"The threatened polar bear has become an icon for the potentially devastating effects of global warming. The animal depends on sea ice for its survival, and this ice is disappearing..."Reporter Anne Feidt had followed federal Fish and Wildlife Service biologists studying polar bears in Alaska, and after the requisite crunch of ice under boot and the breathing of a sedated bear, she gave a basic rundown of global warming threats to polar bears. She paraphrased one biologist as saying that "the future for Alaska's polar bears is grim, and he's already seeing one potentially troubling sign — very few females with cubs."
Here's the weird thing: The article completely ignores the most glaring, recent, and newsworthy part of the story. Last week U.S. Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar announced his decision to continue the Bush administration practice of withholding Endangered Species Act protections from the polar bear. Bush had issued a "special rule" that said, although the polar bear's habitat is melting due to global warming, the government may not protect that habitat. Congress had given the Obama administration specific authority until May 9 to undo the damage done by Bush, and Salazar decided not to act on it.
This happened just last Friday, affecting the very polar bears whose breath Feidt was recording, announced by the boss of the researchers she was interviewing, and it was not even mentioned in the article.
It's not like it was just some small administrative technicality that was noticed only by politicos and treehuggers. The story was covered by all the usual suspects. However, NPR somehow managed not to mention it in their story about federal biologists studying the impacts of global warming on polar bears.