Bell Curve The Law Talking Guy Raised by Republicans U.S. West
Well, he's kind of had it in for me ever since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace "accidentally" with "repeatedly," and replace "dog" with "son."

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Polar Bears Unite

The Bush Administration has finally had to admit that Global Warming is a fact. And it took a bit white bear and a lawsuit to do it.

The Secretary of the Interior, Dirk Kempthorne (sorry th name cracks me up. Very appropriate for a Sec of the Interior), is exploring putting polar bears on the endangered species list. Why? Their habitat is melting away due to global warming. Without the proper frozen habitat, polar bears will not have access to their main foodstuff, ice seals. Reports of increased cannibalism among polar bears and decreases in reproduction have triggered concern among scientists.

If polar bears are added to the endangered species list, could trigger some huge changes to environmental law. For starters, companies that pollute could find themselves facing severe fines for violation of the endangered species act. In addition, auto manufacturers may find it much harder to challenge CAFE standards when faced with a de facto expansion of the endangered species act.

The Bush Administration , in a typical show of double speak, said that if the polar bear is placed on the endangered list, this will not mean an easing in oil drilling in Alaska nor a reduction in green house gas emissions. I am not sure how the Administration can comply with the Act without forcing a reduction in emissions.

But no worries, the Bush Administration won't be in office by the time the bears are added to the list. The Department of Fish and Wildlife will be studying the issue for the next 12 months. Talk about buying time.


Anonymous said...

US West is right that this could spill over into a whole range of new regulations down in the lower 48. The fur is certainly going to start flying in the smoke filled rooms that run the GOP fund raising.

Stephen Colbert is NOT going to like this! 

// posted by RBR

Anonymous said...

The NY Times notes that, "in a conference call with reporters, Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne said that although his decision to seek protection for polar bears acknowledged the melting of the Arctic ice, his department was not taking a position on why the ice was melting or what to do about it."

But that's the thing about the environment: everything is interconnected. As the effects of global climate change start popping up everywhere--from polar bear populations to Caribbean hurricanes--the truth will become undeniable. I just hope we get an administration that will treat the problem seriously before it is too late to do so.

Anonymous said...

Ah, but a future department might take just such a position. What this development does is make it that much easier for a future President to take strong action on the environment! 

// posted by RBR