My New Atlantis article on the FWS decision to list the polar as a "threatened species" under the Endangered Species Act is now available online. Here's my conclusion:
the polar bear's ESA listing will do little to preserve bear populations in the wild. It could complicate other conservation efforts. It will have no effect on the projected loss of sea ice over the next few decades. And it will have no effect on global warming. Getting a handle on anthropogenic climate change will require broad international efforts; jury-rigging a decades-old species-conservation statute just won't cut it. The polar bear may be an "animal to save the world," but the Endangered Species Act will do little to save the bear.