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Protecting polar bears: Your e-mails

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(CNN) -- Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne says polar bears are no match for global warming. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife service has proposed listing polar bears as "threatened" under the Endangered Species Act, but a decision on the listing isn't expected for a year.

We asked CNN.com readers if they thought the government's plans go far enough to protect polar bears. Here is a selection of their responses, some of which have been edited for length and clarity.

Denise Daly of Manteca, California
I firmly agree that polar bears should be on the threatened species list. Yes, I believe global warming is a danger to polar bears. It is hugely our fault that global warming is melting their home away. The government's plans do not go far enough. We all need to tackle this global warming issue.

Pam Lewis of Lincoln, Nebraska
I think the public and the government need to do whatever it takes to protect all of the wildlife that is threatened by global warming, development, etc. As a nation, we are encroaching on land that is native to wildlife, with the animals suffering. These animals are God's creatures and have just as much right to be here as we do. We need to protect their land and quit taking over it, so they will survive and be here for future generations to enjoy.

Barbara Waters of Arlington, Texas
Polar bears, arctic fox, seals -- all Arctic wildlife will lose if our politicians don't come to grips with the stark reality that global warming is real and not a democratic political agenda. There are signs everywhere of global warming. The polar bears will definitely take a hit, as will all other Artic wildlife.

Joanna York of Los Angeles, California
Global warming is a definite danger to polar bears (as well as our entire planet) and their habitat is melting. Some have drowned due to the icebergs being too soft to hold them and their cubs. Our government's plans are inadequate; we must do more to ensure the polar bears' existence for the decades to come.

Ed & Barbara Swanson of Northbrook, Illinois
Our unwillingness to sacrifice, even to the smallest degree, to protect our natural, priceless and irreplaceable gifts will eventually rob our children and generations to come of much of the grandeur of nature. This latest threat to a seemingly indestructible master of its domain is a stunning example of what is at the end of the road we are now traveling.

Linda Fedele of Victor, New York
It is unconscionable to allow the earth's environment to degrade to the point of a serious threat to any of earth's creatures. For the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to say that "the broader aspects of global warming are beyond the scope of the Endangered Species Act" and that they therefore can't address this problem sounds like bureaucratic baloney to me. Please do something to save the polar bears. Surely our world is more important than profits for government and corporate interests.

Mireia Naharro Martin of Aberdeen, New Jersey
Indeed, I am always very sad when watching news or learning that our natural habitat is threatened. I think that people and the political environment are not aware of that at all. It is very sad that in the United States the cause and purpose is measured against the economic impact that doing the right thing can have. But what if finally human beings destroy our precious world? Ultimately, we are destroying ourselves!

Gary Lefko of Nunn, Colorado
Humanity is finally waking up to the effects of global warming. I am saddened and disheartened it has taken this long for us -- the "intelligent" species -- to realize. Let's hope we have the time to reverse the fortunes of the beloved polar bear and many other species (including human) to save them and us from our foolish actions.

Paul Reinstein of Los Angeles, California
Yes, I'm afraid the train has left the station, and the caps are going to melt, and in a hundred years, the only large animals left are going to be in zoos, behind bulletproof glass, or in farms being prepared to be cooked and put under glass. The average person will be eating rats and cockroaches and drinking very questionable water from lakes and springs with names that don't Google very well. The good news is that SUVs will continue to be available and that human body parts with genetics custom matched to your specifications will enable those who can afford it to live longer than your wildest dreams.

Jeff Blowers of Fort Worth, Texas
To not save some of the most majestic creatures on this planet is horrible. We have demonstrated that we can do it with the bald eagle, now it should be the polar bears' turn. And, the byproduct of this is that we might also save our planet by helping to stop the global warming, which contributes to the death of our polar bear population.

Carolyn Flint of Joyce, Washington
The reality of global warming and the human contribution to its progress are now almost universally accepted. We only have one planet that is able to sustain the kind of life we know about. I hope we learn to take care of this one before we learn how to travel to another. If we cannot keep this one clean and safe for the ecosystems necessary to sustain life, we don't deserve to use our current poor stewardship on another one.

Susan Lafferty of South Pasadena, California
There is irrefutable evidence that global warming is drastically changing the Earth's environment. We're heading toward a mass extinction if nothing is done, and soon. The polar bears are just the first of what could be many species, including our own, who will suffer.


story.polarbear.jpg

Debra Rotolo of White Plains, New York, caught this polar bear lounging at the Bronx Zoo earlier this year.

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