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Joseph Romm

Joseph Romm

Posted: April 1, 2008 08:30 AM

Bush Launches Unendangered Species List, Phones "Rename the Polar Bear" Winner


Washington, DC -- April 1: In a surprise move, the Bush Administration today replaced the Endangered Species List with the Unendangered Species List.

In a news conference, the President said, "I have been advisored that my climate, air, and water policies now threaten most living things. Thorny, the Interior guy -- I like to call him the Exterior guy, heh, heh, heh -- anyway, Thorny says that compiling the old list would have added $1 billion to the deficit over the next ten years."

Secretary Kempthorne introduced the new list saying, "We just felt it would be a lot easier to identify the species not endangered by our policies."

The Secretary's staff handed out a single page containing the entire list, which includes Rattus rattus, kudzu and Toxicodendron radicans, Blattella germanica, Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax, endroctonus ponderosae, African trypanosomiasis and tse-tse fly, tubercle bacillus, the order Scorpiones, the algae supergroups, and the entire Cactaceae and mosquito families.

Bush then added, "That Thorny -- he's like some sort of Noah guy."

INTRODUCING THE BIPOLAR BEAR

In a related story, the President called the winner of the "Rename the Polar Bear" contest, Dr. Sara Bellum of Nome, Alaska. As reported earlier, rather than attempting to protect the polar bears' Arctic habitat, which is expected to be ice free by 2020, the Interior Department held a contest to simply give Ursus maritimus a new name.

Dr. Bellum, a taxidermist and practicing psychiatrist, explained her winning entry, "I noticed the bears were getting very sad and tired in the summer when the sea ice melted and they had to spend more and more effort catching fewer and fewer seals. But then come the fall they began moving inland, frantically eating everything in sight, rummaging through garbage and attacking people, which, perversely, seemed to make they quite happy, at least for a while. So that's where I came up with the name. Bipolar bear. Ursus manic-depressus. I never expected a call from the President. He asked if he could call me 'brainy.' Like I haven't heard that one before."

The first runner up was Danish mathematician, Bjørn Lomborg, with his entry "Ralop Bear." Lomborg, a well known global warming delayer and practicing taxidermist, has long argued that polar bears would rapidly evolve backwards toward their brown bear ancestors from whom they diverged tens of thousands of years ago. Bjørn, whose name coincidentally means bear, could not be reached for comment, but a post on his blog explained, "Ralop -- it's 'Polar' backwards. Get it?"

According to Interior staffers, Ursus manic-depressus is the only large mammal on the Unendangered Species List.

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