Thursday, April 5, 2012

Polar Bears in Trouble?

I'm sorry, as I wrote that, I could only think of Kentucky Fried Movie, with its satirical preview of Catholic High School Girls in Trouble.  But this article from the April 4, 2012 Toronto Globe and Mail points to a new study of polar bear numbers in the far north that suggests that polar bears are not in trouble:
The number of bears along the western shore of Hudson Bay, believed to be among the most threatened bear subpopulations, stands at 1,013 and could be even higher, according to the results of an aerial survey released Wednesday by the Government of Nunavut. That’s 66 per cent higher than estimates by other researchers who forecasted the numbers would fall to as low as 610 because of warming temperatures that melt ice faster and ruin bears’ ability to hunt. The Hudson Bay region, which straddles Nunavut and Manitoba, is critical because it’s considered a bellwether for how polar bears are doing elsewhere in the Arctic.
The study shows that “the bear population is not in crisis as people believed,” said Drikus Gissing, Nunavut’s director of wildlife management. “There is no doom and gloom.”
Mr. Gissing added that the government isn’t dismissing concerns about climate change, but he said Nunavut wants to base bear-management practices on current information “and not predictions about what might happen.”
A reader asked:
Question, who do you trust more: an environmentalist vegetarian in a government funded lab in Florida, or the Eskimo trying not to be dinner?
Cute, although the Inuit have their own reasons for suggesting that polar bears are not in trouble.  Nonetheless, it does create some problems for "the last polar bear" claim.

2 comments:

Jon said...

Clayton, I seldom run into folks who remember Kentucky Fried Movie. It was classic Zucker Bros., with marvelous parodies.

Anonymous said...

I remember when the movie came out and I saw it in a Drive-in.