Judge Backs Scientists on Polar Bears

Photo Courtesy of U.S. Department of Fish and Game

A federal judge is upholding a decision by government scientists that global warming is threatening the polar bear’s survival.

U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan on Thursday ruled that a May 2008 decision to place the bear on the endangered species list as threatened because of melting sea ice was rational based on science.

Environmental groups had sued, saying the polar bear needs more protection under the Endangered Species Act. The state of Alaska and hunting groups argued that the listing was unnecessary since the bear is protected by other laws.

Sullivan said the arguments amounted to nothing more than competing views about policy and science.

Another lawsuit still pending challenges a decision that said the bears’ status couldn’t be used to regulate greenhouse gases outside of where it lives.