A whole new rash of “global warming” commercials have come around, most notably (to me) the one where Noah Wiley pisses and moans about the plight of the polar bear. Once again we’re shown the clip of the mama bear and her cub sitting on an ice floe for a minute, then getting up and doing what polar bears do when they want to go somewhere… swimming there. This ice floe is quite small, and the shot is taken looking out to open sea, so we’re supposed to believe this is the last piece of ice for miles around and the bear and her cub were somehow stuck there.
Noah reinforces these images by repeating the same line that’s been used for years now: the ice is all going away, the polar bears will all die. Funny thing is, I’m pretty sure we’re already past the date when they first told us the ice would all be gone, and yet… there’s still ice, and there are still polar bears. If you want to be convincing, go count the bears. Most who actually have been counting tell a different story.
A Canadian Press Newswire story earlier this year reported that, in three Arctic villages, polar bears “are so abundant there’s a public safety issue.” The local polar bear population reportedly increased from about 2,100 in 1997 to as many as 2,600 in 2004. Inuit hunters wanted to be able to kill more bears because they are “fearsome predators.”
An aerial survey of Alaskan polar bears published in Arctic (December 2003) reported a greater polar bear density than previous survey estimates dating back to 1987.
If polar bears really are getting skinnier as the 1999 study suggested, it may actually be due to an increased population subsisting on the same level of available food. After all, the harvesting of Alaskan polar bears has been limited by the Marine Mammal Protection Act and international agreements since 1972.
Additional reading: Australian TV Exposes ‘Stranded Polar Bear’ Global Warming Hoax