Inuit and environmentalists clash over polar bear
To save the polar bear, or to respect a way of life, that is the question.
OTTAWA (Reuters) - Leaders of Canada's Arctic Inuit people denounced U.S. environmentalists on Monday for pushing Washington to declare the polar bear a threatened species, saying the move was unnecessary and would hurt the local economy.
The United States last week delayed a decision on whether global warming threatened polar bears on the grounds that it needed more time to analyze the data. Three U.S. green groups said they would sue for quicker action.
The Inuit fear that if Washington does declare the bear a threatened species, it will deter U.S. hunters, who spend millions of dollars a year for the right to shoot the animals in the Canadian Arctic.
Environmentalists say global warming is shrinking the sea
ice that polar bears use as a platform to hunt seals. The fate
of the bears has received widespread media coverage.