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Polar Bears (Oh, My!) and That Disingenuous Rat, Dirk Kempthorne

May 16th, 2008 by Celeste Fremon


It’s endangered species day. (No, I don’t know why our lawmakers spend time declaring these dopey “days” either, but as special days go, I’m more down for this one than many.)

So, while we’re celebrating—or arguing over— yesterday’s California Supremes decision that smashes the gay marriage ban, let me take this opportunity to also celebrate the fact that, on Wednesday of this week, big-business-hugging, grizzly-hater Secretary of the Interior, Dirk Kempthorne, finally broke down under pressure from federal Judge Claudia Wilken and declared the polar bear to be a threatened species under the Endangered Species act.

At least sort of.


“I want to make clear that this listing
will not stop global climate change or prevent any sea ice from melting,” said Kempthorne. “…The ESA is not the right tool to set U.S. climate policy.”

Kempthorne sought to assure the business community
that the bear’s protection would not keep someone from building a coal-burning power plant or drill for oil in Arctic waters.

Thanks, Dick. Glad you clarified that this is an EMPTY DECLARATION.

Nevermind that the entire reason for listing the polar bear is, as Kempthorne’s own people at US Fish and Wildlife put it…..

This listing is based on the best available science,
which shows that loss of sea ice threatens and will likely continue to threaten polar bear habitat. This loss of habitat puts polar bears at risk of becoming endangered in the foreseeable future, the standard established by the ESA for designating a threatened species.

The primary threat to polar bears is the decrease
of sea ice coverage. Although some females use snow dens on land for birthing cubs, polar bears are almost completely dependent upon sea ice for their sustenance. Any significant changes in the abundance, distribution, or existence of sea ice will have effects on the number and behavior of these animals and their prey.

This proposed listing responds to a petition from the Center for Biological Diversity, dated February 16, 2005, to list the polar bear as threatened and to designate critical habitat. The Service’s comprehensive review of the status of the polar bear determined that the best available scientific and commercial data indicates that protecting the species as threatened throughout its range is appropriate.

In other words, the point of officially declaring the polar bear to be “threatened” is to get the species some protected habitat, to prevent it from sliding into “endangered” status.

But that isn’t Kempthorne’s point.
He just wanted the federal judge to stop (rightly) threatening and or endangering him legally about addressing the bear’s status.

All we need to know about Kempthorne and bears
—any bears—may be summed up by the statement he made when, as governor of Idaho, he nearly singlehandedly kept Interior Secretary Gale Norton from enacting a widely-supported proposal to reintroduce the threatened grizzly into the Bitterroot range of Idaho and Montana. To wit:

“I oppose bringing these massive, flesh-eating carnivores into Idaho.”


Actually, that’s one of the things I admire about grizz’s and polar bears: if you threaten them or their cubs….

…they eat you.

Posted in bears and alligators, environment | 16 Comments »

16 Responses

  1. Woody Says:

    To classify the polar bear as “threatened” is a big bunch of expensive malarkey.

    Listing of Polar Bear Based on Politics, Not Science

    “Lost in the debate is the fact that polar bear numbers have dramatically increased over the past forty years – a fact even liberal environmental activists are forced to concede. According to Canadian scientists, 11 of the 13 bear populations are stable, with some increasing. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service now estimates that there are currently 20,000 to 25,000 polar bears. These numbers are substantially up from lows estimates in the range of 5,000-10,000 in the 1950s and 1960s. …Today’s decision will have far reaching consequences. Liberal special interests have employed hundreds of lawyers to try and convert current environmental laws such as the Endangered Species Act into climate laws.”

    Also, polar bears and brown bears from the ABC islands off Alaska are genetically the same–just separated in color by the ice age.

    As someone else said, “The courts are vindicating the Alarmist. The earth is vindicating the Sceptic.”

  2. Woody Says:

    For all you Che Guevara t-shirt wearing 60′s hippies who worry about polar bears: Che GueBEARa

  3. Celeste Fremon Says:

    HA! I may need one of those t-shirts, Woody.

  4. Randy Paul Says:

    Inhofe? LOL FOTFLMAO!

  5. "reg" Says:

    Dirk Kempthorne ? Hey! Lay off the guy. He’s got to go through life as “Dirk Kempthorne.” What the hell do you know about his pain ?

  6. Woody Says:

    Randy, I linked Inhofe, only because it brought together in one place statistics compiled by independent studies from Canada and the U.S. As ususal, you attack the messenger rather rather than admit that the data is legitimate, because you’re not smart enough or honest enough to debate this. What part of the polar bear census is wrong? Going from a low of 5,000 polar bears to the current count of almost 25,000 in less than 50 years doesn’t indicate a threatened population. It’s all hype.

  7. Woody Says:

    Bears are so cute.
    ‘He’s eating my brain. I can feel it,’ recalls bear attack survivor

  8. Randy Paul Says:


    It’s not sheer numbers; it’s the situation regarding their habitat. Inhofe is a kook regarding that matter. I don’t take himseriously, because he has another agenda.

    As ususal, you attack the messenger rather rather than admit that the data is legitimate, because you’re not smart enough or honest enough to debate this. What part of the polar bear census is wrong?

    Coming from the guy who doesn’t understand the fundamental difference between sentencing for non-capital crimes and sentencing for capital crimes, that’s risible.

  9. Celeste Fremon Says:

    Woody, Inhofe quotes Fish and Wildlife to prove his “point” but it’s the Fish and Wildlife folks who recommended that the polar bears be listed in the first place (read the above quote from their report). Not to be mean, but he’s an idiot.

  10. Woody Says:

    Randy: I don’t take him seriously, because he has another agenda.
    I couldn’t control myself when I saw that. May I point out someone with a bigger agenda–specifically, Al Gore.

    Oh, Randy. You’re so pathetic. It’s not worth arguing with you.

    Celeste, keep claiming what you want, but polar bears are not threatened and you should know the difference between political hype and true science. Stop believing with your heart and start thinking with your brain.

    I know qualified scientists who accept the science data from Inhofe and his staff. You choose to only focus on the political information. If someone wants to label Inhofe as as idiot, I would expect them to know more than him on the issue.

  11. "reg" Says:

    “Not to be mean, but he’s an idiot.”

    Re: Inhofe, you’re being kind. What is it with Oklahoma, sending nothing but clowns to the Senate ?

  12. Woody Says:

    No one has disputed the information compiled by Inhofe’s staff. Silence connotes acceptaqnce.

  13. Woody Says:

    Alligators: Texas sinkhole becomes a lake, home to gator

  14. Woody Says:

    Cute crocodiles being born
    Nothing there that I want to save.

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