Friday, August 29, 2008

Polar bears or industry?

In May, after very long prior discussion, polar bear became the first species with a population that the government has classified as threatened by global warming. As many of you already know polar bears need ice to survive, and because of the global warming ice is melting rapidly reducing area of suitable habitats for polar bears population. By giving polar bears the "threatened species" mark government also issued a special rule limiting the types of projects that could be evaluated, thus reducing the number of possible business operations in Alaska in order to protect polar bears and their habitats.

As you can imagine this government decision didn't go well with many Alaskan industries, and now five industry groups have sued the Interior Department over a rule to protect the polar bear that they say unfairly singles out business operations in Alaska for their contribution to global warming. These industry groups say that these laws, designed to protect the polar bear must not be used to block projects that release greenhouse gases in the state. It is basically all about the money and profits as energy companies paid billions for the right to explore for oil and natural gas in polar bear habitat.

This current polar bear protection has very little meaning since it exempted projects in all states but Alaska from undergoing reviews to use endangered species law to control greenhouse gas emissions, but even this shallow protection worries industries because they are afraid that there would be no profits if by any miracle polar bear protection becomes more than a meaningless letter on the paper. Who cares about polar bear population, ice melting, climate change, and global warming when there is almighty dollar in stake?

Alaskan industry can call this injustice but I call this a shame, shame that government talks something and then does something completely else, shame that industry in all US states doesn't need to be compatible with endangered species law to control greenhouse gas emissions, shame that economy is always in front of the ecology, shame that dollar is more important than our planet.

Global warming is global ecological problem that needs only action, and not some meaningless words or laws that are nothing more than simple letters on the paper. Unless we stop global warming ice will continue to melt, and then at one point there won't be any ice left, as well as the polar bear population. Is almighty dollar really worth this?

Polar bears or the industry?

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