ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) -- Amid concerns that global warming is melting away the icy habitats where polar bears live, the federal government is reviewing whether they should be considered a threatened species.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said Tuesday that protection may be warranted under the Endangered Species Act, and began a review process to consider if the bears should be listed.
If the polar bear were listed as a threatened species, federal regulatory agencies would be required to consider how their decisions affect polar bears.
A listing could affect industries seeking permission to release greenhouse gases or decisions such as setting fuel economy standards for vehicles, [spokesperson Kassie] Siegel said.
I heard a report on NPR this morning about a group of evangelical leaders who have broken with the most influential evangelicals today (such as Dobson and Robertson) and are expressing real concern about global warming. One of them considers it a justice issue in that the world's poor are going to be most adversely affected - and the soonest. That was truly heartening.