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MEDIA HIGHLIGHTS Editorial cartoon by Joe Alterio

The polar bear’s plight has been elevated from one of the decade’s biggest media stories on the state of our environment to bona fide cultural phenomenon, as evidenced by the bear’s ubiquitous presence on magazine covers, as well as in comedy skits, political satire, and editorial cartoons. The propulsion of the polar bear onto the world stage drew more than a little thrust from the Center’s petition and lawsuit to gain Endangered Species Act protection for the polar bear — followed by the administration’s proposal to list it as a threatened species. Editorials across the country hailed the proposal as a political landmark: the first acknowledgement from within the Bush administration, the Los Angeles Times noted, “that global warming is the driving force behind an animal’s potential extinction.” We’ve made a massive media campaign one strong arm of our work to save the polar bear and its Arctic habitat; our efforts helped generate more than 1,000 print stories on the proposed listing, more than 250 editorials and opinion pieces, and as many television and radio spots. And with that media attention has come increasing political pressure on the Bush administration, and other elected officials, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

April 20, 2011 – "Conservationists intervene in polar bear habitat lawsuit," The Bristol Bay Times

April 14, 2011 – "Judge considers 'elephant in the room' on polar bear case: greenhouse gases," E & E News

March 16, 2011 – "Alaska files suit against feds over polar bear habitat status," The News Tribune

March 14, 2011 – "FWS Plans To Renew Polar Bear Take Rule," Law360

March 4, 2011 – "Alaskan oil companies sue government for handing too much land to polar bears," Daily Mail

February 23, 2011 – "Court focuses on polar bears in endangered species talks," Anchorage Daily News

February 3, 2011 – "Greens: Alasska oil delay a win for polar bears," AFP

November 24, 2010 – "U.S. Firms Up ‘Critical Habitat’ for Polar Bears," The New York Times

October 20, 2010 – "Judge tells Interior to clarify polar bear status," The Washington Post

December 4, 2009 – "Polar bear lawsuit filed," Anchorage Daily News

October 22, 2009 – "Polar Bear Habitat Proposed for Alaska Coast," The New York Times

June 18, 2009 – "Alaska polar bear numbers declining - U.S. agency," Reuters

May 8, 2009 – "Interior will keep Bush's polar bear rule," New York Times

May 4, 2009 – "As deadline looms, Interior mulls Bush's polar bear rule," New York Times

March 6, 2009 – "Endangered species get an assist from Obama administration," Los Angeles Times

December 11, 2008 – "Kempthorne affirms 'special rule' for polar bears," Anchorage Daily News

August 22, 2008
– “Polar bear sightings stiir climate debate,” Los Angeles Times

August 5, 2008 – “State Sues Interior Department Over Polar Bear ESA listing,” Alaska News

June 9, 2008 – “The Race for Survival,” Newsweek

May 25, 2008 – “E-mail reveals state dispute over polar bear listing,” Anchorage Daily News

May 20, 2008 – “Groups seek greenhouse gas protection for polar bears,” San Diego Union Tribune

May 15, 2008 – “Polar Bear Is Named 'Threatened,'” Washington Post

May 14, 2008 – “Listing disappoints state political, industry leaders,” Anchorage Daily News

December 29, 2007 – “Terror of the north on the brink,” Globe and Mail

September 21, 2007 – “Record sea ice melt this summer larger than Texas and Alaska,” San Francisco Chronicle

September 17, 2007 – “Is the Polar Bear Global Warming’s Canary in a Coalmine?,” Emagazine.com

September 10, 2007 – “Most Polar Bears Gone by 2050, Studies Say,” National Geographic News

February 22, 2007 – “Starving polar bears shame Bush to act,” News Independent

January 10, 2007 – “Act now to save the polar bears,” Baltimore Sun

January 4, 2007 – “Saving the polar bears,” San Diego Tribune

December 26, 2006 – “Protect the polar bear,” San Francisco Chronicle

February 17, 2005 – “Endangered Status Sought for Polar Bears,” Los Angeles Times

Photo © Thomas D. Mangelsen, ImagesOfNatureStock.com; editorial cartoon ©
Joe Alterio/joealterio.com