In the saddest news for the polar bear world since the death of Knut, a polar bear in Norway has starved to death, according to NBC News and The Huffington Post. One starved polar bear wouldn’t normally make the news, but climate change doomsday prophets were quick to blame the lone animal’s death on global warming.
This comes as the polar bear population has actually been increasing in some places in recent years. Drikus Gissing, Nunavut’s director of wildlife management, told Canadian newspaper The Globe and Mail that a study shows that “the bear population is not in crisis as people believed” and “There is no doom and gloom.”
Not only are these climate change scientists making a big deal about one polar bear, both NBC and Huffington Post admit it is unclear that the bear’s death was due to climate change. Instead, the Huffington Post argues that “if the polar bear did, in fact, die due to reduced sea ice, the carcass may be one of the most literal illustrations of climate change.”
Ashley Cooper, the photographer who took pictures of the bear, told NBC News that this sad fate was “what [all] polar bears have got to look forward to over the next 10 to 20 years.” Despite Cooper’s tone, the usually liberal NPR reported back in February that “polar bear populations are large” and had “exploded.”
The polar bear has long been a poster child for the environmental movement. Data of the polar bear population growing has been periodically contrasted with stories of the creatures in danger of going extinct.
A 2002 study by the U.S. Geological Survey – the same organization that in September 2007 predicted two-thirds of the polar bear population will be gone by the middle of this century – reported that “populations may now be at historic highs.”
“This isn’t the first time that dead polar bears have inspired debate about climate change. A 2004 account by a federal wildlife biologist of a polar bear who died while swimming long distances between ice flows was featured in Al Gore’s 2004 documentary “An Inconvenient Truth.” In 2011, that biologist, Charles Monnett, was placed on administrative leave when it turned out that the bear in question actually may have drowned in a storm.”
Media hysteria about climate change has been going on for over a hundred years, with the media vacillating between alarmism over cooling and warming
Mike Ciandella contributes Posts at the NewsBusters site, and he is a staff writer for the Media Research Center’s Business and Media Institute.