The 24th International Conference on Bear Research and Management is coming up mid-month (12-16 June, 2016) in Anchorage, Alaska, and local media outlets are already gearing up. This conference is about all species of bears but the Arctic icon is apt to get most of the attention.
First up on the media roster appears to be an APRN Talk of Alaska radio talk show entitled “The Science of Bears“ that will feature, among others, Steve Amstrup (spokesperson for Polar Bears International, of “Save Our Sea Ice” fame) and Margaret Williams (WWF, with a Masters in Environmental Studies), scheduled for Tuesday, June 7 at 10:00 AM Alaska time (that’s 11 AM Pacific).
Calls will be taken from the public and comments via email are invited (see below). It could be worth a listen, so mark your calendars. I’ll post a link to the audio podcast here if and when one gets published.
As for the ethics of such a close relationship of international bear scientists with the environmental activists at WWF – one of the richest ‘charities’ around (and one might suppose, plans to stay that way), you’ll have to make up your own mind. Maybe the radio host will ask…
UPDATE 8 May 2016: Here’s the link to the podcast of this Talk of Alaska program from yesterday, which is provided in iTunes format (if you don’t have an iPhone or Apple tablet, you’ll need to down the iTunes program to your PC – a link for which is provided automatically. I did it and it works just fine. On the list of programs provided at the link, just click on the forward arrow to the left of “The Science of Bears”): https://itunes.apple.com/podcast/talk-of-alaska/id264469515?mt=2
HOST: Steve Heimel
• Steve Amstrup, Chief Scientist, Polar Bears International, by telephone from Wyoming.
• Dave Garshelis, Bear co-chairman, International Union for the Conservation of Nature, by telephone from Minnesota.
• Margaret Williams, World Wildlife Fund, one of the conference organizers, in studio.
• Statewide callers.
• Call 550-8422 (Anchorage) or 1-800-478-8255 (statewide) during the live broadcast
• Post your comment before, during or after the live broadcast (comments may be read on air).
• Send email to talk [at] alaskapublic [dot] org (comments may be read on air)
LIVE Broadcast: Tuesday, June 7, 2016 at 10:00 a.m.
As hosts of this meeting, WWF will be given ample opportunity to promote their corporate agenda (see screencap below of a WWF featured video – with the typical WWF appeal to emotion – that gets prominent play on the conference home page). Apparently, this cozy relationship is just fine with international bear biologists, who see no potential conflict of interest.