The word comes from the Obama Administration, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, no less, and some enironmentalists heads are exploding right about now. This pretty well slams the door on the polar bears threatened by global warming meme. Now we know why there was a flurry of questionable press releases this past week like these:
Polar bears no longer on ‘thin ice’: researchers say polar bears could face brighter future: “a combination of greenhouse gas mitigation and control of adverse human activities in the Arctic can lead to a more promising future for polar bear populations and their sea ice habitat“
From Politico: The Obama administration is sticking with a George W. Bush-era decision to deny polar bears endangered species status.
In a court filing Wednesday, the Fish and Wildlife Service defended the previous administration’s decision to give the polar bear the less-protective “threatened” species designation, a move that will frustrate environmentalists who hoped for stronger protections under the Endangered Species Act.
FWS Director Rowan Gould said the 2008 “threatened” listing was made “following careful analysis of the best scientific information, as required by the ESA.”
At the time, the service determined the bears weren’t danger of extinction, so did not warrant the “endangered” status. The bears were listed as “threatened” because they face serious threats from projected decline in its sea ice habitat due to global warming would result in them likely being in danger of extinction in the foreseeable future.
FWS is “confident it was and is the appropriate status,” Gould said.