Idaho's Weekly Journal of Local & National Commentary Week 2815


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by Free Market Duck

Kempthorne Plays “Polar Bear Politics”
(Jan 08, 2007)

Washington, DC – According to the Wall Street Journal, Secretary of Interior Dirk Kempthorne popped up the other day and cavalierly announced that polar bears should be listed as “threatened” under the Endangered Species Act.  Said the ex Idaho Governor, “We are concerned [that] the polar bears’ habitat may literally be melting” due to warmer Arctic temperatures.


   Really?  And what was Kempthorne’s basis for this brilliant conclusion?  A single, peer-reviewed study (ha-ha, that’s University Speak for I publish your crap, you publish mine) that purports to show the polar bear population in Western Hudson Bay may have dropped by 250 bears, that’s 25% of 1,000 polar bears, over the last decade.


   So what’s wrong with Kempthorne’s conclusion?


   First, polar bears roam over a huge territory, covering thousands of square miles of land and sea.  Second, choosing a small sub-section of polar bear territory upon which to base placing that animal on the Endangered Species List is not scientific.  One must look at the total polar bear population on earth to draw any conclusions about population size.  Third, correlating whether current population size of any species has decreased or increased and its cause is a complicated issue with multiple parameters.  Fourth, mandating governmental programs to correct a real or imagined problem based upon faulty observations and illogical conclusions can bring about serious financial and other market consequences to the American economy.  Fifth, and more importantly, it is not the function of a limited constitutional government to play Darwin; it is the responsibility of free individuals exercising a priori rights under an objective judicial system, and thus free market capitalism, to take ownership of the environment through private property rights.  (Note that public parks, welfare states, and socialist environments are trashy.  Private property under objective laws, not special interest legislation, tends to be pristine.)


   So what’s the big problem with Kempthorne playing “Polar Bear Politics?”  Well, you see, if a plant or animal is listed on the Endangered Species List, the government must come up with a plan to “solve” the alleged problem, after first studying the alleged problem for about a year.  And guess what?  There is no way to list polar bears as an endangered species without the anti-capitalist environmental-fascists bringing up the allegation that the alleged polar bear decline is due to the alleged over-melting of the earth’s ice caps.  And the question of the alleged over-melting of the earth’s ice caps leads to the welfare state environmentalists jumping up and down and screaming that over-melting is caused by a “Greenhouse Effect” from CO2 emissions from too many Americans driving too many cars because – and here’s the punch line – capitalism, they conclude, is bad.  Just like they were taught by all their professors at Welfare State U.


   And so, what Kempthorne The Incompetent has just succeeded in doing is to provide the environmental-fascists with Al Gore’s Big Excuse to push for more governmental intervention into the free market on the basis of a faulty polar bear study.  Not only is this a blow to the concept of individual rights, private stewardship of the environment, and free market capitalism, the costs for environmental lawsuits and governmental intervention into the private market will run into the trillions of dollars, cost Americans tons of lost jobs, and the worst part is, for NO GOOD REASON.  It won’t help the polar bears because the polar bears don’t need help.  The polar bear study is faulty.


   Why is the polar bear study faulty?  Mitchell Taylor, manager of wildlife resources for the Nunavut territory in Canada, points out that the Canadian polar bear population stretches over a much larger landmass than Hudson Bay, imagine that, and Canadian polar bears have actually INCREASED by 25%, from 12,000 to 15,000 over the past ten years.


   In fact, according to the WSJ, polar bear population estimates from sources including the NY Times,, International Bear Association, International Wildlife, and the IUCN, Polar Bear Study Group show that there are MORE polar bears now than 40 years ago.  In the 1950s there were 5,000 bears.  1965-1970:  8,000-10,000 bears.  1984:  25,000 bears.  2005:  20,000-25,000 bears.  The world’s polar bear population is not decreasing, it’s actually increasing.  And while you’re busy feeling sorry for those cuddly, fuzzy-wuzzy, wittle polar bears, ”you should remember they are the world’s largest land carnivores” that can rip you to shreds in five seconds flat.  Well, not counting politicians.


   Even though the polar bear population is not declining, and even if it is true that CO2 emissions are creating a Greenhouse Effect that is over-melting the earth’s ice caps, then the best solution to that problem – forget the polar bear study – is not more of the same old governmental intervention into the free market.  The earth’s alleged long-term over-warming from fossil fuels and the alleged Greenhouse Effect are NOT the result of unbridled capitalism but rather of previous governmental intervention and special interest legislation for Big Oil and other government-sucking industries such as automobile and steel manufacturers.  Interventionist politics have blocked all kinds of non-polluting sources of clean energy such as Cold Fusion, Electro-Magnetic energy, and Over Unity machines from inventors such as Tesla, Bearden and many others.


   It is not environmental-fascism that we need to solve environmental problems but rather more individual freedom for energy entrepreneurs and free market capitalism.  The greenhouse effect in America has actually decreased over the past several years while only two European nations out of dozens of countries who signed off on the Kyoto Let’s Chop The Greenhouse Gas Emissions will even meet their 2007 or 2008 quotas.  China typically just pays the $500,000 annual Mercury emissions fine rather than clean up its Shanghai world pollution mess because socialists don’t care.  Neither did the communists in Russia where the rivers now glow from years of state government nuclear pollution.  Public parks in America are filthy.  Private Disneyland in Anaheim and Orlando are super clean.  Downtown cities are dirty.  Your private front lawn is mowed and trimmed.  Sorry Al Gore, private property works; public property sucks.


   The WSJ called Kempthorne spineless for acquiescing to the faulty polar bear study and dragging America into endless environmental lawsuits and “cries in Congress demanding federal mandates to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”  All based upon faulty data.

   Reviewing Kempthorne’s history as the former Governor of Idaho who participated in Boise’s $136 million Watergate fiasco among other questionable actions, we should not be surprised.  As predicted in the book, Boise’s Watergate:  University Place & All The Governor’s Men, that’s exactly what happens when politicians continually get away with previous bad political actions.  They go on to even bigger and badder politics. – FM Duck  (See FM Duck’s previous article, 10 Reasons why Idaho Governor Kempthorne should NOT be confirmed as Secretary of the Interior  More... )

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