10.01.2008 0

The Politics of Polar Bears

  • On: 10/09/2008 10:35:40
  • In: Energy Crisis, Global Warming Fraud, and the Environment
  • In yet another display of Big Government grasping for control, radical environmentalist pressure has caused the federal government to force onto Alaska a policy which was enacted without the consent of the state itself. By placing polar bears on the “threatened” list, the Department of the Interior has made a unilateral decision which will threaten the economic welfare of Alaska’s citizens – and, for some, their livelihood.

    Using a loophole – polar bears are classified as “marine animals” – the Federal government was able to override the wishes of Alaskans and declare the species “threatened.” The basis? Controversial computer models – which critics contend are based upon inaccurate scientific data – that show ice caps decreasing, and thus destroying the habitat of the polar bear. The Department of the Interior cited the Endangered Species Act as justification for taking action. But Alaska isn’t going down easily.

    Alaska Governor Sarah Palin (R) is fighting back, claiming that Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne is using unverified theories of the impact of “climate change” as grounds for this potentially economically-damaging ruling. The state attorney general’s office has filed a lawsuit, alleging that the basis for the decision – “forecasts of climate change” – violates the Administrative Procedure Act. As ALG News previously reported, the models upon which the forecasts are based have significant scientific problems.

    Aside from the questionable legality of the pronouncement, it has potential to cause economic and social damage to the state. Alaska is a major exporter of oil and natural gas, prompting concerns that the “threatened” listing could provide a future excuse to cut back on oil production. At a time of record-high gas prices, that does not appear to be sound economic policy. But the impact goes further than gas.

    The environmentalists are even willing to throw people under the bus, as their decision would impact the Native Americans in Alaska, many of whom rely on hunting polar bears for food and clothing.

    On top of this, though, is the fact that the number of polar bears has increased in the past several decades, due to conservation policies already in place. But the Feds have seen fit to infringe on the state’s rights, by using highly suspect computer models to determine the future of the polar bear, and then handing down a decision which could open the door to more economic woes – not just for the state, but for all Americans.

    ALG Perspective: This is yet another example of the government inserting itself into state affairs. Secretary Kempthorne himself acknowledges that the “decision” does nothing to change the condition of polar bears, and promises that it will not be used to adversely impact the state’s economy. However, history tells a different story of government promises kept – or rather, not kept.

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