...well, of course we are, but not from global warming.
There was an interesting news blurb about the newly threatened polar bear, and how the horrendously evil GLOBAL WARMING conspiracy of Karl Rove and George Bush will wipe all the cute, cuddly arctic bears off the face of the earth.
The only problem is that the polar bear population has been rapidly expanding during the past forty years, and the population, as far as can be determined, is at an all-time historic high. (source: 1/3/07 Wall Street Journal) Also check out this report from Fox News.
Other sources estimate that the polar bear population has stablized at approximately 25,000 worldwide. There has been no noticeable decrease in the worldwide polar bear population. (source: animalinfo.org) While the bear population in an around the Hudson Bay area of Canada is decreasing, the population of bears nearer the Arctic Ocean shows every sign of increasing. Remember that the Hudson Bay bears are in the extreme southern range of the polar bear.
This polar bear scare is yet another example highlighting the irrational exuberance of the global warming religious, and how they completely ignore the science that they claim as their savior, in favor of the junk science that props up their religious beliefs.
The issue here is not the polar bear, it is global warming. The idea behind the "threatened" existence of the polar bear is that they are ALL GOING TO DIE because the Arctic sea ice is currently at a lower level than in the recent past. Of course this does not mean that there is no sea ice in the Arctic Ocean, just that there is less than "normal." (i.e. the past 30 or 40 years or so...) As usual, El Nino gets the blame for this, combined with a recent warming trend in general.
Well, doesn't the reduction in sea ice prove that GLOBAL WARMING is true? Well, no. It proves that there has been a general worldwide warming trend, caused by known, non-human caused natural phenomena, but there is nothing to suggest that this warming trend will continue ad infinitum as the Al Gores of this world firmly believe. The best scientific evidence demonstrates that the earth goes through 1,500 year cycles of cooling and heating, and most scientists agree that we may be in one of those warming trends. (check this out too.)
It is well known by scientists that the earth has been a far, far warmer place than it is now, so warm that in fact there were forests and plant life spread throughout Antarctica. This is long, long before the first Chevy Suburban showed up. It is also believed that the default condition of the earth's climate is actually at an average global temperature much warmer than anything we are currently experiencing. In other words, we are still coming out of an ice age...hence global warming is true to a certain extent, but not due to American's driving SUV's. For a period of a mere 220 MILLION YEARS the average global temperature was much warmer than it is now--all the way from the Triassic to the Pliocene. It is simply the natural state of the earth's climate to be warm, from a geological perspective. (And no, dinosaurs do not count as prehistoric SUV's.)
But there is no scientific data to suggest that the reduction in sea ice has impacted the polar bears negatively, if at all. Polar bears only need sea ice for denning purposes, not hunting or feeding. Those who have monitored and studied polar bear activity show conclusively that bears prefer the boundary area between the pack ice and the open sea, as they need access to open water in order to survive, and normally stay away from areas that are completely iced over.
It is also known that polar bears will den on land as well as pack ice, hence even if the pack ice should completely disappear, polar bears certainly will not...at least not any time soon...
So feel free to keep driving that Suburban in peace...you're not responsible for melting the polar ice caps and killing all the polar bears after all.