At last the polar bear seems to be getting its rightfully deserved protection under the Endangered Species Act according to which critically imperiled species are given protection against extinction. The decision was taken by The Interior Department of the USA just a day before the expiry of the decision making deadline set on the 15th of May by a federal court. The Endangered Species Act is expected to be enforced for the first time to protect a species from the effects of global warming.
Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne who proposed investigation on the endangered status of the polar bear about 15 months ago has called a news conference to announce the decision. The decision has come after a year of rigorous study on the survival of the polar bear in the face of the global warming threat. The Interior Department will show studied evidences that support the predication that the melting of the Arctic Sea ice in Alaska and Canada, due to global warming, will render about two thirds of the polar bear population extinct by the middle of this century.
The enforcement of the Endangered Species Act seems to have raised concern in the industrial community because it mainly implies regulation of the emission of carbon dioxide which already seems to have reached a peak value in 650,000 years according to the Mauna Loa Observatory report. Carbon dioxide is one of the major catalysts of global warming and much of it comes from industrial and vehicular emissions. However the picture does not look all that gloomy because the decision has provisions for protecting power plants and other energy related entities.
The polar bear occupies the top position in the food chain of Artic circle and it checks the seal population. Thus it plays an important role in maintaining the ecological balance of the polar region. It has been established by scientists that the Arctic sea ice is a primary habitat for the polar bear and it will be difficult for the animal to survive if the ice reduces. Andrew Wetzler, director of the endangered species program at the National Resources Defense Council, voiced that it is absolutely clear that the polar bear needs to be protected under the Endangered Species Act.