Polar bear overseer: Few tools to stop melting ice

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June 28, 2010 5:26:09 AM PDT
Polar bear policy in America can be summed up succinctly: The iconic bears are threatened with extinction, and so far nothing much is being done.

Two years after they were listed under the Endangered Species Act, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has taken no major action in response to their principal threat, the loss of sea ice habitat due to climate change. And federal officials have declared that the Endangered Species Act will not be used in the attempt to regulate greenhouse gases.

More than one person has asked whether a federal proposal to designate a vast swath of Alaksa as critical polar bear habitat - which, after all, would also be subject to warming - wouldn't be like rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.


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