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Palin on Polar Bears:

Back in January, Governor Palin had an op-ed in the NYT arguing against the proposed listing of polar bears under the Endangered Species Act. It began:

About the closest most Americans will ever get to a polar bear are those cute, cuddly animated images that smiled at us while dancing around, pitching soft drinks on TV and movie screens this holiday season.

This is unfortunate, because polar bears are magnificent animals, not cartoon characters. They are worthy of our utmost efforts to protect them and their Arctic habitat. But adding polar bears to the nation's list of endangered species, as some are now proposing, should not be part of those efforts.

The balance of the article makes the standard arguments against listing the polar bear, including that many bear populations are stable or increasing and that an ESA listing won't do much of anything to protect the bear's habitat or forestall the threat of global warming. While the listing won't do much to help the bear, or reduce greenhouse gas emissions, it could well hamper oil and gas development in Alaska, which I am certain is one reason Palin wrote the piece, as well as a reason Alaska has filed suit to reverse the FWS' decision. This is the position I would expect just about any Alaska Governor to take. But while this view may make for sound policy -- again, the listing won't do much to help the bear -- it's not good law. I think there was ample legal basis for the FWS listing decision, and I expect Alaska and the other listing opponents to lose their case in court.

Boyd G (www):
Ample legal basis? You'd be the first to articulate such, if that's the case.

Which begs the question: tell us why you didn't bother to mention this "ample legal basis?"
8.30.2008 1:23am
Metro Contract Attorneys (mail) (www):
I agree with Palin.

Since when did the Volokh Conspiracy contributors all become pointed-headed liberals?
8.30.2008 1:34am
Alan K. Henderson (mail) (www):
I don't understand how oil/gas development and polar bear well-being conflict with one another. Development takes up relatively small patches of land (or ocean), so they wouln't be physically displaced.
8.30.2008 1:34am
MS (mail):
Metro,

Adler has been a voice in the wilderness for years now --- if the right sits out this debate on ignorant principle, then crazies like Al Gore dominate the conversation. The GOP platform has only now warmed up to global warming. You're probably a decade behind. Meanwhile, hippie nonsense goes unchecked.
8.30.2008 1:43am
MS (mail):
Metro,

Adler has been a voice in the wilderness for years now --- if the right sits out this debate on ignorant principle, then crazies like Al Gore dominate the conversation. The GOP platform has only now warmed up to global warming. You're probably a decade behind. Meanwhile, hippie nonsense goes unchecked.
8.30.2008 1:43am
Darwin bobblehead:
I object to the FWS's blatant interference with the evolutionary process. This is obviously a horrible travesty against Science, perpetuated by the notorious anti-science Bush Administration.

To my dear friends, the polar bears: Adapt or die.
8.30.2008 1:51am
Metro Contract Attorneys (mail) (www):
MS:

Adler admits:

1. Polar bear populations are increasing

2. Putting them on the endangered species list won't help them much anyway

3. Putting them on the endangered species list will hinder development

This isn't "ignorant principle." Adler's just wrong based on his own admission of the facts. And Palin is right.
8.30.2008 1:59am
LM (mail):

"[...] tell us why you didn't bother to mention this "ample legal basis?"

You shamed him into it. He wrote an article just to answer your question.

I know, how were you supposed to know that, right?
8.30.2008 2:20am
MS (mail):
Metro,

I was just addressing your claim that Adler is some sort of mustachioed Adlai Stevenson. It's not true. He's a responsible voice and the right needs many more like him.

As for your argument that (1), (2), and (3) mean that FWS listing was legal error, it seems that you think a bad law = an invalid law. That's downright precious.
8.30.2008 2:23am
Mmmmm-hmmmm:
Ah but Charles B-head, if the polar bears have to adapt or die, don't we as well? And probably very uncomfortably too, as our little iceberg we sit upon continues to shrink and shrink. All our attempts at "adapt or die" yield a loud chorus of "That hippie crap will never work!" from the usual quarters
8.30.2008 2:29am
Elliot123 (mail):
"But while this view may make for sound policy -- again, the listing won't do much to help the bear -- it's not good law."

Is Inspector Javert in the building?
8.30.2008 2:40am
Alan K. Henderson (mail) (www):
And probably very uncomfortably too, as our little iceberg we sit upon continues to shrink and shrink.
Unlike Mmmmm-hmmmm, I don't live on an iceberg.

Don't polar bears live on dry land as well as ice?
8.30.2008 3:37am
McGraffen:
Aren't lawyers supposed to understand what "begs the question" means?
8.30.2008 3:54am
hipcathobbes:

Don't polar bears live on dry land as well as ice?


No, they don't; instead, they depend upon the ice for hunting...
8.30.2008 3:56am
LM (mail):
McGraffen:

Aren't lawyers supposed to understand what "begs the question" means?

Every lawyer who uses it does know a meaning for it.
8.30.2008 7:43am
The General:
if polar bears aren't actually endangered, why list them as such unless your putting politics before science?
8.30.2008 4:23pm
stan (mail):
Adler's understanding of the science is in error.
8.31.2008 8:26am
Cornellian (mail):
Adler has a moustache???
8.31.2008 2:53pm
Skyler (mail) (www):
Um, polar bears eat people. When they become peaceful to us, we can choose to be peaceful to them.
9.2.2008 1:27am