Steven Milloy, this monring:

This week the Bush administration proposed to list the polar bear as “threatened” under the Endangered Species Act. It’s a futile gesture that only signals a weakening in the Bush administration’s heretofore strong stance against global warming hysteria. The proposal resulted from a lawsuit settlement the Bush administration reached in February with Greenpeace and the Natural Resources Defense Council. In return for these groups dropping their effort to force the Bush administration to grant polar bears “threatened” status under the ESA, the administration agreed to commence a rulemaking to list the bears.

_polarbear1.jpgThis doesn’t sound like much of a “deal” – and it’s not. Though the proposal doesn’t legally bind the Bush administration to list polar bears as threatened and the proposal will simmer for at least 12 months during which time the administration says it will seek more information and public comment, based on the fanfare accompanying the proposal’s roll-out, it seems the listing is all but final. Rather than issuing the proposal in a tentative and low-key manner, Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne issued a media release and reigned over a press teleconference where he and the director of Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) touted the proposal. But they quickly lost control of the affair – not to mention their message. The major issue at the press conference became not whether the polar bear was truly endangered, but whether the rulemaking was a signal that the Bush administration was beginning to melt on global warming.

Well, of COURSE they are. What did you expect?

Let’s call it what it is; This shift is not so much about the climate changes around the world so much as it is the climate changes in Washington…. the latter of which being the only confirmed climate change directly attributable to the activities of man. This is one of the political consequences of a Democrat Congress, and merely one example of many, in why such was to be avoided.

Why? Of what consequence is such a ruling?

The FWS’ own proposal reports that there is no data that even suggests this action is needed. Further, as Milloy points up:

 …potential consequences to polar bears are highly uncertain. No one knows exactly what’s happening with Arctic sea ice, much less what the future holds. The Greenland ice melt, for example, was actually larger in 1991 than in 2005 and the Greenland ice cap is thickening. Data from the Canadian Ice Service indicate there has been no precipitous drop-off in ice cap amount or thickness since 1970.

So, there’s no real effect on the environment, which apparently doesn’t need the help, anyway.  What we have here is a purely political move, designed to give “global warming” hawks the legitimacy they’ve been screaming for.  Another compromise, in short, with Democrats… You’d think the younger Bush would have learned form the elder’s mistakes in that area.

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