If all of us should be doing “everything possible” to stop climate change, why is it still OK–15 years after polar bears were declared threatened with extinction because of predicted climate change effects–for researchers across the Arctic to use helicopters to study polar bears? Aircraft that consume massive amounts of aviation fuel and engine oils, otherwise known as ‘fossil fuels.’
Money quote: “…the lifeblood of most polar bear research is jet fuel needed by helicopters.” (Derocher 2012:107).
From Hudson Bay and the High Arctic in Canada, the Beaufort Sea off Alaska, to Svalbard in Norway (above, from 2015), polar bear research is impossible without helicopters powered by fossil fuels. This has been true since the 1980s (e.g. Ramsy and Stirling 1988). And this doesn’t even take into account the fossil fuel-powered fixed wing aircraft needed in some locations, commercial airline flights that transport personnel and equipment to distant locations, or the Tundra buggies used in Churchill (Western Hudson Bay) to get up close to bears and
educate indoctrinate the tourists.