From little acorns great oaks grow, the news that Alaska want to fund a study for the Polar Bear population could go deeper and open the Climate Debate. The article from Anchorage Daily News (ADN.Com) by TOM KIZZIA gives an insight to this story.
Polar bears’ extinction theories found fatally flawed (Re-Issue)
The state Legislature is looking to hire a few good polar bear scientists. The conclusions have already been agreed upon -- researchers just have to fill in the science part.
A $2 million program funded with little debate by the Legislature last month calls for using state money to fund an "academic based" conference that highlights contrarian scientific research on global warming. Legislators hope to undermine the public perception of a widespread consensus among polar bear researchers that warming global temperatures and melting Arctic ice threaten the polar bears' survival.
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Republican legislative leaders say a federal decision to declare the polar bears "threatened" by climate change would have troubling effects on Arctic oil development and the state's economic future.
Last week a federal judge ordered the Bush administration to release its already-tardy decision under the Endangered Species Act by May 15. By law, such a decision must be based strictly on science, not on possible economic consequences.
Legislative leaders said they are frustrated that researchers skeptical of the doomsday scenario get marginalized as crackpots or industry shills by the media and scientific agencies.
"We want to have the money to hire scientists to answer the Interior (Department) scientists," House Speaker John Harris, R-Valdez, said last week.
The $2 million is also to be used for a national public relations campaign to promote the findings of the conference.
Critics say it's a waste of state money because all the hard scientific research points in the other direction.
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Legislature wants polar bear study