Tonight sees the Vice Presidential Debate between Republican, Governor Sarah Palin and Democrat, Senator Joe Biden. The big question is, who between them and the polar bear is the endangered one? From today’s Guardian –
When the US government decided to classify Ursus maritimus as an endangered species earlier in the year, Palin sued in attempt to overturn the ruling, fearing the label would deter oil and gas exploration in Alaska. The case of Palin v Polar bear will be heard in January. Here’s how the contenders size up:
Polar bear: Found across the Arctic regions of five countries; the US, Canada, Russia, Norway and Greenland.
Sarah Palin: Not quite as well travelled. Lives within sight of Russia, but has never ventured there, possibly because of diminishing sea ice.
Polar bear: Vulnerable, largely due to climatic change and the resulting habitat loss.
Palin: Also vulnerable, because of a lack of experience and controversial stances on abortion, creationism, global warming, same-sex marriage and the environment.
Polar bear: Possesses razor-sharp teeth, a powerful build and a sense of smell that can detect a seal a mile away under three feet of snow. Still unlikely to triumph in a direct confrontation with Palin however, unless the Alaska legislature suddenly decides to uphold the right to arm bears.
Palin: Licensed gun-owner, avid hunter and crack shot. Palin also supports a policy of shooting wolves from helicopters in order to increase the Alaskan moose population so that Alaskans can shoot more moose. Deadly.
Impact of climate change
Polar bear: Length of hunting season has diminished, birth rates have fallen and it now has insufficient fat reserves.
Palin: None observed.
Polar bear: Greenpeace, the US department of the interior, the US Fish and Wildlife Service, the US Geological Survey.
Palin: Hockey moms, the National Rifle Association, rightwing fundamentalist Christians, climate change deniers, the oil industry, God (endorsement unconfirmed).
Biggest threat to survival
Polar bear: Sarah Palin.
Palin: Democratic vice presidential candidate Joe Biden, feminism, belated national reality check brought on by global economic crisis.