a hungry one!


Texashoosier   May 14th, 2008 3:33 pm ET

The world has been brainwashed by Nuts who are using eco terrorism to advance their political agenda. By listing the polar bear as an endandered species we have in effect ended all hope of drilling for oil in the U.S. What this means is that we are going to become more dependent on foreign governments to provide our oil. The polar bear population has increased in the arctic over the last 20 years. The arctic ice is not melting at the levels these people would have you believe. The global temperatures are no longer rising. The science being qouted is over 10 years old. Pollution is a problem but man made substances are not the major cause of climate shifts. STOP LISTENING TO PEOPLE WHO DO NOT HAVE OUR COUNTRIES BEST INTEREST AS THEIR DRIVING FORCE!!!


Chris   May 14th, 2008 3:34 pm ET

I am a realistic person tending towards protection on environmental issues. I am not an extreme person in any way. It bothers me, though, that many of the "right-wing" comments posted here show a human arrogance that the planet is ours, and ours only. We share the place with other forms of life and that needs to be considered in issues such as this.


Will   May 14th, 2008 3:34 pm ET

Just a quote from that CBC article that several people have cited as evidence that the Arctic ice is better than ever:

"But he added that it's too soon to say what impact this winter will have on the Arctic summer sea ice, which reached its lowest coverage ever recorded in the summer of 2007."

One good winter does mean that the ice has all suddenly recovered. Find a better reference before you try to scam us.


CJ   May 14th, 2008 3:34 pm ET

Plenty of truth to that. On the other hand, the far right has been following its agenda in this matter and numerous others like it. The far right play book:

Step 1: Suppress, manipulate or selectively edit scientific findings of global warming and declines in populations and diversity of species.
Step 2: Thereby avoid triggering:
A. Listing of species as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act
B. Mandatory steps under the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act or NEPA

If and when successful in this Texas two-step, the far right can avoid any inconvenient or undesirable (from the right’s point of view) actions. For example: anything that might put the slightest hint of a dent in GNP growth overall, or that might have any impact whatsoever on favored industries with heavy political influence over the right, such as oil and mining interests.

The two-step is an act born of desperation. They can’t win the debate on the merits, so they try to manipulate the data.


The J   May 14th, 2008 3:34 pm ET

I live in Alaska and there are plenty of bears. What about the natives rights to subsitence hunt. Those are what are being threatened. Lower 48ers don't know anything about our heritage up here. Keep your ideas and your opinions where they belong...in your crowded crime infested cities and states. We Alaskans can take care of ourselves just fine without your input.


Felipe Moura   May 14th, 2008 3:35 pm ET

Unfortunate is to late to decide on alternative in saving the polar bear species which is in emerging extinction, is just up to society to be conscious of what the overpower of industry and financial lust would do to the world.


David S.   May 14th, 2008 3:37 pm ET

It's shocking that people think that trying to save a species is part of a political agenda...and worse that they blame people on the left for drawing attention to the situation. Protecting animals and the environment they live in is not a political or a red vs. blue issue. To all those people who feel it's a political issue...my only response is grow up! God gave us the responsiblity to be good stewards of Earth...and I don't think that destroying the polar bears' habitat by burning fossil fuels is what he had in mind. I applaud the federal government for taking some form of action to help protect the polar bears and their habitat. And for all you who need a little education, their habitat is also our habitat, too. It's essential for our survival, too, unless you'd prefere swimming 24/7!)


Sal   May 14th, 2008 3:37 pm ET

This whole administration should have become extinct nearly eight years ago and it would not only have saved the bears but the country and the world!!


frankie   May 14th, 2008 3:37 pm ET

Anything that will stop dubya from drilling is a good thing! Anything to help get us safely to 1/20/09!
You guys complaining about this making gas prices go up, you need to get off your butts and take a walk! You can buy a nice bike for about the same price as a tank of gas. You could significantly lower your medical bills, and therefore have more money to spend on gas! The price of gas is the price of lazyness...


bobroo   May 14th, 2008 3:39 pm ET

I teach high school biology and I find it sad that my 10th grade students have been able to see this problem long before our government has decided to take action.


Concerned Ecoman   May 14th, 2008 3:39 pm ET

It's obvious that the comments blaming "Global Warming" are from people who feed on what Al Gore's groupies are saying and not on the facts. I would urge people to read both sides before following a lie.


Joe   May 14th, 2008 3:41 pm ET

Bush has only said that we should work at fixing "global warming" to help McCain get elected. Al Gore admitted to lying about the threat of "global warming." You can't even show his movie in a classroom in Europe without saying that it is a pack of lies first. People nee to learn how to think for themselves, get the facts, and learn that a shadow on a wall is not reality.


adam   May 14th, 2008 3:41 pm ET

If environmentalist and organizations like PETA were as concerned about crimes against humans as opposed to getting the polar bear on the threatened list or keeping nesting sights up for the spotted owl this world would be a far better place.


pgbsan   May 14th, 2008 3:41 pm ET

All of you people complaining about not being able to get oil from up there, specifically ANWR... Come on, even the highest estimates from there are minuscule compared to our voracious appetite of the black stuff and, sooner rather than later, that will run out, too.

God forbid we look at the way we live our lives and try to change so that our children could perhaps have a life where humans aren't the only things living on the Earth. We are completely spoiled as a society; we think it's our right to have 12 mpg cars, unlimited supplies of expendable plastic, and cheap gas. Guess what: SUCH THINGS ARE A PRIVILEGE!!!! The sooner we learn that privilege is actually destroying our environment and our civilization and cannot last even a couple more decades, the better. It is ashame that Big Bad Government has to tell us so because we're too stupid, shortsighted, and spoiled to realize it ourselves.

And don't say "but but but China..." as an excuse for Americans to keep on living their wasteful ways. They have their own problems they're going to be paying for soon, too. And, when did supposedly proud Americans think it's better to whine about others than try to lead others?


Cheryl   May 14th, 2008 3:42 pm ET

It is amazing to me how little the American public remembers. There have been an oil crisis around since the 70's and in all that time we have not invested in alternate energy sources. It appears our capitolism trumps everything else that benefits the people. The polar bear issue should not be related to wildlife oil drilling, why should we destroy a pristine wildlife area for 3 months worth of oil that will be available 10 years from now? Give me a break!


Smokey   May 14th, 2008 3:42 pm ET

This is the dumbest thing I have heard in a long time. Scary too. As polar bear populations increase, we give over our right to economic growth to kooky environmentalists who want to control every aspect of our lives in an insane attempt to control CO2. It's not just about polar bears people. It's about getting control over all development and economic growth. This will cost everyone. Low and middle class will pay far more than the rich or business. It will drive up housing costs, food costs, fuel costs, everything. It will cost working class Americans the most of all.


Cissy   May 14th, 2008 3:43 pm ET

There is evidence that the world was once much warmer than it is now. Most of the central United States was under a huge inland sea. (Sharks in Nebraska??)

Do I think we should take care of the environment? Sure!

Should we reduce or dependence on fossil fuels? Sure!

But I wish I had a dime for every time I heard, "Thank God for global warming, otherwise we'd have frozen to death."

But tell me what's wrong with global warming! We would have a longer growing season, more moisture in the air from melting ice would eventually translate into rain. More food for PEOPLE!

I suppose if you own a $20 million home on the beach you have a good reason to be afraid of global warming. Otherwise...I might welcome a climate change of a few degrees.


A. Wilson   May 14th, 2008 3:43 pm ET

hahahah. God this is all too funny. Welcome to the most insane place in the history of human kind! McNorth America!

Where we HAVE to have our McMansions in our McSuburbs, gorge ourselves with as much food as possible (McObesiety), then drive our McSUV (filled with 10% "pat me on the back, I like to act like I care" Bioethanol") buy as many McGadgets as possible from China (too bad all my buddies without graduate school education are working in call centres or on pogey), but I am entitled to everything all the time!

Does anyone else see how crazy it all is here??? I mean, we pick a party, left or right....then regurgitate everything they tell us to believe and attack everything the "enemy" says as either "commi/socialist/left" or "right-wing/nazi/realigious zealots"!!!

Can you imagine we all just used a little common sense and thought for ourselves for even just one day?

A.Wilson. Ottawa........just another guilty N.American hypocrite


Bob   May 14th, 2008 3:43 pm ET

hmm, very profound Sparks,
Do you think a Polar Bear would rationalize at the same level, just before he eats you and removes all that you would have contributed to the "chain"?


TT   May 14th, 2008 3:44 pm ET

Most of you must have been educated in public schools. Because you are spewing the same line of thinking. Investigate and think for yourselves.

The earth may be warming but that is a natural phenomena not a manmade issue. Greenland use to be an agrarian society (that means it had farming) – It had to be a lot warmer hundreds of years ago for that to take place. Man is too insignificant to create or control global warming. No matter what we do the earth will do whatever the h... it wants to do.
The polar bear is a great animal. That said, they are just an animal. Since when do the needs of animals come before the needs of humans?


Vince   May 14th, 2008 3:44 pm ET

What nonsense! Does anybody realize that the polar bear population has increased from 5,000 in 1972 to 25,000 today! To be put on a threatened or endangered list, shouldn't the numbers be declining??? Did not NOAA recently come out with a report stating that the polar bear ice shelf is at its second largest point ever. That is an increase in the ice sheets! Wake up people. This is nothing but a ploy by those who will use this and the courts to prevent us from drilling for oil in Alaska, Canada, and or the Artic. It's nothing but nonsense as is the political agenda behind global warming.........


Sullivan   May 14th, 2008 3:45 pm ET

This inclusion on the "Threatened" list is a first step to maybe, possibly, hopefully saving this species from extinction. I'm not holding my breath. Collection of DNA and embryos from captive and wild individuals, and storage in a "doomsday" facility (similar to the one for plants) is recommended (by me, anyway).


Larian LeQuella   May 14th, 2008 3:46 pm ET

Like I said in the Wlarus story: they are amazing creatures to observe. To understand them can only help us understand the world we live in, and hopefully we can figure out a way to preserve the biodiversity around us for the sake of our grand children.


sparks   May 14th, 2008 3:49 pm ET

bob, the point is,,,we humans are the ones with the brains (some of us anyway)
i would not blame the polar bear if he ate me, he would be doing what is natural, i would blame myself for getting in the situation to be near a polar bear in the wild.
lol


sparks   May 14th, 2008 3:52 pm ET

i mean think about it,,if a tornado takes out your home do you actually blame the tornado bob,,, really?
or if a shark eats your legs off,,you blame the shark?


Mark   May 14th, 2008 3:52 pm ET

A few observations:
1) The comments below show just how dichotomously opposed public opinion is on this issue, reminding me of the abortion issue. There seems to be no middle ground here.
2) If we look at factual science, the fact that global warming is occurring is entirely true. The cause, however, is at question. It is indisputable that global warming is and has been occurring for the last 10,000 years. It is a natural process! If man, through greenhouse gasses, has increased this process, it is a small factor(and, as a scientist, I highly question the magnitude). This said, man's contribution to a natural process has very simply only increased the rate of warming slightly. Therefor, even if you would have taken man's influence out of the process, the loss of arctic ice would have have occurred anyway, though maybe 10 or 15 years later. Man is not nearly as destructive as nature herself is in this issue in regards to global warming.
3) Oil exploration and production activities on Alaska's north slope are not contributing to the decline of the polar bear. In fact, oil activities promote programs that do more to PROTECT the polar bear than any other protection they receive. I can make this comment since I live in Alaska, have seen first hand and understand.

I only ask before you vote or express your opinion, stop and think it through.


Bob   May 14th, 2008 3:55 pm ET

Why is everyone worried about the Arctic Ice Melting ?
Why is no one worried about the Antarctic sea ice increase over the past two decades?
Could the two be interlinked ? Could it be a natural phenomenon of the Earth’s rotation and tilt on its axis ?


Polar Bear   May 14th, 2008 3:56 pm ET

It's obvious the Liberals are winning this arguments. In fact, you cooky right wingers are so far out of you element, that don't even have a chance.

But instead of this silly back and forth, Let me invite you all to come over for a bar-b-que. This way you can see for yourselves how tough it's getting for this old bear to feed his family.

Oh... For the bar-b-que, we're all out of meat but we have plenty of champagne. So if you can bring over some meat, no preference, it would be greatly appreciated~!

P.S. give my best to Al Gore if you see him...


sparks   May 14th, 2008 3:56 pm ET

the tornado is just mother nature, and so is the shark, polar bear, everything.
kind of like the simpsons,,"spider pig, spider pig, does whatever a spider pig does"
polar bear, polar bear, does whatever a polar bear does"
lolol
your not looking at the big picture bob,,the future, not just for you but for your grandkids and later generations
but perhaps your only worried about yourself, here , and now, and forget about tomorrow


Marc   May 14th, 2008 3:56 pm ET

Polar bear population in 1972 was 5,000. Polar bear population today is 25,000.
Seems to me if you're going on the Endangered Species Act, you should probably be dwindling in numbers, not going up. Maybe I've misunderstood how the Endangered Species Act works. The reason why they want to get the polar bear onto the Endangered Species Act is, they then can say, you can't drill up in the Arctic, you can't drill in Canada, you can't drill in Alaska because you'll hurt the polar bear. You must reduce the CO2 output on your factory, on the back of your car because you're going to hurt the poor polar bear. Because the polar bear's ice shelf is melting. When the facts, just released by NOAA last week are that the polar bear ice shelf, is at the second largest point it has ever been. If it was up to these stupid people we'll all have to go back to horse back and living in huts...


Chris   May 14th, 2008 3:58 pm ET

Is this too little too late?
Has humanity turned a blind eye to the impact they have on the rest of the inhabitants of our planet for far too long? Our unsustainable drive for growth must change or humans will eventually end up on the threatened species list.
Many readers have posted comments to this blog stating that this is a leftist plot with a hidden agenda to avoid oil drilling in the north. I don’t think this is a hidden agenda by environmentalist. This is a widely known agenda, and the science that has driven the U.S. Department of Interior (headed by Republican Dirk Kempthorne) to declare the Polar Bear Threatened, justifies their stance.
I personally would gladly pay $7.00 a gallon for gas if we could save the biodiversity of our world. Please practice sustainability for the sake of our children and generations to come.
Let us live within our means.


Bob   May 14th, 2008 3:59 pm ET

LOL, yeah sparks, i would definitely blame the shark!
I'd probably become Captain Ahab afterwards too.


Dan   May 14th, 2008 4:00 pm ET

People must like paying $4.00 + for a gallon of gas "threatened” bears = no oil production in Alaska for America. We are like oil addicts that consume but don't produce. There are too many gullible people believe in this "thoery" we call global warming. Has anyone taken into account themerature variations in the other 6 plantes in our solar system? There is still plenty of ice in the Antarctic!


Cissy   May 14th, 2008 4:01 pm ET

I happen to have a National Geograpic map of Antarctica from 1932. If I compare the map to images on Google Earth, it is very apparent that the Ross Ice Shelf is larger now than it was in 1932.


Cissy   May 14th, 2008 4:07 pm ET

Bob and Sparks, now you are both being silly!

Let's concentrate on what we can agree upon..

1. No one wants to see polar bears extinct.
2. Burning fossil fuels isn't good for humans or the planet.

Let's figure out how to save polar bears without hurting ourselves. Sparks has a point, we have the brains. Can't we go about this rationally?


Brian   May 14th, 2008 4:09 pm ET

Why don't we put morons on the endangered species list? Oh....I'm sorry! We have plenty of them.


sparks   May 14th, 2008 4:11 pm ET

AGREED, Cissy
I will do more reading and zip the lip
or stop the hype type
thank you


sparks   May 14th, 2008 4:19 pm ET

but you have to admit,,,captain ahab was pretty funny,,
ok,,i'm off to read some more
i care about our world but am ignorant on how to help for the most part.
so eduacting myself is step number one
but i notice how so many intelligent people have such different ideas, totally different
so you pretty much need to study to come up with your own thoughts on what would really help,
and its more then the polar bear
but he is one link


Franko   May 14th, 2008 4:34 pm ET

        
Omar: "has anyone thought about sending maybe a couple thousand polar bears to antarctica? "

Excellent idea, Since Antarctica is cooling, there are numerous islands surrounding with the right mix of penguins, walruses and seals on the menu.

If people really cared about polar bear survival, they would have explored this in detail !


David   May 14th, 2008 5:20 pm ET

I wonder.... how did the Polar Bears survive the last dozen or so warming periods – which were much warmer than the warming cyclic period we are experiencing now ( or rather WERE experiencing up until a few years ago.. before it predictably started cooling again.)

In fact, there are many different polar bear groups in the arctic, and most of them are growing or are stable. If you cherry-pick information, you can get any result you want.

It's sad that science has been hijacked by politics. But if you're a weather man, you better know which way the wind blows or you just might lose your job.


Franko   May 14th, 2008 5:52 pm ET

       
"how did the Polar Bears survive the last dozen or so warming periods"

Polar Bears interbreed with Grizzly Bears.
The color of the fur matches the surroundings.

Just a form of Grizzly Bear.


Pete07   May 14th, 2008 9:12 pm ET

Mo says, "One of the saddest things I’ve seen this year was a Polar Bear swimming for miles and being to weak to kill food to live."

You must have seen it in Al Gore's ridiculous movie. That was an animation, not a real bear.

Swimming 100 miles is not a big deal for a polar bear, especially a fat one, according to a scientist with the Canadian Wildlife Service. He says they just "kind of float along and kick."


ScottWV   May 14th, 2008 9:21 pm ET

Mighty Tasty Polar Bear Stew
=======================
1/2 Polar Bear Hind Quarter (bone in)
6 Large Potatoes (diced)
10 Large Carrots (diced)
10 Stalks Celery (chopped)
4 Medium Onions (chopped)
10 Beef Bullion Cubes
5 Tbsp Salt
3 Tbsp Pepper
2 Bay Leaves

Braise hind quarter in hot frying pan using butter or olive oil. Remove
and place in large stock pot with 5 gallons of water and bullion cubes. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and allow to simmer for 3 hours. Add another 2 gallons of water, along with all other ingredients. Cover and allow to simmer for another 2 hours. Remove hind quarter, de-bone and cut into bite sized chuncks. Return meat to pot. Serve with Cornbread.


Marc   May 14th, 2008 9:46 pm ET

I can't think of a species that is less worth saving than the polar bear. Nasty suckers. Let 'em go.


Agent Mike   May 14th, 2008 11:56 pm ET

Did you know that Polar Bears actually stalk humans? They wait to attack when you leave your group to go off and have a poop. I'm not kidding. Anyone from there knows you have to take a gun with you to have a bathroom break. Many people have been killed with thier pants down. This is the fine animal that you want to save? One that would happily eat you for dinner? Our economy is so bad, maybe we should just let the polar bears take over. I would feel safer around the bears than some of you who have posted here.

And I have a message from the official coalition of seals for peace and protection from bears - 'thanks a lot you idiots'.


Amn Snuffy   May 15th, 2008 9:55 am ET

Don M–
"Ah…. agendas or not, anything that emits CO2 is dangerous for the planet, period. What’s wrong with preventing things that are dangerous for the planet? Right wingers or left wingers, whatever, who cares! We all have to live here. BTW, point B is redundant, drilling for fossile fuels contributes to the development of CO2."

Had to laugh my ass off when I read that.... Apparently, it's been a while since you cracked the biology books.

I emit large amounts of good old carbon dioxide every year, buddy. PLANTS emit CO2 as well, although they also absorb it. Even the polar bear, who this conversation is about, emits CO2.
Yes, I know I have taken your words and scewed them, I did it to prove a point.
BTW, thanks for pointing out that I'm dangerous to the planet's well-being. I'll try to work on my CO2 habit. Just gotta figure out how to stop breathing.........


Nan   May 15th, 2008 10:48 am ET

Thanks for the recipe, Scott. I'll save it for when the polar bears start showing up in Rhode Island! Actually, that would be a good thing. Maybe they'll eat all the %&*! deer and coyotes.


Bob   May 15th, 2008 11:56 am ET

Before we go around punching hole in Alaske how about we tell "Good Ol'" Georgie W. to make OPEC increase production by not selling them any weapons.

Here's how the conversation should go:
"You want to save your country from Iran and Syria, we want cheaper gas."
"You want to use planes and missiles on those guys instead of rocks we want more production from OPEC, and since you guys, Kuwait and Qatar run OPEC we expect you to get it done"

Here's how it really goes:
"I'll give you the planes and missiles at a discounted price."
"No we want nothing in return. Actually if you cut production a bit more, specially during Summer and the price of oil goes up Daddy and I will have a little more money to retire with. Plus I gott pay for Jenna's wedding."
No, don't worry, we can blame everything on the Polar Bears and tell them we can't drill in Alaska because of them"

Good Ol' Georgie Porgy; he's costing me a pretty penny plus 2 deployments to Iraq; and to think people actually believe this idiot and his band of retards...


ecoliterate   May 15th, 2008 12:26 pm ET

For those of you concerned only about man's existence and that mankind survived the extinction of the passenger pigeon and a plethora of native bird species' extinction in North America, might think again.

After 200 years of a frenetic carousel of extinction in the USA, over one-fourth of the human species populations died in the worst pandemic in history. Yep, emerging viruses and pathogens in the food chain with man behave like "rats jumping from a sinking ship" upon ecosytem death.

The 1918 flu pandemic began in this nation on the heels of the extinction of the passenger pigeon and several other birds. This behemoth man killer began in birds in the USA. U.S. soldiers trotted this pandemic to Europe in the war and wiped out multi-millions of man's specie. It was a "bird" flu that began in birds. The most deadly pandemic in history!

Yep, one of the ecological services of native biological diversity and their ecosystems is to balance and check the populations of viruses and bacterial in the food chain with man. The native peoples of ecosystems in South America never experienced mosquito disease vectors until they deforested the ecosystems. The mosquitos' habitat and niche was the at top of the trees, and like viruses, were left homeless upon deforestation of those ecosystems. Now, they have to deal with mosquito vectors of disease.

Aids emerged upon deforestation of ecosystems in Africa. The Aids Highway runs through an extinct rainforest, and the Ebola River runs very near. The Ebola virus is capable of wiping out 85 to 95 percent of all humans. Ecosystems check and balance the populations of pathogens that are capable of pushing our species extinct. Now, can concrete and skyscrapers and freeways do this? How much oxygen does a shopping mall pump? How much water can a parking lot evapotranspire through its leaves? How much hotter is concrete and the artifacts of civilization than a dense, forested ecosystem? What is growing in the soil or not growing determines the immediate climate!

There was no oxygen on Earth until the advent of green plants and trees, and present, extant species maintain the gaseous composition of the atmosphere today. We are all irrevocably connected to polar bears, ice caps, biological diversity and Earth's ecosystems. Did the native Americans have any of the diseases spawned in Europe like smallpox and measles, diseases spawned in ecological death? It isn't magic that man is extant.


Bob Burwell   May 15th, 2008 1:06 pm ET

I know........Bear swimmies !!!!!!


Nan   May 15th, 2008 2:34 pm ET

Why don't we just kill ourselves and leave it all to the green plants and cuddly bears.
...all you bleeding hearts go first.


Nan   May 15th, 2008 2:36 pm ET

Why don't we just kill ourselves and leave it all to the green plants and cuddly bears.
...all you bleeding hearts go first.


Dingus   May 15th, 2008 3:02 pm ET

Nan, Nan, Nan,....... You sound like the 20% of dummies that supports Bush. You need to start paying attention to people like ecoliterate.


Bear with me   May 15th, 2008 3:09 pm ET

The significance here is that by listing polar bears as threatened is that they may not be as protected as if they were listed as endangered. However this is step in the right direction and should force some protection of the bear's environment.

Let's hope for the best for the bears. What's good for them is likely to be good for us as well in the end.


PJ   May 15th, 2008 10:34 pm ET

A species is put on the Endangered Species list because it’s endangered. Polar Bears are endangered because their habitat is gradually turning into water. Photos taken over the last 5, 10, 20, and 50 years show the steady ice loss."

Wrong. You are one of many scammed by environmentalist propaganda. Wake up people and stop being shilled by extremists.

Fact: the polar bear population is larger than in the 1970s up from 12,000 or less in 1960s to 25,000 today; might as well call white Americans 'threatened' their population is going down
Fact: sea ice has returned to levels that are above normal for the past 3 decades
fact: even if there wre lower sea ice levels, the polar bears would do fine, as they do in the Hudson bay. bears dont eat ice, they eat seals, and they can swim;
Fact: global temperatures are today below the levels of 1998; global warming models are overestimating impact of warming and dont properly account for natural variability. Those who claim global warming is a crisis are wrong and the temperature data proves them wrong every day.
fact: CO2 is of great benefit to the biosphere. Plants need CO2 and are more productive with more CO2, which means healthier food chains and ecosystems. Current increases in CO2 are not harmful to anyone, not to man, not to bears, and not to planet earth.
Fact: the polar bears need not have been listed, as the species is enither threatened nor endangered. Anyone who says otherwise has another agenda at stake, one about using a non-threatened bear to force through CO2 regulations that should be done via other means.
fact: bears emit CO2. IF emitting CO2 is so god-awful, why are we going through such trouble to save an emitter of CO2?

We should agree on the above facts first and then go from there.


PJ   May 15th, 2008 10:47 pm ET

"The significance here is that by listing polar bears as threatened is that they may not be as protected as if they were listed as endangered. However this is step in the right direction and should force some protection of the bear’s environment."

They dont need protection at all, their population has increased more since the 1970s than the human population of any country on earth!

The listing is being pushed by environmentalists with an agenda to use polar bear subterfuge to create regulations on CO2 outside the reagular channels of political democracy. It's a complete scam and con game. If you like unelected robed judges and extremist activists raising your daily cost of living, you'll like this decision.
If you care about the facts, you should be appalled at how many lies environmentalists get away with in turning people into shills for their agenda. DDT, Alar, global warming – everything the environmentalist say is a bad thing turns out to be overhyped BS.

"It’s shocking that people think that trying to save a species is part of a political agenda" It's shocking that people dont see the plain facts and resort to myths. It is a myth that the polar bears are threatened, in fact Dept of Interior acknolwedged that!!! Population of polar bears is higher than ever. So obviously this is not about saving any species since the species is doing fine.

"…and worse that they blame people on the left for drawing attention to the situation." Blame the left for speading fear instead of facts. The fear is the nonsense about bears drowning. Bears can swim long distances. The fact is that bear habitat is not being reduced and bear populations are fine.

" Protecting animals and the environment they live in is not a political or a red vs. blue issue." Thanks for being a shill and a sucker for every eco-scam with such shallow thinking. It becomes a political issue the second they take away peoples rights, freedoms and property in the name of 'saving the animals'. And when the animal doesnt need saving, you know the corrupt political agenda is what its all about. These guys want you to think that driving a car or taking a plane trip will kill the bears. It wont.


Nan   May 16th, 2008 12:09 pm ET

Dingus – It was ecoliterate that I had in mind.

Its funny how people assume that opinions originate from political parties. If you get your instructions from somewhere or someone – that's fine. Me – I depend on my own good common sense.


Jason   May 16th, 2008 4:15 pm ET

Polar Bear Population 1970 – 5000
Polar Bear Population 2008 – 25000

No need to call them endangered.

How can they rule on the possibility of something happening? Didn't a report come out last week that the world is now cooling?

This ruling is like saying: I am going to put you in jail for the possibility of murder!! Sounds a lot like the movie Minority Report.


Meo   May 16th, 2008 8:05 pm ET

Who Cares?


Nathan   May 18th, 2008 2:56 pm ET

BEARS!!! The most dangerous threat to America! About time!


Pat   May 18th, 2008 8:40 pm ET

Wow, what a fantastic headline. cheers.


John   May 19th, 2008 3:32 pm ET

Please tell me why I might be wrong, but what a lot of people here seem to be overlooking is that any oil drilled in Alaska will be sold on the world market, not used strategically for a particular country or purpose. Any temporary decrease in price or increase in supply that drilling in amwar could create would be instantly nullified by a Saudi-controlled decrease in OPEC oil production. What our country needs is some sort of a government and/or long term plan which could defend us from frequent government sponsored economic attacks undertaken by countries like China which buys our bonds to put us in debt and Saudi Arabia, which helped us against the Turks in WW1 but has been blackmailing us with oil ever since.


Franko   May 19th, 2008 5:29 pm ET

"Saudi Arabia, which helped us against the Turks in WW1 but has been blackmailing us with oil ever since."

Not only that, the Wasabies blew up the World Trade Center.
We did not blow up their Mecca. Make them pay up.
Occupy and take the oil.. Bin Laden is likely hiding in their Black Mosque.


Laura L.   May 23rd, 2008 5:53 pm ET

Too bad the liberals weren't around way back when to protect the dinosaurs.


mike hensley   September 13th, 2009 9:28 pm ET

It is my understanding that the polar bear population has increased by 400 ~ 500 percent since 1970. This does not sound like a threatened species to me.


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