The starving polar bear story was agenda driven

Thank goodness National Geographic had a team of photographers in Nunavut this summer to record the one and only time a polar bear ever starved to death.

Well, maybe the bear, whose emaciated image has been viewed more than six million times, didn’t die. The photographers and videographers, who just happened to be from an activist group that raises money for environmental causes, now admit they don’t know whether the bear actually died.

But he was really, really weak and appeared really hungry.

So, it’s amazing and so fortunate they were there to document the single time in recorded history that one of these magnificent apex predators ever died from a cause other than old age. So fortunate that they could declare the bear an “icon” and “symbol” of the devastation that “will be caused by climate change,” without even waiting around to perform an autopsy.

Of course I’m being facetious.

This isn’t even the first time some of these same activists have made the same claim.

The photographer Paul Nicklen said he wanted to show people what a starving polar bear really looked like.

Back in 2015, the same NatGeo photog, Paul Nicklen, who lives on Vancouver Island and helps out the activist organization SeaLegacy, was leading a group in Svalbard, Norway when another similarly sickly bear wandered in front of their lenses.

Photographers and activists in that group, too, pushed their images hard on social media as “proof” that global warming was already happening and threatening the Arctic in general and polar bears in particular.

There was also a famous incident in Alaska in the early 2000s.

Photos were taken of a solitary polar bear seemingly trapped on a ice floe. Environmentalists insisted as the world warmed and ice broke up earlier and earlier, more bears would be doomed to float to their deaths, like the one in the picture.

Later we learned the floe had only been about 15 metres off shore. Moments after he’d been snapped, the bear slipped into the water and swam back to dry ground – and safety.

Were the photos of the Nunavut bear heart-wrenching? Absolutely. It tears at your gut to see a majestic animal – a polar bear, moose, horse, elephant or even a wolf – suffering.

But does environmentalists’ fight against global warming justify them using photographs of distressed animals to push their agenda (and fatten their fundraising)?

Since their images, both still and video, went viral, members of Nicklen’s team have been prepared to admit in interviews that they have no conclusive proof the emaciated bear died, or that it died of causes brought on by global warming.

They only assert that if we don’t do more to stop climate change, more and more bears in the north will share this bear’s suffering.

“Scientists say: ‘Polar bears are going to disappear in the next 100 to 150 years,’” Nicklen told the Victoria Times Colonist. “All I’m trying to say is: ‘This is what a starving bear actually looks like.’”

Nicklen is a genius wildlife photographer. But you have to make up your own minds about his activism.

The truth is polar bears, as a species, seem to be do reasonably well despite the hype, with most populations around the Arctic either stable or increasing.

What the skinny polar-bear incident has shown is that climate change hysteria has moved from religion (it explains everything) to cult status (anything and everything can be used to prove it).

Stop it already.


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