Unbelievably wrong: A psychologist has told parents to assure their children that rising sea levels might be an immediate threat to polar bears – but not to kids in the UK. She says this is “putting things into perspective” for anxious kids but is horrifyingly and almost laughably far off the mark.
The amount of ignorance about polar bears from those who still consider the species an appropriate icon for catastrophic climate change never seems to end.
From the Mail on Sunday (28 September 2019), “As doctors warn of a surge in youngsters with eco-anxiety, MARINA FOGLE reveals how to stop Greta Thunberg and Co making your children sick with worry” [my bold]:
“So what should we do when confronted by a child who is distressed by environmental concerns?
Child psychiatrist Dr Kathryn Hollins advises a frank discussion – because a desire to be more environmentally friendly is a positive thing. ‘Let them know they are not alone in having worries,’ she says. ‘Ask them what they are scared of and where they got these thoughts from.’
She says that reassurance will come from putting things into perspective. Rising sea levels might have an immediate effect on the lives of polar bears, but not on those living in the UK, she explains.”
Fact: Rising sea levels – the pitifully small amount that has happened since 1900 or predicted at 2100 – are in no way a threat to polar bears. Polar bears survived sea level changes of 100s of metres within the last 40,000 years along with unimaginable changes in sea ice extent.
Here’s a perspective based on fact rather than myth: polar bears are currently thriving and all scientific evidence shows they are not threatened by the amount of reduced summer sea ice they have experienced so far and are unlikely to be devastated if summer sea ice declines further.
My advice to parents: view the video below, buy this book for kids: “Polar Bear Facts & Myths” (available in English, French, Dutch, German, and Norwegian) and buy this book for yourselves: “The Polar Bear Catastrophe That Never Happened“.
There is no climate emergency.