Friday, August 29, 2008

Does Sarah Palin Hate Polar Bears?

During our return to The Estate this afternoon, we caught the first half-hour of NPR's All Things (Ill) Considered, in part to see how conflicted their hosts would be about McCain's choice for VP, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin. After the typical NPR selective reporting on the event (for example, they noted the congratulatory message from the Obama/Biden 2008 office, but not the snarky statement made earlier by a spokescritter from Obama World Headquarters), the show turned to an in-depth story of the retreat of sea ice (supposedly caused by global warming, supposedly caused by human activity) in the Alaskan Arctic, and the mortal threat that this phenomenon was to polar bears.

We did not understand the connection between the two stories until reviewing Wizbang tonight, which featured an interview with the same Governor Palin by Glenn Beck made some weeks earlier. The topic was Governor Palin's lawsuit against Uncle Sam to keep the Endangered Species Act - which now extends its protective "rights" to the Polar Bear - from being used to block oil and gas production along the Alaskan Continental Shelf, ANWR, and the Alaska National Petroleum Reserve. These are the regions of Alaska where the Polar Bears of Alaskan Heritage are likely to be found.

Aha! NPR has made a link between Sarah Palin and the (potential) Ursacide of the Polar Bear: if the bears were now under pressure by losing their ice habitat, the (presumably) polar-bear-hating Palin would seek to destroy the rest of their living space for oil!

In fact, the Story of the Polar Bears, the Governor, and Big Oil has another bizarre twist: it seems the green-extremist organization Greenpeace does not want the Polar Bear listed on the current version of the Endangered Species List. This is because the revised version which included the Bear also provides that its endangered status cannot be based on global warming claims. Therefore such claims could not place other animals on the list, nor presumably force industries (read: Big Oil) to cut back on carbon emissions to (supposedly) slow global warming, which would (supposedly) help the threatened organism. Therefore, the ESA could not be used as a pretext to stop further oil and gas production by claiming that the oil and gas would increase global warming, even while the production activity in itself would pose no threat to endangered species. Thus, Greenpeace in a snit.

We really don't know know Ms. Palin's disposition toward the Polar Bear, although the photo above (from the Anchorage Daily News), indicates that she appreciates bearskin in general. We do, however, know her view of Moose: great in stew.
Note: No Polar Bears were harmed during the writing of this article.

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