<?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />Washington, D.C., January 17, 2008—The House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming will hear testimony today on whether the polar bear should be listed as “threatened” under the Endangered Species Act. Some activists have claimed that global warming will threaten the survival of the bears by causing more Arctic sea ice to melt for longer periods in the summer.
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If the U.S. government does list the polar bear as a threatened species, it would trigger provisions in the ESA requiring further government action that could adversely affect most economic activity across the nation. The purpose of these actions would be to somehow “solve” or reverse global warming by requiring cuts in greenhouse gas emissions, which regardless, under no scenario would detectably impact climate
“The push to list polar bears under the Endangered Species Act is not really about protecting wildlife. Rather, the goal is to implement regulatory controls on energy use that global warming alarmists have failed to convince Congress to enact,” said Myron Ebell, Director of Global Warming Policy at the Competitive Enterprise Institute.
Contrary to activist claims, populations of polar bears worldwide are not only not in peril, but have increased dramatically in the past half century. In addition, polar bears have survived long periods of much higher Arctic temperatures, including as recently as 1,000 years ago. The predictions that they will be threatened by the effects of potential future global warming are speculative at best and clearly not supported by historical evidence or present-day observations.
Competitive Enterprise Institute Senior Fellow Marlo Lewis submitted lengthy comments last fall on behalf of CEI to the Fish and Wildlife Service detailing the reasons why the polar bear should not be listed. His comments may be found on CEI’s website at: http://www.cei.org/pdf/5868.pdf.
CEI is a non-profit, non-partisan public policy group dedicated to the principles of free enterprise and limited government. For more information about CEI, please visit our website at www.cei.org.