Wednesday, May 14, 2008


Around 3 PM the Interior Department ruled that the Polar Bear is at risk. The stock market rally died. Polar Bears have been declared a threatened species. The environmentalist wanted them to be declared an endangered species, but the population in at least some areas is known to be considerably larger than it was 35 years ago.

The big push to make the Polar Bear an endangered species was for the purpose of preventing drilling in ANWAR. If only the environmentalist could understand the harm they do to the environment by forcing the use of less productive sources of fuel. Just imagine how many windmills will be installed to replace the trillion dollars worth of oil available in ANWAR! I am for the protection of the Polar Bear. I am not for letting 40 million dollars per bear sit in a hole to because we are political animals. I certainly do not a windmill in my back yard.

During the last "rise of the free power windmill", during the oil crunch of the 1970's, a huge windmill was built on the top of a formerly beautiful mountain near Appalachian State University. The people of all political persuasion roared in protest. This very expensive windmill was disassembled and stored in a museum after a few years. It never produced much electricity, it killed a lot of birds, it interfered with communication reception, it made a lot of noise and it was UGLY! Our country has spent billions of dollars subsidizing windmills and yet only a tiny fraction, less than one half of one percent, our our electricity is produced by this unreliable and capital intensive source.

Polar bears have been around for at least 100 thousand years. In the 1960's the population dwindled when "sports hunters" tracked and killed bears from airplanes. All people should be against the playful slaughter of God's creatures. In 1973, the five countries with Polar Bear populations agreed to protect these animals.

Let the bears be but be reasonable too! We need to temporarily use less than 1% of ANWAR as a base for drilling. The bears will not be harmed and they will naturally avoid the drilling area. These bears are extremely dangerous when hungry but their keen sense of smell allows them to avoid human contact. When cornered, they do maul a human leave as the brown bears do, the massive males that weight from 750 to 2,000 pounds crush their victims skulls. Polar bears also pass along diseases to successive generations because they are cannibals. They are meat eaters. Their favorite food is baby seal. Yes, nature needs predators to keep populations in check, the Polar Bears need to be culled.

The right of native peoples to hunt bears and even the limited right for sportsmen to hunt bears has been restored because the populations are large enough to cause some bears to scavenge in towns and villages. Four of the five bear nations now permit selective hunting to protect the people from the bears.

One irony is that it would be difficult to eliminate this species if we wanted. These bears are born on solid land where they return each summer and where they can fast for 8 months out of the year. These bears are strong swimmers and venture as much as 60 miles out to sea. When they are in stealth mode, they can be on top of a seal before the seal knows there is a bear in the neighborhood. An old Inuit legend is that Polar Bears cover their black noses with their paws when they want to become invisible in the snow.


After the announcement, stock gains were cut by about half. At the end of the day, energy stocks were down about a half a percent while the average stock was up almost a half a percent. The list of indications that there will be no recession in 2008 is growing daily. Credit market spreads are "back to normal". The yield curve is very positive. Exports and profits are strong. The household survey shows that jobs are being created. Conditions are ripe for a strong economy and a strong stock market.

In the long run, the fight over the bears will be no big deal if it does not lead to crippling legislation such as cap and trade silliness. There are trillions of other barrels of oil in other American protected areas. We do not have to drill in ANWAR but, we need to drill in other "protected areas". If not, we will all pay an even higher price for our food and fuel.

Oil companies continue to have great success in the ultra deep Eocene plays in the Gulf of Mexico. Billions of barrels of oil has been discovered that will take several more years to come on line. In one instance, Exxon Mobile spent $200 million dollars on one well before giving up on the play. McMoran Exploration has purchased the lease and will drill 7 miles deep to confirm its geological maps. The company is making a huge bet that the off shore well is part of a land structure that has produced great quantities of oil for the company over the past many years. All of us are paying the price for putting lower cost oil off limits. The profit motive will cause companies to find the oil to meet our needs but the cost have been driven up by the political games.

If there were only a few hundred or even a few thousand bears left, the $40 million dollar trade off would make sense. Current government policy is that the bears are so plentiful that it is reasonable to allow several thousand to be killed by natives and sportsmen each year but too few to allow the drilling for oil on a relatively tiny piece of land?

The global warming alarmists conveniently ignore the truth. About 70% of the bear population is on or near Greenland, a land that was named Greenland because its mild climate had made it lush with vegetation back in the days when it was discovered. The land was populated for many years before the climate changed. The idea that man is bigger than the forces of nature is absurd. Let Greenland turn green if it will. The extra green will absorb the "extra" CO2. Polar Bears survived the last "green age".