In a disappointing continuation of Bush era policies, the Obama administration has decided to leave polar bears exposed to the perils of global warming - one of the most serious threats to their existence.
Polar bears are being driven to extinction as increasing temperatures are devastating their habitat, melting away the Arctic ice the need to survive and causing the seals that polar bears hunt for food to become increasingly scarce.
Although polar bears were listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act last year, the outgoing Bush/Cheney administration bowed to the oil and gas interests and issued a rule which prevents the law from protecting bears against activities that cause global warming, denying these beloved animals protections that are vital to their survival.
Congress gave the Obama administration a chance to reverse this senseless policy, but Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar failed to act, leaving polar bears without key protections from global warming.
Please don't let Secretary Salazar ignore the bears' path to extinction. Urge him to reconsider his decision, review the science, and protect polar bears from their loss of habitat today.
photo credit: U.S. Geological Survey
I was surprised and disappointed to hear that you did not decide to reverse the Bush administration's policy of limiting the protections for polar bears from the impacts of global warming.
The science is clear: global warming is causing the polar bear's Arctic habitat to melt away. Temperatures are rising, and the Arctic seals that polar bears hunt for food-and the sea ice that polar bears need to hunt them-are becoming increasingly scarce.
The time is now to act to protect polar bears. The U.S. Geological Survey recently published a series of reports predicting that loss of summer sea ice-vital habitat for polar bears-could lead to the demise of two-thirds of the world's polar bears by mid-century, including all of Alaska's polar bears.
In light of this evidence, and as a concerned citizen who cares about the preservation of our natural habitat, I urge you to review the science and implement substantive protections for polar bears to stop their path toward extinction.