Monday, October 13, 2008

Sarah and the Polar Bear

I would like to thank Janice for sending me the link to Rosanne Cash's satirical article about the most unqualified person to stand for the Vice Presidency in my lifetime, probably in the history of this great country.  Why I'd Be a Better VP than Sarah Palin  I thought that was just a great article.  

Many have heard about Sarah's position on polar bears.  I have learned just recently that some were not fully aware of Sarah's views on this issue so I feel that it is my obligation to correct this oversight.  It was one of the first ten or so items that I learned about her which was disconcerting to me.  And that was just in August.

Sarah  loves the Polar Bears but she is also against them.  I did not even realize it was an issue until I read a story about her environmental views from the Grist environmental group. This entire article is worth a read but I will just quote it insofar as it applies to Sarah's fight against W of all people who wanted to list the Polar Bear as a threatened species:  "Another major concern for enviros is Palin's stance on endangered species in the state. After the Bush administration's Department of Interior listed the polar bear as a threatened species in May, the governor sued the department. "We believe that the ... decision to list the polar bear was not based on the best scientific and commercial data available," said Palin, who also penned an op-ed in The New York Times on the subject.

Palin and other state officials expressed concern that listing polar bears as threatened would impair oil and gas development in the state. Palin argued that the listing decision was based on "the unproven long-term impact of any future climate change on the species" and that a "comprehensive review" of the federal science by state wildlife officials found no reason to support listing the bears as endangered.

But emails released via a public-records request later showed that Alaskan state scientists agreed with federal researchers that polar bears are threatened by shrinking ice. "Overall, we believe that the methods and analytical approaches used to examine the currently available information supports the primary conclusions and inferences stated" in federal reports, wrote Robert Small, head of the marine mammals program for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

"This was the Bush administration Fish and Wildlife [Service]. It's not like these people are bear-huggers," said Van Tuyn. "State scientists looked at it and said that's the best science, and Palin said, 'Keep your mouths shut,' and she turned around to the public and said, 'I do not support listing the polar bear, the science doesn't support it.'" Palin comparison | Gristmill: The environmental news blog | Grist

This is a quote from the New Yorker that has some of Sarah's opinions on drilling and polar bears:  " Palin had, in early August, filed suit against... the United States Secretary of the Interior, seeking to reverse his decision to list the polar bear as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act. The animals were on the list because scientists—working for the federal government—had found that the effects of global warming on arctic ice made it possible that polar bears would become endangered in the foreseeable future. Palin takes a wary view of such science. She has doubts that global warming is caused by human activity. She called the dire polar-bear population projections “just not credible.”

The Interior Department had already allowed for oil and gas exploration in the polar bears’ habitat, but Palin saw the listing of the polar bear as an intolerable precedent. “Then where do we go?” she asked. “It’ll be another species and then another. Next it’s a seal, or next it’s a bird, or it’s a fish, and the next thing you know that would certainly lock up Alaska’s ability to live by its statehood pact to develop its resources and contribute to the rest of the United States.” Letter from Alaska: The State of Sarah Palin: Reporting & Essays: The New Yorker    

Now that started to bother me some.  But what really got my goat was her statement that the Alaska Fish and Wildlife people agreed with her position and she then refused to release their statements.  Only after a federal lawsuit under the Freedom of Information Act was successful did she release records that showed the state wildlife experts agreed with the Federal experts that the Polar Bear was endangered because of the melting ice cap.  See,  E-mail reveals state dispute over polar bear listing: Polar Bear News |  That link is from the local Anchorage Alaska paper. ABC News: Palin Fought Polar Bear Protections Once Elected, Palin Hired Friends and Lashed Foes - 

While I am not an expect on the Endangered Species Act, I do believe that the category "threatened" provides less protection than "endangered" so SARAH was  even objecting to the lower protection classification. This is a  link to a Reuters article that explains her reasons for suing the federal government over its classification:Alaska to sue to block polar bear listing | Environment | Reuters  When you put all of her positions on the environment together, not just  her unwillingness to consider the polar bear threatened,  or advocating shooting wolves from helicopters, or her real position on global warming as opposed to the song and dance after being picked by McCainPolitiFact | Earlier, she didn't "attribute it to being man-made", she has to have the most extremist views on environmental issues as any candidate for major office in the past fifty years. 

In fact, I believe that she is an extremist and not a conservative at all. I do not view her environmental positions as conservative. Actually, I would classify the position opposite to Sarah's to be the conservative position.

A further word on two investments made today is in order.  The CNA and Macy's bonds are rated investment grade.  Fitch has CNA at BBB+ and Macys at BBB-.

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