Polar Bears get shafted again

Meanwhile, while we're all guessing exactly what the governor of Illinois was saying when he said "bleep," and casting earth on the coffin of Detroit, the Interior Department has decided to stick it to the polar bears. Again.

Dirk Kemperthorne (now there's a name for a soft-porn bodice-ripper novel), just eviscerated all independent scientific review in the EPA (becuase self-regulation was working so well for Bear Sterns that we thought we'd apply it for other kinds of bears...). Dirk was quoted today in the NYT saying
“The Endangered Species Act was never intended to be a back door opportunity for climate change policy,”
Right. God forbid the EPA actually, um, protect the environment? Because Congress wrote the Endangered Species Act so that we could decide which rare plants and animals to cook.

What's Dirk thinking? Perhaps its because the poor guy already undermined his future as a speaker on the right-wing lecture circuit by declaring the polar bear a threatened species. He's also agreed to remove several dams from the Kalamath River. Or perhaps he's simply showing the kind of inconsistent leadership that comes out of the particular Bush Administration cognitive dissonance of believing crazy things about the world while also believing in the theory of the rule of law.

It gets me all steamed up so much that I need to just sit and watch the polar bear webcam.

OK, I feel better now. Of course, this isn't just about the cute and impressive animals (and yes, there's a whole blog dedicated to endangered ugly things). Dirk's new ruling
largely freed federal agencies from their obligation to consult independent wildlife biologists before they build dams or highways or permit construction of transmission towers, housing developments or other projects that might harm federally protected wildlife. (NYT 12/12/08)
I know Obama's team can suspend this rule. But it's still disturbing. One of the basic assumptions in science is that it should be objective, independent and reproducible! (sorry, little angry -- maybe my coffee's too strong). Dirk's new ruling contravenes what is fundamental to the scientific method. Sweet monkeys on a stick, why have we had to endure 8 years of an administration that doesn't believe in science? (And yes, it's possible to believe in science and in God. But that's another post for another day. Something about truth...)

Dirk's ruling also contravenes ethics and common sense. It lets federal agencies act as sheriff, judge, jury and hangman, regulating themselves. And we know how well self regulation worked out for Wall Street...

One more question -- are polar bears really soft (as I opine? Well, hope really...) or are they coarse and bristly (as Iza insists)?

No comments:

Post a Comment