The Bears Are All Right

Tom Finnerty02 Mar, 2024 2 Min Read
They're so cute when they're not hungry.

February 27th was International Polar Bear Day, another one of these fake environmentalist holidays when attendees at the Temple of Mother Gaia gather to hector us for living normal lives until we tune them out. Seriously, this is how the Polar Bear Day Wikipedia page reports on instances of observing the holiday:

Many zoos use the day to educate about polar bear conservation and to encourage visits to polar bear exhibits. It has also had some political impact. Jack Shapiro, the deputy climate campaign manager under American president Barack Obama, used the day to argue for the need for Congressional action on the issue of climate change. The University of Saskatchewan announced in 2014 that it would be turning its thermostats up two degrees in the summer and down two degrees Celsius in the winter to honor International Polar Bear Day.

Not exactly a barrel of laughs. That said, the U.K.'s Global Warming Policy Forum celebrated in the cheeriest way possible -- by calling attention to the fact that, despite what you've likely heard, the polar bear population has been growing for years! Their newly released report on the topic underscores the fact that, in fact, global polar bear numbers have nearly tripled in the past 50 years, due in part to international agreements protecting their habitats. But, says their press release:

Despite this dramatic increase in polar bear populations, claims that their numbers are falling due to climate change still dominate most media coverage. Since 2004 we have been told that polar bear numbers in Western Hudson Bay have been steadily declining, but a new study made public in 2023 reveals that this isn’t actually true. In the State of the Polar Bear Report 2023 ... zoologist Dr. Susan Crockford provides the details on this explosive news.

Among other issues addressed in this year’s report, Crockford explains that population surveys of Western Hudson Bay polar bears completed in 2011, 2016, and 2021 generated lower estimates than a survey done in 2004. However, these differences in bear counts are not statistically significant from each other, which means there has been no negative trend during the last 20 years. Crockford said the consequences of this survey are enormous: ".... This result absolutely guts computer model predictions of future polar bear catastrophe that assume Western Hudson Bay numbers have been steadily declining.”

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Greta Thunberg, famously, was traumatized by a David Attenborough documentary about declining polar bear populations. The GWPF should send her a copy of the State of the Polar Bear Report. It might help her get over her eco-anxiety, so that she can get back to school and stop annoying us all. It's worth a shot.
Tom Finnerty writes from New England and Ontario.


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One comment on “The Bears Are All Right”

  1. Thank you for highlighting Susan Crockford’s work on polar bear populations. She has been cancelled by U Victoria for truth telling. U Saskatchewan used to be renowned for its science integrity.

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