Breaking News on Polar Bears!

  Dear Shannah,
polar bear unprotected
It’s taken several years, lawsuits, and thousands of letters from you, but the Bush Administration finally listed the polar bear under the Endangered Species Act today. I’d love to tell you that that’s great news, but there’s a BIG catch. The Administration listed the polar bear as threatened instead of endangered, and invoked a clause (known as a “4(d) exemption”) that excludes global warming from the list of threats the federal government has to consider when trying to protect polar bear habitat.Global warming is the biggest threat facing polar bears today, and this little clause eliminates any protection the listing should have given to the polar bear. In fact, global warming is the very reason we sued the Administration for protection of the polar bear in the first place.So who’s really being protected here? Polar bears or the oil industry?The listing specifically says that federal agencies don’t need to consider the impact of global warming pollution on the polar bear. But there’s more: the listing also proposes a separate regulation that reduces the protections the polar bear would otherwise receive under the Endangered Species Act.

Meanwhile, in the months leading up to this weak decision, the Administration conveniently sold oil leases in prime polar bear habitat off Alaska’s northwest coast.

Are you starting to get the picture here? Well, if your temperature is rising like mine is, there are a couple of things I’d like you to do about it: 

  • First, join our new Rapid Response Network. Here’s how it works: we will send you a pop up notice about breaking news stories like this, as well as an easy way to click to promote the article to the Most Popular list of sites like CNN, Reuters, Yahoo News and a dozen other online media outlets. If you have just 5 minutes to spare each week, you have time to be a Rapid Responder!
  • Next, please consider a donation today to help us fight for polar bears and ramp up our campaigns to stop global warming. We’re not going to stand by and let the Administration get away with this, and I hope you won’t either.

Despite the loopholes the Bush Administration has inserted, it is crystal clear that without your tremendous support, they would have continued to ignore the polar bear until it disappeared altogether. I thank you for your determination and continued support.

For the future of polar bear,

Melanie Duchin
Melanie Duchin
Global Warming Campaigner, Alaska


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