Obama Administration Finalizes Polar Bear Extinction Plan

20 Feb

by the Center for Biological DiversityWhat-Do-Polar-Bears-Eat

WASHINGTON— After months of high-profile statements about climate change, the Obama administration today finalized a special rule that fails to protect polar bears from greenhouse gas pollution under the Endangered Species Act. The new regulation is modeled on a previous Bush-administration measure excluding activities occurring outside the polar bear’s habitat — such as carbon emissions from coal plants — from regulations that could slow Arctic warming to prevent the bear’s extinction.  

“The president’s failure to protect the polar bear is part of a deeply troubling pattern,” said Brendan Cummings of the Center for Biological Diversity, which authored the original scientific petition to give polar bears federal protection. “The Obama administration has repeatedly acknowledged climate change’s threat to endangered species — from polar bears and ice seals in the Arctic to wolverines in continental United States. But time and again, the administration has refused to use the Endangered Species Act to protect these animals from carbon pollution. It’s like pulling the fire alarm and then sending the firefighters home.” 

Polar bears were the first species added to the endangered and threatened species list solely because of threats from global warming, following a petition by the Center. The bears depend on sea ice for hunting and other essential behaviors. But the new regulation’s main purpose is to exempt the greenhouse gas emissions melting that ice from the Act’s reach. The rule also reduces the protections the bears would otherwise receive in Alaska from oil-industry activities in their habitat.

The special rule comes just days after a new report from 12 leading polar bear researchers urging governments to begin planning for rapid ecosystem changes that could send key bear populations into abrupt decline. Without help, more than two-thirds of the planet’s polar bears, including all the bears in Alaska, will likely be gone by 2050.

Sea-ice extent across the Arctic reached a record low last year, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center. On Sept. 16 the sea ice reached its summer minimum, at just 1.32 million square miles — half the average size of summer ice between 1979 and 2000 and the lowest since satellite record-keeping began in 1979.

“The Obama administration’s strong climate rhetoric is completely at odds with this weak decision not to protect polar bears from carbon pollution,” Cummings said. “Global warming is triggering an Arctic meltdown that threatens the bear’s place on the planet. These amazing animals need the Endangered Species Act’s full protection — not this hollow half-measure that ignores the mortal danger that polar bears are in from greenhouse gas emissions.”

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7 Responses to “Obama Administration Finalizes Polar Bear Extinction Plan”

  1. Ranko February 20, 2013 at 1:54 pm #

    Center for Biological Diversity??? This is the group that O.K.’d the feds killing of wolves. Their motto is” Yes Comprise in the Defense of Mother Earth.

  2. theanimalspirits February 20, 2013 at 6:20 pm #

    Devestating. Posted to our facebook page at: http://www.facebook.com/TheAnimalSpirits

    • Tarek I.G.K. Abdelrahman February 21, 2013 at 5:36 am #

      it is simple not so easy but can save the polar bears, we build platforms for oil don’t we? ok then we need to build platforms all around so as the polar bear can servive, and the big oil giants can pay for that + donations OK people work it out then!!!!!!!!!!

      • Tarek I.G.K. Abdelrahman February 21, 2013 at 5:38 am #

        what do you mean my comment is awaiting moderation? just print or is the truth no good!!!

  3. Marion February 22, 2013 at 6:13 am #

    How can this be stopped? We Must try and do something and Obama must try and coexist with other species on the planet after all the Polar Bear were there before the humans I bet. Why do most humans think they are more important than any other species on the planet? What a horrible world we all live in so many of us would like to change things but the very rich people in power want everything to stay just as it is so they can get richer…

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Federal court upholds polar bear status as threatened species | Family Survival Protocol - March 2, 2013

    [...] Obama Administration Finalizes Polar Bear Extinction Plan [...]

  2. Annals of global warming: No, polar bears are not “fine” — suffer from loss of sea ice | Millard Fillmore's Bathtub - March 20, 2013

    [...] Obama Administration Finalizes Polar Bear Extinction Plan (earthfirstnews.wordpress.com) [...]

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