Unbearably stupid polar bear advertising

First let me say this: I like electric cars for city use. I own and drive one. That said, this has got to be the stupidest professionally produced commercial I’ve seen in quite some time. The ad agency that serves Nissan (as does Nissan management) deserves a smack upside the head for promoting the idea that you can hug a polar bear. Some people are actually stupid enough to try it.

Watch the video of the Nissan Leaf commercial below, then have a look at some of the polar bear attacks on people.

Here’s a few comments gathered in this article at the New York Times:

The ad garnered mixed reviews online. “As subtle as a box of hammers to the face,” a writer for the Web site Autoblog opined.

The advertising blog Copyranter was even less charitable, calling the spot “outrageously manipulative” and “hubristic,” and pointing out that the millions of non-electric cars that Nissan continues to produce each year were “helping to destroy the bear’s ice pack.”

Andrew Sullivan of The Atlantic posted the commercial on his blog with the headline “Smug Alert.”

Now let’s have a look at what polar bears actually do to people given the chance:

here’s another:

and another:

Even in sealed captivity they’ll try, though this person was asking for it:

So if you are so inclined by the Nissan commercial “huggy” portrayal, go ahead, hug a polar bear. Win yourself a Darwin Award.

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110 thoughts on “Unbearably stupid polar bear advertising

  1. I may not like the tune, but they played it very well.
    Propaganda analysis, like Mr. Fuller has been posting on too, is very interesting.
    They sure know all the book larnin’ on it. I don’t think they’ve caught on that such a large portion of everybody else is cognizant of it, too.

  2. You’re an idiot.
    Anyone who thinks the actor is actually hugging a polar bear, and tries to emulate it, is too stupid to live. Social Darwinism at its finest.

  3. Awww. I don’t see the great harm. This was hyperbole in the service of humor.

    If it help rid the planets of the worst treehuggers that is only an added benefit, but don’t count on it.

    I would rather say it co-opts polar bear imagery and makes it less effective as a credible meme for the climate change promoters.

  4. Nissan of course speaks metaphorically: Pedaling our greenie-weenie ooze-mobile is like embracing charismatic mega-fauna, who will be pathetically grateful for your smarmy, self-righteous driveling on their behalf. Especially at lunch time.

  5. I actually saw this commercial earlier today and thought to myself, give it up with the polar bears already. I liked the polar bears dropping from the sky commercial better. I was also wondering how good polar bear meat is to eat? I was hungry at the time.

  6. No, no. It’s so utterly tasteless but I’m going to make the gag anyway;

    After filming advert out take;
    Director to Polar Bear: “There was no need to bite his head off!”

  7. Remember the “Grizzly Man”? He ended up as bear scat in the Alaska woods. Polar bears make grizzlies look tame by comparison. They are top predators for crying out loud. A polar bear could quite easily kill and eat and adult male African lion. All bears can attack and kill but I’ve read that only the polar bear will actually hunt humans. Other than man they have virtually no predators although Orca have been known to kill them in the water…but I suspect the whales prefer to avoid such encounters.

    Another site recently ran a photo of a polar bear on a little ice floe. It had killed a seal. The small ice floe was about 2/3 stained bright red with blood. All I could think was…Ahhhh…that’s poor little polar bear is trapped on an ice floe that has been stained red by global warming.

  8. Ah. So, can we presume you are going to get stuck into all ads that use animals in a way that ignores their real likely behaviour? You know, John West, Bundy Bear, 1 billion ads with chimps and monkeys?

    Come on. Get a life.

    And you guys accuse others of being sanctimonious.

  9. Michael says:
    September 10, 2010 at 8:38 pm

    “…I was also wondering how good polar bear meat is to eat? I was hungry at the time.”
    ______________________________________________________

    It tastes about the same as Giant Panda.

  10. Note to those that wish to play with large carnivores:
    1) The big cats, will tear your arm off, only because it couldn’t get your whole body through the bars, …

    Still want to play?

  11. One of my ranger friends from my National Park Service days told of a couple who came to park headquarters wanting the Park Service to pay for the damage to the interior of their car. They had coaxed a bear into the back seat with food in their attempt at getting a ‘cool’ picture of a bear in their car…and they lived to tell about it.

  12. Anthony,
    thanks for this rebuttal to such an inane ad. I groaned when first seeing it and realized that Nissan will do anything to sell cars. Bears are surely not cuddly “teddys” that we all had as tots…as seen in recent attacks in national parks.

  13. Apparently polar bears are dropping in size as their populations increase in Hudson Bay,the southern limit of their range. This could be due to a shortage of easily available protein in their diet.So its logical ,free train tickets for those who want to hug a polar bear. This could be a boon for the local economy, save the bears body mass, provide savage darwinism TV and endless amusement for cynics and social scientist. I cannot find a down side to encouraging the hugging of polar bears. Of course I doubt I will every own a Nissan/Datsun again either, if they think their potential buyers are this stupid.

  14. “Some people are actually stupid enough to try it.” But they will all be gullible lefties, so what’s the harm?

  15. Darwin’s law says……

    Stupid people are SUPPOSED to be eaten by polar bears before they have stupid children. That way, the species ends up smarter and more likely to survive.

    (Well, it must say that somewhere anyway.)

    Hey, can I help it if that’s the scientific theory that most people subscribe to???

    Oh, and
    ****************
    Michael says:
    September 10, 2010 at 8:38 pm
    ******************

    Polar Bears carry trichinosis. Cook it well done before you eat it. The disease has been eliminated from commercial hog production in the US, but I wouldn’t trust no-name production or wild hogs. They may still carry it.

    http://pubs.aina.ucalgary.ca/arctic/Arctic2-2-98.pdf

    Regards,

    Steamboat Jack (Jon Jewett’s evil twin)

  16. I just got back from Yellowstone and actually saw people dumb enough to walk up to rutting Bison. I have no doubts they would walk up to a polar bear.

  17. Oh, lighten up. It’s funny, and wonderfully effective propaganda. I also think Tor Hansson has a point that using this to sell cars could weaken it’s effectiveness for scaremongering.

    People also got upset at Volkswagen for their “shoot the gap” commercial, thinking it might entice someone to try it. I say, if someone is stupid to shoot the gap, or hug a polar bear, just because they saw it in a commercial, then we should strive to put that idea in their heads as soon as possible. Before they procreate.

  18. Of course, equally stupid through ignorance is that they think that polar bears are in danger (Strike One!) and also think that CO2 by man warms the climate. Strike Two!

    The electric car has to be charged using extra energy conversion steps starting at the power plant, making the entire train of energy conversions more than likely less efficient than gasoline and releasing more CO2 in the end than gasoline. Three strikes, yoouu’rre out!

    The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

  19. Dr. Dave,

    There is no cooler animal than the panda. I would have to be very hungry to eat panda meat. I’m just glad they don’t live in the arctic. Can you imagine all the warmists commercials with pandas in them, They might have won using them.

  20. Dr. Dave says:
    September 10, 2010 at 8:46 pm

    All bears can attack and kill but I’ve read that only the polar bear will actually hunt humans.

    That is exactly what I have heard from people who lived in Alaska.
    They also said it is a most dangerous game, because it knows when it is being hunted, and is out to get you before you get it.

  21. I am now just eagerly waiting for the Coke polar bears to bring about an uprising against these upstart ursine usurpers. I mean if not for CO2 they would just be miserable, unable to enjoy all their carbonated beverages. It would certainly make the Christmas commercials more entertaining when they start running them 2 weeks before Halloween.

    JM

  22. Frequently black bear are prepared as one does ham and tastes about the same if done in the “baked ham” fashion. I’ll guess polar bear could be prepared in the same way. Because of a high amount of Vitamin A you should destroy the liver of polar bears.

  23. A driver in a Nissan Leaf is a polar bear candy bar – crunchy on the outside, soft and chewy on the inside.

    Inspired by a Far Side comic.

  24. Michael sed:
    “I was also wondering how good polar bear meat is to eat? I was hungry at the time.”

    Always reminds me of narwhal. And now I have to wonder – is polar bear “the other white meat” too?

  25. Polar bear en truffe et chanterelles

    1 pounds of truffles
    1 large bottle of Madeira
    1 pound of young shallots
    2 pounds of chanterelle mushrooms.
    Polar bear filet for 4
    Sauce veloutée (see recipe online.)

    Sear the polar bear filets in a hot skillet. Set aside to rest. Prepare the truffle/Madeira/mushroom stew in the usual manner.

    Eat the mushroom stew while you get busy picking the Trichinella Nativa roundworms out of the bear meat. Drink the Madeira for entertainment. (If Madeira is not available substitute any other booze on hand.) Discard the bear meat as you can be sure you haven’t found all the parasites.

    If you want a truly effective lifelong diet regimen, eat the bear meat. You will have a spectacular case of trichinosis, and will be thin as a rail till your dying day.

  26. Advertisers pulling at people’s heart strings to sell stuff.

    The other one was Kia using Grandmaster Flash and Melle Mel to sell their product.

    Both equally as manipulative in my opinion because their entire objective is to tap into emotion, not logic. Pure evil.

  27. Park ranger (Yellowstone?): “My problems begin when the smarter bears come into contact with the dumber humans.”

  28. I can’t wait for the whale hugging a fisherman to thank the Asians for not using whale oil by buying coal. It does not get any worse than this ad but time will PROVE me wrong.

  29. Dr. Dave says:
    September 10, 2010 at 8:50 pm
    Michael says:
    September 10, 2010 at 8:38 pm

    “…I was also wondering how good polar bear meat is to eat? I was hungry at the time.”
    ______________________________________________________

    “It tastes about the same as Giant Panda.”
    _______________________________________________________

    Tastes like spotted owl.

  30. About 30 years ago I had a buddy in college who was a Chicago native. During a holiday break he gave me a ride as far as Union station where a friend from home would meet me. He pointed out all sorts of landmarks that were “famous” to native Chicagoans. One was a restaurant that served all manner of wild game and you could actually get polar bear. The Inuit continue to hunt and eat polar bear but I bet it’s hard to find on a Chicago menu anymore.

    Black bear is relatively common on some restaurant menus (particularly out east), but black bear are omnivores. I can’t imagine that a top-of-the-food-chain carnivorous predator would be all that tasty (e.g. lion, tiger, polar bear, etc.).

  31. Michael says:
    September 10, 2010 at 8:38 pm

    “I was also wondering how good polar bear meat is to eat? I was hungry at the time.”

    Well, I met a German tourist who was on his way to kill one. The tag for it was something insane, in the thousands (2k?) and I was surprised they even sold them. I’d be really surprised if he ate any of it.

    If they are anything like black bear then they probably aren’t the best meat. On the other hand, they probably have a higher fat content and their seafood diet might make them taste interesting. As previously mentioned, the liver has fatal levels of vitamin A in it.

  32. If I have any objection to ‘capitalism’, then this is it. The shameless promotion of altruistic principles to sell stuff for a company’s bottom line.

    It also confirms the truism that bad aims are always achieved via good intentions.

    Question is, what’s the solution? Surely not more rules and regulations; that requires bigger government.

  33. Always nice to see the Vancouver area in commercials. Didn’t know they had clean, washed polar bears running around the streets though (all the ones at Stanley Park are kind of yellow). That would certainly temper any plans to visit.

  34. Dr. Dave says:
    September 10, 2010 at 8:46 pm

    Other than man they have virtually no predators although Orca have been known to kill them in the water…but I suspect the whales prefer to avoid such encounters.

    And the polar bears have been known to return the favor. They find a hole in the ice where a whale surfaces to breathe, wait for it to surface, then smash the bone round the whale’s blowhole with their paw.

  35. DEAR ABBIE: I think it’s terrible! I mean how could they just clip out the very last scene, of the blood and paramedics, go ahead and use the ad, and of all things, so soon after his burial. Brings back horrid memories every time I see it on TV. What am I to do?
    — BEING TORN APART IN CA

  36. Believe it or not, a significant percentage (more than half by some estimates…) of black bear attacks on humans are provoked by the humans getting too close (seeking to have their pictures taken with the bears!) or, even more insanely, trying to PET THE WILD BEARS!

    I’m all for this! It could be a win-win situation: keep the bears well fed and help cull the idiots.

  37. This “dances with bears” zoo behaviour illustrates liberal thinking:

    (1) Wishing makes it so.
    (2) Love conquers all.
    (3) All we’ve been told about ___(fill in blank)___ is a misconception.
    (4) If one’s intentions are noble, his actions are beyond reproach, ipso facto
    (5) We can’t really define truth, so lies are just as valid.
    (6) If my cause is noble, then you are evil if you oppose me.
    (7) There are no absolutes; everything is relative.

    I had a gal at a party tell me emphatically that rattlesnakes never bit humans. I have no idea where she got that loony idea; I suspect one of her college profs was behind it. I set her straight (or tried to), but I really didn’t care if she sat on a rattler. I’ve heard some people say that wolves never hunted people in packs, too. Another nutter told me that Pasteur said on his deathbed that he no longer believed in germs. [The source of that tale was an anonymous health-nut writing ten years after Pasteur's death. The story doesn't match those of people who were known to be in attendance at his passing.] These people are barmy in the crumpet.

  38. Doug in Seattle wrote:

    “Didn’t know they had clean, washed polar bears running around the streets though (all the ones at Stanley Park are kind of yellow).”
    =======

    You wonder where the yellow went? … It’s obvious … they brushed their fur with Pepsodent! (It’s been years since I’ve heard that jingle!)

  39. For the poster yesterday who asks the greenies if they think polar bears die in old people’s homes surrounded by their loved ones: My wife would like to know if that home is next to the child care center for baby seals?

  40. One reason Anchorage Airport has displays of bears is to “educate” the tourists that bears are dangerous. One would “think” it self-evident that bears are dangerous and to stay away, but there are a lot of stupid tourists.

    In 2008, the record Polar Bear was 12 ft + and over 2,200 lbs.

  41. The idea of moving a ton of batteries around every day fills me with horror. They only last about two years and cost the earth to replace.
    Introduce a polar bear to an environmentalist.

  42. I spent some time in the arctic and fully understand the dangers of polar bears. But then there is Ferdinand the polar bear:

  43. Polar bears, of course, have featured in commeccials for Fox’s Glacier Mints – at least in the UK. There’s also a fox, of course.
    What will happen to the glacier mints if AGW is runaway, as Honest Al Gore seems to believe?
    I’d better stock up now.

  44. I live in a rural area, miles away from the nearest town, where roads tend to flood a lot in the hollows so a small electric car would be quite useless to me. I do drive a Nissan X Trail (small SUV) and there is no way I’d swap it for what is basically a wind-up Noddy car with a low wheelbase. I like to keep my feet dry and my tyres gripping the road thanks. Electric cars are for townies where driving such a beast makes more sense.

  45. In this five minute video, the polar bears are shown as threatening. The creepy voice helps to add to the effect.

    “Message to the Environmental Movement – Climategate”

  46. This is Too much! ;) I love Nissan and won’t hear a bad word against them. But that’s because my Nissan is 3.8ltr of twin-turbo V6 NO2 and CO churning speedy goodness ;)

    But seriously. Whilst we are on the polar bear subject, anyone want to do an article covering the monstrous ‘facts’ contained on this page?

    http://www.polarbearsinternational.org/polar-bears/climate-change:

    Craig: fully paid up member of PETA ( people for the eating of tasty animals )

  47. If this stupid ad encourages equally stupid idiots to jump into polar bear enclosures, I’m all for it.
    Natural selection, and all that.

  48. I humbly confess I thought this ad was funny. It was so absurd it made me laugh. I felt the writers knew darn well we are sick to death of having polar bears milked for sentimental value, and was playing off the fact we want to gag when we hear certain theme-music and see a polar bear.

    I stand corrected. There are idiots who believe whatever they see on TV. We should insist on a higher standard of truth.

    However I have wasted too much of my life impotently raging at TV sets. (My pet peeve is the stuff they advertize as “nutritious” and sell to little kids, when it is fifty percent sugar, and makes kids bounce off the wall,) (and school-teachers cry out for Ritalin.)

    We should demand truth in advertizing.
    We should demand truth in politicians.
    We should demand truth in climate scientists.

    However, in the mean time, I sigh and accept the fact we live in a world of outrageous liars. Some of the liars are so outrageous I can’t help but shake my head and laugh.

    This ad is a case of that.

  49. If Gore is pushing so much to save the Polar Bears, why not put one of those cute big fuzzy things in his house as a surprise?

  50. If you have ever seen polar bears like I have, up close and personal with no cages, then your opinion will vary. At Ft Churchill Ca, a research facility used for study of the aurora borealis, you do not go outside without a heavy caliber gun at the ready.

    These are huge, brutish, no fear, animals, who can kill you with one single backhanded swipe. What are people thinking … Besides if man could wipe them all out, all we would have to do is get more brown bears to move north for free seals. They would turn white quick enough.

    What is, has not always been.

  51. Polar bears advertise Bundaberg Rum. I haven’t been able to work out what polar bears have to do with rum produced in subtropical Queensland.

  52. If a wild polar bear had its “arms” around a person like that, the next step would be to bite the person’s neck to make the kill. Then lunch.

    The infantile “Disney” version of mother nature still pervades into adulthood.

  53. I happened to spot this commercial last night and was pleased to see a post on the commercial today.

    I don’t often have the sound on for TV – can’t hear it anyhow even with both hearing aids in and sound is permanently muted on my ‘puter – so when I spotted the commercial, I was wondering who made it and where they were going with it.

    I admit that I was hoping the upshot was going to be that the poley-bear was going to town to kick someone’s @$$. Disappointing last 5 seconds…

    As for the effectiveness of the commercial, I think Nissan scored a home run. A major goal of advertising is that when people are thinking about cars, your brand will pop into their mind and you’ll go check them out. The 370Z commercials worked for me. I certainly remembered them and checked them out. They got their shot at my wallet. (Wound up buying a CTS instead, although I passed on the V-version. I have trouble keeping cars under triple-digit-mph speeds. Outstanding performance and two extra seats. What’s not to like? Vroom! Vroom! Mazda lost too.)

    For all of you naysayers of the ad; it worked. You reacted, albeit negatively. The Nissan/electric vehicle connection has been made. If by political force we have to buy electric vehicles, Nissan will pop into your heads.

  54. Bundy Rum (Bundaberg) pretty yummy over ice.
    and after a few some people ACT like bears with sore heads..

    thanks everyone for the fun film clips:-)

  55. I was wondering if Disney was the first to humanize animals, reptiles, snakes, insects and blobs or did someone do that earlier like Alice in Wonderland. At any rate its an example of how fiction is used in the debate and to sell a product.
    As for electric cars, I have enough batteries to charge with cell phones, cameras, weadeaters, lawn mowers, power tools, GPS and such to want to recharge a car before I drive it. I forgot, car and truck batteries. And the hug, while the idiot feels a hug the bear smells lunch. And the animal does not care if its a child or an adult, male or female. They have no restrictions on their hunting license.

  56. ked5 says:
    September 11, 2010 at 12:43 am

    One reason Anchorage Airport has displays of bears is to “educate” the tourists that bears are dangerous. One would “think” it self-evident that bears are dangerous and to stay away, but there are a lot of stupid tourists.

    Sad to say, but all those tourists are our next-door neighbors.

  57. Psychologically, it’s a fascinating commercial that mixes disjoint and opposite emotions associated with 1) a cuddly toy and 2) a merciless killing machine. All that should make you want to buy a car that gives you the warm fuzzies or lets you flee from immanent destruction. I’d love to hear the comments from the focus groups that tested this ad.

  58. “And the polar bears have been known to return the favor. They find a hole in the ice where a whale surfaces to breathe, wait for it to surface, then smash the bone round the whale’s blowhole with their paw.”

    I presume you are refering to Beluga whales. And what utterly despicable behaviour it is too! Yet if it was someone like Glenn Beck who did that, the enviro’s would be up in arms. What hypocrits they are.

  59. The ad will help Nissan sell alot of cars. It promotes their Leaf electric car and positions them as a green company (what ever that means) for buyers who care. That will be tens of millions of potential consumers. And it reminds the public that human-caused global warming carries a terrible cost for other creatures. Have a nice day, nutjobs.

  60. There was a technical need in Russia back when Putin was a boy, for a 2-stroke engine to replace a 4-stroke one. In those days, a project like that required party approval which was duly applied for. After a long wait, the answer came back: the committe believes that such a large technical step should be made with more caution and that they had decided to allow the development of a 3-stroke motor to ensure a greater chance of sucess. (If you do not understand why this was a ludicrous idea then you need to get out more.)

    Mix politics with engineering and you get a Nissan Leaf which is fuel ineficient to a laughable degree: Burn fossil fuel to produce electricity (efficiency loss), distribute electricity over a distance (efficiency loss), store electricity in a battery (efficiency loss). If you burn the fuel in the car (internal combustion engine), you avoid the three losses. In other words, you burn less fossil fuel.

  61. A car choice is an extension of your personality. If you drive a lifted truck with things hangin off the hitch or a greeneie weenie mobile, the content of the ad connects with certain koolaid drinkers. Their being seen in a car send a message on what is important to them.
    You will not see a cowboy wearing a tall hat drive VW beetle. The VW has great headroom compared to most cars.
    The Leaf will sell well to flakes. The market will be flooded with trade ins when people discover the hassle. Electric for many years will be a great choice for a 2nd or 3rd vehicle.

  62. a test for Gebius,. I challenge some devoted greenie to buy one, crawl out of their yurt in the Rockies and drive it to Cancun for the climate take over pep rally. It would never make it. Electric problems all the way. By the time they spent 80% of drive time hooked to a charger, the trip would take months.

  63. Dr. Dave says:
    September 10, 2010 at 8:50 pm
    Michael says:
    September 10, 2010 at 8:38 pm

    “…I was also wondering how good polar bear meat is to eat? I was hungry at the time.”
    ______________________________________________________

    It tastes about the same as Giant Panda.

    Cut meat into one inch squares. Marinate in a mixture of extra virgin olive oil, Cajun blackened seasoning, Thunderbird apple wine, ground sassafras root, ginger, garlic salt, crushed habanero pepper and cumin.

    Roll in a batter of egg, balsamic vinegar and crushed graham crackers.

    Deep fat fry until well browned.

    Serve covered with Rudy’s BBQ sauce.

    Tastes like Buffalo Wings.

    (You knew it was coming)

  64. I don’t think anyone is saying electric cars are a perfect solution for everyone. I don’t agree that they are less efficient however. There are energy conversion losses involved with burning fuel at a power plant, then transmitting that electricity vast distances through the grid to your home charger but its not greater than losses already in most fossil fuel powered vehicles. Now if the power plant is based on falling water, combined cycle, or nuclear, the advantage for electric becomes greater.

    Anthony, this is a little OT, but what sort of electric car do you own?

  65. I had an argument with a staffer at the Alaska Marine Highway ferry terminal in Ketchikan a few weeks ago. I happened to mention that I would be always carrying a stainless steel revolver on my hip at last-ditch protection against bears. The woman screeched that I had no right to self-defense, since the bears were in Alaska first. I was not surprised to learn that she was a Californicator, with only a few years of residence in Alaska.

    On the way north, in British Columbia, I ran into someone equally stupid. He said that I couldn’t have a revolver in Alaska because Canada banned them, and Alaska was a Canadian province. That was almost as bad as the green border inspector who demanded to know if I was going to rent a car at Prince Rupert to drive along the Alaska Marine Highway. He flushed red when I pointed out that the AMH is the state ferry system, not a road, and shouted at me to move on. His colleague, standing nearby, looked mortified at the behavior.

  66. Oops, I noticed a typo. “…at last-ditch protection…” should be AS, of course. And to concerned folks, I know full well the hassle of trying to bring ANY firearms through Canada. When I make my move, in the near future, I will take the long ferry from Bellingham, WA, to Ketchikan, so I don’t go through Canadian customs with my guns and other items of a sensitive nature.

  67. Grew up on wild game meat Pop would kill a young bear usually every season.
    This being Black bear in NE Oregon. They are probably mostly vegetarian,
    with the occasional calf, deer or poodle. Meat’s not bad kind of like pork, well cooked
    is definitely a good idea. I’ve had Cougar and Rattlesnake too. Rattlesnake’s the best.
    Cats are too high on the food chain, for great meat, would imagine like said above,
    Polar bears aren’t going to be that great.
    Oh, one other thing-you had better be prepared for a shock when you see a skinned
    bear hanging – they are appallingly human-looking..

  68. Would anyone here hug a grizzly bear? :o)

    Polar Bears:
    One of the Earth’s largest and most powerful carnivores, the polar bear is found in all the world’s Arctic seas and coastal lines. In appearance, it differs from other bears in its longer neck, long narrow head and longer legs as well as its signature creamy white coat.

    The polar bear may surpass the Alaskan grizzly in size. Adult males usually weigh between 400 and 600 kg (880 to 1300 lb.) but occasionally as much as 800 kg (1,760 lb.). Females are 15 to 20% smaller than males.

    Polar Bears are the most carnivorous of the bears.”

    http://nature.ca/notebooks/english/polbear.htm

    http://www.extremescience.com/zoom/index.php/animal-kingdom-records/106-polar-bear-biggest-carnivore

  69. They cut the commercial short! It was actually a Coke add. After the hug, the Poley bear sat down had a rum and Coka-cola – – – and a bite to eat. Hey, it was a long walk.
    /sarc
    Actually, I thought it was graphically well down, even though the premiss, on a scale of 1-10 was a -1.5.
    But hey, if the environmentalists, the EPA (with the courts agreement) and the AWG crowd make some naturally vicious animal into a “human loving’, to be pitied creature why shouldn’t a bunch of capitalists feature it to hype their products? I’m no fan of Nissan, but neither they nor their PR firm twisted the reality of what a Polar Bear is into something just short of a saint.

  70. Doug in Seattle says:
    September 10, 2010 at 10:39 pm

    Always nice to see the Vancouver area in commercials. Didn’t know they had clean, washed polar bears running around the streets though (all the ones at Stanley Park are kind of yellow). That would certainly temper any plans to visit.

    Stanley Park is a bad area. All those bears smoke.

  71. The predictable Joe Romm is waiting for us all to “go nuts” over his rebuttal to this story.

    Anyone gone nuts yet? Anyone?

  72. “I happened to mention that I would be always carrying a stainless steel revolver on my hip at last-ditch protection against bears.”

    I would suggest you either carry a high-powered rifle or nothing, unless you plan on trying to scare the bear off with the bang (which might well work). Your chance of actually killing a bear with a revolver is negligible, and wounding it would be extremely dangerous.
    I might add that in Svalbard, where Polar Bears are quite common, carrying a rifle is mandatory whenever you are outside a settlement. However using it except when under direct attack is strictly prohibited, and if you are a tourist guide and have to kill a Polar Bear you will probably lose your licence, since you are supposed to be professional enough not to get into a situation where you have to use the rifle.
    The result of this is that in Svalbard the macho thing to do when meeting a Polar Bear is not to have to kill it, with the result that very few Polar Bears are shot, while nobody has actually been killed by one for more than 50 years.

  73. The polar bear will be extinct by the end of this century, except for a few zoo animals, unless we heed the warnings of our scientists in the next few years and actually do something. Somehow this post turned the ad into a warning about the bears’ danger to humans instead.

    Can’t say I’m surprised. WUWT readers think that either their big houses and cars are far more important, or that polar bear heads belong on the walls of their dens.

  74. Simon Filiatrault

    Many/most people borrow money to finance at least part of the purchase of an automobile. Did you factor in the long-term interest cost in your comparison?

  75. Mike Roddy says:” …or that polar bear heads belong on the walls of their dens.”

    No way, but they do make great rugs in front of the fireplace.

  76. Arizona CJ says:
    September 10, 2010 at 11:06 pm

    Believe it or not, a significant percentage (more than half by some estimates…) of black bear attacks on humans are provoked by the humans getting too close (seeking to have their pictures taken with the bears!) or, even more insanely, trying to PET THE WILD BEARS!

    Jokes aside, in the light of your words, I just hope some innocent young person or child does not see that ad, subliminally registered, and sometime in the future get into a situation and remember the cuzzy, wuzzy bear in that ad as they try to approach one, pet one, or even hug one. Just look at that youngster in the other video, you see initial total trust. It does happen an incredible number of times. Your right, just ask a ranger. I sincerely hope there are no mauls or deaths directly attributable to this very ad.

    ( Joe Romm and his commenters: If something like that ever occurs, just recall YOUR words. )

  77. Tor Hansson says:
    September 10, 2010 at 8:20 pm

    Awww. I don’t see the great harm. This was hyperbole in the service of humor.

    If it help rid the planets of the worst treehuggers that is only an added benefit, but don’t count on it.

    I would rather say it co-opts polar bear imagery and makes it less effective as a credible meme for the climate change promoters.
    ____________________________________________________
    Tor, I witness the type of stupidity Anthony is talking about at Yellowstone National Park. Some complete idiot got between a mother brown bear and her cubs, turned his back on Mama and had his kids walk up to the cubs while he took pictures…..

    I call it the “bambi complex” there are too many city types that do not understand that animals are NOT HUMAN and they can and WILL KILL YOU. I have dealt with this type of idiocy as a professional for over twenty years. The only thing that has kept people from being killed was constant vigilance, the amount of training I put in my animals and the fact I vigorously cull any animal that isn’t dead calm in temperament.

  78. Here in Queensland Australia, we have a small island called Fraser Island. Very very popular with 4WD tourists.
    The island is also home to many pure strain Dingos. Numerous children have been bitten by these “puppies”, consequently a number of dingos have been tracked down and killed.
    The stupidity of parents allowing toddlers in nappies to wonder off in wild dingo country beggars belief.
    maybe some shouldn’t be allowed to procreate.

  79. tty, perhaps I should have specified something. I would never consider any revolver a defense against the big bears. In polar bear country, I would carry a big-bore rifle. In brownie/grizzly territory I would possibly carry my Browning Gold shotgun loaded with slugs. But I am moving to a small island offshore of the west coast of Prince of Wales Island, one of the few spots in Alaska without the big bears. I will be dealing with black bears, and I have dealt with black bears for half a century. Only in an emergency should I have to use my revolver. And I am aware of the polar bear situation in Svalbard. All of my people came to the USA from Norway, and I maintain significant contacts with friends and relatives there. Many are hunters, and some are from the far north.

  80. Speaking of bears and people…
    Many years ago, an old gentleman who used to lead hikes, told a story about a young woman friend. She was hiking from the floor of Yosemite Valley up to the top of a waterfall. Since she was the only person up there at the time, she decided to take a sunbath, but fell asleep. She was rudely awakened by a warm, raspy tongue on her abdomen. Apparently the black bear was after the coconut oil in her suntan lotion!

  81. Found in: EFS_Junior on September 11, 2010 at 11:28 pm

    REPLY: It doesn’t matter which they think, I won’t accept packages from you, (or anyone else sending similar snark) save your money – Anthony

    Ah, just have him send the goods or the money (preferably the cash) here. There’s a cold hard winter coming, people won’t want to venture outdoors for extraneous shopping, and they’ll be facing high energy and food costs. Near the end of the year, there may be many wee ones in situations they’ll find unbearable.

    Of course devotees of the Hansen and Tamino faith may find that hard to believe as 2010 is planned to be the hottest year ever, and decide there is no need for them to help out. Well, they were expecting an ice-free North Pole to happen soon, thus they should have expected and planned for coughing up their fair share of what’s needed to compensate for the consequences naturally arising from that waited-for condition.
    ;-)

  82. Dr. Dave says:

    Remember the “Grizzly Man”? He ended up as bear scat in the Alaska woods. Polar bears make grizzlies look tame by comparison. They are top predators for crying out loud. A polar bear could quite easily kill and eat and adult male African lion.
    Not that an African lion and a polar bear are likely to encounter each other. Wonder how things would work out between a pride of lions and a polar bear. Lions being unusual amongst felines since several animals hunt co-operativly.

    All bears can attack and kill but I’ve read that only the polar bear will actually hunt humans. Other than man they have virtually no predators although Orca have been known to kill them in the water…but I suspect the whales prefer to avoid such encounters.

    Orca are also top predators. Are such cases the results of Orca choosing to attack a bear or a bear attacking an Orca (possibly a juvenile) then finding itself confronting the entire pod.

  83. jorgekafkazar says:

    I had a gal at a party tell me emphatically that rattlesnakes never bit humans. I have no idea where she got that loony idea; I suspect one of her college profs was behind it. I set her straight (or tried to), but I really didn’t care if she sat on a rattler.

    There’s probably a grain of truth in that the snake is reluctant to “waste” venom to get rid of a large animal which it regards as “threat” rather than “prey”.

  84. Mark Folkestad says:

    I had an argument with a staffer at the Alaska Marine Highway ferry terminal in Ketchikan a few weeks ago. I happened to mention that I would be always carrying a stainless steel revolver on my hip at last-ditch protection against bears.

    A more reasoned objection would be that a rifle is likely to be more use against a polar bear than any handgun.

  85. Sigh! Obviously the other Mark just above did not read my clarification. The discussion with the ferry staffer revolved around the possibility of my encountering a BLACK bear on my wanderings around Prince of Wales Island, at the south tip of the Alaska Panhandle.

  86. I remember the grizzly man. He had no use for information from scientists. Better dead than informed.

    Where is the link to the guy in BC fedding one of the 22 bears around his house out of his hand?

    Could you please give the url to your post about people offering cokes to polar bears after watching the super bowl.

  87. The actor/Polar Bear in the commercial lives a few doors down the street from me in Abbotsford, BC, and seems a gentle sort. The bear is a professional actor and has had numerous acting jobs.

    I agree that it is irresponsible to misrepresent Polar Bears, as a species, as gentle and loving creatures. The bear in the commercial is not a wild Polar Bear but rather a large domesticated/tamed animal that looks just like a wild Polar Bear.

  88. Panic is over. Given that neither man nor beast cast an appreciable shadow, or reflect in the paintwork of the car, what we are seeing are two Undead greeting each other.

    Both will be trawling the neighbourhood to eat human brains once the smoochies are over…

  89. Pogi the Polar Bear from Ice and Stone Park – “I’m smarter than the average warmie – pass another tree hugger from thepic-e-nic basket, Hoo-Hoo”

  90. Polar bears be dammned, not many people are going to by a $32,000 sub compact car + like $3000 for a charging station (of course Uncle Sam will make us regular Joes foot at lesat part of that bill unwillingly). Also note that the vast majority of the worlds population that doesn’t have a garage are kind of SOL. If you live in an apartment, condo, or townhouse tough biscuits. 100 mile range (on flat surface, with no AC or heat, in warm weather), 100 hp, for basically $35,000? Uh, no thanks, I’d rather hug the polar bear.

  91. Luboš Motl says:
    September 11, 2010 at 12:01 am

    Re: The Leopard and the baby – I have seen that behavior with our domestic cats. They have killed many a squirrel (and other small animals), but twice when a baby squirrel was blown out of its nest, none attacked it. They guarded it until my wife or I came out and picked it up.

    I wonder if that is a feline trait?

  92. Luboš Motl says:
    September 11, 2010 at 12:01 am
    “Polar bears are godless monster killing machines, of course.
    But look how a leopard who could enjoy a really tasteful snack behaved near a baby monkey:”

    My neighbor, who comes from South Africa, emailed me a photo of a female Rhodesian Ridgeback, nursing a piglet that had become separated from its mother. It’s ironic, considering that Ridgebacks are the premier lion-hunting dogs in the Southern part of the continent. And it’s especially surprising, considering that she hadn’t been lactating when she was first approached by the piglet. Sometimes the tend-and-befriend drive trumps the prey drive.

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