Following Secretary Ken Salazar’s announcement that he would not rescind the “polar bear special rule,” which guts Endangered Species Act protections for polar bears, Greenpeace conducted a direct communication outside of the Department of the Interior. As a symbol of the damage that his inaction will cause, two activists solemnly walked a mock polar bear into the pool in front of the DOI building and left it to drown.
Along with the Center for Biological Diversity, Greenpeace
presented Secretary Salazar with a petition on May 7th that was
signed by 150,000 Americans urging him to restore full protections
to the polar bear. All it would have taken was a stroke of
Salazar's pen. Now the planet is left with another disastrous Bush
regulation that will contribute to the extinction of the polar
bear. We cannot let the Obama Administration off the hook for this
travesty. Please call Sec. Salazar today and tell him how
disappointed you are.
"Secretary Salazar's failure to rescind this regulation only
serves to cement the Bush administration's legacy of ignoring
global warming science, thus putting the polar bear at further risk
of extinction," said Melanie Duchin, Greenpeace's global warming
campaigner in Alaska. "Regrettably, it seems to reflect an emerging
willingness by the Obama administration to ignore clear scientific
imperatives on global warming in the face of industry
"Self-consultation" rescinded, polar bears left high and
May 9th was the last day that the Secretary had to rescind two
especially egregious regulations inserted at the last minute by the
Bush administration into the Endangered Species Act (ESA). On April
28th, Secretary Salazar rescinded one of the regulations - an
industry-friendly regulation known as "self-consultation," which
removed the requirement that federal agencies consult outside
wildlife experts before taking any action that might further
endanger a species protected under the ESA. We are pleased that he
rescinded the self-consultation rule. But Salazar announced on May
8th that he will not rescind the polar bear special rule, which
exempts global warming from being taken into consideration as part
of the protections afforded to polar bears by the ESA.
Given the projections of ice-free summers in the Arctic as early
as 2010 due to global warming, Sec. Salazar's announcement makes
the future especially grim for polar bears. They face starvation,
drowning, and possible extinction by 2050, according to the US
Geological Survey. The announcement is also worrisome because it
carries on the Bush Administration's legacy of ignoring global
Read the full Greenpeace response here.
Over 150,000 petition signatures delivered. Add your
We first delivered the petition to save the polar bear to Sec.
Salazar on April 22nd with over 85,000 signatures. We presented the
petition again with 150,000 signatures on May 7th, and went back
one more time on May 8th hoping that Secretary Salazar would look
out the window and take pity on the endangered polar bear. We
wanted to remind him that Greenpeace and its members were watching
what his decision will be.
View a slideshow of pics taken at our petition
delivery event at the DOI on May 7th and our protest outside the
DOI on May 8th.
If you're as disppointed as us with Salazar for ignoring the
voice of the people and caving to industry pressure, give him a call and urge him to save the polar
Call Sec. Salazar and tell him you are disappointed he has caved to industry pressure