Victory for "threatened" polar bears

Polar bearToday the U.S. Department of Interior formally listed the polar bear as a "threatened" species.

Environmental organisations have called for the polar bears to be listed on the "endangered" species list hoping it could lead to actions to combat climate change.

Unfortunately interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne wouldn't want to label the polar bears as "endangered" but rather as a "threatened" species. That means they've successfully downplayed the threat to polar bears from climate change and won't need to take any serious actions to protect the polar bears from the constantly increasing levels of greenhouse gas emissions.

Kierán Suckling, Executive Director of the Center for Biological Diversity, said in a newsletter that the US "administration refused to designate and protect the polar bear's habitat as "critical habitat." The overwhelming threat to polar bears is the melting of Arctic sea ice. It is absolutely essential that this habitat is itself protected if we expect to save the bear."

Todays decision by the U.S. Department of Interior also contained a "special rule" that declared that greenhouse gas emissions "can't and shouldn't be limited by the Endangered Species Act."

The Center for Biological Diversity will not let "these atrocious policies stand" and is promising to "haul" the US administration back to court to ensure that the polar bears get listed as an "endangered" species.

"We've repeatedly beat the administration in court over the past three years and we'll do so again", said Kierán Suckling.

Image credit: Mape S. Image licensed under a Attribution license.

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Simon Leufstedt
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