Alaska Governor Sarah Palin's op-ed on polar bears and climate change in the NYT

WOW look at the SIZE of that seal! (photo added by Anthony, not NYT)

Bearing Up

By SARAH PALIN

Published: January 5, 2008,

Juneau, Alaska

ABOUT the closest most Americans will ever get to a polar bear are those cute, cuddly animated images that smiled at us while dancing around, pitching soft drinks on TV and movie screens this holiday season.

This is unfortunate, because polar bears are magnificent animals, not cartoon characters. They are worthy of our utmost efforts to protect them and their Arctic habitat. But adding polar bears to the nation’s list of endangered species, as some are now proposing, should not be part of those efforts.

To help ensure that polar bears are around for centuries to come, Alaska (about a fifth of the world’s 25,000 polar bears roam in and around the state) has conducted research and worked closely with the federal government to protect them. We have a ban on most hunting — only Alaska Native subsistence families can hunt polar bears — and measures to protect denning areas and prevent harassment of the bears. We are also participating in international efforts aimed at preserving polar bear populations worldwide.

This month, the secretary of the interior is expected to rule on whether polar bears should be listed under the Endangered Species Act. I strongly believe that adding them to the list is the wrong move at this time. My decision is based on a comprehensive review by state wildlife officials of scientific information from a broad range of climate, ice and polar bear experts.

The Center for Biological Diversity, an environmental group, has argued that global warming and the reduction of polar ice severely threatens the bears’ habitat and their existence. In fact, there is insufficient evidence that polar bears are in danger of becoming extinct within the foreseeable future — the trigger for protection under the Endangered Species Act. And there is no evidence that polar bears are being mismanaged through existing international agreements and the federal Marine Mammal Protection Act.

The state takes very seriously its job of protecting polar bears and their habitat and is well aware of the problems caused by climate change. But we know our efforts will take more than protecting what we have — we must also learn what we don’t know. That’s why state biologists are studying the health of polar bear populations and their habitat.

As a result of these efforts, polar bears are more numerous now than they were 40 years ago. The polar bear population in the southern Beaufort Sea off Alaska’s North Slope has been relatively stable for 20 years, according to a federal analysis.

We’re not against protecting plants and animals under the Endangered Species Act. Alaska has supported listings of other species, like the Aleutian Canada goose. The law worked as it should — under its protection the population of the geese rebounded so much that they were taken off the list of endangered and threatened species in 2001.

Listing the goose — then taking it off — was based on science. The possible listing of a healthy species like the polar bear would be based on uncertain modeling of possible effects. This is simply not justified.

What is justified is worldwide concern over the proven effects of climate change.

The Center for Biological Diversity, which petitioned for the polar bear to be protected, wants the listing to force the government to either stop or severely limit any public or private action that produces, or even allows, the production of greenhouse gases. But the Endangered Species Act is not the correct tool to address climate change — the act itself actually prohibits any consideration of broader issues.

Such limits should be adopted through an open process in which environmental issues are weighed against economic and social needs, and where scientists debate and present information that policy makers need to make the best decisions.

Americans should become involved in the issue of climate change by offering suggestions for constructive action to their state governments. But listing the polar bear as threatened is the wrong way to get to the right answer.

Sarah Palin, a Republican, is the governor of Alaska.

h/t to L Nettles

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statePoet1775

concerning excessive concern for polar bears
If you ever met a polar bear
and he hadn’t had his lunch
the last sound to be heard from you
would be a hearty “crunch”.

Things are look up with Sarah Palin.

iceFree

Well I will keep this short, I read about her talking sanely about polar bears and the Endangered Species Act.
I like her and I think she is a great V.P. choice for McCain.

Ed Scott

Anthony,
I am surprised that you would post a picture of a Navy submarine destroying Polar Bear habitat.

Matt

Hmm– Sounds like she knows what she may be talking about… might be a good choice for VP….

Well Duh!
Again, this politician has guts, brains and an inquiring mind. Let’s hope she’s free to use those in the coming months. It’s about time a “common” person was in a position of power. We’ve spent too long in the clutches of those who’ve never dirtied their hands or broken a sweat doing honest work.

Chris Wright

It appears the US may have a climate change skeptic for its next Vice President. In this interview
http://www.newsmax.com/headlines/sarah_palin_vp/2008/08/29/126139.html
she is asked about global warming. Her reply:
“A changing environment will affect Alaska more than any other state, because of our location. I’m not one though who would attribute it to being man-made. ”
If I were an American she’d have my vote!
Chris

Leon Brozyna

What a Woman!!
Brains wrapped in a pleasing on the eyes package.
Move over governator – you’ve been replaced by Hockey Mom.
Just stay on message Governor Palin and kick some serious butt.
I may just watch the VP debate this year.

bucko36

Thank you for reading my mind John Mccain. “RINO” McCain was not my first choice as candidate for the GOP, however, I decided that I would “hold my nose” and vote for him. The thought of “BO” being President of this great Country was a more repugnant option for me. I no longer will be holding my nose. McCain’s selection of Sarah Palin as GOP VP, has restored my faith in his judgement. Beside that, she will be the best looking VP we have ever had.

nanny_govt_sucks

McCain, step aside. Palin for President. McCain for VP.

DeLyon Getty

Three cheers for a woman with a healthy degree of commonsense.
She is a breath of fresh air and could possibly seal (pardon the pun) victory in this crazy climate change non-debate.
A looker with a big heart, five kids, and vision. What a combo !!
Well done McCain. You will win the White House.

Consider this –
It was a VP that got these US into the AGW mess. It might be a VP who gets us out.
She is also a proponent of State’s Rights or was at least thus so for Alaska.
FWIW, Palin majored in Journalism.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarah_Palin

Consider this –
It was a VP that got these US into the AGW mess. It might be a VP who gets us out.
She is also a proponent of State’s Rights or was at least thus so for Alaska.
FWIW, Palin majored in Journalism.
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarah_Palin

Bill Illis

If you have seen the picture of a drowning bear recently which was distributed with the “9 bears seen swimming in open ocean” news story, that is clearly another “cropped” picture of a bear who was clearly standing in shallow water.
I am tired of this propaganda.
Have you ever seen the documentary “In the land of the polar bears” by Nova. In this documentary, polar bears swim 85 miles to an island off the coast of Siberia to hunt 2,000 lb Walruses.
The scene showing a 500 lb polar bear wading his way into a herd of fifty 2,000 lb male Walruses with 2 foot long tusks is unbelievable. The bear finally attacks one of the smaller 1,500 lb Walruses and kills it and drags it away from the herd while the bigger ones are trying to attack the bear back. Nah, it was no contest for the giant Walruses against the bear.
They can swim 85 miles and then kill a giant Walrus 3 times their size with 2 foot long tusks no problem.

“McCain, step aside. Palin for President. McCain for VP.”
_____ I was thinking about this earlier, let’s hope she doesn’t become a distraction… I am tinkled pink about her though…

Bill in Vigo

I believe that we have the first breath of fresh air this election season. Up until this point the political process has been so corrupt this cycle that I have refrained from watching any of the process. I have today watched more that the last month. I will now enjoy watching the liberals and the warmists jump through hoops to try to trip this very nice “Lady with a capitol L” . She judging from her past performance and what I have heard of her is very intelligent and has no fear and no skeleton in her closet. This just might get interesting. And to think she believes in real science.
Bill Derryberry

Brute

Funny, Palin sold the Alaska “State” jetliner on E-Bay when she took office. I wonder if Al Gore will rise to the occasion and fly commercial like the rest of us.
Governor’s jet to be sold on eBay
http://dwb.adn.com/front/story/8489684p-8383460c.html

I recognized her name, because I saw an interview by Glen Beck with her a while back.
This one about the prize of oil and on the politics of Alaskan oil production.
Is McCain preparing to make a u-turn on global warming and Cap and Trade?
Made listening to “climate skeptics”?

Joy

Buffoon:
“tinkled pink” about her?

Bernie

I saw the Glen Beck video. She speaks very well – clear, direct, concrete and with a touch of humor.
Check the video out — it was earlier in the summer.
Go Sarah!!

statePoet1775

I know they’re cute and cuddly
but this unwelcome fact:
if you meet a hungry polar bear
you’ll end up polar scat.

Ray Reynolds

Bill Illis, “If you have seen the picture of a drowning bear recently which was distributed with the “9 bears seen swimming in open ocean” news story, that is clearly another “cropped” picture of a bear who was clearly standing in shallow water.”
If its the picture of the bear rearing away from chopper prop wash I agree….the water is dirty from the shallows close beneath. Also its rightly considered a sin to harrass wildlife. Well unless you need to cram a chopper into a polar bears life to create a shrill photo op.
I too am excited about Palin…in a very moderately wholesome way.

Lucy

“but we know our efforts will take more than protecting what we have — we must also learn what we don’t know. That’s why state biologists are studying the health of polar bear populations and their habitat.”
I have a theory about polar bears… if they are in any danger, it’s almost certainly due to researchers drugging every single one of them on a very regular basis to “study their health”, a la the Simpsons on ‘the Island’.

Jeff Alberts

To help ensure that polar bears are around for centuries to come, Alaska (about a fifth of the world’s 25,000 polar bears roam in and around the state) has conducted research and worked closely with the federal government to protect them. We have a ban on most hunting — only Alaska Native subsistence families can hunt polar bears — and measures to protect denning areas and prevent harassment of the bears. We are also participating in international efforts aimed at preserving polar bear populations worldwide.

I think those “Alaska Native subsistence families”, whatever that means, should be required to hunt with stone age tools. Since they don’t HAVE to be “Alaska Native subsistence families”, except by some warped sense of tradition. If they want to maintain tradition, then hunt with the tools used before modern technology came along.

springwaterkate

I have a lot of family that lives in Alaska. My sister actually worked on Sarah Palin’s campaign for governor. In less than two years as governor, Ms. Palin has accomplished more positive things for the citizens of her state than most politicians do in decades. I wish my state had someone like her…
I don’t agree with her on every issue, but I respect her and trust that she has Alaskans (and now Americans) best interests at heart and will put them before special interests or entrenched political pressures.
I read an interview with her (maybe it was in Alaska magazine?) a while back and her parents/husband/older children give her a ton of support and help with the younger children… it’s great to see a dynamic woman in politics who is backed by a functional and cohesive family.
I like that her problem solving is pragmatic and that she evaluates and engages with people based on their merits rather than their party affiliation.
When it comes to science, she strikes me as a person with an inquiring mind who is eager to learn.
So, as a conservative/free-thinking/libertarian/environmentalist/
non-believer in AGW, I will now seriously consider voting for the McCain-Palin ticket!

old construction worker

If she and McCain are elected, the boys at the Department of Interior could be on the hot seat for putting polar bears on the watch list.
“These studies are meant to inform the US Fish and Wildlife Service about listing the polar bear as endangered. After careful examination, my co-authors and I were unable to find any references to works providing evidence that the forecasting methods used in the reports had been previously validated. In essence, they give no scientific basis for deciding one way or the other about the polar bear.”
http://www.informs.org/article.php?id=1383
Sarah Palin pushed to have this study done and is fighting in court to have polar bears taken off the watch list.

statePoet1775

“If they want to maintain tradition, then hunt with the tools used before modern technology came along.” Jeff Alberts
One of those tools was a curled-up sharpened whalebone tied with sinew and placed in some meat. When the bear ate the meat, the sinew would dissolve, and the bone spring open in the bears gut.
Nope, a 30-06 to the head is much less cruel. Perhaps game limits is the better way to go.

evanjones

JA: Re. the Inuits. It’s moot. If you are going to allow a “way of life”, you can’t carve it in stone or dictate it from the outside. Either you allow the concept or you don’t and you “include” a group IN or you include it OUT.
It goes back to reservation status. I had an ancestor who walked the Trail of Tears and eventually left the reservation. (She had to reject the old ways and was not permitted back once having left.) But the point is that the reservations were autonomous and made their own rules.
I could come up with arguments for and arguments against the whole concept.
I’ll add that I agree that some of those “stone tools” could be pretty cruel by modern standards and sensibilities.
(The Canadians, IIRC, make the same allowances.)
P.S., I am now helping moderate posts; jeez is setting up regular schedules for me, him, and a couple of others, helping to take the load off the Rev. So keep it civil and clean, folks (which you have been doing pretty well).

Jeff Alberts

I really don’t care if their way of life is allowed or not. I just think it’s silly. They wear modern clothing and use snowmobiles, and are somehow maintaining a “traditional lifestyle”. And if they’re so “in touch with nature” as we’re always told about “native peoples”, why would they hunt something that was endangered in the first place, like whales? We once had a rich tradition of whale hunting, but we stopped. Traditions which are destructive or counter-productive really should be abandoned.

Jeff Alberts

Thank you for reading my mind John Mccain. “RINO” McCain was not my first choice as candidate for the GOP, however, I decided that I would “hold my nose” and vote for him. The thought of “BO” being President of this great Country was a more repugnant option for me. I no longer will be holding my nose. McCain’s selection of Sarah Palin as GOP VP, has restored my faith in his judgement. Beside that, she will be the best looking VP we have ever had.

Since endorsing Falwell’s Liberty U, McCain hasn’t had any sound judgement.

Jeff Alberts

One of those tools was a curled-up sharpened whalebone tied with sinew and placed in some meat. When the bear ate the meat, the sinew would dissolve, and the bone spring open in the bears gut.
Nope, a 30-06 to the head is much less cruel. Perhaps game limits is the better way to go.

I’m not talking about cruelty, I’m talking about tradition, which is why they do it. Don’t use a 30-06 and call it tradition. They’re deluding themselves.

Jeff Alberts

I am [pleased] about her though…

Lol, you ARE going to clean that up, right? 😉
[Sigh . . . My first act of BigBrotherhood. E]

evanjones

He’s sound on taxes, sound on the war, and rapidly coming around on energy issues. Those are my big three considerations. I don’t happen to agree with him on a number of social issues. For me there is no perfect choice. Oh, well.
But I don’t think we should let the best be the enemy of the good. We need to consider the alternative.
The “in touch with nature” bit I never bought in the first place. And it’s not an issue of aesthetics. It’s autonomy, plain and simple. It has its good points and its bad points.

evanjones

I’m not talking about cruelty, I’m talking about tradition, which is why they do it. Don’t use a 30-06 and call it tradition. They’re deluding themselves.
If they have autonomy, they can decide among themselves what is and is not traditional. (One might even argue that the Inuits would never have rejected such capabilities, if available, and to reject them would not have been traditional, in and of itself.)

deadwood

I would venture to say that the use of rifles for over 100 years constitutes a tradition. As did using a whale bone harpoon for untold generations before they discovered (or more likely were introduced to) the rifle.
I would also say that living north of the arctic circle in insulted wood-frame houses for the last 80 or so years now constitutes their new tradition.
In a similar way we might think that driving a car is now the traditional mode for most of us to get to work. Different traditions might have held sway 100 years ago.

bucko36

Jeff Alberts (20:51:07) :
“Since endorsing Falwell’s Liberty U, McCain hasn’t had any sound judgement.”
In the eye’s of the beholder.
Jeff, that’s what makes this country so great, everyone can use their individual voting right, as they wish, in accordance with their opinions/beliefs. Not so everywhere on this earth. Be thankful for your “right to live/vote here”. Please, just don’t “abuse it blindly”.

anna v

statePoet1775 (19:40:06) :
Since you publish poems,get corrections 🙂
yous said:
“I know they’re cute and cuddly
but this unwelcome fact:
if you meet a hungry polar bear
you’ll end up polar scat.”
Polar Bear
I know they’re cute and cuddly
but for this unwelcome fact:
if you meet a hungry bear
you’ll end up as polar scat.

Jeff Alberts

I would venture to say that the use of rifles for over 100 years constitutes a tradition. As did using a whale bone harpoon for untold generations before they discovered (or more likely were introduced to) the rifle.
I would also say that living north of the arctic circle in insulted wood-frame houses for the last 80 or so years now constitutes their new tradition.

Ah, so it’s a “new” tradition, for the sake of autonomy. Sorry, not buying it.

evanjones

My argument would be that under the current rulings the Inuit get to decide. Is it an Inuit custom that bears be killed by method X or merely that they be hunted by most efficient means? Autonomy means autonomy. (I assume there are limits, but this does not seem to press heavily upon them.)

bucko36

anna v (21:51:50): I loved it!
Had to laugh at this one. I had an English teacher HS in 1952, just like you! Of course, that was back when it was required to teach English in US public schools. “Go girl keep us honest”.
Re: statePoet1775 (19:40:06): ” Poet she got you!”
Go Sarah!!!!

AKD

When a native and an endangered species, somewhere in America a liberal’s head explodes.

Thortung

Bears: Not tinned food again!

Jim

Are you people dense. Sarah Palin just wnats to keep the polar bear off the list so she can drill for oil in ANWR You people need to wake up and see that the Oil men in the white house are robbing this country for everything we have and they have turned Mccain and now Sarah Palin is there pick to open up Alaska for Trillions of dollars in profits to the Oil companies and more money for Bush, Chaney and now Mccain and Palin WAKE UP PEOPLE!!!
Don’t be so dense wake up sake up wake up wake up
I can’t believe how dumb we as Americans have become.

Another interesting note –
Palin’s father was a science teacher back in the day when science was actually taught in the school systems.

The more I read about Palin, the more I like –
http://www.newsmax.com/headlines/sarah_palin_vp/2008/08/29/126139.html
Speaking of energy, how much oil and gas does America really have?
We have billions and billions of barrels of oil and trillions of feet of natural gas. We have so much potential from tapping our resources here in Alaska. And we can do this with minimum environmental impact. We have a very pro-development president in President Bush, and yet he failed to push for opening up parts of Alaska to drilling through Congress — and a Republican-controlled Congress, I might add.
I thought when we hit $100 a barrel for oil it would have been a psychological barrier that would have caused Congress to reconsider, but they didn’t. Now we are approaching $200 a barrel. It’s nonsense not to tap a safe domestic source of oil. I think Americans need to hold Congress accountable on this one.
What is your take on global warming and how is it affecting our country?
A changing environment will affect Alaska more than any other state, because of our location. I’m not one though who would attribute it to being man-made.

old construction worker

Jim (01:20:29)
No jim it’s [snip] robbing this country by not allowing for real energy policy as $700,000,000,00 / year of our tax based flows to other governments.
So you would put the polar bear on the endanger list reguardless of the science just to stop oil production? The end justifies the means. [This gives] science and enviromentalist a bad name.
[REPLY: Now, now, be nice! E.]

statePoet1775

anna v and buck036,
poetic license of course.

Jim

“Sarah Palin just wnats to keep the polar bear off the list so she can drill for oil in ANWR You people need to wake up and see that the Oil men in the white house are robbing this country for everything we have and… blah, bla, blah…I can’t believe how dumb we as Americans have become.”

You’re speaking for yourself, right? Because you’re certainly not speaking for me, or for most Americans.
I lay the blame for $4/gal gas, rolling blackouts [we just had one yesterday in Northern California], high utility bills, dependence on foreign oil, etc., etc., directly at the feet of the environmental lobbyists and their string puppets in Congress. These problems are their doing.
How is it ‘robbing this country’ to use our own resources instead of funneling $trillions into the Middle East, Venezuela, etc.? Can you explain that?
I did enjoy your comments, though. They reek of desperation. When the Left starts screeching about polar bears and a woman with some common sense, to me that is a Good Thing.
My advice: take an aspirin and lie down. Everything is going to be OK.

Tom in Florida

Jim:”Are you people dense. Sarah Palin just wnats to keep the polar bear off the list so she can drill for oil in ANWR You people need to wake up and see that the Oil men in the white house are robbing this country for everything we have and they have turned Mccain and now Sarah Palin is there pick to open up Alaska for Trillions of dollars in profits to the Oil companies and more money for Bush, Chaney and now Mccain and Palin WAKE UP PEOPLE!!!”
Jimmy, Jimmy, Jimmy…
Are you aware that Palin has established a trust fund from oil tax profits that goes back to each and every Alaskan each year? You need to do some open minded research on her instead of trumpeting old and tired far left BS.
Once a species gets listed on the Endangered Species list all kind of government control takes over. We have similar issues here in Florida with the Gopher Tortoise and the Scrub Jay. They have acutally considered restrictions on any land that MIGHT be able to sustain either of these animals. Their greed for control never stops. If you hate Washington so much, why would you want them to control more things?

Tom in Florida

Dee Norris: ” Now we are approaching $200 a barrel”
Did i miss the morning news? When has oil ever approached $200 per barrel?
As I predicted, as soon as the government simply started seriously talking about drilling, the day trader investors left the market and the price came down. Now they are coming back in as it looks like liberals may stay in control of things.

statePoet1775

anna v, buck036
I left those words out for the sake of the meter. But notice that you got the meaning anyway after a little thought 🙂
Thanks for the feedback.