Saturday, May 09, 2009
The Blind Hog Gambit
On Friday, President Barack Obama's Interior Department reluctantly agreed with the Bush administration, saying it's scientifically impossible to use the Endangered Species Act to regulate the greenhouse gases that contribute to the destruction of the bears' habitat. The emissions from a cement plant in Georgia, for example, can't be tied directly to the precipitous decline of sea ice, Salazar said.
I would add that there is no way to prove that even a nation's entire output of anthropogenic CO2 has anything to do with sea ice melting. The culprit in 2007 were sea currents which broke up the ice and sent it south. Since that time the extent of the arctic sea ice has recovered and is nearly 'normal' now. We have comprehensive knowledge of the extent of the sea ice for only about 30 years, much too short a period to assign normality. There may well be cyclical melting and freezing trends beyond the normal yearly cycle of which we are as yet unaware.
I would also add that the Polar Bear has recovered from "hunting" in the first part of the 20th Century, which resulted in approximately 5,000 bears worldwide in 1950 and now there are 25,000. In most of the distinct areas where polar bears live the numbers are growing or stable and in the two or three areas where the bear numbers are declining, the Inuit, and their assignees, are hunting them perhaps too much.