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June 18, 2012

The Honorable Ken Salazar
Secretary of the Interior
18th and C Streets, NW
Washington, D.C.   20240

Dear Secretary Salazar:

On behalf of our organizations, which collectively represent millions of Americans who support strong action in response to climate change — and who care deeply about the polar bear, other species and human communities across the globe that are already suffering from the rapid warming of the Arctic and our planet — we urge you to give polar bears and the climate the protection they need and deserve under the law.

In 2008, when the Bush administration listed the polar bear as a “threatened” species; it also issued a special rule exempting the primary threat facing the bear, greenhouse gas pollution, from regulation under important Endangered Species Act programs. 

Rather than reverse course, you have similarly acknowledged that polar bears are in deep trouble and proposed to again exempt the leading threat to their survival — greenhouse gas pollution — from regulation under the Act. This is in the face of scientific projections showing an overwhelming risk of extinction for two-thirds of the world’s polar bears — including all the bears in Alaska — by 2050, with a substantial risk that these bears could disappear within the next 10 to 20 years.

The rapid and accelerating sea-ice melt is part of an important climate feedback hastening further warming and melting of the Greenland ice sheet, contributing to rising sea levels.  Without deep and rapid greenhouse pollution reductions, the loss of the Arctic sea-ice ecosystem will not only drive the polar bear extinct but will greatly exacerbate climate damages around the world.  The pollution reductions necessary to protect the Arctic's sea ice are thus needed to avert some of the worst impacts for the rest of the world as well as the incredible Arctic itself. 

We need your administration to drop the misguided polar-bear rule and develop one that protects polar bears rather than polluters.

Thank you so much for your attention to this urgent issue.


National & International Organizations
Amazon Watch
Alliance for Climate Education
Animals Are Sentient Beings, Inc.
Animal Welfare Institute
Center for Biological Diversity
Center for Food Safety
CEO Pipe Organs/Golden Ponds Farm Declaration of Peace
Citizens Climate Lobby
Clean Air Now
Corporate Ethics International
Defenders of Wildlife
Earth Day Network
Endangered Species Coalition
Food Empowerment Project
Friends of the Earth
Fund for Wild Nature
Global Green USA
Global Warming Education Network
Green Peace Corps
Greenpeace USA
Green Zionist Alliance
Humane Society International
Independent Environmental Conservation & Activism Network
Institute for Environmental Research and Education
Interfaith Power & Light
International Center for Technology Assessment
International Fund for Animal Welfare
International Institute to Study Climate Change in the Islamic World
Kids vs Global Warming
Labor Network for Sustainability
Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns
Natural Resources Defense Council
No Impact Project
Ocean Conservation Research
One More Generation
Planet Rehab
Public Citizen
Rainforest Action Network
Religious Witness for the Earth
Resilient Futures International
The Forest Foundation
The Pegasus Foundation
Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations
Unitarian Universalist Ministry for Earth
Unitarian Universalist Association United Nations Office
U.S. Climate Action Network
Wild Nature Institute
Wildlands CPR

Regional, State & Local Organizations
350 Bay Area
Agua es Vida Action Team (AVAT)
Alameda Creek Alliance
Alaska Wilderness League
Animas Valley Institute
Antelope Valley Conservancy
Appalachian Mountain Advocates
Arizona Interfaith Power & Light
Arkansas Interfaith Alliance
Austin Green Energy Group
Battle Creek Alliance
Beacon Climate Action
Bedford Global Warming Action Coalition
Bellefonte Efficiency and Sustainability Team
Berkshire Environmental Action Team
Biodiversity Conservation Alliance
Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League
Boston Climate Action Network
Buckeye Forest Council
Californians for Western Wilderness
Cascadia Wildlands
Catskill Citizens for Safe Energy
Center for the Celebration of Creation
Chesapeake Climate Action Network
Church of Earth Healing
Citizens Action Coalition of Indiana
Citizens Against Environmental Destruction
Citizens Against Ruining the Environment
Citizens Committee to Complete the Refuge
Citizens Environmental Coalition
Clean Air Carolina
Clean Air Rights for Everyone of NY
Clean Energy Action Colorado
Climate Action Alliance of the Valley
Climate Change Initiative of Howard CO
Climate Mama
Climate Protection Campaign
Coalitions of Mutual Endeavor
Coal River Mountain Watch
Connecticut Citizen Action Group
Conservation Congress
Corpus Christi Clean Economy Coalition
Damascus Citizens for Sustainability 
Dogwood Alliance
Elisha Mitchell Audubon Society
Endangered Habitats League
Environmental Protection Information Center
Fairmont, Minnesota Peace Group
Four Harbors Audubon Society
Franciscan Action Network
Fresno Metro Ministry
Friends of Merrymeeting Bay
Friends of the Upper Delaware River
Grade Eight Team, North Miami Middle School
Great Old Broads for Wilderness
Green Mountain Monastery
House of Grace
Interfaith Council for the Protection of Animals and Nature
Klamath-Siskiyou Wildlands Center
Lexington Global Warming Action Coalition
Life of the Land
Los Alamos Study Group
Massachusetts Climate Action Network
Massachusetts Forest Watch
Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy
Mothers Against Tennessee River Radiation
Nebraska Wildlife Rehab, Inc.
New Jersey Media Corps
Occidental Arts and Ecology Center
Oregon Wild
Pacific Environment
Partnership for Sustainability in Delaware
Project Coyote
Redwood Alliance Climate Action Project
Renewable Energy Long Island
RESTORE: The North Woods
Salmon Protection and Watershed Network (SPAWN)
Sane Energy Project
Save Our Sky Blue Waters
Sequoia Audubon Society
South Carolina Coastal Conservation League
Southern Alliance for Clean Energy
Stewards of the Earth
Students for Environmental Action
Students for Environmental Awareness
Sustainable Arizona
Sustainable Tompkins
Transition Howard County
Turtle Island Restoration Network
Unitarian Universalist Legislative Ministry of California
University of Denver Sturm School of Law
Vast Horizons
Vermont Interfaith Power & Light
Vermonters for Sustainable Population
Watershed Stewards Academy
Wild Equity Institute
Windward Ahupua`a Alliance
Xun Biosphere Project




Photo © Thomas D. Mangelsen, ImagesOfNatureStock.com