In response to Don Martin’s article "A False mascot for climate change" in the Post yesterday.
His last line is partially correct. The Polar Bear is the Canary in the Global coal mine, fat or otherwise. But the increasingly numerous population part is incredulously misleading.
Right now there are an estimated 25,000 bears worldwide in five countries. But scientists predict if current warming trends continue in the Arctic, two-thirds of the world's polar bears could disappear by 2050. ref here
And in his reference to Canada’s (COSEWIC) passive concern about the status of the bears, the addendum in their most recent report states that they did not account for the potential influence of climate warming on the bears future population. ref here
As for Baird’s wise decision to wait for further analysis until August. I think you give him too much credit. It is more probable that Baird was waiting to see if Kempthorne could continue to stall the predicted decision in the US.
No, Mr. Martin the reason that the status of the bears is important, is not because they are cute and cuddly. It is is because the Protected Status in the US might finally force Canada to start addressing the increasing megatones of greenhouse gases that are spewing out of it’s coal mine. THE OIL SANDS.