Guest essay by Eric Worrall
NYT brings us this heartrending story about polar bears on the verge of extinction fooling people into thinking they are fine, by looking overweight, and scavenging Alaskan rubbish dumps.
Polar Bears’ Path to Decline Runs Through Alaskan Village
The bears that come here are climate refugees, on land because the sea ice they rely on for hunting seals is receding.
By ERICA GOODE
KAKTOVIK, Alaska — Come fall, polar bears are everywhere around this Arctic village, dozing on sand spits, roughhousing in the shallows, padding down the beach with cubs in tow and attracting hundreds of tourists who travel long distances to see them.
At night, the bears steal into town, making it dangerous to walk outside without a firearm or bear spray. They leave only reluctantly, chased off by the polar bear patrol with firecracker shells and spotlights.
On the surface, these bears might not seem like members of a species facing possible extinction.
Scientists have counted up to 80 at a time in or near Kaktovik; many look healthy and plump, especially in the early fall, when their presence overlaps with the Inupiat village’s whaling season.
But the bears that come here are climate refugees, on land because the sea ice they rely on for hunting seals is receding.
Back in the real world, as WUWT reported in 2015 Polar Bears are doing just fine. Predictions of imminent starvation are based on models.
Regarding the large numbers of bears around Kaktovik, does anyone think it possible locals whose income depends on “hundreds of tourists” visiting to see the bears might be deliberately leaving some food out?