Alaska Sues to End the Polar Bear

  • Published on August 5th, 2008

371383869_e52def4004 In a move that can only be seen as ludicrous, bordering on the delusional, the state of Alaska has sued Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne, in an attempt to get him to reverse his decision listing polar bears as a threatened species under the US Endangered Species act.

Led by Governor Sarah Palin, state officials fear that listing the polar bear as endangered will cripple development of oil and gas drilling in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas. “We believe that the Service’s decision to list the polar bear was not based on the best scientific and commercial data available,” Palin said in announcing the lawsuit.

Not surprisingly, this decision by Palin and co. has not gone down well.

Kassie Siegel of the Center for Biological Diversity was the lead author of the petition that finally led to the polar bear being listed as endangered. She calls the lawsuit “completely ridiculous and a waste of the court’s time” and adds that “this lawsuit and her [Gov. Palin] head-in-the-sand approach to global warming only helps oil companies, certainly not Alaska or the polar bear.”

The lawsuit, filed on Monday in Washington, D.C., states that the federal analysis that led to the polar being being listed did not properly consider the survival of the polar bear through previous periods of warming. They called the conclusion that polar bears would be endangered within the “foreseeable future,” or 45 years, as defined by the Fish and Wildlife Service, an arbitrary number.

The decision that Governor Palin has taken is nothing short of ridiculous, and shines a light on the real priorities of her governance. Why bother saving a beautiful animal, when it would be much nicer to set up dirty great big oil platforms and wipe out their habitat.

As for the fact that polar bears may have survived previous warmings? That may very well be true, but I doubt that they had to surf around humans and their drilling machines in the process. Could that maybe be what experts are hoping to avoid in listing the polar bear as endangered?

When our leaders finally begin to realize that just maybe, maybe, the future of our planet rests as much in the hands of Mother Nature as it does in our own, then, we might get somewhere.

About the Author

I'm a Christian, a nerd, a geek, a liberal left-winger, and believe that we're pretty quickly directing planet-Earth into hell in a handbasket! I work as Associate Editor for the Important Media Network and write for CleanTechnica and Planetsave. I also write for Fantasy Book Review (, Amazing Stories, the Stabley Times and Medium.   I love words with a passion, both creating them and reading them.


  • Umm ok the polar bear population is fine now but what happens when their habitat disappears from the climate change idiot. Myany scientist study climate chang find it will be gone. they can't eat the same diet that the land bears eat they need fatty blubber from seals moron

  • I am appalled;you obviously have Internet connections,so it's not as if you and your Governor are living under a rock.WAKE UP!Your Governor is running for the Vice-President of the United States.(I bring this up as you may not be aware of that fact.)So much information is available; "He that hath an ear,let him hear what the Spirit saith…"Rev.2,7;but when no one is listening.Whats the point.

  • I feel there is no evendene backing global warming and that it is a natural happening,that occurs every several thousand yesrs.

  • This is a stupid article!

    1) The grammar is terrible!

    2) Global warming is just a cycle of the earth and it has nothing to do with oil and driling for gas!!

    3) Polar bears have killed more of the oil workers than workers killing polar bears!

  • I thought the polar bears were lucky to be listed at all considering the political pressure to drill for oil in Alaska; however, I was sure they'd caught a break when Sen. Stevens was indicted on criminal corruption charges, related to his involvement with oil companies no less. Turns out the rest of Alaska won't go down quietly.

    Sharon, this is a broader issue than just Alaska and the federal listing of the polar bear was in conjunction with an international push to protect the species. The good news is that the responsibility to protect these animals, and the bill, will fall on the whole country now, not just Alaska.

    D Graham, the electricity comes from a wide and increasingly diverse variety of sources. Species don't just come and go, and they certainly don't at the rate that we're seeing to the extent that we've caused. The importance in protecting these species is that they all affect each other – if there are no polar bears, there will be more seals, which means less fish and so on.

    Finally, the Left isn't making humans instinct – the human population has more than doubled in the last 50 years, and went up 77 million last year alone. That means a whole new United States-sized group of people every 5 years. Humans aren't going extinct.

    Oil companies might be, though.

  • The Polar Bear argument is based completely on hyperbole. Warming, which has occurred since the 70's, has been fantastic for the Polar Bear population. Let the good times roll! I realize that the left wants to put up as many roadblocks as possible to industry and the horrors of big oil (hmmm, wonder where the electricity is coming from to power the massive amount of current necessary to power the millions of servers attached to the network), but if there is any argument that is ridiculous it is the extrapolation of the global warming thesis extended to the extinction of species. Species come, they go, that is nature. I will bet anybody thousands of dollars that 20 years from now, we will be hunting polar bears because of the massive shrieks coming from folks the homes of folks whom are being terrorized by the bears and it is a heck of a lot cooler. My winnings on my bet will likely not even get me close to the losses in wasted taxes on a non-problem.

    If anything, the left is making the humans extinct. Whom will protect the polar bear when there are no humans?

  • The Polar Bear is already well protected in Alaska by state law and especially by the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972. Oil development has not impacted the health or longevity of Polar Bears at all, and their numbers have been significantly on the rise for over 30 years since the MMP act was passed.

    The reason Gov. Palin has filed this suit is that this redundant act is not needed. The number of Polar Bears has NOT dropped at ALL, don't you people get that??

    All this listing does is give people of your political persuasion grounds to shut down Alaska's Oil industry whether this industry affects the Polar Bear or not.

    We have done a fine job of taking care of our Polar Bears with no help from an idiotic Endangered Species declaration.

    Your movement's anti-human / anti-industry religion will do anything it can to put this industry and every other industry out of business in an insane attempt to go back to the stone age to "save the planet".

    You'd have a better results by sacrificing a virgin.

  • That's just absurd coming from a state you would think had more of an attachment to its environment. They do some wacky things north of the 30th parallel, but this is straight dumb.

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