Still More on Polar Bears

By January 2, 2007Global Warming

This cute lil’ polar bear story just keeps living on and on. Fact is, the enviro groups that sued to make this happen have achieved a measure of what they set out to do. With the complicity of their unwitting — and spectacularly un-inquisitive — friends in the Fourth Estate, they have gained real mileage out of this story.

But there are some fact-based skeptics — in case anyone’s interested in the facts. Thanks to Iain Murray over at CEI for calling our attention to this piece from Dr. Mitchell Taylor, a polar bear biologist (didn’t know there was such a thing, but any enviro reporter worth their salt should have checked) with the Department of Environment in Nunavut, site of all the hub-bub. Here’s what he has to say:

“Of the 13 populations of polar bears in Canada , 11 are stable or increasing in number. They are not going extinct, or even appear to be affected at present.

It is noteworthy that the neighbouring population of southern Hudson Bay does not appear to have declined, and another southern population ( Davis Strait ) may actually be over-abundant.

I understand that people who do not live in the north generally have difficulty grasping the concept of too many polar bears in an area. People who live here have a pretty good grasp of what that is like to have too many polar bears around.

This complexity is why so many people find the truth less entertaining than a good story. It is entirely appropriate to be concerned about climate change, but it is just silly to predict the demise of polar bears in 25 years based on media-assisted hysteria.” (Emphasis ours.)

Some of these reporters ought to turn in their Al Gore Fan Club cards in shame. Somebody oughta be checking the facts. But damn, those polar bears sure are cute!

Join the discussion 2 Comments

  • Pat Cleary says:

    Kieran:

    A few points come immediately to mind:

    — This wasn’t just some random guy writing. This was a POLAR BEAR SCIENTIST. Ain’t’ too many of them out there, I’ll bet, an expert in the species in question. Wouldn’t anyone who took Journalism 101 seek this guy — or another polar bear scientist — out for comment?;

    — The fact that 11 of 13 populations are certainly not in decline is hard to ignore;

    — I think the point of the Interior Dept effort is aimed at getting to the bottom of such things. Let’s hope they do.

    We also hope other writers will provide some balance as well. There are two sides to this story and the mainstream media is only presenting one.

    Thanks for writing,

    Pat Cleary

  • The Bush Administration’s proposal to list the polar bear as a threatened species relies on a long list of published peer-reviewed scientific studies showing the decline in polar bear populations and increases in summer sea ice melt. The concensus scientific opinion is that if current trends continue, summer sea ice will disappear in 40 to 100 years.

    To contradict these scientific studies you point your readers to…a letter to the editor? And the letter was written by a scientist representing a tribe which makes a living running polar bear trophy hunts.

    You are welcome to your opinion, but please, a little honesty is in order. You should at least admit there is large body of science on the polar bear listing side and a letter to editor on the other side.