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:
I try to avoid commenting on stuff like this, at least for the first couple days when emotions are high. But since you asked...— Jeff W. Higdon (@jeffwhigdon) December 9, 2017
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."
Last one (I think...)— Jeff W. Higdon (@jeffwhigdon) December 9, 2017
What the Sea Legacy crew should have done was contact the GN Conservation Officer in the nearest community and had this bear put down. And necropsied. The narrative of the story might have turned out quite different if they had.
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.