0238 GMT January 17, 2019
"When scientists say bears are going extinct, I want people to realize what it looks like," said SeaLegacy photographer Paul Nicklen, whose video of the bear was later shared online by National Geographic, investors.com wrote.
And, of course, the media wasted no time in fixing blame: Global warming.
The New York Times came right out and said it: "Experts and environmentalists say the broad answer — however controversial and nuanced it may be — is to reduce the present levels of global greenhouse gas emissions in order to curb global warming. In January, federal wildlife officials issued a report that called climate change the biggest threat to the survival of the polar bear."
Not to be outdone, Britain's leftist The Guardian newspaper laid it on thick: "Video footage captured in Canada's Arctic has offered a devastating look at the impact climate change is having on polar bears in the region, showing an emaciated bear clinging to life as it scrounged for food on iceless land."
Cristina Mittermeier, co-founder of SeaLegacy, the group that actually shot the footage of the starving bear, called the video the ‘face of climate change’ in an Instagram post.
Unfortunately, the global warming guilt-mongering by the media and their allies in the green movement is almost entirely false.
Both the media accounts above and several others noted the lack of ice. But the area in question where the polar bear was wandering lacks ice every year at that time. They call it ‘summer’.
So the lack of ice proves nothing, other than the utter tendentiousness of what passes today for environmental reporting.
The fact is, polar bears get diseases like parasites and cancer just like any other animal — or humans, for that matter. The bear in question is plainly starving, but it's not clear why.
It's important to note, however, that starvation is a leading cause of death among polar bears, especially the old and the young. Though they have no real predatory enemies, they can be outfought for food by bigger, more robust bears.
Even the National Geographic, which put out the video, was somewhat circumspect in its conclusion about the bear, noting, "As a whole, polar bear populations around the world are not in immediate peril."
Nor are polar bears in peril where the starving bear was filmed, on Baffin Island.
As the Canadian Post noted, "According to data collected by the federal government, polar bears along the entire west coast of Baffin Island are 'stable.'
On the southeastern side of the island (around the Nunavut capital of Iqaluit) polar bears have even experienced a 'likely increase.' It's only on the island's northeastern corner — in a management area that meets Greenland — that polar bears are suspected to be in decline."
This is not science, nor is it documenting the ‘effects’ of climate change as some would have it. It's mere green propaganda.
"One starving bear is not evidence of climate change, despite gruesome photos," wrote Susan Crockford, a zoologist, on her website ‘Polar Bear Science’.
It should be noted that in other countries with significant polar bear populations, including Norway and Russia, polar bear populations are increasing. On Norway's Svalbard Island, for instance, the Norwegian Polar Institute reported a 42 percent increase from 2004 to 2015. Russia also reports increases.
A far cry from mass starvation of polar bears due to global warming.
This is an old trick of the environmentalists, who long ago discovered that people care a lot about so-called ‘charismatic mega-fauna’ like whales, polar bears, lions and the like. So as soon as they get their hands on a heartbreaking video like this one, they exploit it to its maximum potential.
Like everyone else, we felt sympathy for the stricken bear. But it's both dishonest and wrong to exploit a dying animal for your political cause — especially one that would involve a massive change in the global economy, increased poverty and thousands of human deaths just to reduce the Earth's temperature by a few thousandths of a degree.