Last month, the U.S. Department of Interior listed the Arctic polar bear on its threatened but not endangered list. While this is a lesser listing than endangered, it does mean the bear could be expected to be upgraded to endangered sometime in the future.
Environmentalists considered this listing a victory not only for the polar bear but also for its radical agenda of keeping America's energy companies from extracting oil and gas from the vast reserves the U.S. has in Alaska. This agenda is also connected to stopping the flow of America's supplies in order to supposedly slow down the growth of so called global warming.
Soon after the polar bear's listing, Alaska's governor Sarah Palin announced her state will sue to challenge the bear's new designation, claiming the listing is unfounded and based on unsubstantial science and could needlessly hold up much needed energy exploration there.
So what are the facts and what are the myths around the polar bear?
Myth: The polar bear is endangered because its numbers are dwindling.
Fact: The number of Arctic polar bears has steadily risen---about 40%---since 1970. Today, its population stands at 24,000. In the mid-50s, the polar bear population was between 8,000-10,000.
Canadian wildlife research director Mitch Taylor recently told The Scotsman in Edinburgh that the increase in the polar bear population "is really unprecedented and in places where we're seeing a decrease in the population, it's from hunting and not from climate change."
In other words, the species of polar bear is thriving in its current habitat and its listening as threatened at this point in time is unprecedented and unwarranted, based in the unprecendented hype and whining of the radical environmental lobby.
Myth: The polar bear's ice habitat is disappearing and will lead to the demise of the bear altogether in coming decades. According to a World Wildlife report published April 24 of this year, the Arctic ice and polar bear habitat has shrunk from 13 million square kilometers to just 3 million.
Fact: According to IBD statistics, the WWF omitted the fact that by March of 2008 Arctic ice had recovered to 14 million square kilometers---the highest ever recorded.
To repeat: the ice in Alaska this March was the highest ever recorded.
Don't you just love the way we cherry pick our facts to make our case?
Myth: We're in a steep period of man-made global warming and we can only expect disaster ahead for the polar bears and their habitat specifically and mankind in general in the decades ahead.
Fact: We may well be in a warming phase but it's highly controversial as to whether or not it's man-made. In all events, the Arctic polar bear has gone through and endured many other global warming and cooling periods, thousands of years before the dawn of Al Gore, the SUV and the current high-tech age we're now in.
While all reasonable people should want to save the polar bear and its habitat, we should never let its protection preclude the safe production of the rich energy resources in the Alaska and the Arctic regions.
It's not an either/or choice as radical environmentalist claim, but rather a both/and.