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Ear to the Ground

Obama Leaves Polar Bears Out in the Cold

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Posted on May 9, 2009

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced that the Obama administration will leave in place an unpopular Bush rule on the protection of polar bears. The decision comes despite an outcry from Democrats, environmental activists and scientists alike, who promised to push to overturn the rule in court. 

The New York Times:

While keeping the rule—which limits use of the Endangered Species Act to curb emissions of greenhouse gases—Salazar held open the possibility of adding habitat protections for the polar bear later.

“To see the polar bear’s habitat melting and an iconic species threatened is an environmental tragedy of the modern age,” Salazar said. “This administration is fully committed to the protection and recovery of the polar bear.”

The rule in question was finalized by the Bush administration in December, six months after the polar bear was declared a threatened species due to the melting of its sea-ice habitat. Environmentalists, lawmakers, law professors and scientists who sent letters to Salazar urging him to toss the rule decried his decision.

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By DAveKnTux, June 2, 2009 at 4:08 am Link to this comment

global warming and world-wide climate change continues to threaten species across the globe, but these issues are a far cry from the real killer which is man-induced habitat destruction. More global action needs to be coordinated to halt destruction of habitats and eco-diversity. Polar bears are just one example of what is happening to the earth. Thousands of species are under threat, yet we do little to stop the minor things which can be dealt with.

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By Night-Gaunt, May 13, 2009 at 8:45 pm Link to this comment

While president Obama continues to walk backwards towards the darkness of the reich wing we see a pattern that is very disturbing. How many more things will he reveal to us as his glamor fades and the harsh edges of reality make themselves manifest. Who and what else will he be leaving not only in the cold but the sharp gritty dust of the road less traveled?

Even if we stopped using all petroleum and coal (which may happen in 50 years or more) it would take at least 100 years before anything would be any better. With the time lag of effect we could still see a 2 to 4 degree general rise in temperature. (Centigrade, we have had a 0.7 degree rise over all but in the North American west it has been 1.7 degree rise.)

Note, reneg on the release of the rest of the hundreds of prisoner-torture photos by Obama today. No transparency, is no free gov’t, but one fit for a dictatorship. If we can’t force him to then that is mostly what we will still have.

Things are going to get much worse before they will get better so gird your loins people.

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By samosamo, May 11, 2009 at 2:44 pm Link to this comment

By BigIslandDave, May 11 at 2:17 am #
(Unregistered commenter)
Would it be terribly inconvenient and non-politically correct of me to ask if ethnic minorities don’t care about flora, fauna and the environment as much as Caucasians? It might be a really broad-brush, unfair, overly generalized question. Feedback, please.

Not at all. But you are not correct in your thinking of Caucasian because most corporations are the ‘white boy fraternity country club money laundering houses’ that are a severe burden to the environment via the extraction industries(best way to make money with less hassle,other than the financial sector) and the notion that once they take from the source, what ends up in the sink(points of pollution accumulation & very toxic)is NOT their concern, as to be concerned about it means a rise in costs and a fall in profits so this ‘fraternity’, irrespective of any one’s health or thoughts, just do it because it is not just these white corporations, until recently how many of any other race have been elected into the halls of american government and when there are, how different has been their contribution?

And that is basically what living entails, taking from the environment and leaving the remains to be ‘cleaned’ up by something else or some other process, only now the 6.8 billion people are taking more than can be renewed or replaced or just out right taken almost all of what the environment provided but the ‘Caucasian’ are still hell bent on extraction and dumping to the detriment of everyone else just to make more money which to me is just another way of creating a class system of them and us because they already have most of the clean and ‘beautiful’ places under their ownership for them to enjoy as they think money has made them the winners and everyone else are the losers.

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By adrienrain, May 11, 2009 at 1:49 pm Link to this comment

Well Bludot, I have voted for Nader several times, And a number of other third party candidates. I voted Green for the first time when Carter was up for re-election, and Obama was the first Democrat I’ve voted for since.

And I did recognize the dangers. But as always, I knew my 3rd party vote would be only a protest. But the alternative was not merely the indifferent arrogance of the GOP - it was the near certainty of a fanatic Armageddonist psychopath (Sarah Palin) in the white house with a finger on the button.

And there was one other thing: the young people of the nation, kids of all colors, were showing a commitment to political change I had not witnessed since McGovern ran in ‘72. In them, I saw my younger self, still hopeful that America could ‘come home.’ Who knows? I said to myself, maybe we can pressure this man, the way FDR was once pressured, to do the right thing.

I love Nader, and McKinney seemed perfect to me (that way I wouldn’t have to choose between a Black person and a woman) but with Palin hovering in the near background, I felt as if I was gazing into a precipice. I can’t really regret my vote too much. Obama is not as smart as I thought him - these continuing wars may bring him down as Vietnam once brought down LBJ, and I really hate the bank bailouts, etc. But he is sane. He did rescind Bush’s worst executive orders. Some moderation seems to be returning to our public life.

Here’s what H.L.Mencken said: ‘the Aemrican voter is like a tiger in a cage - he paces over to the left, but there’s nothing over there, so he paces over to the right.’ 

Fellow tigers, it is time to look to our CAGE! The two party system is working against our interests. This time, I felt I had to do what I never wanted to do again - vote for the lesser of two evils.

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By BigIslandDave, May 10, 2009 at 11:17 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Would it be terribly inconvenient and non-politically correct of me to ask if ethnic minorities don’t care about flora, fauna and the environment as much as Caucasians? It might be a really broad-brush, unfair, overly generalized question. Feedback, please.

I even get the distinct impression that Barack doesn’t really give a hoot about Bo, the new White House dog. That this darling canine was just a long-overdue promise to his daughters and means nothing more to him than a vase or a lamp or some other inanimate object.

Yes, I’m getting more and more disappointed by Mr. Obama, a man I voted for with the utmost enthusiasm.

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By samosamo, May 10, 2009 at 5:29 pm Link to this comment

““old Indian saying:
After the last animal is destroyed, all the trees cut down and the waters polluted, only then will you realize you can’t eat money.”“

What I have always believed, except you can eat it, swallow it or just consume it, but it is then, when one who is doing so finds the real value of money, precious metals and gems.

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By purplewolf, May 10, 2009 at 4:49 pm Link to this comment

Purple Girl, Defenders of Wildlife along with Care2 are just 2 organizations that deal with these problems. I have dealt with both of them and recommend you check them out on the web. And don’t forget that wolves are back in a position to become endangered again. ALso from D.o.W. is another site to check out.

old Indian saying:
After the last animal is destroyed, all the trees cut down and the waters polluted, only then will you realize you can’t eat money.

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By jerry lagadec, May 10, 2009 at 4:40 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Obama is a box of cereal and the idiots bought him like other idiots bought Bush; it’s over baby- hear the fat lady sing. Too many brains corrupted by television and Hollywood until it’s impossible to follow a thought for more than 14 minutes, the average time until a commercial. Dolts- 100, humans- 0. The level of moronic bullshit is too high for reversal. We need a cataclysm to wipe the slate clean so nature can have another go. Maybe some other specie can receive the largesse of evolutionary creativity next time; we deserve to climb back into the trees and scratch our asses for fleas.If this sounds too negative, go stuff a fortune cookie up your fundament and call Dr. Phil!

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By Litl Bludot, May 10, 2009 at 2:39 pm Link to this comment

To Adrianrain, and others, who think:

“Face it, kids, we were seduced. . . . . . . . . . . and abandoned.”

Let me ask you, why didn’t you believe Ralph Nader?  He told you exactly who you were voting for, what would happen if you did, and why it was essential to vote for him or Kucinich.

He told you what the stakes were- i.e. everything, the economy, the environment, the very fabric of our society and what’s left of our morals and ethics.

But what did you people do?  You believed a great smile and the best PR wall street could buy.

So, what are you going to do now?  I’ll tell you because you’re totally predictable, you’ll keep listening to corporate media and believing the lies he’s still telling you.

Democracy Now, Ralph Nader, Naomi Kline, and those who have told the truth should be supported and listened to.  But instead, you vote for the pimps who are selling you to the corporations and cry with joy when they get elected.

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By samosamo, May 10, 2009 at 9:50 am Link to this comment

By Thomas Mc, May 10 at 11:25 am
““What, you thought Obama was going to be different?
Where the hell have you been the last few decades?
They are ALL the same!”“

This a response to my comment?
If it is, you and some other commentors here can’t detect satirical sarcasm when it is flapping in your face.

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By adrienrain, May 10, 2009 at 8:31 am Link to this comment

What in the world do you mean, frogs aren’t cute?

All of my granddaughters collect frogs, frogs, frogs. I dare say there are more frog gewgaws, figurines, earrings and keychains than frogs. And I agree, frogs are much more important to our ecosystem than polar bears, and the bears are probably impossible to save.

The effort, however, might begin to save us all.

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By Thomas Mc, May 10, 2009 at 8:25 am Link to this comment

What, you thought Obama was going to be different?
Where the hell have you been the last few decades?
They are ALL the same!

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By samosamo, May 10, 2009 at 7:42 am Link to this comment

I know how to save the polar bears. Just take our electorate, one by one, and put them on an ice float, alone, with a polar bear. Other than an acute case of indigestion, I feel comfortable that the bears will survive.

Not only survive but ‘do unto the electorate as the electorate have done unto the bears’ from the comfort of their offices where they feel safe in making the decisions to dis species on a whim.

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By Purple Girl, May 10, 2009 at 6:39 am Link to this comment

Polar Bears are not the only animals being threatened by Global Warming- so are many other species. So to limit our scope of think to procetion of just one and not all is doing a grave disservice to the rest.
Don’t get me wrong I love the Polar Bears, but there are more less ‘Loveable’ species who also run the risk of dwindling numbers and have a far more reaching effect on the envirnomental balance of the entire eco system.
so addressing the problem from a Bigger picture may be far more advantagous. It’s not the paper that protects or reconstitutes a healthy environemtn it’s the actions. so instead of getting our panties in a bunch about one species, lets focus on the issue in it’s more reaching scope. We may not only save the Polar bear in our broader approach, but also ourselves.
so we make huge efforts to save the polar bears from dwindling iceburgs havens, yet allow the lions to begin dying off from heat and dehydration- sounds like the Far left is advocating chasing our tails, again. Hellova Job on that Shortsighted Corn as biofuel mantra from a few years back.The Fanatical Left has the same problem with myopathy as the far Right.They set their own hair on fire about one facet of a problem and demand we go Running blindly towards their misguided singular solution. Funny I have yet to hear a campaign to save the Frog population- which has deeper implications to the state of the planet and effects on the eco system…That’s right Frogs aren’t cute.
So let’s push for Cap & Trade, Clean renewable energy sources, international climate treaties….I’d rather donate my money and my time to help the entire planet then one species at a time.

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By freepressmyass, May 9, 2009 at 7:52 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Bush administration continuity all around.
Obama and Salazar sticking with Bush’s wolf slaughter, starving polar bears to death, and Salazr OK’d uranium mining in the Grand Canyon, which will destroy even more habitat for animals and leak toxins into the ground and the Colorado River.

Obama has really turned out to be a pathological two faced liar.  Can’t think of a single campaign promise he’s kept, despite his claims. Just scratch the surface and they all it turn into bullshit. 
Closing Gitmo was BS or nobody in gov’t will be getting raises, except the 1.8 billion in increases for those who did. Out of Iraq in sixteen months turned into nineteen months, now possibly longer.
How about nobody is above the law, or the end of lobbying (right, they’re working for him instead),
and a gov’t of transparency.  Total BULLSHIT. Everything, it was all lies. A real smooth talker void of any discernable convictions, pulled the biggest con job on the entire world.

I didn’t vote for him after he claimed one thing then voted against his campaign promises even before the election. Warrentless wiretapping and the original TARP bill come to mind. He wasn’t what he advertized, but I never imagined he’d actually be Bush’s third term.

Oh wait, he did one thing Bush nixed, expanded stem cell research.  Most definitely not the drastic change people expected.  Even though he’s been in office a short time, he’s way over to the right on an Imperial Executive, expanding empire, and corporate interests above the people. Forget the environment and wildlife protection. Salazar was a terrible signal and so far he’s done as I expected.

The sad irony is Democrats are so far to the right, Richard Nixon is left of Obama by a long shot. I am not kidding either.

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By adrienrain, May 9, 2009 at 7:46 pm Link to this comment

Face it, kids, we were seduced. . . . . . . . . . . and abandoned.

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By espaz, May 9, 2009 at 6:56 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

now now….lets keep our heads here.  it could be that our new president feels the best way to tackle this problem that has very broad circumstance .... is best not spearheaded this particular way.  what i mean is that maybe he has plans to tackle the coal industry head on….rather than piddling around the side door so to speak….i don’t really know…god, i’d like to think that president obama is alot deeper that that A hole from the last admin.

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By jackpine savage, May 9, 2009 at 6:41 pm Link to this comment

My goodness, if the Obama administration gets any better we’ll all be living in gingerbread houses on clouds.

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By samosamo, May 9, 2009 at 5:01 pm Link to this comment

Just like w and the fucked up conservatives, obama has no time or concern about polar bears, hell, I bet obama even adheres to the idea the world will be better off without polar bears because they cost too much money when some business is trying to conduct business for mega profits and would otherwise have to take time and money to deal with them.

There will probably be a new division in the epa(environment project of annihilation) and sara and todd palin will be the heads of polar bear control.

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