- As Carl Pope of the Sierra Club says, “No one is closer to the oil industry than Governor Palin.”
Biologists who have studied polar bear populations have concluded that Sarah Palin's assertion that polar bear populations are on the rise is mere fiction and a politically motivated misreading of the facts:
Ian Stirling's, an emeritus scientist with Canada's Department of the Environment and a professor at the University of Alberta, peer-reviewed research conducted with other scientists for the US Geological Survey clearly shows that "polar bear populations have not been increasing for the past 30 years, and that's a well-known fact." Stirling has studied polar bears for 37 years which puts him at the top of his field. "In fact, the polar bear population has actually declined by 20 percent in Alaska's Southern Beaufort Sea since the mid-1980s," Stirling said. "The research reports with this information have been available to Palin for more than a year", Stirling said.
What is the reason for the decline in the polar bear population? - Loss of their habitat in the form of melting ice, due to global warming.
Anchorage Daily News/MCT—Landov
-Sarah Palin sits on dead and stuffed friends.
Even with this knowledge, Sarah Lai Stirland writes in Wired Magazine, that "Palin sued the Interior Department for putting polar bears on the endangered species list. In the lawsuit, filed this month in federal district court in the District of Columbia, Palin argues that the government's move to list polar bears as endangered is not based on sound science, and restricts oil and natural gas development. The Interior Department had put the bears on the list in response to a lawsuit filed by environmental groups, who argued that the bears are being threatened by global warming. In an interview on the conservative CNN talk show hosted by Glenn Beck earlier this year, Palin said that she was worried that environmentalists are using the Endangered Species Act to block the extraction of oil and gas."
During this interview Palin claimed erroneously that " the number of polar bears has risen dramatically over the past 30 years."
Of course Ian Stirling's peer-reviewed research clearly shows Palin to be wrong.
Palin could care less about the bears, instead she supports increased drilling in protected areas of the Outer Continental Shelf and the Alaska Natural Wildlife Refuge. But the Department of Energy has concluded that offshore drilling “would not have a significant impact on domestic crude oil and natural gas production or prices before 2030.”
Opening the Arctic Refuge would most likely lower gasoline prices by two cents in 17 years. For two cents, Palin would destroy the home of America’s native polar bears, seriously jeopardizing the future of the bears and other species native to the Outer Continental Shelf and the Alaska Natural Wildlife Refuge.
Palin champions oil drilling, and rejects clean renewable energy that is an alternative to oil. Earlier this month, she claimed that “alternative-energy solutions are far from imminent and would require more than 10 years to develop. Palin would help John McCain's energy policies mirror those of Bush-Cheney which brought us more than $4.00 per gallon gasoline and the rising threat of global warming. Like McCain, Palin believes that oil drilling is the only solution to our energy problems. “I beg to disagree with any candidate who would say we can’t drill our way out of our problem,” she says.
Scientists are growing clearer in their understanding that Alaska has become a poster state for the damages of global warming as the climate gets hotter and sea levels rise due to melting ice. In Sarah Palin's home state of Alaska, more than 100 towns are vulnerable due to eroding sea lines. Is she worried? Nah, global warming according to Palin doesn't exist. Her pseudo science extends to the realm of creationism, which was part of her gubernatorial platform.
"A polar bear is seen in the water during an aerial survey off the Alaska coast in this photo taken August 15, 2008. Arctic sea ice shrank to its second-lowest level ever, U.S. scientists said on Wednesday, with particular melting in the Chukchi Sea, where polar bears were recently seen swimming far off the Alaskan coast."
-REUTERS/Geoff York/World Wildlife Fund/Handout
No matter what silly tales Palin tries to spin, it is obvious to real scientists that polar bears are threatened by the melting ice in the Arctic. Recently, polar bears were spotted swimming nearly 50 miles offshore in a desperate attempt to find intact ice and cling to their vanishing habitat.
As Carl Pope of the Sierra Club says, “No one is closer to the oil industry than Governor Palin.” Sarah Palin has taken positions that would ensure a continuation of the Bush-Cheney energy policies. Palin supports drilling everywhere, including National Parks, and ignores the need for binding reductions in emissions that lead to global warming- even though her state is melting. Sarah Palin's policies will lead to an environmental train wreck, higher energy costs, more severe weather patterns including hurricanes and droughts, and despoiled natural treasures. In essence - a despoiled America for our children's future.
The United States of America and the world cannot afford to have a George III administration of McCain & Palin wreaking havoc on the globe by continuing and expanding the failed energy and environmental policies of the current administration.
McCain VP Pick No Friend to Polar Bears
Arctic ice second-lowest ever; polar bears affected
Palin and the Environment
"Mr. Pope is co-author -- along with Paul Rauber -- of Strategic Ignorance: Why the Bush Administration Is Recklessly Destroying a Century of Environmental Progress, which the New York Review of Books called "a splendidly fierce book." Mr. Pope's other books include Sahib, an American Misadventure in India (1971) and Hazardous Waste in America (1981).
Mr. Pope graduated summa cum laude from Harvard College in 1967. He then spent two years as a volunteer with the Peace Corps in Barhi, Bihar, India, where he helped communities and families address the human and environmental impacts of overpopulation."
More on Palin and the environment from the New York Times:
"--Palin's administration disputes conclusions by the federal National Marine Fisheries Service and its science advisers that the beluga whale population is in critical danger. The state argues that 2007 data shows the whale rebounding.
--Palin opposed a state ballot initiative to increase protection of salmon streams from mining operations. It was defeated.
--Palin also opposed a ballot initiative barring the shooting of wolves and bears from aircraft except in biological emergencies. It was also defeated.
Under Palin, the state Board of Game authorized for the first time in 20 years the shooting of wolves by state wildlife officials from helicopters. The order resulted in the controversial shooting this summer of 14 one-month-old wolf pups taken from dens on a remote peninsula 800 miles southwest of Anchorage -- an act that environmentalists claim was illegal."