Polar bears have become a football in the global warmening squabble. Now Canadian Inuits have objected to the proposed listing of the bears as an endangered species:
"Nunavut has a very effective polar bear management system," Environment Minister Patterk Netser said in a release today. "We are managing our polar bear populations on a sustainable basis, in a way that provides economic benefits to Nunavummiut (residents of the territory)."There is then a very candid admission by a warmening enthusiast - polar bears are not endangered, but they might be sometime in the future:
Most polar bear populations in Nunavut are abundant and appear to be able to withstand current hunting levels, said Netser, who suggested the U.S. move has more to do with politics than concern for the bears.
"Polar bears have become a political tool for environmental groups trying to force a change in U.S. climate change policy," he said.
"We oppose the listing of polar bears because it is currently unwarranted, highly speculative and will hurt Inuit and our economy."
"People are trying to muddy the waters," said Andy Derocher, a professor of biological sciences at the University of Alberta.That's a big "if", brother.
"Nobody in the polar bear world has ever objected to the notion that some populations are large. It's the longer-term context for the species that's really the main issue of the threatened status."
The numbers now are fine, but may not be in the future, said Derocher.
The concern is that in the next 45 years, which is about three generations, the loss of sea ice will cripple the bear population and diminish it to that of an endangered species.
"If the projection models . . . come to fruition, it's very clear that polar bears have a very high likelihood of slipping from a threatened status into an endangered status in many parts of the Arctic."