The "Dying" Polar Bear Video We Saw Earlier This Week Is A Hoax

Submitted by: m3dm3d 1 month ago in News & Politics


Earler this week, IAB mentioned the viral "Dying polar bear" video.

According to its author, Sea Legacy, the video depicts a dying polar bear, starving in the middle of a ice-free land, all because of global warming.

Let's clarify quickly a few points before going forward:

* No, global warming is not a hoax,
* Yes, it contributes to the diminution (both in size and duration) of icefields, 
* Yes, polar bears are directly impacted by these diminutions and are on the verge of extinction,
* Yes, starvation is the main cause of death for Polar bears, even without AGW, since it tops the food chain and has no predator.

However, Arctic expert Jeff W. Higdon emitted doubts about the story after it was published:



The first mistake of Sea Legacy was to "forget" to contact Canadian authorities to have experts examine the bear. This is a way to check its age and health, and therefore disregard any "expected starvation."



Without this necropsy, the reason this bear was starving to death is unknown, but it might be imputable to other causes than AGW: old, injured or, sick bears aren't good hunters, mostly at a time when seals are scare.

Because as noticed by the National Post, these pictures have not been captured last week, at the time they were posted, when snow was starting to fall as far South as Houston and the Western world was touched by the Christmas spirit. They were taken in August, which is historically the moment of the year when polar bears are the most emaciated, because of food starvation.

The issue with this entire thing is that it was an activist post. Taking a picture of a dying polar bear to "alert the world" about AGW is an absurdity. Because it picks a micro-event to discuss a global trend. Just because last week's snowstorm in Houston doesn't disprove AGW does not mean a dying polar bear proves it. It is nothing more than a dying polar bear in August.
There are 23 comments:
Female 8,271
I think those of us who take the time to understand this stuff mentioned  the bear was likely ill anyway. As has been said, isolated incidents do not a phenomonen make. its also slightly irritating as this kind of misrepresentation gives the deniers an easier ride. BUT the planet is warming fast, it is highly likely any action we take is too little too late, and those trying to ignore it are either criminal or stupid. 
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Male 2,166
Liberal hysteria
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Male 1,575
Yeah, we all told you that!
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Female 4,690
I'm pretty sure that both bears and seals would still be alive if there was no snow and ice. seals eat fish, bears eat seals. bears can swim and walk, and it would make no difference if there was snow or not. Not that all the snow has disappeared, or will ever all disappear. Do we really think that the amount of snow and ice that is there now has been exactly the same during the entire existence of polar bears? really? I'm also sure that polar bears die, and so do seals, and from natural causes. this whole thing is blown out of all proportion as usual.
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Male 379
emmettyville Actually... the whiteness of the polar bear helps him hide on the snow, making him a more powerful predator. With no snow, he'll have to compete with other, more suited predators like Grizzly bears and might disappear. This is what happened during the industrial revolution in UK: when the birch trees turned darker because of the coal smokes, the dominantly white peppered moth was not so well suited to its environment while the rarer black peppered moth quickly became dominant.
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Female 4,690
m3dm3d then there was that wolves thing that happened in Yellowstone park, that was weird....anyway, I don't really believe in man made global warming, so I'm not really concerned.
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Male 5,728
emmettyville 'Sokay, Emmy. I've heard that man-made global warming doesn't believe in you, so there.
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Male 42,037
emmettyville You mean the coyotes after the wolves were extinguished by local farmers near Yellowstone? The coyotes adapted to using wolf-like tactics, and got bigger too, but didn't replace the wolves: then wolves were re-introduced to save the park because of the chain of eco-disasters which followed once they had been removed :-/
Happily it worked like a charm!
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Female 4,690
5cats yeah that. freaky.
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Male 42,037
emmettyville yup! it really was! The sheer speed at which the coyotes adapted was something never seen before, and tons of folks were there to study it closely.
Without the wolves, the eco-system fell apart rapidly, things were getting desperate, they had no choice but to put wolves back where they belonged or lose most of the park! there was an excellent docco on this, by PBS maybe? Anyhow, it shows how things are connected, and how fast life can adapt.
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Male 4,004
It's still sad none the less.

However, regardless of the lack of a Necropsy...the fact that there is no snow in the geography where this video was taken is alarming in and of itself.

This unfortunately is a tug toward the bleeding hearts to show the possible effects of Climate Change, but using an uncertain encounter to "prove" the existence of Climate Change is a bad idea.  Bleeding Hearts (like my own) are already on board, trying to force the issue gets us nowhere...
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Male 42,037
kalron27 Yes, as m3dm3d mentions, and the people who published this 'overlooked' was that in August there's no ice or snow there because it is summer time :-/

The levels of ice come and go, they are not on a "downward spiral" at all. Some of the best icepacks have come in the past decade. One year there was too much ice and that too threatened the bears, but they are well adapted to such changes. They survived like they have for thousands of years.

This sort of hysteria is indeed counter-productive to the cause: it makes all AGW supporters look like tree-hugging hippies with no clue about how nature works...
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Male 379
kalron27 "the fact that there is no snow in the geography where this video was taken is alarming in and of itself". The video being shot in August, the fact that there is no snow is actually reassuring.
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Male 5,728
As a squirrel who's read more than a few books--yes, actual books, not blog posts--on global warming, I agree with this post 100%. I have little to add; M3dm3d has said it well, so I'll simply quote him: "Taking a picture of a dying polar bear to alert the world about AGW is an absurdity because it picks a micro-event to discuss a global trend."

The little I do have to add? What's happening to the ice within the Arctic Circle is clear: its extent is shrinking over time and will continue to shrink. Barring some kind of stupendous development in policy or technology, that trend will continue until there is little or no ice up there. The Arctic is warming. Ergo, it is a virtual certainty that polar bears in the wild are doomed and will disappear sometime in the next 100 to 200 years. They will probably be replaced by grizzly bears, whose northern range limits are expanding, and grizzly bear hybrids.

So, yeah, polar bears are almost certainly doomed long-term because of global warming. But when that extinction eventually occurs, a single video of a single bear dying from unknown causes will be of little value in documenting or understanding it.
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Male 65
squrlz4ever In 1975 they told me I would be in another ice age today. Hmmm
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Male 464
squrlz4ever Someone's making grizzly bear hybrids now?  I hope they have more power than the damned Prius.
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Male 42,037
skeeter01 Those have been rumoured for centuries, but are so very rare it's never been confirmed until recently. One was about 12 years ago? And another in the past few years.

Since they (the hybrids) won't breed with each other (there aren't enough of them), there's little chance of a new race of super-bears happening anytime soon :-)
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Male 8,376
squrlz4ever BUT BUT WESTERN MEDIA DELUSIONS!?
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Male 6,418
squrlz4ever Polar Bear Meat ... Good Eating
Except for the liver that is poisonous 
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Male 379
thezigrat But it means that seals will not have any predator anymore, so we could hunt them again. I'm a size 10 in baby seal slippers.
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Male 6,418
squrlz4ever Ever read  Shakesphere's
Taming Of The Squirrel?
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Male 5,728
thezigrat ~intrigued~ No. Was this some kind of recently discovered folio or manuscript? It's a comedy, isn't it? It has to be a comedy.
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Male 6,418
thezigrat Or read Tail Of Two Cities?
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