“Meltdown: Terror at the Top of the World" — new book exploits polar bear attack to sell fear of sea ice decline

The polar bear attack that was all over the news last summer is now an ebook.

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Dr. Susan Crockford writes:

The Maine lawyer who was mauled by a bear while on a hiking trip to Labrador (and lived to tell the tale) has allowed his story to be co-opted by an activist journalist to promote fears of sea ice decline, polar bear extinction, and man-made global warming.

The press release issued yesterday by the news group that published the book and employs author Sabrina Shankman (InsideClimateNews), described it this way:

“A riveting new e-book about the battle between man, beast and Nature in a warming world. Called Meltdown: Terror at the Top of the World, the e-book tells the story of the hikers’ harrowing encounter with a polar bear; of the plight of the polar bear in general, facing starvation and extinction as the sea ice melts and its habitat disappears; and of the Arctic meltdown, the leading edge of man-made climate change.”

I have little doubt the man mauled by the bear was indeed terrified and that his companions were as well. However, that horror is exploited shamelessly in this book as a means to promote anxiety over the future survival of polar bears and instill panic over a prophesied Arctic “meltdown.”

Read the rest here: http://polarbearscience.com/2014/11/13/meltdown-terror-at-the-top-of-the-world-new-book-exploits-polar-bear-attack-to-sell-fear-of-sea-ice-decline/

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99 thoughts on ““Meltdown: Terror at the Top of the World" — new book exploits polar bear attack to sell fear of sea ice decline

  1. How to put this ?
    You see to a Polar Bear humans are and have always been nothing more than interestingly coloured meat snacks that [they’re] happy to hunt and follow for many miles. Ice or no ice , as top predator everything else is seen as potential dinner , humans just offer a different menu opition.

      • You know, am I the only one, or does anyone else find this story to be yet another eco-cracker example of that bleeding-heart, lefty excuse-mongering that the hive-bozos always serve up when some “pigmentally-challenged” ice-bear chows down on yet another priveleged-white-dork, nature-boy flake? OR WHAT?!!!
        I mean, like, do you ever see this sort of “oh-the-poor-bear-bubber-wubber-just-had-the-munchies!”, “that’s-just-his-bear-bubbah’s-foodie-culture!” solicitude for BLACK-bears or BROWN-bears when they grab a quick, free-range-Vegan, tree-humper snack? DO YOU?!!! Freakin’ “white-bear-privilege” at work, once again! Haven’t we had enough of that sort of offensive mentality , already?

    • Frankly children’s culture has lead to a situation where people no longer understand the animalness of animals.
      A lamb could kill you bare headed, bovine horns do kill people, and polar bear is truely a nightmare.

      • Indeed. Big and small, wild creatures are fighting for their lives. They will generally leave you alone precisely because of this. But if they come after you, though, it will be with a ferocity truly alien to most urbanites.
        Anyway, this ebook amounts to nothing. Were it not for its mention here, it would have been forgotten within hours of its manufacture by the propaganda machine. Heck, I would be surprised if the ebook itself contains anything other than mindless repetition of its jejune title.

  2. ““A riveting new e-book about the battle between man, beast and Nature in …”
    I like how nature is spelled with an uppercase “N”.
    They either believe it’s a battle between man, beast, and the publication “Nature”…or
    They believe nature is a religion…or
    Both?

  3. About the publisher

    InsideClimate News is a non-profit, non-partisan news organization that covers clean energy, carbon energy, nuclear energy and environmental science—plus the territory in between where law, policy and public opinion are shaped.

    So if its non-partisan why would anyone question their findings?
    Thus, I see it must be true that

    The climate change that is thawing the Arctic is upon us all, wherever we may be.

    Except the Antarctic, of course. But perhaps an attack by marauding penguins can be the sequel;
    Iced-Up.: Terror at the Bottom of the World.

    • M Courtney:
      “…an attack by marauding penguins…”
      LOL! Great imagery. They’ll be the cleanup crew picking through our bones after the Sharknadoes subside.

      • Great imagery indeed 🙂
        My wife and I had the incredible experience of visiting penguin colonies. You could sit on the beach, and groups of King penguins would waddle on over to within a foot or two, and tilt their heads with that “WHAT in the world are YOU???” look.
        We failed to note any “attacks”, though I’m certain that with the stress of CAGW bearing down on them, they’ll resort to that soon. (sarc)

    • This post by Susan reminded me of another kind of author I read about last year.

      NPR – 2 February, 2013
      The Inconvenient Truth About Polar Bears
      Never Look A Polar Bear In The Eye
      A Family Field Trip to the Arctic’s Edge in Search of Adventure, Truth, and Mini-Marshmallows
      In 2008, reports of polar bears’ inevitable march toward extinction gripped headlines……
      The headlines caught Zac Unger’s attention, and he decided to write a book about the bears……
      Unger packed up his wife and three small kids, and set out with a big bold idea. He wanted to write the quintessential requiem of how human-caused climate change was killing off these magnificent beasts.
      In the end, he came away with something totally different, Unger tells NPR’s Laura Sullivan…….
      “My humble plan was to become a hero of the environmental movement. I was going to go up to the Canadian Arctic, I was going to write this mournful elegy for the polar bears, at which point I’d be hailed as the next coming of John Muir and borne aloft on the shoulders of my environmental compatriots …
      “So when I got up there, I started realizing polar bears were not in as bad a shape as the conventional wisdom had led me to believe, which was actually very heartening, but didn’t fit well with the book I’d been planning to write……………
      http://www.npr.org/2013/02/02/170779528/the-inconvenient-truth-about-polar-bears

  4. The beauty of the Warmest religion is that it can be woven into any tale of woe, or indeed any tale, real or otherwise. Thus, even Santa, and by extension, Christmas is “threatened” by global warming.

  5. So… good news!
    Global warming will cause polar bear attacks to decrease, since there will be fewer of the beasties around. I feel much safer now.
    The CAGW Profits Of Doom have to look on the bright side once in a while.

  6. Next thing we know someone will claim that the PB was paid by Big Oil to hunt the poor defenceless member of the Sierra Club. Maybe someone from MSM could go to interview it.

      • So we now have so many polar bears that they are extending their range looking for food? Wow. Now there is a successful conservation story!
        “Climate doesn’t kill polar bears. Guns do!”

  7. Well, with my jaded view of humanity, I lost interest as soon as I found out a lawyer was involved. Also, I suspect that the title subliminally links terrorism into the whole thing so it’s a perfect fit for today’s TV educated generation of Lemmings. I can already see a similarity to some rich dude vacationing in Iraq being chased and attacked by ISIS.

    • “I lost interest as soon as I found out a lawyer was involved”
      Are you suggesting that this was a case of an enraged client?

    • well we did have three american hikers travelling in Iraq who “accidentally” crossed into Iran a few years back. Who, except CIA agents, goes for a hiking vacation in an active war zone?

  8. Well, it is up on Amazon, US and UK at least, so I invite everyone to do as I have done and write a comment in the review section outlining why the book is a waste of money. Won’t stop true believers from buying it, but it might warn off the uninformed!

  9. Let’s see:
    1. guy trespasses on bear’s territory.
    2. bear mauls guy.
    3. guy thinks CO2 melts ice that bear depends on.
    4. guy wants to limit CO2 to help the bear so more trespassing people can get mauled.
    Is this the kind of person you want to take advice from?

    • Nonononono!
      The REASON the bear mauled the guy is because it’s so threatened by global warming.
      If we can stop the warming, the polar bears would be at ease, and we could have tea with them.

  10. Thank you Dr. Crockford for thoroughly deconstructing this propaganda dreck on your blog. Just shows how low warmunists will stoop, and how shrill they are becoming as their ‘settled science’ unravels.

  11. I laugh at an electric wire to protect from polar bears. They wear the best insulation available in nature. Seeing black bears demolish a honey bee nest, they probably think the stings add piquancy to the honey flavor. I wonder if any of the bear experts were like the bear consultant in hollywood who went up to Alaska with his girlfriend to sing and read poetry up close to the grizzlies. He and his girlfriend got eaten and park rangers then had to kill two very innocent bears. They apparently don’t like English poetry.

  12. I am appalled that any person could allow themself to be made a laughing stock for a few pieces of silver. To me, that is exactly what this “lawyer” did – by permitting his real life misadventure to be turned into a fairy tale of woe.

    • You haven’t met many lawyers. They generally don’t work for only “a few” pieces of silver.

    • If lawyers were concerned about being “laughing stocks”, the number of law suits being filed would be close to nil.

  13. Zac Unger wrote “Never Look a Polar Bear in the Eyes.” It’s a fun read and debunks the whole endangered polar bear nonsense. He also captures the whole hypocritical “Let’s make as much money as we can out of these fears” typical of the whole AGW/CCC movement.

  14. There are numerous documented polar bear attacks in the 1960s and 70s when they say there was a whole lot more ice. What prompted those?

  15. If the polar bear population continues to expand as it has for the past 40 years, there will be a lot more attacks like this because it is inevitable that competition for food drives the edge further out into human habitations.
    The best response is Shoot Back! A polar bear will kill you in a trice.

  16. I did not hear of this story. Having quickly checked, it appears that the group was of that faux-spiritual, Sierra Club sort that eschews weaponry when going into the wild. I truly do not wish to make light of anyone’s suffering, but c’mon! They’re called “Wild” animals for a reason. I understand the bear attacked at night and one could not have seen the attack coming, and the use of flares to drive the bear off was prudent as one does not wish to hit the victim. Once the bear let go and was a sufficient distance away, it should have been dispatched at once.
    I have a friend in Alaska, who gave me his permission to share this exchange:
    After hearing about the seven students hiking a “survival course” in Alaska getting mauled by a bear:
    ME:
    Just curious, do you take along a firearm or two when you go camping? I saw a story about a group of kids hiking somewhere in Alaska, and three of them were mauled badly by a Grizzly. They had no clue about hiking in bear country, all they had was spray, and they didn’t even know how to use it. I couldn’t believe anyone hiking in Grizzly country wouldn’t be carrying some kind of weapon. All we had where I was from were cinnamon bears (and occasional reports of pumas,) but we were still packin’ when we went camping …
    Enjoy your camping.
    Xxxx,
    We do indeed . . I personally carry a 12 gauge pump loaded with buck and slugs. Lots of guys carry pistols. We bought our old motor home, a 1984, about eight years ago, because my wife became too fearful of camping in a tent. Within a, say, 20-mile radius from where I sit typing, in the 16 years we’ve been back, there have been two guys killed by a brownie and at least a score of maulings.
    Have you seen this tongue-in-cheek advice?
    **************************
    Anchorage, Alaska: Alaska Dept. of Fish & Game
    BEAR WARNING:
    In light of the increasing frequency of human-grizzly bear contacts, the Alaska Dept. of Fish & Game is advising hikers, hunters, and fishermen to take extra precautions and keep alert for bears while in the field. We advise that outdoorsmen wear noisy bells on their clothing so as not to startle bears that aren’t expecting them. We also advise outdoorsmen to carry pepper spray with them in case of an encounter with a bear. Further, it is a good idea to watch for fresh signs of bear activity when afield. Outdoorsmen should recognize the difference between black bear and grizzly bear scat. Black bear scat is smaller and contains berries and vegetable matter. Grizzly bear scat contains bells and smells like pepper.
    ****************************
    As Mike Rowe of “Dirty Jobs” once said about “Safety First” in a TED talk: “You want to get home alive? That’s on you.” (The story is at 13:10 into the talk for anyone who wants to google it.)

    • I lived in Alaska while in the service. I was stationed there for almost 4yrs. Upon arrival, we had to go through the mandatory indoctrination training.
      As part of that training, some State Troopers and reps from Fish and Game spent a morning presenting to all of us noobees.
      Rule #1 was never leave a paved road without a weapon, period. The recommended weapon was a 12ga pump, loaded with buckshot. They explained that bears can do the 100yd dash in about 3.5secs, and if you think you’re a good enough shot with a pistol, go ahead and carry that…but always save the last round 🙂
      With buckshot, it’s point and shoot in the general direction, and keep going until the shotgun is empty. You won’t kill the bear, but you’ll stand a good chance of at least blinding them, thereby surviving.
      And yes, during the time I was there, there were many stories of being mauled.

  17. I find it ironic that the Sierra Club with its rabid stance on protecting these polar bears from CAGW, actively promotes and participates for its members, activities that put humans and polar bears in direct contact, increasing the chance of human/bear confrontation usually resulting in the death of the bear. No one with an ounce of brain, ventures anywhere in that park without an armed Inuit guide. The guide is not there to actually guide you, but to stand watch for polar bears and prevent or discourage any attack. The fact that these Sierra Club members refused the Inuit guides, demonstrates that they had an ill informed image of polar bears being majestic cute and cuddly creatures, when in fact they are large meat eating carnivores, that in this remote place, with limited human presence, represented a real and present danger to anyone venturing into the park.

    • And it’s worse than that – not only did they know the electric fence wasn’t working properly (none of them had ever used one before) but they had been confronted by the same bear that attacked the lawyer, THE AFTERNOON BEFORE.
      The big male just moved off a short distance after being hazed by flares but stayed there watching. They all went to bed knowing the fence was crap and that a big male bear was laying in wait, and did nothing proactive. They did not call for advice, the did not even post a night watch. They just waited for the attack to happen.
      And then collaborated with allowing the story to be exploited for an activist end.
      This news story has the best details of the attack, which I’ve included in my post: http://www.pressherald.com/2013/09/02/bear-attack-victim-thought-dude-youre-going-to-die_2013-09-02/
      Susan Crockford, PolarBearScience

  18. My cousin was killed by a Grizzly bear 2 months ago. While weather did play a small role (fewer berries this year), the facts are that bears are dangerous. The more humans go into their territory, the more chance there is of attackes. This is especialy true now that grizzly and polar bear are not hunted. Hunting plays an important roll, helping to insure that bears (and other wild animals) remain weary of humans. Obviously, hunting needs to be done in a sustainable maner. However, compleatly stopping a hunt is not good for bears or humans.

  19. An environmental activist camping out in actual wilderness, not in the safety of the streets of San Francisco, but in actual isolation where man becomes the prey.
    But the intelligence factor seems to be a bit on the short side … sounds like everyone was snoozing … no one staying awake to guard their fellow humans … oh wait, environmental activism at work … brains not needed.
    Solution to global warming concerns … those most worried ought to go check on the state of polar bears on a one-on-one basis … will really solve the problem of worries of global warming.

    • The romantic view of nature being friendly if you just get in harmony with it is one of those urban fantasies. I have seen my cat eat enough, birds, mice, moles, and baby rabbits to understand that nature is ruthless. There is an inherent harmony in nature, everything works together in incredible and often beautiful ways, but in it’s violence from tornadoes to predators including polar bears, nature takes and gives no quarter.

  20. People, whenever you buy cola, remember that Coca Cola support this nonsense. We’ve been buying Pepsi for three years now instead (it’s better, actually). Please no one tell me that they support any such silliness!

  21. The bear attacked a lawyer so what’s the problem? There would have been a beware of the bear sign but the bears heard you can be sued for that. Ironic isn’t it?

    • Be fair , all those scare stories did bring them a shed load of cash too, so its not just reports they needed to feed but their own quest for funding.

  22. “Gary Pearse: I wonder if any of the bear experts were like the bear consultant in hollywood who went up to Alaska with his girlfriend to sing and read poetry up close to the grizzlies. He and his girlfriend got eaten and park rangers then had to kill two very innocent bears.”
    I do feel sorry for the girlfriend, but Tim Treadwell did not tread well. He was, in fact, a misanthropic nutter with a death wish matched only by his hatred of humanity. Mark Steyn, of Mann Libel Suit fame, did his typically hilarious job lampooning the idiot by pointing out how Treadwell was an advisor on the Disney animated film Brother Bear, which is a story about man trapped inside a bear, much like Mister Treadwell, except he was just passing through.

  23. The only interesting thing about this book is the question are the authors delusional, or willfully lying.
    In both cases they are selling a book to make a buck, thats why any author sells a book. But if not dishonest are they so delusional that if they were on trial they would be deemed incompetent to stand trial?
    Actually they are probably probably worse, they are blatantly dishonest for a cause. Nothing worse than a liar on a mission for God, Nature, or whatever.

  24. Here is that e-book: “The climate change that is thawing the Arctic is upon us all, wherever we may be.” Complete nonsence: there is no climate change in the Arctic. The Arctic is warming, true, but that is because North Atlantic currents are carrying warm Gulf stream water into the Arctic Ocean. It wasn’t a’ways so because this Arctic warming started suddenly at the turn of the twentieth century. Prior to that there was nothing there except for slow, linear cooling for the last 2000 years. All this is documented in my book “What Warming?” and in the article I published in E&E(22)(8):1069-1083(2011). The initial warming at the beginning of the century was interrupted by thirty years of cooling in mid-century. Warming returned in 1970 and still continues if somewhat slower than before. The reason it started so suddenly was a rearrangement of the North Atlantic current system at the turn of the century that started to carry warm water from the Gulf Stream directly into the Arctic Ocean. The presence of warm water reaching Svalbard was verified by direct measurement of water temperature in 2010. Temperature at that point was higher than it had been for the previous two thousand years. It is pretty obvious that the “experts” she consulted are entirely ignorant of of Arctic history for the last two millennia.

  25. What the #%&! were they doing hiking unarmed in Polar Bear country? In Svalbard hiking without a high-powered rifle is strictly prohibited. Not that this is necessarily enough, as some english students proved last year, by going to sleep without a guard dog, with a non-functioning fence and without posting a guard. Sounds familiar eh?

    • Kind of reminds me of the Ship of Fools – you know – they wouldn’t find ice because it was summer, data be danged…

  26. There are very few things that I fear on this earth. Bears are one of them. Going into “their” environment/home unprepared and unarmed is just a invite to join the Darwin award winners club. Bears are very much opportunists, and will always take the easiest meal first when hungry. It is sad to see such ignorance that directly leads to harm. Even worse, embellishing someones harm for ones own false agenda.
    Regards Ed

    • I was just looking up whether it was a myth that polar bears like toothpaste. Apparently its true. Its also true that
      “In the US, you are 25 times more likely to be killed by a snake, 180 times more likely to die from a bee-sting and 90,000 times more likely to be shot, stabbed or beaten to death by a fellow human, than to die at the paws of a bear.” http://qi.com/infocloud/bears
      I was wondering if there was 90 000 times more people buying drugs off of a dodgy dealer in Detroit than people who hike in the Yukon.

    • Well, I’m not exactly afraid of bears, but I have a great deal of respect for them. But they really aren’t particularly dangerous if you behave sensibly. Only two kinds of animals on this planet I’m really afraid of: humans and malaria trypanosomes. If yoiu check the statistics those are the only ones that are really dangerous, fatalities caused by all other species are negligible in comparison.

  27. Remember, folks: The people who take a single polar bear attack and put out a book citing it as proof of human-induced climate change are pro-science.

  28. My question is, how do we get more lawyers to go hiking in Labrador?
    On second though, if we feed the bears, they may get too lazy to fend for themselves. That’s too bad. Since lawyers are never in danger of extinction, they could provide an endless food supply when ice is low. 🙂

  29. Some interesting stuff from 1967. It’s good to know we now have more polar bears. As for the Arctic sea ice what the heck are these fools talking about. Sheeeesh!

    Abstract1967
    The Polar Bear: A Matter for International Concern
    “Discusses the decline in polar bear population, in part associated with recession of the polar ice cap, but also with excessive hunting. Annual worldwide harvest (ca 1200 reported) is about 5-10% of the population. An international commission is needed to coordinate study of population dynamics and movement patterns of these bears, and to regulate harvesting in the polar seas.”
    —-
    “Biologists have estimated the number of polar bears in existence to be in the range of 15,000 to 20,000.”
    [PDF]
    http://arctic.journalhosting.ucalgary.ca/arctic/index.php/arctic/article/download/3291/3267

    • Eamon,
      The food supply is not scarce and bears are not starving, except for the few old and young ones who die every year of natural causes.
      That “bear that died of climate change” was an old bear who was in good condition a few months before his carcass was found. He should not have been onshore during the height of the feeding season – something was amiss.
      See my post here: http://polarbearscience.com/2013/08/11/ian-stirlings-howler-update-contradicted-by-scientific-data/
      Susan Crockford, PolarBearScience

      • Thanks Susan. I’m more than a bit suspicious when I see photos and claims of this sort. I think the eagerness to jump to the conclusion, despite any thorough investigation, is very revealing.
        Many thanks again for all your great work.
        Regards Eamon.
        P.S. I love Polar Beaars.

  30. More proof that Sierra Club Lawyers are so full of it that even Polar Bears consider them indigestible.
    I laughed when this was first reported, as I suspect each of these lovely people was throwing their comrades to the “wolves”, as they were obviously lost in the wilderness they claim to be saving.
    That the bear dragged this sack of protein out of its tent and then rejected it, tells me even more ..
    Even a peak predator, scavenger of the north cannot swallow what these clowns offer.
    Maybe the next club outing will be to Africa where even the Hyena’s will refuse their offerings.

  31. Sounds like they were using a Non-lethal electric fence.
    “An electric fence is a barrier that uses electric shocks to deter animals or people from crossing a boundary. The voltage of the shock may have effects ranging from discomfort to death. Most electric fences are used today for agricultural fencing and other forms of animal control, although it is frequently used to enhance the security of sensitive areas, such as military installations, prisons, and other security sensitive places; places exist where lethal voltages are used.”
    They work quite well; they use them to protect sled dog teams from bears among other uses. However, there are a few things to watch out for, as ensuring you have a good ground and the machine is turned on and working, with enough battery power. They do not mentioning doing having done that. Animals learn once they get a shock to stay away.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electric_fence
    I wonder if this person had food in his tent or had cooked in that tent. That is a no-no in bear country.

  32. It seems odd that these people–polar bear food–didn’t have a rifle capable of stopping a polar bear when they were hiking in an area polar bears are hunting for polar bear food. Perhaps they were of the best defense is to be defenseless persuasion.

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