Palin administration contradicts federal endangered species studies

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by Thomas Veil, Sep 7, 2008.

  1. Thomas Veil macrumors 68020

    Thomas Veil

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2004
    Location:
    OBJECTIVE reality
    #1
    Now this one, folks, reminds me a lot of Dubya. See if you can guess why.

    Hmm...an administration that ignores scientific research in favor of its own priorities? Where've we heard that one before?
     
  2. BoyBach macrumors 68040

    BoyBach

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2006
    Location:
    UK
    #2
    Plus, Gov. Palin has no vested interest in extending drilling rights into ANWR given her husbands occupation. Merely a coincidence, you understand.
     
  3. Desertrat macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2003
    Location:
    Terlingua, Texas
    #3
    Over the last thirty or so years, the polar bear population has increased by some 60% or more. This has happened even in Canada where hunting is allowed as well as in Alaska where hunting is not allowed.

    I have difficulty with the concept that an expanding population means that it is endangered.

    Apparently Mrs. Palin--for all that she's a latecomer to such issues as this--agrees with those of us who read the reports of those people who actually do fieldwork.

    The latest edict from the US Government about polar bears is that a hunter from the U.S. who is successful in a Canadian hunt may no longer bring back his trophy. This has had two effects: The natives in polar bear country can no longer get the money from selling their permits to U.S. Dudes. That doesn't help their billfolds. The success rate of Dudes is not 100%, but that of the locals is indeed 100%--and they eat the meat and sell the hides to the Asians or Europeans. IOW, the kill rate is increasing.
     
  4. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2003
    Location:
    Colly-fornia
    #4
    You mean from back in the days when the population numbered around 5000? 60% sure sounds like a lot though...

    Well done, I say!
     
  5. Desertrat macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2003
    Location:
    Terlingua, Texas
    #5
    mac, I'll try to hunt it up, but the memory I have of a comment about the total number is some 30,000. I don't recall if that's the Arctic total, or North American.
     
  6. Don't panic macrumors 603

    Don't panic

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2004
    Location:
    having a drink at Milliways
    #6
    part of the problem is that the climatic situation is much more dramatic now that it was 30 years ago, and the sustainability numbers are different.

    oh, but i forgot that climate change is a communist invention! :rolleyes:
     
  7. BoyBach macrumors 68040

    BoyBach

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2006
    Location:
    UK
    #7

    From Polar Bears International:

     
  8. Desertrat macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2003
    Location:
    Terlingua, Texas
    #8
    :D Yeah, BoyBack, just found that. The article seems to be a very good "overall big picture".

    The "threatened" designation seems justified, certainly insofar as hunting is concerned--absent a few local areas of conflict between people and bears. But the threats to the polar bear population don't appear to be from local human activities.

    The major threat appears to be tied to melting of sea ice, related primarily to food supply: "In crude numbers, 20,000 polar bears would require about 900,000 ring seals (or ringed seal equivalents) each year, the majority of which would be pups. Although the total population size of ringed seals is unknown, estimates range between 5 and 7 million, making them one of the most abundant seal species in the world. Like the polar bears, however, they are highly evolved to lve and breed in asociation with sea ice so that their reproductive success and total population size will almost certainly decline as the sea ice disappears."

    When a species upon which a predator depends is reduced in numbers, there is an effort to find other food. I can see some degree of problems from bears looking toward near-shore towns as sources.

    I don't see a threat from such things as drilling projects for oil.
     
  9. SMM macrumors 65816

    SMM

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2006
    Location:
    Tiger Mountain - WA State
    #9
    Few people have ever seen the ANWR before, but I have. When I lived in Fairbanks, I dated a biologist from the U of Alaska, Fairbanks. They performed field survey work there on a regular basis. A few guests were allowed to accompany them, but the waiting list was a mile long. Eve was able to get me on a trip, even though she pretty much had to talk me into it (I really did not have a great deal of interest). However, I was soon grateful she persisted. It is one of the highlights of my life.

    It seemed like every time you blinked, there was something new and exciting to see. There are huge flocks of birds, herds of musk oxen tightly huddled for warmth and safety, arctic foxes, hunting packs of grey wolves following the herds of reindeer/caribou, and the breath-taking sight of tens of thousands of reindeer/caribou stretching as far as the eye can see. This is the world of animals, completely free and unspoiled by man - one of the few left in the world. And, now they want to drill there.

    When the first Alaska pipeline was proposed, there was a great amount of resistance to it. The oil cartel promised the pipeline, which runs almost the entire length of Alaska, could be constructed in such a way, to make spills virtually impossible. The environmental community was very skeptical about these claims. It looked like it would be tied up in court for years. So, a deal was struck. The pipeline would be constructed, but a portion would be set aside forever. This is ANWR and it the breeding home, and summer feeding ground, for all of these species.

    Since the pipeline went on-line, there have been three major spills. Everyone knows about Valdez. But, few know of the other two ruptures in pipeline itself. Hundreds of thousands were spilled on the ground. However, they are in remote areas and did not get a great deal of ink. The oil companies were quick to kill the stories. If this were to happen at ANWR, the environmental damage could be catastrophic.

    The oil companies and the EPA must live up to their promise to keep this region protected. We as citizens should fight this tooth and nail. The oil underground there is not going to make any appreciable improvement in the US becoming oil independent. If it is like the current Alaska oil, it will all be shipped to Asia (where they can sell it for more). Oil companies know no national boundaries, and do not have allegiance to any flag. They could care less about the US. They care about themselves ... period.

    I realize this strays off-topic. However, it is not too far off.
     
  10. hulugu macrumors 68000

    hulugu

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2003
    Location:
    the faraway towns
    #10
    The bears have two distinct problems:

    First, the long-term problem is melting sea-ice caused by warmer period in the Arctic which has been linked to the production of CO2. Oil and gas, both its extraction and use, produces CO2.

    Secondly, the short-term problem, which is how drilling projects may affect the bears. Much of this remains (AFAIK) unknown, but as Polar Bears International suggests, increased air, sea and pipeline traffic could affect the bear's denning. The use of seismic charges could also harm the bear population, indirectly, when the bear's are in their dens.
     
  11. pseudobrit macrumors 68040

    pseudobrit

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    Jobs' Spare Liver Jar
    #11
    IIRC, the coastal shelf there is absolutely unique in how close it is to its mountain range. There is absolutely no other place on Earth close to being like it.
     
  12. Desertrat macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2003
    Location:
    Terlingua, Texas
    #12
    "...increased air, sea and pipeline traffic could affect the bear's denning. The use of seismic charges could also harm the bear population, indirectly, when the bear's are in their dens."

    Denning is during the winter, when human activity is at its minimum. "Doodlebugging" no longer uses seismic charges as in the past. The seismic recording equipment is far more sensitive than it was decades ago; the air-driven "thumpers" do not make anywhere near the disturbance. There is no need to go running around setting off dynamite.

    I fail to see how impacts on denning could be unknown, given that the overall package of oil efforts up on the North Slope have provided well over thirty years of study and information on that and other subjects.

    As near as I can tell, any pipeline from the drilling locations would run parallel to the coastline, but somewhat inland. For general pipeline information from Wikipedia:

    "The Alyeska consortium refers to the major oil companies that own and operate the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS) through the Alyeska Pipeline Service Company.

    Alyeska was founded in 1970 to design and construct the pipeline to transport oil from the fields in northern Alaska where oil was discovered in 1968. It was built between March 1975 and June 1977, running from the North Slope fields at Prudhoe Bay to the Marine Terminal at Valdez on Prince William Sound. Alyeska then went on to operate and maintain TAPS. The first oil flowed into the pipeline on June 20, 1977 and the first tanker load departed from Valdez on August 1, 1977.

    The major owner of the company is BP with 46.93% of the shares dating from the acquisition of ARCO. The other group members are ConocoPhillips Transportation (28.29%), Exxon Mobil (20.34%), Koch Alaska Pipeline Company (3.08%), and Unocal (1.36%). The government responsibility in regulating TAPS is managed through the Joint Pipeline Office ([1], JPO), a consortium of thirteen federal and state agencies under the Department of the Interior.

    The company is named after an Aleut word meaning "mainland". It is headquartered in Anchorage and has around 900 employees.

    The thirty-year TAPS State and Federal land leases were due to expire in 2004. The State Lease was renewed for another thirty years on November 26, 2002 and a matching Federal Record of Decision for Right-of-Way was signed on January 8, 2003."

    There must be collector pipelines to the Alyeska from the existing drilling sites. These would be roughly parallel to the coastline. Seems to me that if there has been any interference with polar bears' denning, it would be known by the US DI.

    The coastal plain of the ANWR is flat and featureless, where the proposed drilling would occur. Is that sort the of habitat or landform used by the polar bear for their dens? I don't know.

    'Rat
     

Share This Page