Independent investigates polar threats: bear hunters, land use and climate changes

September 9, 2007 at 9:14 am | Posted in Arctic, Climate change, Conservation, Construction, Extinction, Farming, Greenland, Hunters, Hunting, Independent, Land use changes, Mining, Polar bears, Protection, Threats | 2 Comments

Leading article: Protect the polar bear, save the planet

You have to read that article, and its companion:

The appalling fate of the polar bear, symbol of the Arctic

This disaster unfolding in the Arctic is tempting to watch as if viewing from another planet. Many of us live our lives separated from nature, and are used to being insulated from harm as we watch nature programmes and war footage—in our comfortable, safe viewing locations.

The polar bear’s predicament is symbolic and dreadful: it epitomises the result of our careless, selfish and destructive use of natural resources and wonders. I sincerely hope these two articles appearing in the Independent on Sunday today jolt governments, business and individuals into concerted, effective immediate action.

Monday morning would be a good time to begin.



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  1. The claim that polar bears suffer the lack of ice seems wrong in view of this article (from a native biologist (as opposed to media accounts)…Davis Strait is a very southern haunt of bears.

    Yet “Davis Strait is crawling with polar bears,” Taylor said. “It’s not safe to camp there. They’re fat. The mothers have cubs. The cubs are in good shape.”

  2. Hello Ray,

    Thanks for your comment. Yes, I have read about Nunavut. The day after New Year’s Day, this was published in CBC News:

    The government of Nunavut will oppose a US proposal to list polar bears as a threatened species, Environment Minister Patterk Netser says. … Nunavut is afraid the listing would hurt its lucrative polar bear sport hunting industry since many of the hunters are American, Netser said in a recent interview.

    The territory’s polar bear population is doing fine, he said.

    “There’s a lot of uninformed people and these people feed on the ignorances of these people and force governments to make … policies that are very reactive or very hard on the people of Nunavut,” Netser said.’

    And there are other issues at play that can temporarily increase numbers of polar bears in certain areas, as you can read in Joseph Romm’s article ‘Will polar bears go extinct by 2030? Part I
    We do have to look at the whole picture, rather than choose one area where the bears may well be thriving at the moment. The big picture is not looking good for the polar bear as a species. Nor is the future looking good for the people who live in Nunavut, especially those whose livelihoods depend on polar bear hunting. That is why we need to combat climate change now.

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