As a result of these efforts, polar bears are more numerous now than they were 40 years ago. The polar bear population in the southern Beaufort Sea off Alaska's North Slope has been relatively stable for 20 years, according to a federal analysis. ... In fact, there is insufficient evidence that polar bears are in danger of becoming extinct within the foreseeable future - the trigger for protection under the Endangered Species Act. And there is no evidence that polar bears are being mismanaged through existing international agreements and the federal Marine Mammal Protection Act. --Sarah Palin, New York TimesIn fact, the polar bear population in Alaska is declining.
Two-thirds of the world's polar bears will be killed off by 2050 _ and the entire population gone from Alaska _ because of thinning sea ice from global warming in the Arctic, government scientists forecast Friday. Only in the northern Canadian Arctic islands and the west coast of Greenland are any of the world's 16,000 polar bears expected to survive through the end of the century, said the US Geological Survey, which is the scientific arm of the Interior Department. --The Associated Press, Washington Post, Polar Bear Population Seen DecliningPalin denies that human activity --including the drilling, production and refining of oil --has any effect on environments, a position that puts her to the right of even George W. Bush. In fact, Alaska is where it's 'at' in terms of global warming.
We have billions and billions of barrels of oil and trillions of feet of natural gas. We have so much potential from tapping our resources here in Alaska. And we can do this with minimum environmental impact. We have a very pro-development president in President Bush, and yet he failed to push for opening up parts of Alaska to drilling through Congress - and a Republican-controlled Congress, I might add. I thought when we hit $100 a barrel for oil it would have been a psychological barrier that would have caused Congress to reconsider, but they didn't. Now we are approaching $200 a barrel. It's nonsense not to tap a safe domestic source of oil. I think Americans need to hold Congress accountable on this one. Sarah Palin, NewsmaxPalin has put short term economic and monetary gains above the longer term concerns about quality of life, the environment, and renewable energy. It is not only her positions that are wrong, it is the attitude and mindset that places shallow and short-term values of this generation above those of the longer term concerns of future generations, indeed, life on earth.
Palin is either wrong or lying about Alaska and the harm that is done to the environment by an oil industry that she is in bed with. Palin should have talked with folk in Texas, an environment that has been raped and despoiled since Spindletop. Some parts of the world --like Iraq --are simply bombed and waged war upon for oil! But there is a word for those folk, like Palin, who just do it for the money.
Though warming is happening faster in Alaska than anywhere else in the US - average temperatures in the country's biggest state have risen 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit over the past 50 years - Palin is on record doubting that human action is the main driver behind climate change. ... More pertinent might be Palin's positions on oil drilling in Alaska, where rich petroleum reserves paid each citizen over $1,600 in dividends in 2007. Though the McCain campaign has made much of Palin's willingness to stand up to the powerful energy industry in Alaska - last year she adjusted the state Petroleum Profits Tax to close loopholes exploited by oil and gas companies - on the whole she's been a staunch supporter of fossil fuels. She opposes strengthening protections for beluga whales in Alaska's Cook Inlet, where oil and gas development has been proposed, and she spent $500 million in state money to encourage the development of a 1,700-mile pipeline that would transport natural gas from Alaska's rich North Shore. When the Department of the Interior in May listed the polar bear as a threatened species due to warming-an action that could interfere with drilling in Alaska's coastal waters, where the polar bears live -Palin sued the Federal Government in response. "Our main concern with Sarah Palin's positions are that they are based on doing what is best for the oil industry, and not what is best for Americans," says David Willett, national press secretary for the Sierra Club. --Time, Palin Far Right on the EnvironmentAddendum: Facts About Global Warming
What we know: Carbon Dioxide is a greenhouse gas. It allows light to pass through but traps heat. Here's how it works: CO2 absorbs certain wavelengths of energy. This means that radiation from the sun can enter the atmosphere as light. Once this radiation hits the ground, it turns into heat. This heat then radiates back into the atmosphere and out into space. CO2 traps some of the heat.Sarah Palin --Lies and Idiocy
- CO2 has gone from roughly 280 ppm (parts per million) in the atmosphere before the industrial revolution to about 380 ppm now. Each year humans pump out about 6 billion tons of CO2 with an annual growth rate of about 1.9% predicted between 2001 - 2025 (although actual emissions growth was 3.2% per year from 2000 to 2005).
- CO2 remains in the air for about 100 years, so even if we stopped emitting it right now we would still feel the effects for decades.
- CO2 and temperature have increased and decreased together over the history of the planet.
- There is more CO2 in the atmosphere now than there has been in 650,000 years. The rate of increase is unprecedented over the same period.
- Svante Arrhenius estimated 100 years ago that a doubling of CO2 would create a 4 degree C rise in temperature. In 1979 the Charney report predicted global warming of 3 degrees C if CO2 doubled in the atmosphere (we are a quarter of the way there). In 1988 James Hansen of NASA predicted to Congress that temperature would increase over the next decades.
- Temperature has increased since those predictions were made. The top 5 hottest years according to NASA are, in order, 2005, 1998, 2002, 2003, and 2004.The World Meteorological Association claims 2005 as the second hottest year on record. The difference is because NASA includes data from the Arctic. The top ten warmest years have been since 1990.
- Since 1850, we have seen temperatures increase at a rate of 1.1 F per century (about 1.5 - 1.8 F total). The rate increased to 3.2F per century since the mid 1970s (click here for more information).
- Species around the world are reacting to climate change: Since 1950, species distribution has shifted to the north 4 miles per decade, shifted to higher altitudes by 20 feet per decade, and Spring has advanced by 2.3 days per decade. In America, butterflies have moved their ranges north. They are no longer found in the southern parts of their old range. Costa Rican birds have extended their range northward. Tropical fish have been seen for the first time off the British Coast, and animals such as the Pied Flycatcher and the Winter Moth are finding their food supply affected by earlier Springs.
- Climate has changed rapidly in the past. The common example of rapid climate change is the Younger Dryas, when temperatures suddenly plunged, interrupting the warming trend at the end of the last ice age.
What we think we know:
- Temperatures are most likely warmer now than they have been at any time in the past 400 years. They are probably (slightly less certain) warmer than in the past 1200 years, perhaps (less certain) warmer than in the past 12,000 years, and new evidence suggests that we are approaching the warmest temperatures this planet has seen in a million years.
- Models predict that Earth's average temperature will rise somewhere between 2 to 4.5 degrees C in the 21st century.
- Palin's Churches and the 'Holy Laughter anointing' [Really Weird Stuff]
- John McCain's Choice of Sarah Palin: What It Says About Him and What It Tells Moderates
- Is Warming Causing Alaska Meltdown?
- Polar Bear Population Seen Declining
- Palin Billed State for Nights Spent at Home
- Palin Backed 'Bridge to Nowhere' in 2006
- Massive Arctic Ice Shelf Breaks Away
- Palin: God Tasked Us With Iraq War:
- Scientific Proof: Alaska's Polar Bears In Danger of Extinction!
- Center for Biological Diversity
- Palin Billed State for Nights Spent at Home
- Sarah Palin Sued Government To Delist Polar Bears
- Gov. Sarah Palin - Just Another Corrupt Politician
- McCain's VP Choice Is Under Ethics Investigation For Abuse Of Power In Alaska