U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan ruled on Monday, Oct. 17, 2011 that the Bush administration did not complete a required environmental review when it said the bear's designation as threatened in 2008 could not be used as a backdoor way to control greenhouse gases blamed for global warming. Sullivan's decision directs the Interior Department to respond by Nov. 17 with a timetable for when it will complete the required environmental review. Sullivan left an interim 2008 protection designation intact while the case continues. The polar bear is unique among species protected under the Endangered Species Act because it is the first to be designated as threatened because of global warming. In fact, human beings may soon be added to that list. Read on below.

The U.S. Department of Energy has concluded that the global output of heat-trapping carbon dioxide in 2010 jumped by the largest amount on record, a sign of how lacking the world's efforts are at slowing man-made global warming. In fact, the levels of greenhouse gases are higher than the worst case scenario outlined by climate experts just four years ago.

John Reilly, co-director of MIT's Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change complained to an AP reporter about the delay in dealing with this threat, "The more we talk about the need to control emissions, the more they are growing."
 
While global warming skeptics have attacked the climate change panel as being too alarmist, Reilly's university worked on emissions scenarios, their likelihood, and what would happen. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) worst case scenario was only about in the middle of what MIT calculated are likely scenarios.

The world pumped about 564 million more tons of carbon into the air in 2010 than it did in 2009--an increase of 6 percent. Apparently the global economic crisis is having little to no impact upon the biggest polluters of the world and their investors.

Gregg Marland, a professor of geology at Appalachian State University, who helped calculate Department of Energy figures in the past states that up until now this, "is a 'monster' increase that is unheard of. Extra pollution in China and the U.S. account for more than half the increase in emissions last year."

Reilly and University of Victoria climate scientist, Andrew Weaver, found one note of hope in recent emissions figures. The developed countries that ratified the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, the treaty that limits greenhouse gas, have reduced their emissions overall since then and have achieved their goals of cutting emissions to about 8 percent below 1990 levels.

Under pressure from industry lobbyists, the U.S. did not agree to take part in that agreement.

Chris Field of Stanford University, head of one of the working groups, said the question now among scientists is whether the future is the panel's worst case scenario, "or something more extreme".  The latest figures put global emissions higher than the worst case projections from the IPCC.

The recent results forecast global temperatures rising between 4 and 11 degrees Fahrenheit by the end of the century with the best estimate at 7.5 degrees.

"Really dismaying," Granger Morgan, head of the engineering and public policy department at Carnegie Mellon University, said of the new figures. "We are building up a horrible legacy for our children and grandchildren."

The problem is pretty close from running away from us.

For more info go to Government Carbon Dioxide info center