Canada's Globe and Mail features a story today on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's upcoming decision about weather to list the polar bear under the Endangered Species Act. Hugh Vickery, a spokesperson for the Department of the Interior says:
"I guarantee you that, if we don't list the thing, people are going to scream, 'Well, it was politics, it was Bush.' The irony here is that this is being done by biologists. I don't even know what the heck the decision is."
Hmmmm....now why on earth would the people suspect that if the polar bear isn't protected politics was at work?
Well, it could have to do with the overwhelming scientific evidence supporting a listing--some of which is summarized by the very same Globe and Mail story:
The U.S. listing decision, expected no later than Jan. 9, follows a year of research, public comment and the input of 14 experts in the fields of polar bears, climatology and sea ice.
Only one of the experts opposed the proposal; none contested the assertion that global warming was causing the bear's habitat to disappear.
Or could it have to do with this Administration's long history of interfering with the judgement of its scientists in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service when it comes to precisely these kind of questions? As Vickery surely must know, before it is published any decision about protecting the polar bear needs to be reviewed not only by Fish and Wildlife Service biologists, but by political appointees within the Bush Administration--you know, the guys he works for.
That's why I can guarantee you that if the U.S. government decides not to protect the polar bear politics was at work because sound science surely won't have been.