Not by the Bush administration, although I wouldn’t put it past them…
Actually the Bush admin and Republican Party have constantly denied that there is global warming and now a government scientist has issued a warning that the polar bears are threatened by the changing climate. But as the article says the administration is still not doing enough, if anything about the threat to the bears.
Item via the Beeb:
US lists polar bear as threatened
The United States has listed the polar bear as a threatened species, because its Arctic sea ice habitat is melting due to climate change.
US government scientists predict that two-thirds of the polar bear population of 25,000 could disappear by 2050.
However, the government stressed the listing would not lead to measures to prevent global warming.
Environmentalists have expressed disappointment that more will not be done to protect the bear’s habitat.
US Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne said the government had made the decision on the advice of scientists, but he suggested the impact of the move would be limited.
“While the legal standards under the Endangered Species Act compel me to list the polar bear as threatened,” he said, “I want to make clear that this listing will not stop global climate change or prevent any sea ice from melting.”
He said that could only be achieved through action by all of the world’s major economies.
Mr Kempthorne also said he was taking measures to make sure the listing was not “abused” to make policies on climate change which would cause “harm to the society and the economy of the United States”.
A federal judge had ordered the US government to make a decision on the issue by May 15.
Environmental campaigners described the listing as a limited victory.
“Protecting the polar bear under the Endangered Species Act is a major step forward,” said Andrew Wetzler of the Natural Resources Defense Council in a statement.
“But the Bush administration has proposed using loopholes in the law to allow the greatest threat to the polar bear – global warming pollution – to continue unabated,” he continued.