# Starving polar bears are the fake news face of climate change

#### By Larry Kummer. From the Fabius Maximus website.

Summary: Climate activists have made polar bears “the face of climate change.” This week we see how they have done so: with fake news. That they do so instead of relying on science tells us much about them — and why they have achieved so few policy changes after 30 years of these tactics.

#### In The Guardian on 8 December 2017.

“Video footage captured in Canada’s Arctic has offered a devastating look at the impact climate change is having on polar bears in the region, showing an emaciated bear clinging to life as it scrounged for food on iceless land.

“The scene was recorded by the conservation group Sea Legacy during a late summer expedition in Baffin Island. ‘My entire Sea Legacy team was pushing through their tears and emotions while documenting this dying polar bear,’ photographer Paul Nicklen wrote on social media after publishing the footage this week.

“The video shows the bear struggling to walk as it searches for food. The bear eventually comes across a trashcan used by Inuit fishermen, rummaging through it with little luck. The bear, which was not old, probably died within hours of being captured on video, said Nicklen. ‘This is what starvation looks like. The muscles atrophy. No energy. It’s a slow, painful death.’

“The film-makers drew a direct line between the bear’s state and climate change. ‘As temperatures rise and sea ice melts, polar bears lose access to the main staple of their diets – seals,’ the video noted. ‘Starving, and running out of energy, they are forced to wander into human settlements for any source of food.'”

This story and video by SeaLegacy was picked up by journalists around the world and run uncritically. The Washington Post, National Geographic, the Daily Mail, the Global News (of Canada), Teen Vogue, Business Insider, the Straits Times (of Singapore), and Deutsche Welle. Unfortunately, it is bogus.

#### By Susan Crockford at her website, Polar Bear Science.Posted with her generous permission.

We finally have this year’s example of the new fad of claiming every polar bear that died of starvation (or on its way to starving to death) — and caught on film — is a victim of climate change: a young bear on Somerset Island near Baffin Island, Nunavut filmed in August during its last antagonizing hours by members of an activist conservation organization called SeaLegacy.

This is no different from Ian Stirling’s “bear that died of climate change”back in 2013, or several others since then: here, here, and here (one of these incidents also involved the same photographer as this incident, Paul Nicklen). I’ve called this practice of filming dead or dying bears and splashing the photos across the pages of newspapers and the internet “tragedy porn” — a kind of voyeurism that leaves people open to emotional manipulation. The internet laps it up.

Here Cristina Mittermeier, co-founder of SeaLegacy, tells CBC Radio why they filmed the incident and released the video (bold emphasis added). She admits to using this poor bear as a serendipitous photo op to illustrate the future fate she imagines for all bears. Bold emphasis added.

“’We hear from scientists that in the next 100 to 150 years, we’re going to lose polar bears,’ Mittermeier said. ‘We wanted the world to see what starvation of a majestic animal like this looks like.’ …

“Though it’s possible that climate change is responsible for the bear’s sickly appearance, some caution that it may be premature to jump to that conclusion based on a video. ‘It is impossible to tell why he was in this state. Maybe it could’ve been because of an injury or disease,’ Mittermeier said.

“But Ian Stirling from the University of Alberta told the U.K.’s Metro News that a bear like this could be sick or simply old. ‘A difficulty hunting could be involved. I don’t think you can tie that one to starvation because of lack of sea ice,’ he continued.

“While Mittermeier said the bear had no obvious injuries and she believes it was too young to die of old age, she contends that’s irrelevant. ‘The point is that it was starving, and …as we lose sea ice in the Arctic, polar bears will starve.'”

This may be how you get gullible people to donate money to a cause but it isn’t science. {As Dr. Stirling said} there is no evidence that this starving bear was a “victim” of sea ice loss caused by global warming.

In August, this bear would have been only recently off the sea ice: since most bears are at their fattest at this time of year, something unusual had to have affected his ability to hunt or feed on the kills he made when other bears around him did not starve and die. It could have been something as simple as being out-competed for food in the spring by older animals.

But if sea ice loss due to man-made global warming had been the culprit, this bear would not have been the only one starving: the landscape would have been littered with carcasses. This was one bear dying a gruesome death as happens in the wild all the time (there is no suggestion that a necropsy was done to determine cause of death, just as with Stirling’s bear that supposedly died of climate change.)

In fact, research done by polar bear specialists that work in the field shows that the most common natural cause of death for polar bears is starvation, resulting from one cause or another (too young, too old, injured, sick). From Amstrup in Wild Mammals of North America: Biology, Management, and Conservation

“Starvation of independent young as well as very old animals must account for much of the natural mortality among polar bears… Also, age structure data show that subadults aged 2-5 years survive at lower rates than adults (Amstrup 1995), probably because they are still learning hunting and survival skills. …

“I once observed a 3-year-old subadult that weighed only 70 kg in November. This was near the end of the autumn period in which Beaufort Sea bears reach their peak weights (Durner and Amstrup 1996), and his cohorts at that time weighed in excess of 200 kg. This young animal apparently had not learned the skills needed to survive and was starving to death.”

But as Mittermeier has made clear, facts don’t matter in cases like this Somerset Island bear’s death: it’s all about the message.

I’ve asked this question before because it speaks to the present political climate: where were the appeals to help the many starving polar bears back in the spring of 1974 when females with newborn cubs were starving in the Eastern Beaufort Sea because the thick spring ice drove ringed seals away before they gave birth (Stirling 2002)?

Here is what Stirling and Lunn (1997:177) had to say about the mortality event of 1974 that they witnessed.

“…in the spring of 1974, when ringed seal pups first became scarce, we capture two very thin lone adult female polar bears that had nursed recently, from which we deduced they had already lost their litters. A third emaciated female was accompanied by two cubs which were so thin that one could barely walk. We have not seen females with cubs in this condition in the Beaufort Sea, or elsewhere in the Arctic, before or since.”

What Stirling and Lunn witnessed and documented is scientific evidence that natural variation in spring sea ice can have devastating effects on polar bears, including mass mortality events (Crockford 2017). However, we have not seen any similar mass starvation events that have been conclusively shown to be caused by low summer sea ice.

One starving bear is not scientific evidence that man-made global warming has already negatively affected polar bears, but it is evidence that some activists will use any ploy to advance their agenda and increase donations.

#### A photographer talks about polar bears.

In an interview yesterday, published in the Victoria Times-Colonist (my home town), photographer Nicklen stated…

“Nicklen is careful about drawing conclusions from his pictures, noting that many people look to poke holes in what’s being said about things like the disappearance of sea ice from the North. …’Ice is melting earlier every spring and freezing later every fall,’ Nicklen said. ‘Bears are designed to go as much as two months without ice, but they are not designed to go four or five months without ice. “Well, this [the video] is what it actually looks like when polar bears are stranded on land.'”

Nicklen should do a bit more reading: polar bears in Western Hudson Bay routinely go four to five months without ice. Four months was normal in the good old days (ca. 1980) and almost five months in some recent years (Castro de la Guardia et al. 2017; Cherry et al. 2013; Ramsay and Stirling 1988; Stirling and Lunn 1997). WHB pregnant females spend 8 months or more on land with no ill effects that can conclusively be blamed on a slightly longer time without ice (Crockford 2017). Southern Hudson Bay polar bears spend a similar amount of time without ice (Obbard et al. 2016), see this post (with references).

Susan Crockford is a zoologist with more than 35 years of experience, including published work on the Holocene history of Arctic animals. She is an adjunct professor at the University of Victoria, British Columbia (a “non-remunerated professional zooarcheologist associate”) and co-owner of a private consulting company, Pacific Identifications Inc.

Her paper describing her theory about polar bears is “Testing the hypothesis that routine sea ice coverage of 3-5 mkm2 results in a greater than 30% decline in population size of polar bears (Ursus maritimus)”, posted at Peer J Preprints (not peer reviewed). See her publications here and her website Polar Bear Science.

She has written a book about her work: Polar Bears: Outstanding Survivors of Climate Change (review here), a book for young adults, Polar Bear Facts & Myths: A Science Summary for All Ages (review here), and a novel, Eaten — a polar bear attack thriller.

1. Mother Jones sounds the alarm about the warming North Pole — Exploiting the polar bear story for political gain.
2. Twenty stories of good news about polar bears!
3. Are 30 thousand species going extinct every year?
4. Good news about polar bears, thriving as the arctic warms!
5. Climate scientists strike back! — Misrepresentations and lies about Crockford’s work in a new paper.
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Jer0me
December 11, 2017 12:42 am
ClimateOtter
December 11, 2017 1:22 am

A three-pound chicken in our local grocery costs $13 Canadian- they used to cost half that just a few years ago. And SFAIK there hasn’t been any ‘climate’ tax yet… We raise our own meat birds every spring. Butchering them ourselves is tedious as hell but in the end we paid 30 CENTS a pound for the meat. pameladragon Reply to ClimateOtter December 11, 2017 10:04 am Plus you know what those birds ate! We raise all our own meat too, pork, beef, turkey, chicken, and mutton. PMK Trebla Reply to Jer0me December 11, 2017 2:40 am And on a brighter note, seals are experiencing an unprecedented explosion in their numbers, freed of the terror of being torn to pieces by voracious, hungry polar bears. Reply to Trebla December 11, 2017 10:14 am I’ve just posted a follow-up on this starving polar bear issue that might be of interest: https://polarbearscience.com/2017/12/11/bioscience-paper-and-starving-polar-bear-follow-up/ Reply to Jer0me December 11, 2017 4:16 am If they don’t conduct a necropsy the cause if death could have been anything. Might I suggest the bear was vegan? The witnesses were gentle-hearted to weep at the the sight of the dying bear, but once it died it was a food -source for other, far-smaller creatures. That is how nature works. The same weeping people likely take their faithful old dogs to the vet and have them put to sleep where they can’t see, because they can’t bear how nature puts animals to sleep. Very harsh winters can be cruel to deer, especially where populations are high due to lack of hunting and predators. Scenes that would make the soft-hearted weep occur in the woods of wealthy suburbs, as deer starve, but people never leave their warm living rooms and see. In the spring there is nothing left but gnawed bones, and fat crows, coyotes, and field mice. One good thing about Susan Crockford’s sterling work is that she doesn’t specialize in a single species, but takes a zoologist’s overview of a larger system. I visit her site regularly. Rather than reporters bashing her, they should go to her when they fact-check, (if they ever do such a thing.) Though her site has no rowdy comments-section like this site, I have always found that a polite, civil letter via “comments and notes” will get a polite response. If anyone is posting about the arctic they would do well to seek out what she has already written, for quite often she has already covered what you are writing about, in a meticulous manner with a long list of references, (as I most recently discovered when writing about ice entrapped narwhals.) https://sunriseswansong.wordpress.com/2017/12/10/arctic-sea-ice-ice-traps-narwales/ Latitude Reply to Caleb December 11, 2017 6:18 am Lions on the Serengeti are also starving from lack of ice…. ?ver=6 RPT Reply to Caleb December 11, 2017 6:31 am I am not a zoologist, but I still tried to do a little math here: Female polar bears have their fist cubs at the age of 4, they have 2 cubs on the average every fourth year after that until they are around 24 years of age. If the mortality rate is 0, this means the population will multiply with a factor of around 50 every 24 year. Even if the population has increased significantly after hunting largely ceased, this indicates that most polar bears will die fairly young. It is known that a number of cubs are eaten by male bears, but it is my understanding this is probably not a major reason for early death among polar bears. My guess is that the majority of bears die young, like the one here, possibly due to lack of hunting experience, and that most polar bears starve to death because they lack natural enemies, I am also fairly certain they do not die in animal hospitals. Reply to Caleb December 11, 2017 7:05 am RPT, Wow. That’s an important point. Simple math, but unmentioned in the hysteria about this photo. Got to be the winner for “best of thread”. I’m checking it with Dr. Crockford. If correct, I’ll add your comment to the post. LdB Reply to Jer0me December 11, 2017 8:49 am I really hope that some of the green politicians are stupid enough to suggest a meat tax for climate change. The green blob is already getting belted now 🙂 Jeffrey Barker Reply to Jer0me December 11, 2017 10:31 pm I have just read this on some other news outlet and the 40% tax and a 20% tax on dairy is diabolical to say the least. I will certainly be eating a lot more meat in future. It seems to me to be a VEGAN plot to further their agenda. December 11, 2017 12:44 am We have been seeing too many pictures of big fat polar bears over the last few years, together with reports of steadily increasing numbers, to take this sort of false reporting and pro-CAGW urging seriously. There are lots and lots of them in Western Hudson Bay and other seasonal sea ice regions where there should be none by now according to the Alarmists. Polar Bears are just not what they used to be for CAGW purposes. Samuel C Cogar Reply to ntesdorf December 11, 2017 5:42 am Excerpted from article: My entire Sea Legacy team was pushing through their tears and emotions while documenting this dying polar bear,’ photographer Paul Nicklen wrote on social media after publishing the footage this week. “DUH”, polar bears don’t die, ……. they just swim away. Ricdre Reply to Samuel C Cogar December 11, 2017 7:27 am Hmm, I think the correct quote is “Old polar bears never die, they simply swim away”…I think Douglas MacArthur said that. Reply to Samuel C Cogar December 11, 2017 9:55 am Crying my @$! They are heartless jerks. They should have shot the poor thing to put it out of its misery. Samuel C Cogar Reply to Samuel C Cogar December 12, 2017 3:56 am Ricdre, ….. you are correct, my bad. And my excuse is that I’m getting quite old and my CRS has been “flaring up” more often as the weeks pass by. 😊 😊 climanrecon December 11, 2017 12:49 am The BBC now takes a bit more care about its fake news, as featured recently on Blue Planet 2, they now “fact check” predictions to make sure they have a scientific basis. The problem with that approach is that science tends to adopt a shotgun approach to predictions, there will always be some paper making outlandish claims of what the future holds. Thus, last night we had the “fact” that coral reefs will be gone by 2100 because of ocean acidification, caused by … Harrowsceptic Reply to climanrecon December 11, 2017 2:13 am Didn’t the GBR also bleach during the strong 1998 El Nino and then recover. This would account for why the young diver on last night’s programme stated that now was the worst he had ever seen.’cos he was too young to have seen the 1998 bleaching. If so it’s the good old BBC reporting the truth (as it want to push), but not the complete truth. Pop Piasa Reply to Harrowsceptic December 11, 2017 3:59 pm Providing incomplete information is the most common propaganda tactic I’ve seen used in the media’s arsenal of climate alarmism indoctrinations. Not that it is only used for that purpose. Steve Reply to climanrecon December 11, 2017 5:49 pm Generally a good series was Blue Planet II except for the obligatory 10 minutes per episode where they pushed their CAGW message. I liked the episode where the sea lion got pushed off the rock and had to nurse her cub in the water because of the most obvious cause — too much CO2. Oldseadog December 11, 2017 1:23 am Polar Bears may well be affected by changes in sea ice, and lots of scientists may make lots of measurements and publish any number of papers proving or disproving this. ( I believe Dr. Crockford but so what? ) But where is the paper PROVING that climate change and/or changes in sea ice from year to year have much or indeed anything to do with CO2, man made or not? AGW is not Science Reply to Oldseadog December 11, 2017 10:48 am Bingo! There’s a whole string of assertions-without-evidence in the “CAGW” BS story. It’s basically faith-based, as in “accept without question” what the pseudo-scientist “high priests” tell you to accept. A secular religion, essentially. Pop Piasa Reply to AGW is not Science December 11, 2017 3:45 pm It is the congregation of The Model Fellowship of Mann, Church of Omnipotent Greenhouse In Carbon. “Believe or be chastised” Henning Nielsen December 11, 2017 1:25 am Of course we will lose all the polar bears in a hundred years from now. They don’t live to be 100 years old. paqyfelyc Reply to Henning Nielsen December 11, 2017 6:13 am LOL you made my day Henning Nielsen December 11, 2017 1:27 am To stop this nonsense, it should be sufficient to point out that ursus maritimus has survived periods with far less -or none at all- sea ice in the Arctic. Somehow, this simple fact seems to have been overlooked by the bear huggers (expression NOT to be taken literally). Oldseadog Reply to Henning Nielsen December 11, 2017 1:37 am Henning, I think the bears would be very pleased if the bear huggers took your suggestion literally. Ron Long Reply to Oldseadog December 11, 2017 1:55 am So would I. Reply to Oldseadog December 11, 2017 2:58 am I know of one bear that would be extremely grateful for a feed. Paul Reply to Oldseadog December 11, 2017 3:01 am “I think the bears would be very pleased if the bear huggers took your suggestion literally” Talk about “tragedy porn”. Nature is cruel. I bet they’d wise up and stop hugging pretty quick. rocketscientist Reply to Henning Nielsen December 11, 2017 8:39 am Well, I for one am glad that polar bears die. If they didn’t we’d be overrun with them. Fortunately if you live long enough, you’ll die from something. It’s just that polar bears don’t have a lot of end-of-life options. They don’t smoke, drink alcohol, abuse drugs, play with cell phones while driving, lay about while stuffing their faces, or any of the other choices humans have created. So, pretty much all they have left is the odd disease (far fewer infections diseases in the artic than the tropics), accidental injury, and starvation. I would suspect that starvation is usually the ultimate cause of death caused by one of the aforementioned reasons. I might suspect that due to the lack of medical care in the wild artic even a mishap that caused the bear to fracture a bone or receive an injury would be a debilitating life threatening event. You break your leg you – can’t hunt – you starve. Pop Piasa Reply to rocketscientist December 11, 2017 5:41 pm If they had tranquilized and examined this bear, they might have actually found the source of it’s condition. A bear who has been eating from dumps might eat plastic or something else that blocks or damages its alimentary system and starves just as other animals can. Then there’s always disease or cancer which takes an animal’s appetite away. It just strikes me that these fools would probably make a climate story out of a starving Coyote or Wild Boar during a drought in Texas as well. Extreme Hiatus December 11, 2017 1:40 am Definitely a prime poster bear for raising cash from those that fall for this sort of thing. Emotion plus misinformation is a powerful thing. Maybe there are also social justice issues to be exploited. Does The Warming cause more nutritional inequality? Was this bear bullied? Is it too white? Etc. Reply to Extreme Hiatus December 11, 2017 2:13 am Yes I agree with you about the bullying. The animal shows all the hallmarks of persecution resulting from gender identification issues, the other bears must have relentlessly taunted the poor beast. It is a well known fact that polar bears did not vote for Trudeau and are backward in their acceptance of the LGBT community and are definitely not pro-choice! I take a keen interest in contemporary social science issues and believe I have recently become an expert on polar bear genderism.(PBG as I prefer to call it) I am writing a paper on the subject and have lined up two dogs and a ferret to peer review. paqyfelyc Reply to Silver Dynamite December 11, 2017 6:26 am “the other bears ” (must have relentlessly taunted the poor beast) sounds like a specist accusation, and so is your pointing out that they are “backward”. You obviously forgot that colonialism was all about the very same discourse about colonized people. I’ll confer out with my cat — who is actually a wrongly assigned laurel tree (Laurus nobilis) –, but i very much think their bullying do not relate to their being bears, but to their being white, male, non vegans. Ben of Houston Reply to Silver Dynamite December 11, 2017 6:32 am I know you’re being sarcastic, and it’s difficult to tell from the limited information, but it seems to me that the bear’s left-front paw is injured. Bullying might explain why it’s in such bad shape. If it got into a fight and either lost or won such a Pyrrhic victory that it couldn’t properly hunt for some time. Jeffrey Barker Reply to Silver Dynamite December 11, 2017 10:05 pm Silver Dynamite Ha! Yes, a great post and a great analogy of the emotional state of our younger generation as a whole. Jeff Mark Gilbert Reply to Extreme Hiatus December 11, 2017 4:07 am HAHAHA oh dear coffee coming out of my nose on the “too white” knr December 11, 2017 1:55 am As ever ‘effective’ in this area is not about good and honest science but about how much PR it got. In this case it was effective that it was totally dishonest means nothing. Classic climate ‘science’. Sommer Reply to knr December 11, 2017 11:10 am Canadians were fed this story in this major publication. We’re still being inundated. Efforts to educate Canadians need to be increased. https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2017/12/09/canadian-photographer-calls-for-action-after-video-of-starving-polar-bear-on-baffin-island-gets-millions-of-online-views.html Peter Plail December 11, 2017 2:00 am I assume that polar bears also succumb to diseases which, if untreated, result in death either directly or as a consequence of reduced ability to hunt. Logic suggests that they should be subject to a whole range of cancers, infections and accidents, similar to those afflicting humans, but would of course be spared the self-induced human problems arising from smoking, drinking, drugs and lifestyle. Gerontius Reply to Peter Plail December 11, 2017 2:18 am Are you sure? I’m sure that there was a bear sipping soda on the telly some years ago, Whatever happened to him on all that refined sugar? Reply to Gerontius December 11, 2017 10:00 am Didn’t he have some penguin friends with him? George Lawson December 11, 2017 2:06 am If starvation was the cause of this emaciated animals condition, then the liars who perpetrated this myth could have photographed many more polar bears to support their case, all of whom would presumably be in a similar state of starvation if we accept their argument. The web site should be exposed for the falseness of their story, and The Guardian newspaper makes itself a laughing stock for taking the bait hook line and sinker. AndyG55 Reply to George Lawson December 11, 2017 2:19 am The only one they were game enough to near to film. Try filming a healthy Polar Bear next time, I dare them. paqyfelyc Reply to AndyG55 December 11, 2017 6:31 am having a selfie with a healthy and hungry would be even funnier. Preferably some young blonde should do it, for the nice horror movie, and a bonus Darwin Award Jeffrey Barker Reply to AndyG55 December 11, 2017 11:00 pm Good grief Adam, there is no chance of that, their reputation would be in tatters. Jeff Reply to George Lawson December 11, 2017 3:01 am Gerald Machnee Reply to Robert B December 11, 2017 10:54 am Send that to the Guardian comments. It appears some wise people commenting there did not see it. Harrowsceptic Reply to George Lawson December 11, 2017 3:08 am George Not to it’s readers it doesn’t (Guardian newspaper makes itself a laughing stock). At least give the Guardian credit for knowing its readers. They lap up stuff like this: unfortunately the wife is a good example of a CAGW junkie waiting for a fix from the next doom laden projection. Gerontius December 11, 2017 2:15 am I saw this video, yesterday and tried to get some numerical data. The map I found was a bit out of date but it showed that about half of the polar bear range (Alaska, Canada and Svalbard) was well surveyed. The data in that map showed that in the polar bear in two areas was in decline, in one area was increasing, whilst in the rest of the surveyed area the population was stable. Could someone post the current situation? As to starving bears, most weak animals in the wild get eaten before they get into this state. As an apex predator disease, starvation, following disease or injury or lack of hunting skills, or being killed by an other bear are the natural courses of nature. AndyG55 December 11, 2017 2:16 am Not one of the polar bear bed-wetters can explain how polar bears lived through the first 7000 – 8000 years of the Holocene, when there was FAR LESS sea ice than now, at times even “summer ice free”. Donald Reply to AndyG55 December 11, 2017 5:03 am Below, people are asking about abusive personalities – search this guy’s comments here and at Nova. AndyG55 is one of the truly abusive and nasty types that is tolerated by the blog authors in contravention of the site policy because he sides with the prevailing opinion of the site. I challenge WUWT to rid itself of him. Sweet Old Bob Reply to Donald December 11, 2017 7:44 am Can you prove him wrong ? That would be your best chance to get him to post less . AndyG55 Reply to Donald December 11, 2017 11:22 am Donald, stop your childish, idiotic and very abusive reply, and ANSWER THE QUESTION. Do you have any base level competence? AndyG55 Reply to Donald December 11, 2017 11:24 am I am NOT rude to anyone that doesn’t deserve it. I attack the ignorance of trolls that bring THEIR spite with them.. Editor Reply to Donald December 11, 2017 12:57 pm Donald, this upset you so much? “Not one of the polar bear bed-wetters…..” He named no one,the rest of his comment is easy to digest. “…can explain how polar bears lived through the first 7000 – 8000 years of the Holocene, when there was FAR LESS sea ice than now, at times even “summer ice free”.” Meanwhile you never addressed it…… Snicker. Reply to Donald December 11, 2017 3:28 pm Very idiotic and blatant propaganda gets some people riled but if you will kindly provide us with a thread that has more than 10% abuse with no comment of scientific merit (even Jo Nova), maybe the blog host will take you seriously. Meanwhile, address the argument instead of playing the man. AGW is not Science Reply to AndyG55 December 11, 2017 10:59 am Yes, when the past is contradictory to their modeled fantasies of CO-2 induced death and destruction, it does kind of expose the whole CAGW meme as the steaming pile of dung it really is. Peter Miller December 11, 2017 2:16 am Polar bears, like humans are at the top of the food chain. We bury or cremate our dead; polar bears die alone in the open. Most humans of 60+ age have had a life threatening medical condition cured by modern science. We need to remember this when we see a lone polar bear in the Arctic suffering from starvation. There are no vets in the Arctic and if the slightest thing goes wrong with a polar bear’s health in such a hostile environment, it is likely to be toast. David Chappell Reply to Peter Miller December 11, 2017 11:19 am Or steak tartare rather than toast Donald December 11, 2017 2:58 am There is extremism on both sides. But then, when you frequent a site that is completely biased and contrarian, how are you better? The comments here are consistently and frequently abusive and unscientific. Yet the superior and patronizing tone leaves me feeling sickened. This site merely confirms what it claims it is not. (If you are unhappy being here, you can easily leave. Several people were banned recently,one who is known as David Appell, who had been banned AGAIN for repeated using additional sockpuppet names) MOD Reply to Donald December 11, 2017 3:03 am You’re name calling, again. Donald Reply to Robert B December 11, 2017 3:29 am No, I’m not. Chris Wright Reply to Donald December 11, 2017 3:38 am Donald, I think you’re confused. Unlike the CAGW sites, critical comments are not automatically deleted, provided the posts are reasonably civil. There have been some abusive and unscientific comments here, but they are usually made by the believers such as Griff. Could you give some example of these “abusive” comments please? If you can’t provide evidence, then the obvious conclusion is that you came here, not to discuss the science, but to insult people. Chris Donald Reply to Chris Wright December 11, 2017 4:47 am I read the site often. Merely doing a google search with “WUWT Mann”or any other AGW “personality” will provide the evidence. Some are morte others but to try and claim it is t here is just…well, you know… Ben of Houston Reply to Chris Wright December 11, 2017 6:44 am Yeah, Donald. There’s bias. There’s politics. However, trying to find a place free of politics is like trying to find Solla Sollew. It doesn’t exist. Anyone who claims they are without bias is deluded. You need to read both sides from different sources to not get into an echo chamber. This is actually much better than most because it acknowledges other sides exist and occasionally puts out a guest article disagreeing with the site’s conclusions. Now, I admit that I am a bit biased myself, because I think they are right. The evidence just stacks up too highly that CO2 warming will be mild and non-damaging (definitely non-catastrophic) while CO2 emissions reduction programs are both completely ineffective and devastatingly expensive. However, that being said, Chris, you need to give a very critical eye on this site. It’s getting fairly toxic from time to time. While there is a group of more reasonable posters, there are a host of extremely rude “anti-liberal” comments on practically every thread these days. AndyG55 Reply to Chris Wright December 11, 2017 11:30 am “Could you give some example of these “abusive” comments please?” And make sure you follow the chain of comments, griff, ivan etc get back exactly what they bring to the forum. (Edited) MOD AndyG55 Reply to Chris Wright December 11, 2017 11:31 am correction …… get back exactly what they bring to the forum. Tom Halla Reply to Donald December 11, 2017 4:24 am Donald, try posting anything the least bit skeptical on a True Believer site. Amused contempt is entirely ordinary and proper when describing zealots. Donald Reply to Tom Halla December 11, 2017 4:49 am Yes – so all children argue: they do it so why shouldn’t I? That’s the WUWT raison d’etre. Sheri Reply to Tom Halla December 11, 2017 9:16 am Donald: Do you post on believer sites that using certain nasty names to describe those who do not subscribe to the global warming politics is rude? Do you routinely chastise people for using the “d” word, etc, on the pro-AGW sites? DonM Reply to Tom Halla December 11, 2017 10:02 am I’m still somewhat of a child… my childishness is still close in my heart and memory. I remember it as “… c’mon Dad … they get to do it without being chastised … why do you chastise me and not them … isn’t that a bit biased & hypocritical … OUCH …” Donald, is that a bit hypocritical? F. Leghorn Reply to Donald December 11, 2017 4:44 am This is science snowflake. When scientists all agree then domething is wrong with the science. Jan Glancy Reply to Donald December 11, 2017 6:27 am Agree. Nasty heartless comments. Sweet Old Bob Reply to Jan Glancy December 11, 2017 7:59 am Please don’t be so hard on Donald . I think he means well , bless his little heart . AndyG55 Reply to Jan Glancy December 11, 2017 4:35 pm “I think he means well” Most certainly, he doesn’t. Standard far-left victimhood. paqyfelyc Reply to Donald December 11, 2017 6:42 am “But then, when you frequent a site that is completely biased and contrarian, how are you better? ” There is no such thing as an unbiased site. WUWT is honestly biased, and we know that if some proof appeared of CAGW, it would acknowledge that. “sea ice page” will never go down the drain, or be tampered with, even if it showed complete disappearance of sea ice, for instance. And, yes, you are better when you frequent a contrarian site. It shows you that all people are NOT nuts, that some still have working brains of their own (not that all they write is true, but, still, it is their own production, not some chewed and spit propaganda). Walter Sobchak Reply to Donald December 11, 2017 7:55 am If you are sickened, I would suggest not reading the comments Sheri Reply to Donald December 11, 2017 9:04 am SPECIFICS or stop with the comments. Either enumerate that which you consider abusive and unscientific or leave. It’s that simple. AndyG55 Reply to Donald December 11, 2017 11:27 am Diddums Grow a spine! AndyG55 Reply to Donald December 11, 2017 11:33 am What you need to remember is that the AGW agenda, BY ITS OWN STATEMENTS, seeks to bring down western society. Why should anyone be polite to people who would support that agenda ? AndyG55 Reply to Donald December 11, 2017 12:37 pm “Yet the superior and patronizing tone leaves me feeling sickened.” Then stop using it. !! tadchem December 11, 2017 2:58 am It’s a shame how the ice all went away completely during the Eemian stage of the late Pleistocene, 113-114 thousand years ago, leaving sea levels 8 meters higher and sea surface temperatures 2° C warmer. The polar bears must have starved completely to extinction over 17,000 years without polar ice, forcing them to completely re-evolve from scratch – all for naught. [/sarc] December 11, 2017 3:02 am People have been using ships and floating boats in Hudson Bay for at least 3,000 years. Thule Inuit used boats to hunt whales 1000 years ago. Large sailing ships from Europe explored it in the 1600s. Ships came every summer to the fur trading posts starting in 1684. All those boats were used in the Bay in the summer when the sea ice melted out. Just like today. Polar bears were not immortal then as well. Reply to Bill Illis December 11, 2017 12:11 pm Bill, Excellent point about the use of boats. It is interesting that the “Dorset” culture that lived in the arctic apparently adapted to the colder period that preceded the Medieval Warm Period. They had no boats, and were skilled at hunting seals from air holes upon the sea-ice. When the Medieval Warm Period arrived the Dorset were at a disadvantage, when the Inuit arrived, because the Inuit had a wonderful invention called a “kayak”. I have debated Alarmists who like to fall back on graphs that show past levels of sea-ice as being as high, if not higher, than the levels reached in 1979. They never seem to wonder why the Inuit chose to utilize kayaks, with such high levels of sea-ice. Nor do they seem to wonder why the Inuit would have been some of the most gutsy whalers the world has ever seen, because whales would not come north if sea-ice levels were consistently as higher than 1979’s. Some people fail to think very long or very deeply, I fear. That is why they accept some spurious graphs as gospel. Gerald Landry Reply to Bill Illis December 11, 2017 9:20 pm Thanks Bill for some History. I always credit the Inuit for their engineering feat of building Kayaks framed from whale bone and covered in waterproof seal skin. The film crew likely have some Oil based polyethylene Kayaks in their seasonal excursions, and are voracious Singners of all the Anti Pipeline Petitions. There are over 50,000 whales in the Estuaries at Churchill Manitoba. I suggest that the natives offer a real Kayak Building Course before the skills are lost. True Eco Tourism with natural products. birdynumnum December 11, 2017 3:10 am I saw this elsewhere with all the emotional, filming with tears running down their faces. Did anybody notice the foaming mouth of the bear – rabies exists in the arctic, foxes get it. Reply to birdynumnum December 11, 2017 1:19 pm Bird, Many things can cause foaming at the mouth. This article discusses dogs, but the same principle applies to bears. https://www.petful.com/pet-health/dog-foaming-at-the-mouth/ John Ridgway December 11, 2017 3:28 am One of the puzzling aspects of this storyline was the assertion that the observers would have put the animal out of its misery but they did not have a gun. So, they were left with no alternative but to continue filming through their tears. Who in their right mind encroaches polar bear territory without a gun for their defence? I thought having a gun carrier was standard procedure. I could be wrong about this, so can anyone out there throw any light on this for me? F. Leghorn Reply to John Ridgway December 11, 2017 5:00 am Your comment, while basically correct only applies to sane people. Donald December 11, 2017 3:36 am There’s every possibility that this event doesn’t actually relate to climate change. Yet, just as absurd is the counter claim that the trend of melting arctic ice will have no impact on the globe or on polar bears. Similarly, you all well know that pointing out cold weather events is not a counter to the science of anthropogenic climate change. You’re no better than those you criticise. ChrisDinBristol Reply to Donald December 11, 2017 3:45 am But pointing out warm/droughty/wet/stormy weather events proves it, right? Donald Reply to ChrisDinBristol December 11, 2017 4:36 am No it doesn’t. Pretending that’s all the science is based on is equally absurdly. Sheri Reply to ChrisDinBristol December 11, 2017 9:21 am Donald: You seem to be missing the reality that most people who mention cold weather “disproves” global warming are being facetious. It’s mocking the media that seems to believe all warm events prove AGW and then they ignore the cold events. Few, if any, are serious in believing either cold or hot weather proves anything about AGW. AGW is based on homogenized, averaged, adjusted temperatures. Globally gridded. Not the snow on the East Coast. ChrisDinBristol Reply to Donald December 11, 2017 3:53 am . . . And anyhow, cold weather events are caused by AGW these days aren’t they? Best of fortune to all those in the cold eastern US of A right now – really sorry, my old Peugeot 306 here in the uk is undoubtedly to blame. . . Donald Reply to ChrisDinBristol December 11, 2017 4:43 am What causes cold weather events? Heating at the equatorial regions results in mid latitude cold weather events. So yes, heating causes cold weather. Trying to pretend global warning would result only in warm weather related events is stupid and unscientific. It appeals to those who don’t understand thermodynamics. And yes, eventually the N/S temperature gradient will decrease so this type of weather may moderate. But that’s only means weather will manifest itself in more extreme events in the tropical regions. Ben of Houston Reply to ChrisDinBristol December 11, 2017 8:21 am Donald, you have a point, but the way it’s being presented, there is no falsification. Everything is proof of climate change if you use that interpretation. Plus, this is a direct reaction to every record being broken being “proof of climate change”. Finally, no one is questioning that the world has warmed. There’s ample evidence of that. The questions are “why”, “how much can we expect”, and “what to do about it”. That’s where the science gets murky and the false confidence comes out. There is zero evidence that we will have enough warming to eliminate the ice caps completely. There is plenty of evidence that polar bears and other animals will do just fine if the ice caps do drop off. Most notably, recent warm periods that have had no ice caps for millennia. There will be effects, but there is precisely no evidence for catastrophe. Please present some evidence that we are going to have mass die-offs. I’ve seen nothing that wasn’t based on sensitivities that were ludicrous on their face (for example, a 0.1 pH change would cause mass extinction in waters that see more than that change daily or 2C changes in average temperature in regions that see 10C changes daily) or mass changes in rainfall based on models that were internally contradictory (for example, see the famous “Joshua Tree” study). Reply to ChrisDinBristol December 11, 2017 9:01 am >> Donald December 11, 2017 at 4:43 am What causes cold weather events? Heating at the equatorial regions results in mid latitude cold weather events. So yes, heating causes cold weather. Trying to pretend global warning would result only in warm weather related events is stupid and unscientific. << As a retired Navy pilot who has studied meteorology, I find your comment is exactly opposite to what causes cold weather. The reason why the poles are colder is because the angle of the Sun is lower. On winter solstice, the Sun is directly over the Tropic of Capricorn and the terminator of the Earth’s shadow just touches the Arctic Circle. That means the Sun never rises above the horizon at any point north of the Arctic Circle on that day. No sun means no surface heating–it’s cold up there. >> It appeals to those who don’t understand thermodynamics. << I’ve studied thermodynamics, and I think you don’t understand thermodynamics. For example, the first law (using the Clausius standard) is often expressed in differential form as: $\displaystyle dU=\delta Q-\delta W$ It’s common knowledge that all work can be converted to heat, but not all heat can be converted to work. So a warmer atmosphere doesn’t mean that heat engines will be more powerful. >> And yes, eventually the N/S temperature gradient will decrease so this type of weather may moderate. But that’s only means weather will manifest itself in more extreme events in the tropical regions. << Again, if you’ve ever flown an airplane, you’d know that engines are more powerful when the air is cold, and less powerful when the air is warm. Hurricanes get their energy from the water (that’s why they don’t form over land) and not from the atmosphere. They are vented by high altitude winds. If those winds are too low, a hurricane won’t vent properly. Also if those winds are too strong, it will disrupt a hurricane–the winds have to be just right. Those winds are controlled by the equator-pole temperature gradient. Jim Gerald Machnee Reply to ChrisDinBristol December 11, 2017 11:12 am Re Donald ** So yes, heating causes cold weather.** Sure. that excuse was made up when warming failed to come as predicted, when David Viner’s forecast of snow free winters in the UK became snow storms, such as this week. Yes, nor the wamistas blame everything om warming but have yet to blame warming on cooling. F. Leghorn Reply to Donald December 11, 2017 5:06 am Why would melting ice kill polar bears? They don’t eat ice. Seals, their favorite food, don’t eat ice. In fact, less ice means less places for seals to hide. Btw – you did know bears are excellent swimmers, didn’t you? Walter Sobchak Reply to F. Leghorn December 11, 2017 8:01 am Which is why their species named ursus maritimus. Jonas N Reply to Donald December 11, 2017 5:56 am Do you have a point, Donald? Other than believing stuff, such as: There will be weather .. in the future .. and not always the same. Ergo it changes .. which must be bad. Because … eh .. weather is bad. Or at least can be bad. If it changes, at least … For the worse? Donald Reply to Jonas N December 11, 2017 6:19 am Yes, here’s a point for you but not as patronizingly delivered to you as you were in asking for it: by increasing CO2 we are increasing the overall energy levels within the earth/atmosphere system and this will result in both stark and rapid changes to our environment and climate as well as more severe weather events. Solid, basic science for which the plight of polar bears is not a consideration. And the evidence for this is already there and mounting. ThinkingScientist Reply to Jonas N December 11, 2017 7:35 am Donald, Er, no. Not sure where you get your “increasing the overall energy levels” from. Sounds rather voodoo to me. On a basic level, weather events are driven by differences – in temperature and/or pressure primarily. As I understand the physics, if the world is warming (as opposed to simply a random walk variation or cycle) the tropics cannot change much in temperature but the poles would warm. Reducing the temperature differential between equator and poles will likely lead to less severe weather events. There is some evidence for this – papers published on increased storminess during LIA, slight reduction in hurricane ACE of last 50 years etc. Walter Sobchak Reply to Jonas N December 11, 2017 8:06 am “by increasing CO2 we are increasing the overall energy levels within the earth/atmosphere system” In that system CO2 is 1/2500 of the atmosphere. The atmosphere is 1/1000 of the oceans. Which means that CO2 is one 2.5 Millionth of the total. It is trivial and probably unmeasurable with current instruments. Gerald Machnee Reply to Jonas N December 11, 2017 11:06 am RE Donald ***Yes, here’s a point for you but not as patronizingly delivered to you as you were in asking for it: by increasing CO2 we are increasing the overall energy levels within the earth/atmosphere system and this will result in both stark and rapid changes to our environment and climate as well as more severe weather events. *** NO. You are making that up. You nor anyone else has proven any “rapid” change in climate or more severe weather events. ***Solid, basic science for which the plight of polar bears is not a consideration. And the evidence for this is already there and mounting.*** Again, verbal with NO evidence. So Donald, if you want us to take you seriously about man made warming, start with the following 2 questions: 1. Show me the engineering quality study that MEASURES warming caused by CO2. 2. Show me the engineering quality study that determined that warming in excess of 2 Deg C will cause runaway warming. Waiting……………………………………… AndyG55 Reply to Jonas N December 11, 2017 11:42 am “by increasing CO2 we are increasing the overall energy levels within the earth/atmosphere system and this will result in both stark and rapid changes to our environment” What a load of brain-washed anti-science nonsense. AndyG55 Reply to Jonas N December 11, 2017 11:45 am “but not as patronizingly delivered to you” Why are you being so rude, Donald. You are bringing your own spite with you, and then expecting people not to push back.. really ?. AndyG55 Reply to Jonas N December 11, 2017 12:28 pm “as well as more severe weather events. ” Again, nonsense, There is no evidence for more severe weather events.. in fact indices show less. You seem to be picking every propaganda fallacy you can get your hands on and lumping it together in a meaningless load of empty anti-science rhetoric.. Sheri Reply to Donald December 11, 2017 9:06 am No one said melting ice will not impact the polar bears or the globe. Of course it will. What is claimed is the impact is unknown, cannot be known, is part of Darwinian selection and is not to be feared and considered a “sky is falling” event. ChrisDinBristol Reply to Donald December 11, 2017 9:43 am Ah, I see a sarc was needed. But there is a serious point – the story being purveyed (perhaps not by you) is that any and perhaps all changes in our natural world are unnaturally caused by us. Now that, it seems to me, is absurd, excepting in the most oblique and chaotic sense. And I’m quite aware that this is not ‘all the science is based on’ – it was when I looked at the science it was based on that I stopped believing in it. AGW is not Science Reply to Donald December 11, 2017 11:12 am Couldn’t agree with Sheri more. The media hypes every “heat” item of weather “news,” and produces deafening silence about “cold” weather “news,” as respects its supposed “relationship” to “climate change.” When we point out the cold/snow/whatever, we’re being facetious, not serious. That’s the difference. The true believers actually think warm weather events are “proof” of AGW. jorgekafkazar Reply to Donald December 11, 2017 11:24 am Polar bears float. Gabro Reply to Donald December 11, 2017 11:32 am Lower summer minimum sea ice indeed has no discernible effect on polar bears or the globe. The sea ice important to polies is landfast ice in spring, not floating summer floes. Arctic sea ice extent has been growing for five years now. The mild retreat from near century highs in 1979 to 2012 was natural cyclic variation. Manmade CO2 has had no detectable effect. But less ice is better than more. Arctic sea ice extent has been lower for most of the Holocene than now. AndyG55 Reply to Donald December 11, 2017 11:38 am Please explain how polar bears survived the first 7000 – 8000 years of the Holocene , when Arctic sea ice was FAR LESS than now, and often summer ice free. AndyG55 Reply to Donald December 11, 2017 12:10 pm “trend of melting arctic ice ” Has been dead level for the past 10 years… so what trend are you talking about ? Maybe the drop from the extreme extent of the late 1970’s.. up there with the LIA ? Reply to Donald December 11, 2017 3:43 pm “The trend” is oscillating. Not linear. Polar bears did fine when the Arctic was ice free in summer for 1000s of years. They were severely stressed by extreme cold in the 70s like hasn’t happened since. Read the article before commenting. Jonas N December 11, 2017 3:39 am I would be very surprised if the video is not a slowed-down rendering of the actual footage. Meaning: They weren’t sure that the undernourished suffering bear alone would convey ‘the message’. And they added some gloomy music too … Sheri Reply to Jonas N December 11, 2017 9:23 am A good propagandist always adds gloomy music or happy music as needed. jorgekafkazar Reply to Jonas N December 11, 2017 11:29 am It definitely looks slomo to me. It’s propaganda. John W. Garrett December 11, 2017 4:04 am At bottom, it’s an effort to keep the videographers of SeaLegacy from starving. Erik Pedersen December 11, 2017 4:32 am Polar bears, like most other wild animals, grow old and die. When they grow old, there is no family or welfare state that helps and nurtures them. In most cases they starve and die like this old bear. Nature goes on and we can’t do anything about it in the world og wild animals… Donald Reply to Erik Pedersen December 11, 2017 4:55 am That’s right, people that are environmentalists and have a concern about the risks of climate change don’t understand that there is natural death and sickness In the world. Where would we be without your vast wisdom and knowledge? F. Leghorn Reply to Donald December 11, 2017 5:12 am You just accused us of incivility and now you post nasty sarcasm. Guess it got too warm and the snowflake melted down. paqyfelyc Reply to Donald December 11, 2017 7:09 am More truthful sentence that you believe. As stated above by someone else, polar bear are super-predator in their ecological niche, no other prey upon them. When a deer or seal will be killed and eaten, a polar bear will starve to death. That the way it is, climate change or not. That’s not “vast” wisdom and knowledge, just very basic, and obviously absent in those animal dying pornographers and anthropomorphic peeping toms. If they were sensible and really caring, they would have refrained to film and fed it instead. There are enough fiction on the internet to feed their blood-lust. Sheri Reply to Donald December 11, 2017 9:06 am Apparently right where you are—seeped in lack of reality. AndyG55 Reply to Donald December 11, 2017 11:49 am I repeat. Please explain how polar bears survived the first 7000 – 8000 years of the Holocene, when sea ice levels were FAR LESS than they are now. So far all you have is empty baseless rhetoric. David December 11, 2017 5:02 am Do these people never look at the satellite-derived (and therefore – presumably – not fiddleable) Sea Ice graphs..? This winter looks distinctly average…. Thomas Homer December 11, 2017 5:47 am “showing an emaciated bear clinging to life as it scrounged for food on iceless land” Of course it is scrounging for food on iceless land. As a mammalian carbon based life form, the polar bear inhales oxygen and exhales Carbon Dioxide. The carbon it exhales comes from the bear’s own body mass, and the bear must replenish this carbon or starve. Ice covered land does not promote photosynthesis, the process of extracting carbon from atmospheric CO2 to create organic material (food). The polar bears rely on atmospheric CO2 to deliver the carbon they need to survive. Griff December 11, 2017 6:36 am “In August, this bear would have been only recently off the sea ice” I think the author needs to look at where the sea ice was in august. this bear is likely in it sad condition due to the rapid and distant retreat of sea ice from the coast. similar conditions have seen bears stuck on shore scavenging Inuit whale kills and then there’s that picture of bears on Wrangel Island flocking to a dead whale carcass Polar Bears depend on sea ice… when there continues to be a lot less of it in summer they have to be affected. This author needs to consult those doing long term field studies on bears on the true state of things Editor Reply to Griff December 11, 2017 8:06 am Griff writes with his typical determined ignorance despite being schooled over and over: “I think the author needs to look at where the sea ice was in august.” It is often low,it was that way in previous decades too,while there were far fewer Polar Bears then. Now with a small reduction in later summer ice,there are far more Polar Bears than before. “this bear is likely in it sad condition due to the rapid and distant retreat of sea ice from the coast.” Unsupported opinion,besides just ONE bear versus this, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/content/dam/news/2017/11/23/TELEMMGLPICT000147460648_1_trans_NvBQzQNjv4BqXuvy510m4VCeEVDuNKTJKET5c3NAqhpki_eZEplEtM8.jpeg?imwidth=1400 Here it is,even you know about health bears in this photo. “similar conditions have seen bears stuck on shore scavenging Inuit whale kills and then there’s that picture of bears on Wrangel Island flocking to a dead whale carcass” Your well known ignorance continues since have there been a large INCREASE in Polar Bear population,despite a small decrease in late summer ice cover,which by then is irrelevant since Polar Bears eat most of the food during late winter to early summer,while there is plenty of ice around. Susan wwrote this you seem to have missed reading: “In August, this bear would have been only recently off the sea ice: since most bears are at their fattest at this time of year, something unusual had to have affected his ability to hunt or feed on the kills he made when other bears around him did not starve and die. It could have been something as simple as being out-competed for food in the spring by older animals.” It is well known that they are at their biggest by mid summer. My my,did you even read the post at all? “Polar Bears depend on sea ice… when there continues to be a lot less of it in summer they have to be affected.” You end this with a stupid statement since Dr. Crockford REFERRED to several published science papers. “This author needs to consult those doing long term field studies on bears on the true state of things” What Susan referred to right here in the blog post: “In fact, research done by polar bear specialists that work in the field shows that the most common natural cause of death for polar bears is starvation, resulting from one cause or another (too young, too old, injured, sick). From Amstrup in Wild Mammals of North America: Biology, Management, and Conservation… “Starvation of independent young as well as very old animals must account for much of the natural mortality among polar bears… Also, age structure data show that subadults aged 2-5 years survive at lower rates than adults (Amstrup 1995), probably because they are still learning hunting and survival skills. … “I once observed a 3-year-old subadult that weighed only 70 kg in November. This was near the end of the autumn period in which Beaufort Sea bears reach their peak weights (Durner and Amstrup 1996), and his cohorts at that time weighed in excess of 200 kg. This young animal apparently had not learned the skills needed to survive and was starving to death.” But as Mittermeier has made clear, facts don’t matter in cases like this Somerset Island bear’s death: it’s all about the message. I’ve asked this question before because it speaks to the present political climate: where were the appeals to help the many starving polar bears back in the spring of 1974 when females with newborn cubs were starving in the Eastern Beaufort Sea because the thick spring ice drove ringed seals away before they gave birth (Stirling 2002)? Here is what Stirling and Lunn (1997:177) had to say about the mortality event of 1974 that they witnessed. “…in the spring of 1974, when ringed seal pups first became scarce, we capture two very thin lone adult female polar bears that had nursed recently, from which we deduced they had already lost their litters. A third emaciated female was accompanied by two cubs which were so thin that one could barely walk. We have not seen females with cubs in this condition in the Beaufort Sea, or elsewhere in the Arctic, before or since.” What Stirling and Lunn witnessed and documented is scientific evidence that natural variation in spring sea ice can have devastating effects on polar bears, including mass mortality events (Crockford 2017). However, we have not seen any similar mass starvation events that have been conclusively shown to be caused by low summer sea ice.” I don’t think you read the blog post,just a quick skim, before your innate ignorance/stupidity kicked in to make your usual dead on arrival post. It is SPRING ice conditions that matters most NOT low summer ice. AndyG55 Reply to Sunsettommy December 11, 2017 3:45 pm “since have there been a large INCREASE in Polar Bear population, despite a small decrease in late summer ice co” PRECISELY. There was TOO MUCH sea ice around the late 1970’s, Polar bears had to travel too far to get food. Now with the decrease in sea ice back somewhat towards the lesser MWP extents, polar bear food is more readily at hand. DonM Reply to Griff December 11, 2017 3:35 pm … field studies? … long term field studies? So, if not a long term field study veteran, then not capable of understanding the notes and reports of the field folks? Is there inherent problem with field study researchers that causes them to create notes, reports, and papers that cannot be understood or deciphered by others? “Hey, don’t trust anyone but that guy .. he spent time “in the field” sniffing the scat … he’s a true exspurt” catweazle666 Reply to Griff December 13, 2017 4:48 pm [snip yeah, that’s a bit over the top, even though Griff probably deserves it, try saying it differently -Anthony] December 11, 2017 6:43 am Walter Sobchak Reply to Larry Kummer, Editor December 11, 2017 8:08 am Or cocaine addiction. DMH December 11, 2017 7:03 am Keep tabs on SeaLegacy, as tragedy porn will likely be the stock-in-trade of Paul Nicklen and Cristina Mittermeier, its founders. The acclaimed photographers, filmmakers, and media experts working with SeaLegacy are veteran virtuosos in the art of visual storytelling. Working within the confluence of conservation and science, SeaLegacy bridges the gap between scientific data and human emotion. We align ourselves with strategic allies who are working in the realms of science and policy, and we empower their efforts with incomparable imagery and influence. https://maptia.com/sealegacy/store “Welcome to our store — every purchase supports SeaLegacy’s ocean conservation work. Thank you for being part of our mission!” Paul Nicklen & Cristina Mittermeier FOUNDERS AT SEALEGACY I expect we will see more anecdotal evidence (of this ‘visual storytelling’ variety) from SeaLegacy to support the climate alarmist narrative, and this latest dying polar bear message was perhaps a press release to prospective funding agencies. Caligula Jones Reply to DMH December 11, 2017 12:14 pm Thanks for reading this crap, I couldn’t be bothered. I wanted to ask “what makes them experts”? but this makes sense now: “media experts ” Yep. Just like Trump and his laser pointer the media chases, that’s what they are. Not science. Or even math (i.e., as above, many times starvation is as a result of over-, not under-population. Graemethecat Reply to DMH December 12, 2017 5:31 am In other words, these two are skilled, emotionally-exploitative propagandists. Nothing whatever to do with Science. subtle2 December 11, 2017 7:12 am The political scientists seem to avoid using the taxonomic name. URSUS MARITIMUS. Maybe the Latin is bewildering, so I’ll translate: SEA BEAR. John Bills December 11, 2017 7:25 am where is nick stokes and mosher on this? Reply to John Bills December 11, 2017 7:38 am It’s fun, in a sad way, to read the comments at the FM website on this post. Endless comments saying that a PhD in Zoology means nothing, that she hasn’t published peer-reviewed literature is everything. It’s like an invasion of robots, all saying the exact same thing. Plus, since they are climate alarmists, lots of lies about her and her work. When asked for evidence to support their claims, they disappear or repeat that “she hasn’t published p-r literature.” It’s the same tactic as used in the Bioscience paper mentioning Crockford. Lies about her views about AGW and sea ice trends, ignore the evidence she has gathered, attack her on peripheral matters. Sad to see. Even pitiful. These tactics won’t win for them, yet they try again and again. Walter Sobchak Reply to Larry Kummer, Editor December 11, 2017 8:10 am They don’t want to win. They want to preen their virtuous opinions. TA Reply to Larry Kummer, Editor December 11, 2017 9:23 am “It’s the same tactic as used in the Bioscience paper mentioning Crockford.” That’s probably where they got it from. They are parroting the anti-Crockford propaganda. JohnKnight Reply to Larry Kummer, Editor December 11, 2017 11:09 am Walter, “They don’t want to win. They want to preen their virtuous opinions.” Why do you believe such a thing? Do you think all telemarketers are just trying trying to get you great products and services? . . ; ) Seriously, I think you unintentionally do a sort of soft damage to the effort to resist/defeat such a propaganda campaign by injecting the notion that it’s all just people trying to impress us with their virtuous natures. I mean, ever Larry seems to recognize that something dishonest, even vicious is going on . . to the point of not lamenting the “gridlock” we resistors have thus far been able to manage . . ; ) Jane Rush December 11, 2017 7:52 am Nick Stokes – “Polar Bears depend on sea ice… when there continues to be a lot less of it in summer they have to be affected.” Where are the others that have been affected – can we see some video evidence of them? Sheri Reply to Jane Rush December 11, 2017 9:08 am It’s called adaptation. Consult Darwin. Gabro Reply to Jane Rush December 11, 2017 11:56 am Polar bears don’t depend on summer sea ice. What matters to them is landfast ice in the spring, where ringed seal moms make their snow lairs to raise pups. Both boar and sow polies can take or leave summer sea ice floes. Gerald Machnee Reply to Jane Rush December 11, 2017 2:18 pm ***Nick Stokes – “Polar Bears depend on sea ice… when there continues to be a lot less of it in summer they have to be affected.” Where are the others that have been affected – can we see some video evidence of them?*** They only depend on ice when they are hunting. When the ice is gone, they come on land and fast for several months (not two months). When the ice reforms they go out again to hunt. The pseudo-scientists who do not know better say that a longer ice free period “due to global warming” is causing them to starve. Weather is variable and the ice free season varies from year to year and also goes in cycles. But there is no money to be made being honest. Twenty years ago when Mitch Taylor pointed this out, he was banned from a conference. Mark Reply to Jane Rush December 11, 2017 7:21 pm I think that was Griff Mark Reply to Mark December 11, 2017 7:23 pm Not Nick Scott December 11, 2017 8:43 am Propagandists dropped nice, fat, healthy bears from the sky in their emotional blackmail video. Only the scrawny starving ones remain. Mary Brown Reply to Scott December 12, 2017 7:56 pm That is an amazing video. Laughed my butt off, which made me worry about myself. Mary Brown Reply to Mary Brown December 12, 2017 7:59 pm Actually, that’s a good video to show the preachy hypocrites. Walk the walk or don’t talk the talk. Cancel your vacation. I’ll take my vacation because I’m not a “believer” Gamecock December 11, 2017 8:49 am ‘The video shows the bear struggling to walk as it searches for food. The bear eventually comes across a trashcan used by Inuit fishermen, rummaging through it with little luck. The bear, which was not old, probably died within hours of being captured on video, said Nicklen.’ I wonder what Nicklen had for lunch. And why he didn’t give it to the bear. How could the bear have starved with all those people around who surely had food? WHY DIDN’T THEY FEED IT? Did they WANT IT TO DIE? Reply to Gamecock December 11, 2017 10:22 am “How could the bear have starved with all those people around who surely had food?” or How could the bear have starved with all those people around who surely are food? or Why didn’t they put the poor thing out of its misery. PiperPaul December 11, 2017 8:53 am something unusual had to have affected his ability to hunt Did you just assume that bear’s gender? Off to the CorrectThink-O-Matic booth you go! Daryl M December 11, 2017 9:03 am I wonder what the snowflakes think happens to polar bears when they get old. Maybe they just vanish? Or maybe they becoming increasingly unable hunt until they starve to death. Nature is a cruel b*tch. Animals usually die horrible deaths. Sheri Reply to Daryl M December 11, 2017 9:09 am Well said. Nature is not kind. That does not seem to sink in with the Bambi lovers and Disney fans. Gareth Reply to Daryl M December 11, 2017 11:08 am Hang on, you mean they don’t end their days in a nursing home ? Something must be done. Reply to Daryl M December 11, 2017 12:25 pm I like the comment that questioned whether the bear was tested for rabies. The bear does have foam around its mouth, and rabies is a horrible way to die. Mary Brown Reply to Daryl M December 12, 2017 8:01 pm The curse of being at the top of the food chain. Anybody else gets eaten long before it gets to that point. We humans suffer the same sort of fate, but instead of starving, we waste away. TA December 11, 2017 9:28 am From the article: “Soul-crushing’ video of starving polar bear exposes climate crisis, experts say.” When will we get to see the soul-crushing video of mangled American eagles and other animals killed by windmills? jorgekafkazar Reply to TA December 11, 2017 11:51 am This coming January 26th will mark the 75th anniversary of the death of Nikolai Vavilov, Russian botanist. Vavilov died of starvation in a socialist prison by order of Stalin due to the machinations of Trofim Lysenko, science mountebank and brother in spirit of most modern climate scientists. Remember Vavilov. Ptolemy2 December 11, 2017 9:45 am Evolution by genetic variability combined with selective death, never ceases. Nature’s sculpting chisel. These pitiable victims are the “lambs slain before the foundation of the world”. JJM Gommers December 11, 2017 10:08 am There was on the NOTRICKSZONE blog, 3 days ago, an article about polar bears and reference to York et al 2016 and Wong et al 2017. Conclusion was, polar bears are doing very well. MLCross December 11, 2017 10:32 am As a hunter, if I saw any wild animal in that state of distress, I would shoot it. Then I’d immediately call the local conservation authority to examine it to determine what was wrong. I wouldn’t let it live in misery and I wouldn’t let it potentially pass-on/infect the rest of the population with whatever is wrong with it. Earthling2 December 11, 2017 10:51 am Well, this does definitely prove Darwin right about survival of the fittest. It is obvious that this particular bear had some deficiency. Perhaps its mother died prematurely before fully teaching its offspring how to hunt. There are dozens of potential reasons what may have happened including medical issues that the bear was sick with something else. None of it has much to do with CO2 causing less ice, creating starvation, otherwise many other bears in the same location would have also succumbed to starvation. I saw this on Twitter a few days ago, sponsored by National Geographic no less, with links to send money for more polar bear research. Really pathetic how low such a great institution such as NG will now stoop, to try and appease the CAGW’ers. Especially the violins/music playing while the video played. Really Sad! Blatant Propaganda! jorgekafkazar Reply to Earthling2 December 11, 2017 12:00 pm As Jonas N notes above, the video has been slowed down for dramatic effect, to make the bear appear more piteous. Gareth December 11, 2017 11:06 am It’s this sort of nonsense which undermines the belief in climate science more efficiently than any sceptic could ever dream of. I must admit, when I saw it initially in the media, my first thought was, Oh FFS, there goes another tranche of people unsure of what to believe. Our loss, sceptic gain. Roger Knights Reply to Gareth December 12, 2017 7:33 am It’s not merely the video that undermines the mainstream, it’s the mainstream’s uncritical embrace of it that does the trick. richard joseph carey December 11, 2017 12:31 pm The bear probably died within hours of being filmed? Surely the kind caring filmers shared their lunches with the beast. Earthling2 Reply to richard joseph carey December 13, 2017 3:27 am Or they could have sacrificed one of their own, or at least an arm or a leg, to feed the Beast. Caligula Jones December 11, 2017 12:38 pm The only way to solve this is to drop self-described “experts”, advocates, politicians and media into a polar bear zone where the population is “extinct”. Hopefully, an island. Without a boat or helicopter… December 11, 2017 12:45 pm Tweets by Jeff W. Higdon @jeffwhigdon He has a PhD in Biogeography and has published peer-reviewed papers about Canadian wildlife (see ResearchGate). How owns Higdon Wildlife Consulting. See LinkedIn. ——————————– I try to avoid commenting on stuff like this, at least for the first couple days when emotions are high. But since you asked. {Source.} That bear’s in rough shape, no doubt about that. There have been photos and videos of emaciated PB going back 10 years, at least. And some PB have been starving for as long as PB have existed. I suspect that one has other issues, which I’ll get into below. {Source.} Now, for what I think (“think” being the operative word, because I def don’t know with any certainty) is going on with this particular PB – it has an aggressive form of cancer. {Source.} Osteosarcoma, a type of bone cancer, has been recorded in PB (griz too). Source is “Zoobiquity: What Animals Can Teach Us About Being Human”, a 2012 book by Dr. B.N. Horowitz and K. Bowers (you can see this section via a Google Books preview if interested). {Source.} I can’t find any published lit about it in bears, unfortunately, and I’m certainly no cancer expert. But it’s fairly common in dogs (leading cause of death in golden retrievers, according to that book) and many of the symptoms described are being shown by that PB. {Source.} That bear is starving, but IMO it’s not starving because the ice suddenly disappeared and it could no longer hunt seals. The east Baffin coast is ice free in summer. It’s far more likely that it is starving due to health issues. {Source.} What the Sea Legacy crew should have done was contact the GN Conservation Officer in the nearest community and had this bear put down. And necropsied. The narrative of the story might have turned out quite different if they had. {Source.} Mortality rates/causes will vary by age/sex class and area/pop. Human harvest and DLP kills likely biggest mort source for most stages (in CA and GL at least). Some PB starve, of course. Prob most prev in old PB and/or injured/disease. {Source.} Lot of dodgy stuff happening on this one. They sat on the footage for months obviously. They should have called the nearest damn CO immediately. Bear humanely put down and necropsy done. But the results might not have been so effective at tugging heartstrings. {Source.} Betapug December 11, 2017 1:05 pm Nothing quite like the NonProfit business. “With an impact model centered around producing a constant stream of world-class media, and founders who are social media influencers with hundreds of thousands of highly engaged followers, SeaLegacy can offer exceptional brand partnership opportunities. The value of influencer marketing is growing exponentially and advertiser spend on influencers in 2017 is estimated to be over1 billion on Instagram alone.”

PaulH
December 11, 2017 4:19 pm

The perceptive if somewhat acerbic James Delingpole on the subject:

http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2017/12/11/delingpole-ugly-truth-dying-polar-bear/

“I’ll tell you what’s a lot uglier, though: the way that polar bear’s death has been completely misrepresented for political ends by the usual suspects in the climate alarmism lobby.”

TomRude
December 11, 2017 5:54 pm

CBC once again reaches yet another level of hypocrisy.
CBC Quirks & Quarks published an article on the Biosciences paper, closed to any comments, and refused since to follow up on her retraction demand.
http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/climate-denier-blogs-ignore-science-1.4424956
Then CBC Radio “As It Happens” reported on the National Geographic dying polar bear, the NGO that pushed the story and a Manitoba based academic (http://www.cbc.ca/news/multimedia/polar-bears-in-churchill-face-bleak-future-researchers-warn-1.4380568).

On that story, no mention of Dr. Crockford or of two recent scientific papers reported in No Trick Zone
(http://notrickszone.com/2017/12/07/2-new-papers-92-of-polar-bear-subpopulations-stable-increasing-inuit-observe-too-many-polar-bears-now/#sthash.zp3A6h4U.dpbs). “As it Happens” reporters can only find the alarmists…
However, the issue is not dying and Dr. Crockford reported in her blog that “Arctic seal biologist Jeff Highdon” was not impressed by the Sea Legacy attitude.
https://polarbearscience.com/2017/12/11/bioscience-paper-and-starving-polar-bear-follow-up/

“As It Happens” also received complaints from northern Canadians who explained this is hardly surprising: “Nunavut polar bear monitor Leo Ikakhik, right, says the video of a starving Northern polar bear is sad, but not necessarily the product of climate change. (…) But Ikakhik isn’t convinced.
Instead, he suspects the creature was likely sick or recovering from an old injury that left it unable to hunt.
He said he sees healthy and well-fed polar bears in the Arctic all the time, but some are simply unlucky.
For example, he said he recently came across a bear with a broken paw that couldn’t hunt, and locals had to put it down. “Since I’m from the North, I wouldn’t really fall for the video,” he said.”
“I wouldn’t really blame the climate change. It’s just part of the animal, what they go through.”

So first and foremost, political correctness is safe with CBC: what Dr. Crockford and many others pointed out as soon as the tragic video and its shameless exploitation came out was ignored but as soon as an inuk polar bear monitor raised his voice and called the whole thing for what it was, CBC found it “safe” to publish to the despair of some of their hardcore commenting believers “Does this guy understand that he’s supporting deniers? (Dennis Regan) ”

As an aside, we also learn that the video of the bear was shot in July… Hence the timing of the Biosciences publication, the Sea Legacy advocacy and both worldwide media campaigns is hardly a coincidence.

Yet, despite all this, “As it happens” still manages to conclude their second article on the word of the NGO ignoramus… Beyond their ridiculous censoring, the CBC demonstrates their bias and how untrustworthy their work is.

Extreme Hiatus
December 11, 2017 6:28 pm

“her face was puffy,” “her skin looked pale and papery,” and “her eyes were glazed”… “wobbly on her feet” with a “rattled cough”

Jose Allen
December 11, 2017 7:21 pm

When I was in Europe last June I saw the havoc caused by man on sea creatures. The BBC showed the autopsy of a beautiful whale that had starved to death. His whole intestine was filled with plastic. They could even read the names of the stores where the plastic had come from. The whale was caught in The Indian Ocean. BUT one suspects that the companies who “recycle” plastic send it to China. What do the Chinese do with it?If their past conduct when producing pet food and listed plastic as ‘protein’ and many of their other trade practices I do not trust their conduct in the recycling industry.If the northern oceans are warming(IF!) then that means that the seals and other animals and fish will penetrate further north, making it easier for the bears to feed on them. This group of so called scientists did not say they had performed an autopsy to see if plastic, poisons or other reasons were why this bear was starved. The Canadians do look after their bears and use modern technology to track them. Again, the team that photographed this bear did nothing to add to the knowledge about the Polar Bears, they simply took pictures and walked on by. I don’t imagine these people notified the Canadian authorities either… they got mor money and publicity by watching death.

December 11, 2017 7:29 pm

I’ve updated my update yet again (!) with the latest news: polar bear specialist Andrew Derocher and Ian Stirling have commented in a story at the National Post with nary a condemnation of the actions of the SeaLegacy crew (in contrast to the criticisms from sea biologist Jeff Higdon quoted above). See my post here. https://polarbearscience.com/2017/12/11/bioscience-paper-and-starving-polar-bear-follow-up/

Too little, too late.

TomRude
December 11, 2017 9:04 pm

The damage is done, worldwide not only in Canada, and here they all are attempting to cover themselves, these scientists because they have been exposed as activists and the media because their collusion and timing is too obvious to be ignored and now, quickly, the fairy tale of “balance reporting” has to be upheld to the highest standard of ethical journalism (no doubt a special CBC journalists panel will investigate… and absolve themselves of any wrong doing!).

AndyG55
December 11, 2017 9:15 pm

I STILL can’t get one of these polar bear bed-wetters to explain how polar bears survived the first 7000 – 8000 year of the Holocene, when sea ice levels were MUCH lower than they currently are.

They duck and they weave, even try sliming (yeah, like that’ll work 😉 )

They try anything to avoid answering.

So funny !! 🙂

Gerald Landry
December 11, 2017 9:35 pm

the Bear Facts are that a Post Mortem was NoT done. It’s looks like it has the mange which occurs in Fur Bearers. We had a mangy wolf eating dogs and cats in town and when I voiced my concerns with the Township Clerk that there should be warnings in the Media for parents not to leave children outside unattended he scoffed me. I called him 2 weeks later and told him that the problem was solved. How’s that he asked? Well a rural resident whose 2 dogs were being attacked had his rifle handy. Oh’ but he’s Not allowed to shoot in the Township. Yah’ right, when bears have their noses pushed up against your windows and wolves urinating on your basement wall wanting to snack on your outside dog with his 4″ coat of fur who has no use of a dog house and is just thrilled with being on House Arrest all winter.
Too many Saturday Cartoon Realists living in Dizzyland.

Ptolemy2
December 11, 2017 10:17 pm

Another tragic victim of climate change starvation:

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DQohYrDXUAAfXqT?format=jpg&name=medium

George Lawson
December 12, 2017 5:41 am

Problem solved; the bear was Photoshopped!

Roger Knights
December 12, 2017 6:54 am

Yes. Because the alarmists’ 2050 prediction of sea ice reduction occurred much earlier than expected and was found baseless, we contrarians should characterize it as a microcosm of what’s likely to occur to their other 2050 predictions. Stress should be placed on the powerful fund-raising appeal of the “endangered polar bears” theme as a motivator of Big Green NGOs. (I.e., self-preservation of their organizations is their main motive.) Polar bear alarmism should be OUR poster child.

Roger Knights
December 12, 2017 7:18 am

John W. Garrett December 11, 2017 at 4:04 am
At bottom, it’s an effort to keep the videographers of SeaLegacy from starving.

Alena Densmore
December 14, 2017 7:02 am

It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that the gimpy leg on the Bear, which the global warming loons simply declare is the result of starvation, might in fact be the cause of the Bear’s starvation. He could have been injured in that leg and therefore been unable to move fast enough to hunt. It’s just an idea, but it has every bit as much merit as theirs.

Caligula Jones
December 14, 2017 7:21 am

Well, obviously, this Inuit guy can’t be a real expert as he’s never published a peer reviewed paper on polar bears, but hey, I tend to believe him anyway: