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While Bush denies global warming, polar bear numbers plummeting

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Oh boy.

As the pack ice that is the bedrock of their existence melts because of global warming, polar bears are facing unprecedented environmental stress that will soon cause their numbers to plummet, according to a report by a panel of the world's leading experts on the species.

In a closed meeting here late last month, 40 members of the polar bear specialist group of the World Conservation Union concluded that the imposing white carnivores -- the world's largest bear -- should now be classified as a "vulnerable" species based on a likely 30 percent decline in their worldwide population over the next 35 to 50 years. There are now 20,000 to 25,000 polar bears across the Arctic.

"The principal cause of this decline is climatic warming and its consequent negative affects on the sea ice habitat of polar bears," according to a statement released after the meeting. Scientists from five countries, including the United States, attended the meeting.

"All of the evidence is heading in the same direction, and the trend is dramatic," said Scott Schliebe, who led the Seattle meeting and is polar bear project leader in Alaska for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. "In a shrinking ice environment, the ability of the bears to find food, to reproduce and to survive will all be reduced."
Mr. Schliebe clarified he was speaking for himself, not the US Government. Our leader is over in Scotland this week preventing world action on global warming:
The panel's conclusions became public this week as President Bush traveled to a Group of Eight meeting in Scotland, where U.S. officials have lobbied to prevent any specific targets for reducing greenhouse gases from being included in the meeting's final communique. The United States is the only member of the G-8 that has refused to ratify the Kyoto Protocol, which calls for reducing emissions that many scientists say are causing Earth to warm up.
Killing the polar bears off. The GOP should be proud. What a great legacy for Bush.

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