The polar bear poster that launched a thousand quips

http://www.arctic.noaa.gov/images/polarbear/schliebe_10.jpg

Photo by Scott Schliebe used by Monnett to make a point. NOAA Source: http://www.arctic.noaa.gov/images/polarbear/schliebe_10.jpg

Much has been made of the revelation that Charles Monnett is under suspension and investigation related to the issues swirling around drowned polar bears and dubious statistical license used to calculate mortality. I got a request from a reader to locate the poster that started it all. Happy to oblige. See below

Monnett, C., Gleason, J. S., and L. M. Rotterman, 2005. Potential effects of diminished sea ice on open-water swimming, mortality, and distribution of polar bears during fall in the Alaskan Beaufort Sea. 16th Biennial Conference on the Biology of Marine Mammals, 12-16 December 2005, San Diego, CA.

Here’s the image and full resolution PDF:

MarineMammalConference-Dec2005 (PDF)

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78 Responses to The polar bear poster that launched a thousand quips

  1. DaveF says:

    A British teenager was killed and several others injured by a Polar bear just the other day in Norway (it’s all over the British press if anyone wants to check). Those bears are as cuddly as crocodiles.

  2. Louis says:

    Was the teen trying to hug the Polar bear, like in the commercial?

  3. Brian H says:

    Polar bears are the largest, strongest, and toughest bears on the planet. Cuddling is not an option.

  4. EthicallyCivil says:

    I love the comment that the redistribution of bear population could be either (1) being “stranded” on land by melting ice or (2) the disposal of bowhead whale carcasses.

    Trying not to be sarcastic, I find it amazing that any one would struggle between the possibilities of the best swimming land mammals being stranded, and one of the best omnivorous scavengers on the planet raiding wouldn’t be motivated by a meat, fat, and bone garbage pile…

  5. Independent says:

    I hear they like Coke though…maybe just share some with them for safe passage?

  6. James Evans says:

    DaveF:
    “A British teenager was killed and several others injured by a Polar bear just the other day in Norway…”

    But you forgot the punchline. The BBC says this is due to climate change:

    “Incidents like this, however, could become more common.
    The reason is climate change. As rising temperatures melt the sea ice, the number of polar bears may rapidly dwindle. That could mean that there are far fewer bears surviving for people to come into conflict with. But if polar bear numbers fall, we may revere them even more, with more tourists and adventurers flocking to catch a final glimpse of these animals.”

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/nature/14422118

    Yes, that’s right. Because terrifying climate change is killing all the lovely bears, we will increasingly go out to cuddle them, and get killed. Really. That’s the BBC.

  7. ChE says:

    You walk out you door, and find a dollar in the street. You pick up the dollar, and look both ways for another dollar. You don’t see any, so you go back in your house.

    You’re a climate scientist so, you write a report that says that you found a dollar, and could see 100 feet in each direction, so there’s got to be on average a dollar every 200′. You then publish a paper claiming that it’s SCIENCE!!! that there are $25 laying around on every mile.

    The logic’s impeccable.

  8. Jeremy says:

    Seems odd that 7 years of averaging on sea ice observations yields *ONLY* 1 observation for nearly all points observed. It’s like nature said, “You shall only have 1 possibility.” And if the sea ice is so rare in that area in September for so many years, why record the absence? It seems like you’d rather note the presence of ice.

    They also seem to be melding different years of observations without attribution (though it is only a poster, so it’s no big deal really). In the comparisons between where polar bears are found, they are using work that is clearly not their own (since admittedly their own is from 97-2004).

  9. AnonyMoose says:

    Fortunately, a leader/guide of the group of teens had a gun, and fetched it after the bear attack began. Unfortunately, they had not posted sentries despite having seen a bear. An explosive trip-wire failed.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-14415592

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/norway/8687292/Norway-polar-bear-attack-failings-that-left-Horatio-Chapple-at-bears-mercy.html

  10. Polar Bear cubs are cute and cuddly.

    Fully grown, they are the largest carnivores on the planet!

  11. DaveF says:

    Louis 11:46:
    No, they were all asleep in their tents; the trip wire that was supposed to set off a small explosive didn’t work; none of the four rounds in the Mauser k98k rifle went off when fired – the instructor had to re-use one of them and this time it worked and killed the bear. If they had been more competent nobody would have been hurt, not even the poor bear (which was just doing what bears do).
    James Evans 12:04:
    Thanks, James, I hadn’t seen that. Why am I not surprised, though?
    Best wishes to you both.

  12. Peter Walsh says:

    Louis says:
    August 8, 2011 at 11:46 am

    “Was the teen trying to hug the Polar bear, like in the commercial?”

    Louis, that comment may appear to be funny but believe me it is not.

    I (here in Dublin, Ireland) have been following this tragedy where a young man with obvious great potential was tragically killed by a polar bear and several of his companions were seriously injured. One of these actually had teeth from the bear embedded in his skull.

    A family in the United Kingdom is in mourning for their son and all that you can do is to make pathetic jokes.

    Your comment is far worse than that which trolls are so fond of posting on various blogs and it should be deleted by the moderators. Even trolls would not be so crass.

    Total and absolute shame on you.

    Perhaps others who read here and post comments might try to remember this young man.

  13. dtbronzich says:

    Actually, Polar Bears are the only modern bear that is 100% carnivorous, while all other bears are closer to being omnivorous. Remember, you are meat. The opposite viewpoint of course, is “with Polar Bear numbers on the rise, incidents of this type will become more common, as tourists seek closer contact”!

    http://www.nationalpost.com/news/story.html?id=1ea8233f-14da-4a44-b839-b71a9e5df868

    http://www.redstate.com/kjl291/2009/06/28/polar-bear-population-on-the-rise-according-to-scientist-not-declining-%E2%80%93-as-the-al-gore-crowd-tells-everyone-polar-bear-expert-barred-from-testifying/

    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,138346,00.html

    Polar Bears are also cannibals in the true sense of the word, actively hunting and killing their own kind.

  14. Mike Smith says:

    Speaking of climate change and polar bears, there was a horrifying incident at Barrow, AK when a polar bear attacked and killed the National Weather Service employee launching a weather balloon.

  15. Mike Jowsey says:

    @ James Evans August 8, 2011 at 12:04 pm

    Because terrifying climate change is killing all the lovely bears, we will increasingly go out to cuddle them, and get killed. Really. That’s the BBC.

    Unbelievable! If it weren’t such a tragic waste of space, time, ink and paper, it would be funny.

  16. Anthony Watts says:

    re: Mike Smith

    Along those lines…polar bears were a big concern on the DEW line when it came to deciding whether to take a temperature reading or not.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2008/07/17/fabricating-temperatures-on-the-dew-line/

  17. anorak2 says:

    On the Svalbard archipelago carrying a rifle outside of settlements is mandatory. You pay a hefty fine if officials meet you not carrying a gun. So it’s not a fortunate coincidence that they had rifles, they were bound to. Tragic that it didn’t work out for whatever reason.

  18. cirby says:

    Charles S. Opalek, PE says:
    “Fully grown, they are the largest carnivores on the planet!”

    Naah – just the largest land-based carnivores.

    Sperm whales are much, MUCH bigger. As in 25 times the size of the biggest polar bear ever found.

  19. Ray says:

    I don’t see any dead polar bear in that picture….

  20. Tom in Florida says:

    Peter Walsh says:
    August 8, 2011 at 12:38 pm
    “Perhaps others who read here and post comments might try to remember this young man.”

    While the loss of the life of a young man is tragic, I cannot also help feeling that the shooting of a polar bear doing what comes natural while in it’s own natural environment that has been invaded by humans is even more so.

  21. DesertYote says:

    Mike Smith
    August 8, 2011 at 12:43 pm

    Speaking of climate change and polar bears, there was a horrifying incident at Barrow, AK when a polar bear attacked and killed the National Weather Service employee launching a weather balloon.
    ###

    One of my NCOIC was stationed in Alaska during the 60’s. He has nasty scars on his back and on his arm, and a bear skin rug on his floor. He’s lucky to be alive. The short lived mauling came after the bear had taken the four slugs that eventually killed him.

  22. Doug Proctor says:

    The danger that polar bears present is why the population of polar bears around Churchill is the highest it has been since the ’40s: the army at the Churchill DEW station shot those wandering around the base and the Churchill garbage dump, that is the ones the visiting generals etc. didn’t shoot for sport.

  23. Every year 700 bears are legally hunted. An unknown number are poached. No apparent problem, but find 4 “drowned” and there is uproar. Do I smell the stench of double standards?

  24. Fred from Canuckistan says:

    The people who lead that Arctic camping trip and didn’t bring a dog/s along should be charged with Criminal Stupidity.

    I used to live in the Arctic and a BIG rule was always bring the dogs . . . best Polar Bear trip wire you can get.

    The only way you’ll get time to use the rifle.

  25. Peter Walsh says:

    Tom in Florida says:
    August 8, 2011 at 1:33 pm

    Peter Walsh says:
    August 8, 2011 at 12:38 pm
    “Perhaps others who read here and post comments might try to remember this young man.”

    While the loss of the life of a young man is tragic, I cannot also help feeling that the shooting of a polar bear doing what comes natural while in it’s own natural environment that has been invaded by humans is even more so.

    Tom, I do agree with you but you misquoted me in that you only copied and pasted part of my comment.

    Here is the completer comment:

    I (here in Dublin, Ireland) have been following this tragedy where a young man with obvious great potential was tragically killed by a polar bear and several of his companions were seriously injured. One of these actually had teeth from the bear embedded in his skull.

    A family in the United Kingdom is in mourning for their son and all that you can do is to make pathetic jokes.

    Your comment is far worse than that which trolls are so fond of posting on various blogs and it should be deleted by the moderators. Even trolls would not be so crass.

    Total and absolute shame on you.

    Perhaps others who read here and post comments might try to remember this young man.

    Now, please comment on the full comment and don’t be selective.

  26. Duster says:

    Tom in Florida says:
    August 8, 2011 at 1:33 pm

    It is also our natural environment and has been for 30 of thousand years or more. Both parties did what “comes natural.” As often as I grumble about development, I find the “green” perception that humans are somehow “invading” parts of the environment where they don’t belong to be profoundly ignorant. The human race reached every significant land mass before the end of the last glacial epoch, arriving in fact in Australia more than 30,000 years ago and in the Americas more than 16,000 years ago. There is no significant landmass except antarctica that does not have (or in some modern case “had”) an indigenous human population.

  27. Jeremy says:

    Peter Walsh says:
    August 8, 2011 at 12:38 pm

    …Your comment is far worse than that which trolls are so fond of posting on various blogs and it should be deleted by the moderators. Even trolls would not be so crass.

    Total and absolute shame on you.

    Perhaps others who read here and post comments might try to remember this young man.

    I’m not telling you what to find offensive, but I do think you should spend more time online. Thick skin doesn’t begin to cover its affects on me and others I know.

    Lets take a reasoned look at what the internet does to us. It bombards us with human tragedy every hour. It sends news of non-existent scientific achievement before the papers are ever published. It implies to us that we should know all about Kate Gosselin’s next boyfriend while downplaying the future effects of the first ever lowering of the U.S. credit rating. It shows us faces of people who died before their familes know. It puts corporations with secret deals with marketing companies in charge of our personal information while blasting any request for government to ask for personal information. It promises a great future where all humans are plugged in and a homogeneous social network exists, while protecting no ones privacy.

    Now while it’s never pretty to crack wise about someone else’s death, it’s not exactly something that any human online enough has the emotion to deal with as fast as the stories come in. To do so would be to turn oneself into an emotional basket case. So, having said that, Please cut the guy a little slack (just a little).

    For future reference, if I should ever die in a hilarious way, I will haunt you all for NOT creating an internet meme about it.

  28. TomB says:

    Charles S. Opalek, PE says:
    August 8, 2011 at 12:24 pm

    Polar Bear cubs are cute and cuddly.

    Fully grown, they are the largest carnivores on the planet!

    They might be the largest carnivore on the ~surface~ of the planet, but I think Orcas are bigger.

  29. A family in the United Kingdom is in mourning for their son and all that you can do is to make pathetic jokes.

    Maybe your self-righteous sanctimony looks pretty in Ireland, but here it just looks like someone who can’t find anything better to do.

  30. DaveF says:

    Hey, fellas, no need to get into unpleasant arguments. It is a tragedy, of course, but it looks like they went out with an ancient rifle, ancient ammunition and insufficient amounts of it. Foolish. I suppose my original point was that perhaps people are lulled into a false sense of security by the ‘aaah’ factor of the cute bears, whereas they (sensibly) naturally recoil from those ‘ugly’ crocodiles, and take more sensible precautions.

  31. P.F. says:

    I was at that conference. During the business meeting of the Society for Marine Mammalogy, Vicki Cornish proposed an official SMM Resolution on Climate Change (available here: http://www.marinemammalscience.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&layout=blog&id=66&Itemid=184)
    The proposal came at the end of the meeting and did not allow time for response or comment as was required by the SMM Bylaws. It was expected to be brought up at the next conference in Cape Town, SA. I wrote the SMM president asking about the opportunity for member comment. I was assured there would be an opportunity to comment before formal passing of the resolution. There was a good number of members (including Charter Members like myself) interested in commenting. The Resolution appeared without the required membership comment period.
    Partly in response to that move, I produced the Conference Commemorative Poster for the next conference held in Quebec City. The title was “Marine Mammals of the Northern Cryosphere” and included a reconstruction of the Arctic sea ice conditions for the Medieval Warm Period, the Little Ice Age, and present conditions. The poster was released just days following the CRU email release event in November 2009. When presented to the membership, I drew attention to the “Climategate” event and noted that the MBH1998 hockey stick was loosing credibility and it was time to look carefully at the empirical evidence of historical Arctic sea ice for the Holocene Interglacial. I caught Holy Hell for that, including serious criticism from the present and past SMM presidents.
    The next SMM Conference to be held in Tampa, Florida, this November will include a workshop entitled “How Modern Marine Mammals Evolved — Revelations from the Confluence of Genetics and Climate Change” on the confluence of genetics and Pleistocene – Holocene climate change. There we hope to bring to light what climate change looks like over meaningful time periods (multiple glacial/interglacial cycles) and the affect it has on speciation of marine mammals. Monnett hasn’t signed up for that workshop yet.

  32. Kasuha says:

    There’s something disturbing on that poster… how comes they didn’t find any bears on dry land?!?

  33. Tom in Florida says:

    Duster says:
    August 8, 2011 at 2:09 pm
    “It is also our natural environment and has been for 30 of thousand years or more. Both parties did what “comes natural.” As often as I grumble about development, I find the “green” perception that humans are somehow “invading” parts of the environment where they don’t belong to be profoundly ignorant. The human race reached every significant land mass before the end of the last glacial epoch, arriving in fact in Australia more than 30,000 years ago and in the Americas more than 16,000 years ago. There is no significant landmass except antarctica that does not have (or in some modern case “had”) an indigenous human population.”

    The big difference is that these humans were not living there, they were not searching for food there, they were there on a lark. And now they have killed a polar bear with a gun, nothing natural about that. So while I am no bleeding heart liberal nor am I an advocate of any kind of gun control, I simply commented on the fact that it is truly a tragedy that a polar bear had to die so some humans could have some fun.

  34. DirkH says:

    Peter Walsh says:
    August 8, 2011 at 2:06 pm
    “”I (here in Dublin, Ireland) [...] great Now, please comment on the full comment and don’t be selective.”

    They went up there to sleep in tents in the place with the highest concentration of Polar Bears on the planet; didn’t bring a dog, had difficulties with their Mauser, had a non-working alarm system. In other words, criminally negligent on part of BSES. Shut’em down for good and sue them.

  35. Todd Brophy says:

    Polar Bears are not far removed from Grizzlies. Given a White environment and enough time, I am sure we could recreate them.

  36. KnR says:

    We do not know as yet what Monnett is being investigated about , it could be simply be poor book keeping or project control leading to COI and he could be innocent. So lets not be in a rush to form a hanging jury in the way the hard core AGW faithful are, for once we start taken their approach we lose the right to attack such approaches . And that right is all important , for the public may not understand the science but they do understand and disapprove of spinning and lies , and its the public where the fight needs to be won.

    Frankly like the Hockey stick , Monnet ordinal Polar Bear work seems to be another poor piece of science, large assumptions made on little evidenced, which if that has not become political useful would have been forgotten about or quietly modified. Something that can’t happen now as its become an icon of the AGW fatih and where as you change science, you can’t change icons.

  37. SC-SlyWolf says:

    They shot and killed the polar bear in Norway.

    “The attack took place on the Svalbard archipelago, which is home to about
    2,400 people and 3,000 polar bears …”

  38. pablo an ex pat says:

    Maybe just a bit o/t but it got me thinking about the guy who liked to live with Grizzlies. It worked great for 13 years then he met a hungry bear he didn’t know and he and his girlfriend got eaten.

    The bear was subsequently shot which I consider to be most ironic, the guy regarded himself as being a protector of these animals but his death resulted in one being killed after it did what comes naturally to Grizzlies. Apologies for the Wiki link, I try to avoid using Wiki but oh well.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timothy_Treadwell

  39. Chuckarama says:

    It’s what I’ve been saying all along. Obviously Monnett is a shill for big soda. Without ice, how are the Polar Bears supposed to keep their cola on ice? Nobody wants their mascots drinking warm sodas for the cameras, that’s just not going to sell sugar water. Big Soda is behind all this melting ice crap, except where it’s not.

  40. John Whitman says:

    I have read several links on the internet and recall a nature cable show about animals on earth that, as normal behavior of healthy individuals, deliberately hunt and kill humans for food as a normal behavior under normal conditions.

    The view seems to be common that the two species are polar bears and saltwater crocodile. But between the two there may be a distinction about what is deliberate behavior for healthy animals.

    Crocodiles lie underwater and essentially hit anything the see above the water that moves. On the other hand polar bears are known to deliberately track a human for many miles and kill them for food as a normal part of their wild behavior. Polar born and bears raised around human settlements have an un-wild behavior (at least in part).
    Note: Of course sick or old tigers have been known to kill and eat humans. But not a normal behavior for healthy tigers. Also, people talk about sharks, but it appears that when they attack humans it is a case of mistaken identity . . . they think we are seal-like.

    John

  41. Michael Jankowski says:

    Thinking people might want to direct their anger towards the green, feel-good polar bear commercial with the hug instead of people mocking the absurdity of it in light of the attacks.

  42. James Hein says:

    Is this the photo where the uncropped version shows ice sheets not that far away?

  43. TimC says:

    @Stark Dickflüssig:

    Just to repeat Louis’ exact words: “Was the teen trying to hug the Polar bear, like in the commercial?”

    And Peter Walsh’s (to Louis): “A family in the United Kingdom is in mourning for their son and all that you can do is to make pathetic jokes.”

    The “teen” (let’s show a little respect – his name was Horatio Chapple) was asleep in his tent, as was the whole party since there were no lookouts posted, when the bear came into their encampment and killed him. This is clear from the most cursory look at any of the reports in the UK press.

    We will get to know more about the circumstances – the reason for the Svalbard trip, the trip-wire failure, the misfiring rifle, the organisers’ responsibilities (all of which Horatio must have relied on for his safety being new to the arctic), the wounds suffered before and after he died – when his body is returned to the UK and the coroner’s inquest is held.

    At best Louis’ comment was crass – but yours about Peter Walsh was equally crass before any of us can know the full circumstances of this young man’s untimely death.

  44. Chris in Ga says:

    BBC wasn’t the only one that spun the climate change story – NBC did the same thing on the Today show.

    @ Chuckorama – “Big Soda” … classic

  45. Rob R says:

    Duster

    From your comment it would appear that New Zealand is not a significant land mass. If that is the case then the UK isn’t a significant land mass either.

    NZ was not settled till around 800 to 1000 years ago.

  46. Dave N says:

    Here’s another shot of him, posing in front of some mountains:

  47. Duster says:

    Tom in Florida says:
    August 8, 2011 at 2:45 pm
    ….
    The big difference is that these humans were not living there, they were not searching for food there, they were there on a lark. And now they have killed a polar bear with a gun, nothing natural about that. So while I am no bleeding heart liberal nor am I an advocate of any kind of gun control, I simply commented on the fact that it is truly a tragedy that a polar bear had to die so some humans could have some fun.

    I understand, but it really isn’t a big difference. First both bears and humans explore (go on “larks”). It is a basic behaviour essential in all animals, particularly predators – that includes both humans and bears, who tend to need to better knowledge of their territory than herbivores, so both species are born to do that. In fact, in dietary terms humans, bears, wolves and dogs, and – to a degree – pigs all compete for much the same territory and food resources. Both bears and humans frequently regard each other as edible too, though humans tend to be over-lean for bears and generally a calorie poor reward for predatory effort. Competition breeds conflict and there are usually winners and losers in that. Human-bear conflict has been documented over 100,000 years ago. Also, humans adapt culturally (technologically) so the bear encountering an armed group was not new event between the species. There was no “unnatural” element in any part of that small history. Sad, perhaps, but not unnatural in any form.

  48. clipe says:

    Fred from Canuckistan says:
    August 8, 2011 at 2:03 pm

    The people who lead that Arctic camping trip and didn’t bring a dog/s along should be charged with Criminal Stupidity.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-550612/Killer-polar-bear-Im-just-big-teddy-really.html

  49. Bruce Cobb says:

    In the climate wars, it was their stranded bear.

  50. joel says:

    I read his deposition by the IG. Basically, this is a no brainer. Four drowned bears were seen. The bears died in open water in a high wind event in a month with little sea ice. Like lots of scientists, (solar physicists not included these days) he tried to make a big deal of this one time event. He bosses obviously weren’t pleased. He is supposed to be counting whales to keep the natives happy, not stirring up controversy on flimsy evidence.

    So, he just paid the price for not be politically correct for his part of the Federal govt.

  51. Steve in SC says:

    To quote Lewis Grizzard:
    “That dawg would bite you!”

  52. Peter Walsh says:
    August 8, 2011 at 12:38 pm

    Peter, Nobody here is being disrespectful to the people injured or killed in that attack, if you realize that many readers here have commented many times about how many of these study groups treat these wild animals and their environment with total disrespect and with complete disregard of how dangerous the conditions are and how dangerous the bears actually are, it was an accident waiting to happen, and most readers here would have been aware of this.
    What you are reading is a kind of “I told you so”.
    There should be lessons learned form this attack and it’s sad that a young boy had to lose his life.
    Nature is harsh and unforgiving it takes no prisoners even the most experienced wildlife and outdoors experts have been killed by a momentary lapse of judgment.
    No doubt there could be a panda bear attack because they’re cuddly creatures too aren’t they?

  53. Brian H says:

    Sparky;
    No kiddin’! Pandas are actually very ornery in the wild, if somewhat lethargic. And their digging claws can rip you stem to stern. They eat meat, btw, when they can find it.

  54. Mariss says:

    ChE said:
    August 8, 2011 at 12:10 pm

    You walk out you door, and find a dollar in the street. You pick up the dollar, and look both ways for another dollar. You don’t see any, so you go back in your house.

    You’re a climate scientist so, you write a report that says that you found a dollar, and could see 100 feet in each direction, so there’s got to be on average a dollar every 200′. You then publish a paper claiming that it’s SCIENCE!!! that there are $25 laying around on every mile.

    The logic’s impeccable.
    ——————————————–
    I think your analogy accurately summarizes Monnett’s study. It would work out to $625 per square mile and with 14×10^6 square kilometers of arctic ice it works out to $3.4 billion per your analogy for 3.4 billion dead polar bears just lying around. Again, as you said, the logic is indeed impeccable.

  55. Roger Carr says:

    Anthony: My respects, sir, for the headline: “…that launched a thousand quips”

  56. Cylar says:

    My only regret is that the bear wasn’t shot and killed before it had a chance to maul a human being.

    I reject this sanctimonious crap about how people who go into the wild “had it coming” when one of them is killed by a wild animal. All this crud about how we’re in “their” living room and some such. What never seems to get explained is where “our” territory supposedly ends and “theirs” supposedly begins. Don’t say the edge of developed areas; there have been cougar attacks in suburban neighborhoods in my state.

    As far as I’m concerned, human beings rule this world, and as the only sentient species on this world (and therefore the dominant one) we reserve the right to go where we wish. We also reserve the right to shoot and kill any animal threatening one of us. That the area where this attack took place actually mandates the presence of a rifle tells me that common sense prevails among those who are frequently in these areas; I’ll defer to their judgement rather than that of someone sitting behind his keyboard who is all worried about animals being left unmolested in their natural habitat.

    I don’t care if you fancy yourself a gun control advocate or an environmentalist, or if you steadfastly deny being either of those things. You’re still wrong, Tom.

  57. Cylar says:

    And the Mauser K98k is a damn good rifle. It was the primary weapon issued to the German army during World War II. I’m disappointed to hear that it let them down when they needed it; more likely the culprit was the ammunition. It was probably old surplus stuff like I use at the rifle range…which between the age and the cold weather, were duds.

  58. Richard111 says:

    @Cylar: my thoughts as well. Only very old ammunition could result in four consecutive misfires.
    Looks like those tour organisers need to review their safety procedures.

  59. Rhoda Ramirez says:

    Kasuha, about your bears on land comment: That’s actually not been raised before; that the study was restricted to animals found a sea with absolutely NO thought given to the idea that bears probably normally spend some part of their time on land.

    JoeL: Just how did Monnett decide that the bears died at sea and from drowing? It’s not like he got close to them, their own protocol required that they stay 1200 feet in the air and they apparently didn’t do a fly over – just saw them from a distance. Were they really dead, or were they asleep?

  60. If the polar bears were living forever; would have being 3-4 bears stuck on the top of each other. People drown / bears drown… The real reason they emphasize that is getting too hot for the bear in Arctic circle is: people to accept that: if is getting too hot there – what will happen in the subtropics…? Start panicking, what are you waiting for?! The real problem is: if is no carbon tax, Warmist adhesive fingers are useless.

  61. Peter Walsh says:

    re Dirk H’s comment

    “They went up there to sleep in tents in the place with the highest concentration of Polar Bears on the planet; didn’t bring a dog, had difficulties with their Mauser, had a non-working alarm system.”

    Just as a matter of interest, I was listening in on the BBC just 2 days after the tragic death of Horatio Chapple. An expert in survival in high northern latitudes was explaining the trip wire system generally used to warn of advancing predators, (polar bears in particular) and he said that on occasions his trip wire mechanism had frozen up and was inoperative.

  62. Jordan says:

    Cylar says: “As far as I’m concerned, human beings rule this world, and as the only sentient species on this world (and therefore the dominant one) we reserve the right to go where we wish. We also reserve the right to shoot and kill any animal threatening one of us.”

    And if you cannot shoot them, they reserve the right to maul you and kill you. If they don’t eat you, their chums will join in to do that part of the job.

    On a similar point – guns and bullets are useless against many of the organisms that nature will throw at you and, one of these days, could wipe out large parts of humanity (e.g. influenza).

    My comment is not about gun control. It replies to the notion that we are have somehow mastered Mother Nature. That’s akin to the notion that God created us in his own image = nonsense.

  63. JimF says:

    Cylar (at 9:41 pm) says: All this…about how we’re in “their” living room and some such. What never seems to get explained is where “our” territory supposedly ends and “theirs” supposedly begins….”

    Agree fully. I think we humans actually have existed longer than polar bears. And, on land at least or not in a steel ship at sea, we are the dominant species. We make laws and regulations to protect them from us. They don’t read the ones that protect us from them.

    This was a predictable tragedy. Incompetence and inexperience in dangerous surroundings are a certain recipe. I’m sorry for all – young man, mom and dad, those about to be sued, and lastly, bear – but WE should know better. I’m not taking ignominy from Peter Walsh @ August 8, 2011 at 12:38 pm; WE (as in those who organized this disaster) should have known better. Unfortunately, it will be repeated from time to time. That’s why books like “Maneaters of Kumaon” (Jim Corbett) or “Out of Thin Air” will always be best-sellers.

  64. Nobody expects the sudden Australian drop bear attack. Few survive to tell.

  65. Gary Mount says:

    Here is something of a coincidence of which I read in a letter to the National Post newspaper this morning;
    ” When he was a 15-year-old boy, Admiral Horatio Nelson was a midshipman in the British navy. While on a survey expedition, looking of an Arctic passage to India, he barely escaped death after being attacked by a polar bear on Svalbard in 1773.”

    http://www.nationalpost.com/todays-paper/cold+encounter/5225510/story.html

  66. Patrick says:

    The notion that Man is the Center and Master of the Universe pervades many so called “scientific ” conclusions. Man is responsible for CO2, man is responsible for the Ozone Hole, man is responsible for Arctic Ice cycling etc. These are religious ideas from pre-Galilean times. Man is a part of the Universe, and so are polar bears and crocodiles, and we are all that much more precious for knowing that . Svensmarks hypothesis regarding cosmic rays and climate makes us all that more aware of our intimacy.

  67. Shevva says:

    I put this link in another post but i’ll re-post it here, be aware this may upset some people as it’s a conservative view on the polar bear attack.

    http://eureferendum.blogspot.com/2011/08/bear-witness.html

  68. John Silver says:

    The trip wire didn’t work because it was frozen solid due to global warming.

  69. Richard Day says:

    Don’t you know polars are on the verge of extinction? I urge all AGW proponents, especially the Goreacle, MM and Gavin to savour one of life’s great pleasures before it’s gone forever: handfeeding Churchill Manitoba polar bears.

  70. Pamela Gray says:

    So I assume the photo is a stock photo from NOAA of a typical day showing a polly bare swimming in typical fashion, IE not drowning. So how again does the photo help prove a point? If anything, it proves a point for the OTHER side! Did the author of the article NOT take a class in argumentative writing or debate technique?

  71. Pamela Gray says:

    So let’s ask the photographer about where he was when he took this photo. Did HE see any dead polly bares? If not, he could grid out the area he was viewing and come to the exact opposite conclusion of the above report.

  72. Coach Springer says:

    Speaking of a thousand quips. We’re still counting the ones for this thread. Sort of like dropping a puck on the ice and everybody starts slapping at it. So much outrage, so little reason.

  73. LS says:

    >>”Trying not to be sarcastic, I find it amazing that any one would struggle between the possibilities of the best swimming land mammals being stranded… …”

    After all, a polar bear is known as “Ursus maritimus” … in other words, “Sea Bear”.

  74. Mike says:

    It’s entirely possible that the k98k was functionally fine at some warmer temperature. Arctic cold requires stripping lube from firearms so that frozen grease doesn’t dampen the firing pin blow. Old ammo might also have been a cause.

    If you are not at the top of the food chain, you probably should be better prepared to deal with those creatures that are.

    Mike

  75. Jay Davis says:

    Too many people who support the various environmental movements have no real understanding of the world we live in or the environment they are trying to protect. One of the side effects of the green/environmental movement is the rise of eco-tourism. Some of the environments the eco-tourists visit have the potential for danger. And when you go into a dangerous environment without the knowledge and equipment to at least have a chance to survive in that environment, then you are responsible for any calamity that may occur. Not the outfitter, not your companions, but you. The saying “Mother Nature’s a bitch” is is true.

  76. pk says:

    just remember gang that the only way to get away from a bear is to run faster than the fellow with you.

    C

  77. John Marshall says:

    I am afraid that the teenager killed by the polar bear died as a result of failed warning systems and undue dilligence in relying on oneself. The rifle they had for defence failed to work! ( nobody had tried it to see if it and the amunition worked) The thunderflash system they relied on for warning was ubchecked and failed to work.

    Need I say more. Dreadful thing to happen.

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