CEI Adjunct Fellow Steve Milloy has more on the polar bear issue in his weekly must-read FoxNews column:

“Let’s keep in mind that polar bears have survived much warmer times than we are now experiencing — like 1,000 years ago when the Vikings farmed Greenland during the Medieval Climate Optimum and 5,000-9,000 years ago during the period known as the Holocene Climate Optimum.

“But even giving the proposal the benefit of the doubt, will it accomplish anything?

“When I asked Secretary [of the Interior Dirk] Kempthorne that question — pointing out that even if the polar bear habitat was shrinking because of melting ice there isn’t a credible climate scientist in the world that believes anything could be done to stop the ice from melting, and that legalized polar bear harvesting seems to contradict any seriousness concerning threatened species status — the response delivered by the FWS director was not very reassuring.

“In a bureaucratic tone that only government functionaries can muster, he said they were just following the law. But even that is debatable since the proposal’s origins lie in the dubious deal cut with environmental activist groups.

“The reporters at the ill-conceived and poorly-executed press conference were eager to interpret the proposal as a weakening of President Bush’s position against global warming regulation. While Secretary Kempthorne and [Fish and Wildlife Service] staff repeatedly denied that the proposal was any sort of reflection on President Bush’s policy, their denials sounded evasive rather than sincere.”

This proposal is a disaster in the making.