New Paper Polar Bears Attracted to Garbage Dumps Blames Lack of Sea Ice Without Any Evidence

From Polar Bear Science

Dr. Susan Crockford

A paper published yesterday discusses polar bears that get into human garbage and cause other problems due to community attractants. Most of the incidents recounted and the issues they’ve raised have been reported by the media and are ones I’ve discussed here over the last few years in detail, including here and here, as well as in my recent book (Crockford 2019).

Churchill dump 2003. Dan Guravich photo, Polar Bears International handout.

All you need to know about the motivation behind the paper comes from the authors’ acknowledgement:

This paper developed from a meeting in Churchill, Manitoba, in autumn 2019 where the issue of dump use by polar bears arose. We thank Dan Cox [a photographer for PBI] for suggesting exploration of this issue and Polar Bears International for arranging this meeting.

So, six months or so after my book came out in March 2019, in which these issues were discussed in detail, polar bear experts decided it was time to write a paper on the topic. The open access paper, by Tom Smith and colleagues (Smith et al. 2022), is accompanied by an online essay published the same day by the lead author and picked up at least one cheer-leading media outlet via Reuters. See what you think.

The authors state in their abstract:

In contrast [to brown and black bears], the use of anthropogenic foods by the polar bear Ursus maritimus
is less common historically but is a growing conservation and management issue across the Arctic.

However, ‘less common historically’ means within the last few decades: before that time, such issues in the Far North were rarely, if ever, reported. Like a paper from a few years ago on deadly polar bear attacks (Wilder et al. 2017), this paper fails to acknowledge that Inuit and other indigenous peoples lived with polar bears for thousands of years before there were firearms for protection. Smith and colleagues summarily dismiss the undocumented deaths and damage that polar bears must have caused over that time.

Of the six ‘case studies’ featured in the paper (see map below, their Fig. 1), most of the information came from newspaper articles rather than from local authorities or their reports, a disappointing feature for an essay purporting to be ‘science’. I expected the authors would have used their unique connections to fill in the details on some of the recent news stories but they did not. And oddly, their ‘cases’ did not include the earliest and most famous one, of William Barents and his crew whose food stores were constantly plundered by polar bears over the winter of 1596-1597 (De Veer 1609).

Churchill, Manitoba

The story of Churchill’s history of polar bear problems, which began in the 1960s as polar bear numbers were increasing at the same time as thousands of military personnel occupied the area, seems quite glossed over in this new paper, especially since it is so well documented (see the monograph by Ian Stirling and colleagues, 1977, also Kearney 1989). The carnage of polar bear deaths that resulted from their attraction to the town dump, dog yards, and other food smells, especially between 1966 and 1975, is totally brushed over by these authors.

Lack of sea ice was not an issue at that time and yet, the situation of human attractants was arguably more serious (attracting 60-80 bears at a time into the community some years) than any of the more recent incidents mentioned in the Smith paper, since as well as the large number of bears that were shot in self defense, at least one person died, many dogs were killed by bears, and serious damage to property had occurred before solutions were implemented. The town dump was not closed until 2005, decades after the worst of the problems occurred.

The bears causing so much havoc in Churchill in the 60s and 70s could not be said to be desperate for food due to lack of sea ice or part of a declining population, so of course the seriousness of the problem at that time had to be down-played.

Arviat, Nunavut

Arviat, a community of about 3,000 that sits on the shore of Western Hudson Bay just north of Churchill, has been having problems with polar bears for more than a decade.

In 2016, it was bears digging up human graves in the local cemetary. In early July 2018, a local Inuk father was fatally mauled by a bear just outside the community, where no human attractants existed.

Belushya Guba, Novaya Zemlya, Russia

I’ve addressed this major incident from February 2019 in detail (with sea ice charts) of dozens of bears invading a community garbage dump but it gets one paragraph in the paper. The authors assume the phenomenon was caused by lack of sea ice but provide no evidence that this was actually the case [my bold]:

“Although polar bears had visited the dump in previous years, this event was unprecedented and likely the result of a lengthened on-shore fasting period because of the loss of sea ice in the region.”

Despite assurances from the authors that in most cases, problem bears retreat to the sea ice once it is available, although ice was abundant offshore many of the bears on Novaya Zemlya only left after they were persistently harassed by the military.

Ryrkaypiy, Chukotka, Russia

I’ve also addressed this incident, from December 2019, in detail. The authors mention the garbage dump near Ryrkaypiy as an attractant but not the hundreds of walrus (dead by natural causes, which is what the bears in the photo below are feeding on), laying at the foot of Cape Schmidt less than 1km away.

Several news reports at the time commented that adult males drove juvenile bears away from the walrus carcasses, and that these made up the majority of problem bears at the dump and around the town. Several reports from WWF informants claimed the bears were in poor condition (of course they would) but the photos provided showed otherwise: virtually all the bears were fat.

It is clear that using information from only one source and not actually checking the sea ice conditions at the time led the authors to the following erroneous conclusion:

Once the sea ice formed and thickened, polar bears returned to the Chukchi Sea. This case illustrates that
sea-ice conditions and polar bear body condition are predictors of human–polar bear conflicts and, as in other areas, dumps are an attraction to polar bears and can increase the numbers of problem animals in settlements.
 [Smith et al. 2022:4]

Kaktovik, Alaska

Here the attractants are the bowhead whale carcasses remaining after subsistence whaling by local Inuit. Bears attracted to the bone piles sometimes wander into the community and cause damage or threaten people, which I’ve discussed previously.

The authors admit that the town dump had been a problem attractant even before the bowhead whale remains became an issue in the early 2000s:

Polar bears that were once drawn to the now protected Kaktovik community dump are attracted by bowhead whale remains following hunter harvesting…This case study illustrates the challenges facing northern communities where traditional harvesting activities interact with climate warming-driven shifts in polar bear distributions and with their increased reliance on anthropogenic food. [Smith et al. 2022:5]

First Nations coastal communities in Ontario, Canada and others

I’ve not written about the specific Southern Hudson Bay incidents mentioned in this case study. Three recent incidents of bears at town dumps are covered (subsequently shot or relocated), in Kashechewan (July 2016) and Moose Factory (December 2015 and December 2020).

In addition to the above cases, mention is made in the paper of the fatal attack on an Inuk hunter by a polar bear at Naujaat, Nunavut (Foxe Basin) in August 2018, which I have written about here and here, as well as in my book. Without any evidence whatsoever, the authors attempt to blame this tragic incident on human attractants, stating:

“It is possible, but uncertain, that anthropogenic scents (e.g. food, harvested animals) at the camp could have attracted these polar bears”. [Smith et al. 2022:6]

They also failed to mention that along with the female and her yearling cub who initiated the attack, three other bears attracted to the carnage were also shot (although it was later revealed only two bodies were found). This incident could not in any way be blamed on lack of sea ice: the surviving hunters waited days to be rescued because an icebreaker was required to deal with the thick ice that trapped them onshore.

Demographic change effects ignored

Smith and colleagues put most of the blame for an apparent recent increase in problem bears on declining sea ice but make no mention of the well-known phenomenon of food stealing perpetrated by mature males against younger, smaller individuals (Stirling 1974). Young bears 2-3 years old, especially young males, are responsible for the majority of attacks on humans and problems in communities in part because older males often drive them away from available food.

Total hunting bans and restricted hunting of polar bears across the Arctic have resulting in growing populations that almost certainly contain more mature males than existed for most of the 20th century. As a consequence, more food-stressed young bears surely appear every year, which means more 2-3 year olds desperate enough to attack humans, get into garbage dumps, or enter communities looking for food.

This phenomenon is likely the basis for Ian Stirling’s comment in 1976 about the total ban on hunting in Norway (which I discussed in an essay about human/polar bear conflicts, with references):

“Dr. Stirling felt that complete cessation of hunting, such as exists in Norway, may increase bear-man conflicts. Dr. Reimers replied that the careful harvesting of polar bears was probably desirable, but the total ban now in effect was largely an emotional and political decision rather than a biological one. Last year four bears were killed in self-defense.” [1974 PBSG meeting “Norway – progress reported by [Thor] Larsen”; Anonymous 1976:11]

Overall, the authors present garbage and other human attractants as another threat to the survival of polar bears, on top of the ‘disappearing sea ice’ they claim is causing bear numbers to decline because the bears are in such poor condition. They state:

Consequently, polar bears will be drawn to anthropogenic food in more locations across the Arctic and for longer periods, thus threatening their survival and human safety. This growing conflict will be most prominent in locations where human settlements already overlap with areas where polar bears wait for sea-ice formation. [Smith et al. 2022:7]

Overall impression

Smith and colleagues conclude that more needs to be done to deal with bear attractants in Arctic communities but that the methods used so effectively in Churchill are expensive and require money these villages simply don’t have.

I pointed out this obvious point in March 2019 in my book, The Polar Bear Catastrophe That Never Happened (2019:133). These authors are pretending they didn’t read my book (they certainly don’t cite it) but their paper seems to be a clear attempt to refute my books main conclusion.

While Smith and colleagues argue it is more people plus less ice (and thus starving bears) that attract bears to Arctic communities and garbage dumps, my conclusion (last paragraph in the book) was that growing polar bear numbers plus more people are the critical criteria:

In the 21st century, the biggest conservation challenge may be helping Arctic communities cope with increasing numbers of potentially deadly and destructive polar bears without having to kill too many bears.

This is the reality that lies ahead, because the polar bear catastrophe that was promised back in
2007 failed to materialise. And despite decades of handwringing, polar bear numbers are not only higher than 50 years ago, but may be much higher than leading polar bear specialists are willing to entertain, perhaps as high as 39,000 (range 26,000–58,000).

While it is true that too many bears is not the future polar bear specialists envisioned, it is the real-life consequence of the fact that the polar bear is a species fully adapted to living in ever-changing Arctic conditions. Almost overnight, the conservation success story has morphed into an evolving saga of tenuous co-existence between flourishing polar bears and terrified Arctic residents. [Crockford 2019:134]

References

Anonymous 1976. Polar Bears: Proceedings of the 5th meeting of the Polar Bear Specialists Group IUCN/SSC, 3-5 December, 1974, Le Manoir, St. Prex, Switzerland. Gland, Switzerland IUCN.

Crockford, S.J. 2019The Polar Bear Catastrophe That Never Happened. Global Warming Policy Foundation, London. Available in paperback and ebook formats.

De Veer, Gerrit. 1609. The Three Voyages of William Barentsz to the Arctic Regions (English trans.). http://archive.org/details/cihm_18652 [downloaded 19 December 2012]

Kearney, S.R., 1989. The Polar Bear Alert Program at Churchill, Manitoba. In: Bromely, M. (Ed.), Bear–People Conflict: Proceedings of a Symposium on Management Strategies, Yellowknife, Northwest Territories Department of Renewable Resources, pp. 83–92. [courtesy M. Dyck, Gov’t of Nunavut] Pdf here.

Smith, T.S., Derocher, A.E., Mazur, R.L., York, G., Owen, M.A., Obbard, M., Richardson, E.S. and Amstrup, S.C. 2022. Anthropogenic food: an emerging threat to polar bears. Orynx 1-10. [Open access] https://doi.org/10.1017/S0030605322000278

Stirling I, Jonkel C, Smith P, Robertson R, Cross D. 1977. The ecology of the polar bear (Ursus maritimus) along the western coast of Hudson Bay. Canadian Wildlife Service Occasional Paper No. 33. pdf here.

Wilder, J.M., Vongraven, D., Atwood, T., Hansen, B., Jessen, A., Kochnev, A., York, G., Vallender, R., Hedman, D. and Gibbons, M. 2017. Polar bear attacks on humans: implications of a changing climate. Wildlife Society Bulletin, in press. DOI: 10.1002/wsb.783 http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/wsb.783/full

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Vuk
July 24, 2022 6:07 am

Why go and hunt, may not catch much, when there is lot of ‘free and easy’ stuff to be found on the garbage dumps, sort of social security benefits for lazy bears. Many humans aren’t much different.

Last edited 21 days ago by Vuk
Spetzer86
Reply to  Vuk
July 24, 2022 7:24 am

See the streets of most West Coast USA cities for examples.

n.n
Reply to  Vuk
July 24, 2022 7:40 am

Opportunity cost. Why hunt for a meal, when you can get leftovers for free. Bad scientists.

Last edited 21 days ago by n.n
Bryan A
Reply to  Vuk
July 24, 2022 8:00 am

Over time populations can also increase in any town. Just the nature of “Human” … Go forth and multiply … increasing human populace leads to increasing garbage production and thereby increasing scavenging potential for an ALSO Increasing Polar Bear population

observa
Reply to  Bryan A
July 24, 2022 8:52 am

 increasing human populace leads to increasing garbage production 

QED-
Climate change threatens to wipe out birds with ‘extreme’ features (msn.com)

Perhaps Dr Crockford could elucidate for us how the polar bears with extreme features are holding up amidst the normal average garbage fossickers?

Rich Davis
Reply to  Vuk
July 24, 2022 10:14 am

Ok, but how does a garbage dump attract paper polar bears?

And what’s a paper polar bear anyway? If they’re a problem, why keep making new ones?

It’s like they keep putting up deer crossings in dangerous, high traffic areas.

Janice Moore
Reply to  Rich Davis
July 24, 2022 12:54 pm

🙂

Last edited 21 days ago by Janice Moore
Chris
Reply to  Rich Davis
July 24, 2022 4:43 pm

New Paper Polar Bears – most likely a sub-species caused by climate change.

Rich Davis
Reply to  Chris
July 24, 2022 5:57 pm

Thanks for the clarification. So they’re not really made of new paper I guess. Very confusing 😜

Rich Davis
Reply to  Chris
July 25, 2022 3:36 am

Must be a shortage of colons. Yet another supply chain headache. Thanks, Brandon!

Well, Dr. C does great work even if her headline-writing skills are a bit dodgy.

Gary Pearse
Reply to  Vuk
July 24, 2022 2:14 pm

I’ve worked in Canada’s wilderness from the late 1950s (geological mapping and mining exploration from B.C. – Yukon to Newfoundland Labrador) and vacationed and hunted at a cabin built in northern Ontario by my father in the 1940s. Bears of all kinds will happily incorporate a garbage dump or your provisions into their hunting activities.

This is age old and not something new. Only a brain impaired by ideologue witlessness would think that food already gathered and concentrated in one stinking pile wouldn’t be attractive to bears and a multitude of other creatures. It’s the same addled thinking that brought us low density, widely flung, intermittent, high cost energy to replace high density, efficient, dispatchable power. It has to be concluded that bears are smarter than the consensus useful idiots who are studying them.

fretslider
July 24, 2022 6:11 am

“New Paper Polar Bears Attracted to Garbage Dumps Blames Lack of Sea Ice Without Any Evidence”

Are they naive or just plain stupid?

Foxes in England, once rural, have adapted extremely well to the city – with discarded fast foods of many varieties from Chinese to Balti to McDonalds etc. They have a lot to choose from.

People in my area can be just as stupid as the scientists. Rather than put a bin liner in a bin with a lid that Foxes cannot open they leave the bin liners out overnight. Needless to say in the morning there is garbage everywhere!

Do they learn? No, they demand the council puts a cull together to wipe them out.

It’s the Idiocracy.

Richard Page
Reply to  fretslider
July 24, 2022 7:14 am

Presumably these are the same type of people that in past years got fox hunting banned? Ah the law of unintended consequences strikes again.

fretslider
Reply to  Richard Page
July 24, 2022 7:42 am

Presumably these are the same type of people that in past years got fox hunting banned

Quite probably. The idea of a Clapham Common hunt is most amusing.

MarkW
July 24, 2022 6:15 am

For the last decade, sea ice has not been declining.

fretslider
Reply to  MarkW
July 24, 2022 8:21 am

My patience has.

July 24, 2022 6:36 am

A place called Churchill has wildlife officers who sometimes have to dart bears and call a helicopter to pick up and carry away a bear to the wilderness. They have a bear jail where they lock up bears…appears to be a small bear industry going on.

Last edited 21 days ago by Antigriff
Randy
Reply to  Antigriff
July 24, 2022 7:08 am

Likely due to global warming, black bears have not been able to survive on the berries and insects in the wooded areas of Colorado. Instead, they have developed a taste for Mexican food in the many dumpsters in Colorado Springs.

Spetzer86
Reply to  Randy
July 24, 2022 7:26 am

Another symptom of our free and open Southern border?

n.n
Reply to  Spetzer86
July 24, 2022 7:42 am

Cultural appropriation, obviously. Bad bears.

Dr Ken Pollock
Reply to  Antigriff
July 24, 2022 7:13 am

I once came close to making a TV programme about polar bears and Churchill. Sadly the prime mover was killed in plane accident and nothing happened. What I have read here confirms all I learnt back 20 years ago. Sincere thanks to Susan Crockford for maintaining one’s faith in proper science, as opposed to populism disguised as science. Many thanks!

toorightmate
Reply to  Antigriff
July 24, 2022 7:40 pm

Sounds all too hard to bear!!!

Old Man Winter
July 24, 2022 7:01 am

Having been raised on a dairy farm, we were taught that regardless how tame a “domesticated
animal” may seem to be, it can instantaneously turn on you. For that reason, you always left
an escape route in case if that happened. Bulls were ALWAYS assumed dangerous because their
“job” is to protect the herd which makes them even more unpredictable. Like bees, they can
be ornery for no apparent reason.

With the rise of interaction between wild animals & humans- including the extra “free food”
at garbage dumps- it’s absurdly ridiculous not to expect these incidences to rise. They’re
WILD animals where there’s usually a male peck order & it’s accepted that they will fight to
the death under certain circumstances. You can’t just turn that on & off. Even in situations
where that doesn’t apply, they can still be ornery & unpredictable even with no stressors.
They’re WILD animals, for goodness sake!

He didn’t see that coming!

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9307077/Rooster-fitted-knife-illegal-cockfight-kills-owner-tried-escape.html

Last edited 21 days ago by Old Man Winter
Reply to  Old Man Winter
July 24, 2022 7:14 am

Some bears hibernate in winter but the Polar bears eat seals and become fat…..in summer they “hibernate” by walking around and living off their fat….are attracted to Churchill by smell…wildlife officers receive bear reports and try to drive them away with their pickups and a shotgun shell that explodes like a firecracker….darted bears are watched with a 12 gauge loaded with slugs just in case.

Last edited 21 days ago by Antigriff
Richard Page
Reply to  Old Man Winter
July 24, 2022 7:22 am

They’re not just wild animals; these are intelligent apex predators in the habitat they have evolved for. This is learning behaviour for them – in the same way that a curious shark will take a bite out of a human to see what it is, these younger adult bears will try anything once or twice to see what happens – the larger the bear population, the more common this will become. Either the money must be found to make communities ‘bear proof’, or there will be many more deaths of bears and humans.

Old Man Winter
Reply to  Richard Page
July 24, 2022 9:16 am

You have to be a bit insane to think you can control large bulls, sharks & bears as they’re
used to doing whatever they danged well please!

John Hultquist
Reply to  Old Man Winter
July 24, 2022 10:09 pm

raised on a dairy farm “

Rumor has it that dairy bulls are more dangerous than beef bulls.
This being a topic I know less about than the ones I know a little about.

n.n
July 24, 2022 7:37 am

Bad bears, bad bears, what you gonna do, when they come for you… your trash.

Andy Pattullo
July 24, 2022 8:03 am

Fewer bears -> “humanity’s fault”. Too many bears -> “humanity’s fault”. Fewer human-bear interactions -> “the bears are starving and dying”. More human-bear interactions -> the bears are starving and will die”. These are not the words of scientists but rather propagandists. Susan is one of the few dedicated to seeking the facts and telling the truth.

fretslider
July 24, 2022 8:09 am

“Polar Bears Attracted to Garbage Dumps”

Does anybody remember Yogi bear? I recall he had a thing for picnic baskets.

“Smarter than the average bear”, as he claimed.

No sensible predator wastes energy.

Last edited 21 days ago by fretslider
Rich Davis
Reply to  fretslider
July 24, 2022 10:38 am

Yes, I remember. Look at those “pickenick” baskets, Booboo.

H. D. Hoese
July 24, 2022 8:40 am

“Total hunting bans and restricted hunting of polar bears across the Arctic have resulting in growing populations that almost certainly contain more mature males than existed for most of the 20th century.” Probably differences, but catch and release and regulations on harvest may be a mistake. Seagulls, sharks, alligators, polar bears and others are all free-loaders with problems to varying degrees. All sorts of blames are easy and used with a few important as one shark researcher did admit that populations were increasing along with swimmers and surfers. When there was a Gulf of Mexico shark fishery for vitamin A before it was synthesized sharks avoided lines with carcases caught in the gear.

These are great whites, some now even being petted by divers. I have done a little research on sharks and attacks, even saw one aggressively bite a hand reaching down the line on a hooked one. We may be treating both polar bears and sharks with too much adulation. Overfishing of sharks was exaggerated.
https://www.nbcboston.com/news/local/shark-season-is-heating-up-6-sightings-friday-morning-20-in-the-past-2-days/2780708/

Rich Davis
Reply to  H. D. Hoese
July 24, 2022 10:43 am

All bears are dangerous, apparently even paper polar bears. Even Winnie the Pooh is threatening to invade Taiwan.

July 24, 2022 8:49 am

No more fish in the oceans or did the oceans disappear ?

comment image

Shoki Kaneda
July 24, 2022 9:02 am

Bears, of all types, are opportunistic feeders and love garbage. It’s free and requires little effort.

Oldseadog
July 24, 2022 9:56 am

A few weeks ago I saw a super cartoon but the mobile phone failed to take a picture of it.
It showed an igloo with footprints going into the entrance, a polar bear watching and another which had made a hole in the roof saying “I love these things – crunchy on the outside and chewy on the inside.”

Reply to  Oldseadog
July 24, 2022 10:49 am

That ? 😀
comment image

Last edited 21 days ago by Krishna Gans
Oldseadog
Reply to  Krishna Gans
July 24, 2022 12:46 pm

That’s the one, Krishna, thanks.

Reply to  Oldseadog
July 24, 2022 10:55 am

There are some others around 😀

comment image

dennisambler
July 24, 2022 10:00 am

Overall, the authors present garbage….

Alex
July 24, 2022 10:09 am

Weren’t polar bears expected all to drown in the iceless Arctic ocean?

Joe
July 24, 2022 10:28 am

When you eat seal everyday of your life, there is nothing more exhilarating than the wonderful, variety in the aroma of a human garbage dump, bears just love it

Mr.
Reply to  Joe
July 24, 2022 12:10 pm

Yes and why aren’t PETA concerned about the death & cruelty to seals.

Discrimination, I tells ya!

White supremacist polar bears are the perpetrators.

rah
July 24, 2022 10:41 am

Really how ignorant about wildlife and the great outdoors does one have to be to believe this crap?

Tell me. What are the black bears that scavenge human garbage or their picknick baskets lacking in the wild? What was the racoon that stole a bag of potato chips from our table at a campsite lacking in the wild?

Sheesh!

Oldseadog
Reply to  rah
July 24, 2022 12:52 pm

Not to mention the Greater Blackback Gulls that inhabit the Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh and pinch cheese and ham sandwiches so often that the restaurant replaces them foc to victims.

rah
Reply to  Oldseadog
July 24, 2022 5:17 pm

Or the ravens in the alps that will do the same thing at a Hute.

Walter Sobchak
July 24, 2022 11:16 am

“In 2016, it was bears digging up human graves in the local cemetery.”

That is very disturbing. What can they do? What did the Inuit do in centuries past?

Mr.
Reply to  Walter Sobchak
July 24, 2022 12:11 pm

I shudder to think . . .

Richard Page
Reply to  Walter Sobchak
July 25, 2022 10:33 am

Some American Indians tribes used to leave their dead exposed – sooner or later nature would find a way to make the remains disappear. Early Inuit peoples would either leave the dead out on the ice or bury them at sea, only since about 1400AD when they began converting to christianity did they bury their dead.

Greg S.
July 24, 2022 11:59 am

Breaking News! Opportunistic animal goes for the easy meal at human garbage dump. More at 11.

Reply to  Greg S.
July 24, 2022 2:12 pm

In Churchill, the bears may be locked up for up to 2 weeks….without food or water…in a concrete – no bars cell. A bear is not necessarily after the dump – there are plenty of smells from a human town and a bear obviously has never seen anything like a human town. There is minimal contact with the bears in jail to show them a bad time so they will not want to return.

Bryan A
Reply to  Antigriff
July 24, 2022 3:34 pm

Of course bears haven’t seen human towns, human towns just spring up overnight in bear territories and appear complete with dump sites full of interesting waste.

I couldn’t imagine being locked up for 2 weeks without any water source…most animals (humans included) tend not to live longer than a few days without water…the only blue food.

Reply to  Bryan A
July 24, 2022 5:10 pm

Some bears hibernate unlike humans. Polar bears apparently can live off raw seal meat…I don’t think a human would last long on that diet. Some bears can accumulate fat and go for long periods without eating….existing on body fat.

Philip CM
July 24, 2022 2:33 pm

Lazy bears, or just lazy science/scientist?

commieBob
July 24, 2022 3:47 pm

I can tell you from direct experience that polar bears are attracted to the smell of food, no matter how much sea ice there is. They are not fussy eaters and, if you don’t burn your garbage sufficiently, they will come visiting.

In contrast [to brown and black bears], the use of anthropogenic foods by the polar bear Ursus maritimus is less common historically but is a growing conservation and management issue across the Arctic.

Whoever wrote the above quote is not even wrong.

John Burford
July 24, 2022 3:53 pm

When I lived in Yellowknife [many years ago] it was understood that the town of Churchill was placed plonk on the polar bear summer migratory route around the edge of Hudson Bay. Bears had ALWAYS walked this path. But of course, they loved the opportunity of a snack on the way.

Mac
July 24, 2022 4:37 pm

I worked in Yellowstone Park many years ago during one summer. Several times a group of us would travel to West Yellowstone Montana to watch the Grizzly bears gathered at a large dump outside town. Guess what? They were feasting at the dump. And there were many bears taking advantage, from cubs to large females and very large males. There was a pecking order and one gigantic one eyed male (a scar closed his other eye) who was dominant and the other bears would scatter when he came near.

RoHa
July 24, 2022 7:19 pm

New Paper Polar Bears …?

Are these the Arctic equivalent of paper tigers?

toorightmate
July 24, 2022 7:38 pm

Similar thing happens in Australia where dingoes are attracted to rubbish dumps.
Before climate change came along, they were strictly hunters only. One of them told me so.

Bob
July 24, 2022 8:01 pm

This is becoming a serious problem. It is getting to the point where I don’t believe anything coming from the scientific community. You people have to come up with some form of self regulation. If the scientific community continues it’s downward slide others will step in and regulate you and it almost certainly won’t be qualified scientists. More than likely it will be some worthless administrator or bureaucrat. The horror.

Mike Maguire
Reply to  Bob
July 24, 2022 9:52 pm

Bob,
Exactly right about science being turned into politics.
Thank God for scientists like Dr. Crawford!

Many scientists today practice the ANTI scientific method.
Make/made their conclusion from the start and interpret all data, including fresh data, that should lead the way to discovery but instead is manipulated to support preconceived assumptions.

It’s scary as hell in some fields like this because the difference between conclusions and reality are so blatantly obvious.
This means that it’s clearly intentional.
Careers, reputations and political causes.

What scientist, that for 3 decades has been insisting we have a crisis, will suddenly admit otherwise?

Doing so, would need to be accompanied by a pretty powerful explanation for why they suddenly had this revelation that we don’t have a climate crisis after saying the opposite for their entire career.
It won’t be that they were fudging the data.
It won’t be that they were ignorant all these years.
It won’t be that they discovered a new physical law.
It won’t be that they were biased/letting politics influence their work and suddenly became honest.
It won’t be because they were getting access to more grant money and funding.

So what could the reason be………..especially in light of many of them trying to prove skeptics wrong as part of their jobs……..to suddenly join the enemy camp?

Much better to just stay on the same path, don’t rock the boat and not ruin their reputation/career.

Or, as a very wise man said and has been repeated a million times:

“It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.”
― Upton Sinclair,

Thank God for scientists like Dr. Crockford who have the integrity to practice the scientific method and generously share her gifts of astute scientific discernment with the rest of the world!

Keep up the wonderful honest science Dr. Susan!

John Hultquist
July 24, 2022 10:02 pm

When I was a young teen we would go to the town dump — still open then. At night, using spotlights plugged into the cigarette lighter, we could see Black Bears rummaging therein. Other times we would go with 22 cal. rifles and shoot rats. Cars and trucks had cigarette lighters and ash trays. How times change.
This has nothing to do with climate change, nor does the occurrence of White Bears rummaging in dumps.

Thanks, Susan.

john harmsworth
July 25, 2022 7:41 am

Bears at dumps has been a long time “problem” at various small towns across Western Canada for decades. I recall visiting friends as a kid in Clearwater, B.C. around 1968 and they took us to the dump to see bears. There were two grizzlies and a black bear there when we arrived. I won’t go into too much detail about my stupidity but suffice it to say I got within about 15 feet of one of the grizzlies. They shop where food is easiest to get and they are omnnivores.

Last edited 20 days ago by john harmsworth
John Hultquist
Reply to  john harmsworth
July 25, 2022 9:43 am

A failure for the Darwin Award then!
Maybe there should be a “near miss” Award.
The award would need to be made of something common.
Most males have earned one by age 18 — “Hold my beer, and watch this.”

ATheoK
July 26, 2022 9:11 pm

I pointed out this obvious point in March 2019 in my book, The Polar Bear Catastrophe That Never Happened (2019:133). These authors are pretending they didn’t read my book (they certainly don’t cite it) but their paper seems to be a clear attempt to refute my books main conclusion.

It’s nice to know that Dr. Crockford, Dr. Crockford’s research and publications are living rent free in their minds 24/7.

Things are as they should be! And these author’s greatest fear is that the public will believe reality, disdaining PBI as the rubbish they are and publish.

We also notice, the polar bears are snooty about their sources of rubbish.

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