Polar Bears Said to be Starving - and It's Wicked George W's Fault

The British newspaper calls itself "The Independent," but an article in today's edition indicates it's hardly independent of the kind of environmentalist scare-mongering common in the US press.

How's this for an over-the-top headline?: "Starving Polar Bears Shame Bush to Act"

The gist is that global warming is causing Arctic ice to melt, depriving polar bears of territory to hunt seals, the staple of their diet.

Author Geoffrey Lean [special sympathy for the hungry?] brands Bush's stance on climate change "obdurate," which last I looked means "hardened in wrongdoing or wickedness; stubbornly impenitent." No media bias there!

The article offers only the scantest anectdotal evidence in support of its claims: one person killed by bears in the Russian arctic, evidence of bears eating their own. Have bears never killed humans before, or have jealous males not killed and perhaps eaten cubs, as is common in some species?

The article closes by expressing the possibility/hope that polar bears will be listed under the US Endangered Species Act, which would force regulatory agencies to take into account how their decisions would affect it. "This could lead to tougher measures to control the spread of pollution that causes global warming, and stricter fuel-economy standards for vehicles."

Is this good science, or a SUV-as-bear-killer critique of all things American and by extension of the free market?

Finkelstein lives in Ithaca, NY where he hosts the local TV program "Right Angle." Email him at: mark@gunhill.net

Economy Environment