In their February 3, story reporting that the Interior Department may act as soon as this week to list the polar bear as an endangered species, The Los Angeles Times quotes Center for Biological Diversity lawyer Kassie Siegel, “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others. And then there is the polar bear.” Yale Project on Climate Change Anthony Leiserowitz agrees: “These are soft and cuddly, giving bears. We give them each other on Valentine’s Day and tuck them in with our children at night.”
As cuddly as these bears are, listing them as an Endangered pursuant to the Endangered Species Act (ESA) will give environmentalist activists the ability to end all economic growth everywhere in the United States. What gives the polar bear this special power? The theory being used to establish damage to the polar bears habitat: global warming. The ESA is an extremely powerful law that sublimates all economic and human interests in favor of the preservation of a species. Since the carbon dioxide emissions that supposedly threaten the polar bears existence are emitted are all over the country, any new economic activity that required federal government action (e.g. new power plants, transportation construction, bridge repair) could be brought to a screeching halt by environmentalists in court.
In its decades long existence, the ESA has been highly successful in trampling private property rights and hampering economic activity, but has a very poor track record in actually helping endangered species recover. Furthermore, there is evidence that the polar bear population has increased in recent years. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game reports that 8,000-10,000 bears were alive in 1965-1970, compared to 20,000-25,000 today. The push to place the polar bear on the endangered list is nothing more than a back door attempt by environmentalists to establish draconian global warming policy through the courts rather than facing the political consequences of enacting such policies through Congress.
- Britain’s Ministry of Defense will defy Brussels and lodge last minute complaints to a European Union demand the Britain build wind farms offshore. The MoD claims the turbines will interfere with the country’s radar.
- Nature reports that the chances of the EU meeting their own targets to reduce greenhouse emissions will “vanish into thin air” if they go forward with plans with the US to open up the market in transatlantic aviation.
- Iran fired a rocket from its newly inaugurated space center Monday, laying the groundwork for what it says will be the future launch of its first domestically produced satellite, the semi-official FARS news agency reported.
- Hillary Clinton is willing to garnish workers wages to achieve universal health coverage.
- Massachusetts tax payers will be on the hook for hundreds of millions of dollars in future years as the size of the state’s subsidized insurance program is expected to double over the next three years.