New hope for polar bears…

…And perhaps the rest of us.

Citing thinning sea ice, the US Interior Department has declared polar bears a threatened species.

If finalized, the Associated Press reports, the decision would commit government agencies “to ensure that anything they authorize that might affect polar bears will not jeopardize their survival or the sea ice where they live. That could include oil and gas exploration, commercial shipping or even releases of toxic contaminants or climate-affecting pollution.”

So maybe– to end 2006 on a fragile note of hope– the plight of the polar bears will help save us from ourselves.

polar bears.jpg

Happy new year.