This video tweet deserves a post of its own: two relatively inexperienced cubs-of-the-year in Russia deliberately break through thin ice, fall into the icy water and crawl back out – over and over again, for fun, as their mother watches in the background. Play is one way animals learn important survival lessons and for polar bears, this is one of them:
Thin ice was a natural component of the Arctic long before polar bears evolved to live there: it is nothing new but dealing with it requires a strategy that cubs must learn.
UPDATE 1 August 2020: here is the same video, better quality, on Youtube:
Posted in Advocacy, Life History, Sea ice habitat
Tagged BBC, Chukchi Sea, cubs, learning, melting, play, propaganda, Russia, sea ice, thin ice, video
Since at least 2007, zoos around the world have proudly partnered with climate change activist organization Polar Bears International to ‘educate’ the public about the plight of polar bears. Although contrary to all expectations, polar bear numbers have increased slightly since the abrupt decline of sea ice in 2007 yet zoos are still promoting the false message that polar bears have already been gravely harmed by lack of sea ice.
A news clip that aired on Canadian television in April 2019 was ostensibly about recent sightings of polar bears in Labrador (which I discussed here). But it digressed rapidly into a baseless diatribe about polar bears as victims of climate change, delivered by an animal keeper from the Toronto Zoo presented as an ‘expert’ on this topic.
See it here (about 4 minutes long).
And while I have no doubt that Toronto Zoo curator Maria Frankie is indeed an expert in keeping mammals in captivity, she appears to have zero qualifications to speak with any critical scientific authority on climate change, sea ice variability, or polar bear survival in the wild.
Frankie is complicit in spreading misinformation about polar bears to an unwary public (including children) as a method of spurring political action on climate change as surely as David Attenborough is to blame for spreading misinformation about Pacific walrus. She is being used by PBI but is too naive to realize it.
Posted in Advocacy, Conservation Status, Sea ice habitat
Tagged Attenborough, captivity, children, CTV, declining, education, extinction, indoctrination, polar bear, Polar Bears International, population size, propaganda, risk, sea ice, Toronto Zoo, zoos
This time National Geographic’s ‘Hostile Planet’ series laughably claims a fat polar bear that’s caught a beluga calf off the coast of Western Hudson Bay has been saved from starvation! The message: here is a prime example of climate change pushing a species to its limit. This is nonsense, of course: polar bears hunting beluga whales from rocks has nothing to do with climate change or desperately hungry bears. More importantly, there is a much better video of the action that is both more informative and truthful.
See both below and decide which you’d prefer your kids or grandkids to watch.
Posted in Advocacy, Life History, Sea ice habitat
Tagged beluga, calves, CBC, climate change, desperate, Hostile Planet, hungry, hunting, National Geographic, polar bear, propaganda, rock, Rolling Stone, sea ice, Seal River, starving, Suzuki, video, western hudson bay, whale
The heartbreaking story of dying polar bears, told for more than a decade now, was meant to get kids on board the global warming action train. It worked a treat – except that it was never true. The lie gave sensitive children nightmares and turned others into political activists full of groundless outrage who now pointlessly rant in the streets.
As the established icon of climate change and Arctic habitats, polar bears have been given centre stage in the climate change narrative presented to young children and their teachers. But the distressing tale of polar bears on the brink of extinction – dying for our fossil fuel sins – was never true, as I show in point form below. Polar bear lies form the foundation of the baseless political activism of Greta Thunberg that other youngsters have since emulated.
Here are some of the false ‘facts’ children have been taught:
- Polar bears are an endangered species and only a few hundred still exist
- Polar bears numbers are declining
- Polar bears now spend months on land because of climate change
- There is not enough sea ice for polar bears: no sea ice, no polar bears
- A bear falling through thin ice will drown & become a victim of climate change
- Any skinny polar bear is a victim of climate change
Posted in Advocacy, Conservation Status, Sea ice habitat, Summary, walrus
Tagged abuse, children, education, emotion, facts, images, manipulation, polar bear, propaganda, science, sea ice, teachers, tragedy porn, trust
The Assiniboine Park Zoo in Winnipeg is selling Polar Bears International-style1 “save our sea ice” global warming propaganda to children, which it calls “messaging.”
“The centre is deliberately targeting children, fully aware that there is a magical connection between the cuddly, entertaining orphan cubs and young visitors.”
Orphaned cubs from Churchill now on display in Winnipeg
That’s the money quote, in more ways than one, from an article at The Globe and Mail earlier this week (23 November 2014), “Innovative Winnipeg zoo experiment shares the plight of polar bears” in which the author promotes the new “Journey to Churchill” exhibit at the Assiniboine Park Zoo in Winnipeg as “an ambitious experiment.”
Posted in Advocacy
Tagged Assiniboine Park Zoo, Derocher, extinction, Journey to Churchill, messaging, plight of the polar bear, polar bear, polar bear cubs, propaganda, red herring, Winnipeg
What exactly are Western Hudson Bay (WHB) polar bear researchers hiding? Since 2004, research on the body condition and cub production of Western Hudson Bay (WHB) polar bears has been carried out but none of the results of these mark-recapture studies have been made public.
The researchers all claim that WHB polar bears are struggling to survive because of recent sea ice changes but won’t release the 10 years worth of updated information they possess on the bears or the sea ice.
Posted in Advocacy, Conservation Status, Population, Sea ice habitat
Tagged Amstrup, body condition, climate change, cub mortality, Derocher, global warming, invasive research, litter size, Lunn, mark-recapture, misinformation, photo ops, polar bear, polar bear survival, polar bear week, Polar Bears International, population estimate, propaganda, vital rates, western hudson bay
I just went back to Andy Revkin’s blog post on the swimming polar bear video story that I wrote about on Wednesday to see what kind of feedback it was getting. I found that it pays to check up.
A reader from Oregon questioned the filming techniques used for this video.
Revkin followed up.
And it turned out, the reader from Oregon was correct — the film used in this video was shot with “an assortment of traditional methods,” not with the strapped on cameras that the USGS were using on the bears.
Revkin assumed from the background provided to him that this was leading-edge technology, bear-generated video. And even though he’d interviewed the filmmaker, the truth hadn’t come out.
Update June 29, 2014 – another damning comment made, added below.
Posted in Advocacy, Sea ice habitat
Tagged Adam Ravetch, Arctic Exploration Fund, bear-mounted cameras, DotEarth, polar bears, POV video, propaganda, Revkin, swimming polar bears, underwater video, USGS
A video being hyped around the internet – “Witness a polar bear’s heartbreaking swim for ice in the Arctic” said one headline – is simply shameless propaganda, facilitated by the US Geological Survey and its polar bear biologists. USGS scientists involved in this work should be ashamed of themselves.
The caption for the Youtube video (published Jun 21, 2014) says this:
Take a swim with a polar bear family as they traverse the Arctic Ocean in search of sea ice.
This is a load of nonsense and a total misrepresentation of the facts.
In addition, the text added to the video is pure propaganda: it is being used to promote the US government position that sea ice loss due to climate change is a massive threat to polar bears. Unfortunately, recent studies contradict the contention that polar bears have already been harmed by declines in summer sea ice.
Here are some background to the video you should be aware of:
1) The bears were swimming away from the USGS researchers and film crew who had shot them full of sedatives and attached a camera to one of their necks — they were not swimming toward sea ice 100 miles away.
2) The video was shot in the Bering Sea, in April 2014, when sea ice was about its maximum extent of the year — there was lots of ice around when this video was filmed.
3) The company doing the filming is using this video as a fundraiser.
Details below, including a sea ice map for April 2014.
UPDATE June 27, 2014 – see follow-up post here.
Posted in Advocacy, Sea ice habitat
Tagged Adam Ravetch, Arctic Bear Productions, Bering Sea, climate change, DotEarth, polar bear, polar bears, POV video, propaganda, Revkin, swimming polar bears, USGS, youtube video