Polar Bears, Politics & Prognostications

by Jim Beers

March 20, 2007

Well, the snow geese and ducks have gone back North so I am no longer

dropping everything when a Low Pressure Area or temperature drop approaches

Virginia.  The decoys are all put away 'til next year and the fishing gear

and paddles are in the canoes as I contemplate bass, crappies, warm weather

and the pools and rapids in Virginia streams.  The past month

(February/March) found me driving through 18 states and visiting 6 Caribbean

nations (transiting the Panama Canal and spending a day in the high country

of Costa Rica were the highlights).  I returned late last night.


In spite of 800+ e-mails to sort through and a pile of notes (made over the

past 4 months for future articles and a play) next to my computer, something

caught my eye as I skimmed all those e-mails after unpacking last night.  A

friend that is a renowned expert on international wildlife law asked me the

following question in one of those e-mails:


"I'd be most interested in your opinion on the USF&WS's polar bear listing

proposal. The IUCN's Polar Bear Specialist Group is practically in the

driver's seat as their immediate past chairman is writing it and cites the

present chair over a hundred times."


This is an insightful question, the answer to which provides an opportunity

to say some things that are important but are too often unmentioned.  There

are 3 parts to my "opinion":


I.                   POLAR BEARS



Polar bears are doing just fine and have been doing fine for as long as we

know.  The passage of The Marine Mammal Protection Act in 1972 took

authority to manage (and therefore hunt) polar bears in the United States

away from the state of Alaska and placed it under Federal jurisdiction.

There was NO biological reason to do this: it was strictly a political shift

in US Constitutional principles (states rights and the ownership and use of

wildlife). Federal seizure of authority over all other marine mammals at

this time was also accompanied by wording in the Act that management

authority (for walruses, sea otters, manatees, and seals within in state

controlled areas) would be returned to state governments when "OSP" (Optimum

Sustainable Populations) were "achieved".  Over 35 years now, OSP has never

been achieved and both US national and international policies regarding ALL

marine mammals have been policies of no-management, no-use, and total

protection.  Marine Mammals, like "Endangered" races and sub-populations of

animals and varieties of plants, have become little more than the tools of

environmental and animal rights agendas that are subverting far more aspects

of society than environmental matters.


Polar bear hunts in not only Canada but also Greenland and Russia have been

made impossible for US hunters since US policy under the Act has prohibited

the importation of polar bear hides that are the trophies that wealthy

hunters seek.  This has reduced the amount of income available for many

northern indigenous people and for the management of polar bears since

licenses and hunting expenditures for polar bears (like sheep hunting and

African trophy hunts) are high-end trips that cost a lot.


Suddenly, the cynical political exploitation of this animal (like the

analogous manipulation of wolves, extinct woodpeckers, and lynx, etc.) has

been, to quote Emeril the chef, "kicked up a notch".  Just as the

non-existent Ivory-billed Woodpecker was used to stop an airport expansion

and modern wolf mythology is being used to eliminate hunting and ranching

and rural livelihoods; so is the polar bear now being used not only to

eliminate wildlife management and hunting but to implement a national US

policy that has been rejected by the US government.


The US policy involved here is US acquiescence to the harmful, draconian,

and ineffectual provisions of the Kyoto Protocol to "reduce" "global

 warming".  Despite all the current posturing and kibitzing by politicians,

the US Senate and the last two Presidents have wisely avoided ratifying this

"Treaty" that would disadvantage and harm the US for strictly political

purposes. However, just as jumping mice are being used to stop development

in the West and plovers are being used to establish Federal land control

over Platte River water users and unmanaged and overpopulated seals and sea

lions are being used to eliminate sport fishing so too is the proposal to

"List" the polar bear a bold and innovative move that sets an extremely

dangerous new precedent, namely that a mere Federal assertion that some

portion of a wild animal's habitat is changing is sufficient to "List" the



What the Federal government is asserting is that the "pack ice" in some

areas of the polar ice cap is diminishing and that since polar bears inhabit

(only part of the year) this pack ice they "must" be "Listed".  Now I could

write pages here about their numbers and their adaptability but I won't.  I

could be sarcastic about the explosion of seal and sea lion numbers (polar

bears eat them) that resulted from total protection of these animals and how

the polar bears ought to be fat, dumb, and happy but I won't.  I could write

about how polar habitats have changed throughout history and how polar bears

have "weathered" changes but I won't.  I could write about how ice is

decreasing here but increasing there but I won't.  Anything I say would be

countered by some University professor on a grant or some bureaucrat

building a retirement or some social radical disguised as a "Marine Center"

or "Marine Council" "Executive Secretary" or some such title.  Why?  Because

this has NOTHING to do with science or facts, it is POLITICAL.  So lets look

at the politics involved.


II.                POLITICS


The IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature) is a European

creation that fronts for the UN and for European Union Green political

parties and their agendas.  These groups all work to control the 3rd World

nations through UN assertions implemented through UN Conventions and

Treaties that, like US environmental and animal rights laws and other such

laws like gun control proposals, are proposed as solutions for some

contrived problem and once passed are grown beyond the wildest fears of

opponents or the claims of supporters.  The IUCN, like the UN bureaucracy

and the European Union (and Russia, China, and India) want the US to commit

to the provisions of the Kyoto Protocol.  Their reasons vary from gaining

competitive economic advantage over and even control of the US to a desire

by individuals and even some nations to destroy the US for a variety of



The only nation in the world where a "Treaty" becomes absolutely "the Law of

the Land" is the United States.  That is why the Endangered Species Act

(based on a UN Convention that the US Courts define as a "Treaty") can take

private property for a non-public use without compensation.  Just as the

spotted owl "Listing" authorized the government to prohibit logging in West

Coast forests and red-cockaded woodpecker "Listing" did the same for logging

in the South, so too will polar bear "Listing" hobble the US economy on

behalf of the un-ratified Kyoto Protocol.


It will work like this.  The polar bear will be "Listed" formally because of

the gradual diminishment of polar pack ice.  Though the data for this will

be "selectively" presented, the clear and legal wording will present this as

widespread and DUE TO GLOBAL WARMING.  To quote a famous detective, "the

rest Watson, is academic".


Once the polar bear is "Listed" you better not stand near any public

entrance to US Courthouses.  The stampede of environmental ambulance chasers

from Defenders of Wildlife and Natural Resources Defense Council to the

National Wildlife Federation and PETA into the Courts will match what Lewis

and Clark saw when they first encountered buffalo on the Great Plains.  New

automobile mileage requirements must be raised and raised because they

create global warming WHICH ENDANGERS POLAR BEARS.  Single-family home

construction must be reduced for the same reason.  Roads must be closed and

public transportation mandated for the same reason.  I could go on here but

truly the list will grow (even in the minds of the radicals and their

solicitors) as they get into this.  Think this is absurd?  Ask the guy

driving the cab in LA that used to be in an Oregon logging family in a town

that no longer exists. Ask the security guard at the bank that used to be a

commercial fisherman or the guy eating pretzels in front of the TV that used

to fish and hunt.  Think it can't happen to you?  Think it would be "good

for America"?


So who is responsible?  Here we must get "political".


[I apologize ahead of time.  Believe it or not I go to great lengths to not

be "political" but one cannot describe these matters without examining this

very important aspect.  To be truthful here, I have had had at least 3

speaking engagements that I know of in the past 12 months fall through

because many folks think I am "too political".  With this in mind, I try

very hard not to turn readers off here but it can't be avoided in a thorough

examination of the proposed polar bear "Listing".]


The current Secretary of the Interior is a Republican and former Senator and

Governor from Idaho.  He is a "moderate" and known to always be "reaching

out" to "the middle".  His Republican staff assistants at Interior are of a

similar mold and are urged on by employees that believe strongly in the

Kyoto Protocols as well as anything that will grow the Federal bureaucracy,

budget, and their careers.


Last November the few Republican politicians that would have opposed this

polar bear "Listing" were decimated at the polls, largely due to massive

spending campaigns by environmental groups.  The few such politicians still

in office are ridiculed in the media and vilified by teachers.  It is

noteworthy to mention that this "Listing" was publicized after the election.


If this is a Republican "plot", what about the loyal opposition (i.e. the

Democrats)?  It is a fact that today's Democrats encompass the environmental

groups and their agendas.  They are also the home of the animal rights,

groups and their agendas.  They are the Party favored by the European Union

politicians and bureaucracy.  They are the most favored Party of the UN

bureaucracy.  They are the most comfortable Party with a growing Federal

establishment.  The bottom line is that there is no "opposition" to this

continuing expansion of environmental and animal legislation and regulation

or this polar bear "Listing".




Who can we look to, to turn back this polar bear "Listing"?


Environmental and animal rights "feel-good" proposals like this polar bear

"Listing" are "throw-away" political matters.  For 40 years now politicians

get votes and support from large swaths (mostly urban) of the population for

"saving" things.  Like the old saw about "don't tax him and don't tax me,

tax that guy behind the tree": all of us have become immune to the harm we

do our neighbor by using the Federal behemoth to force others to live as we

imagine best or as we want them to live.  (Shades of the European Union

toward the 3rd World or of the UN toward the US!)


The Republicans have 3 front-runners for the Presidential nomination.  All

three are termed "metro-Republicans" meaning they are not rural or

rural-oriented.  Republicans that pander to environmentalism (Ex-Senator

Santorum sponsored "Puppy Protection" legislation and ex-Senator Allen

sponsored "Historic Heritage" legislation) appear to lose rural votes and

not gain urban votes.


Democrats are, at this moment in time, the Party of choice for groups and

individuals that want "more" Wilderness, Sanctuaries, Government land

purchase, and animal "Listings".  There are some Democrats (I wrote an

article lauding one Democrat Senatorial candidate in Louisiana for having

the intestinal fortitude to defend the property right of Louisiana residents

to continue to legally have cockfights) that would oppose things like

"Listing" polar bears but they are seldom elected.


So both Parties support these bad laws and their steady expansion.

Currently, there are not any organized opponents to these expanding abuses

on the horizon.  As best I can determine the same thing was said about

Prohibition at one time and that was reversed by a Constitutional Amendment.


Truly the electorate is part of the problem too.  Do ranchers help hunters?

Do dog owners understand their stake in the denial of rights to

cockfighters?  Do gun owners help land owners oppose UN land control

schemes?  Do pet owners see the threat to pet ownership emerging from all

the "humane" laws and animal "welfare" enforcement bureaucracies?  Who

really feels that they have a dog in the polar bear "Listing" fight?  Who

will step up to the plate?


Not to be too negative, but even if some Interior Solicitor or some White

House administrator were to kill the polar bear "Listing" tomorrow: it would

probably be reinstated by any of the appointees of a President elected out

of the pack running at this time.  The problem is these LAWS now in place

and their manipulation and growth for a myriad of hidden agendas.


Those laws must be amended or repealed and that must be done POLITICALLY.

Until that happens we will be all be like Nero, fiddling while things burn

down all around us.  Polar bear "Listing" is but a symptom of a much larger

disease.  Making the symptom go away is no cure.  Searching for the real

cure is something we should all be doing.

- If you found this worthwhile, please share it with others.  Thanks.


- This article and other recent articles by Jim Beers can be found at


 http://jimbeers.blogster.com    (Jim Beers Common Sense)


 - Jim Beers is available for consulting or to speak.  Contact:



- Jim Beers is a retired US Fish & Wildlife Service Wildlife Biologist,

Special Agent, Refuge Manager, Wetlands Biologist, and Congressional Fellow.

He was stationed in North Dakota, Minnesota, Nebraska, New York City, and

Washington DC.  He also served as a US Navy Line Officer in the western

Pacific and on Adak, Alaska in the Aleutian Islands.  He has worked for the

Utah Fish & Game, Minneapolis Police Department, and as a Security

Supervisor in Washington, DC.  He testified three times before Congress;

twice regarding the theft by the US Fish & Wildlife Service of $45 to 60

Million from State fish and wildlife funds and once in opposition to

expanding Federal Invasive Species authority.  He resides in Centreville,

Virginia with his wife of many decades.



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