Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Save the Bears - Pandering to Pandas

Summary from Heartland
The U.S. Department of the Interior decided today to list polar bears as a "threatened" species under the Endangered Species Act. The decision was based on predictions that future global warming will negatively affect polar bear populations.

Experts contacted by The Heartland Institute note global temperatures have not risen in the past 10 years, and scientists with the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change predict temperatures will cool for at least the next 10 years. Moreover, polar bear populations have been increasing during recent decades.

Some excerpts include:
"Only by completely ignoring real-world scientific evidence and jumping head-first into the world of special-interest group propaganda can one justify listing polar bears as a threatened species."


"This decision represents a conflict between politics and science. Polar bear populations have been increasing in recent decades, so there is no current problem. The concern is based on forecasts. However, the government forecasts used to support the decision violate basic scientific principles, and thus provide no scientific support for the listing.

"There are no scientific forecasts that would suggest a reduction in polar bear populations. It would be improper, then, to designate polar bears as endangered. Application of proper forecasting methods suggests a small short-term rise in polar bear populations followed by a leveling off. We provide full disclosure to support these statements at and at In the long term, science will prevail."

Scott Armstrong
Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania

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