Category Archives: Svalbard

SVALBARD SOVEREIGNTY: Norway’s royal family sees polar bears, picks up beach trash, visits museums and does other “typical” stuff during weeklong vacation

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They were just another family taking a weeklong holiday in Svalbard.

They got a reprieve from the mainland heat while gazing at the fjords and wildlife during sometimes chilly boat trips. They removed ocean trash from beaches where they stopped. They learned about polar science during a stop in Ny-Ålesund and whale hunting during a museum visit in Longyearbyen. They exchanged handcrafted gifts with locals, and departed with fond memories of the sights and people they met.

And all of Norway was abuzz about the details that were kept largely secret until the very end.

Norway’s entire royal family wrapped up a private vacation in a very public way on Thursday with a visit to The University Centre in Svalbard to commemorate its 25th anniversary, as well as the adjacent Svalbard Museum where – unlike commoners – they got to play with ancient whaling gear and stroke the fur of a stuffed polar bear.

It’s all in the blame: Shooting of polar bear a tragedy of climate, weather, selfie tourism, sustainable tourism, food choices, liberals, racism, etc., according to headlines

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The hits just keep coming.

When Svalbard’s polar bears make the news they usually do so virally and bizarrely, and the bear that was shot on Saturday after attacking a cruise ship guard is fully living up to that clickbait craziness. While most of the global headlines manage to report it’s a seemingly simple case of self-defense (but there’s still plenty of anger about humans invading the bear’s turf), the proliferation of headlines pushing inaccuracies and obvious agendas are continuing to spiral every further into surreality.

Sailboat stranded at sea: Eight crew members rescued by helicopter after engine, rudder, sail fail in rough waters

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Eight people were rescued by helicopter from a sailboat that suffered engine and rudder failures in rough seas in the southernmost part of Svalbard on Thursday morning, according to The Joint Rescue Coordination Center of Northern Norway.

Tracking the attack: Bear that attacked cruise worker was skeletal, expert says; signs of its presence on beach should have been obvious, researchers who saw it the day before say

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The cruise ship wasn’t trying to bring tourists ashore to look at a polar bear. The uneven landscape of the beach meant the animal could have been out of sight a short distance away – but a whale carcass and lots of bear tracks should have been a dead giveaway. The crew tried to scare the bear away before being forced to kill it. An expert researcher says it appears the bear was very thin.

A few more details were released Monday by officials and a lot more criticism was expressed –including from celebrities and other prominent people worldwide – about a polar bear that was fatally shot after attacking a cruise ship crew member in northern Svalbard on Saturday.

Fatally flawed: Polar bear attack on cruise ship employee revives debate about tourism in Svalbard’s remote areas

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The injured cruise ship crew member is recovering and the polar bear inflicting the wounds is dead after being shot, but the attacks resulting from the encounter are just beginning.

BREAKING: Man on cruise ship suffers non life-threatening injuries in polar bear attack during shore excursion

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A man aboard a cruise ship in northern Svalbard suffered non life-threatening injuries when he was attacked by a polar bear during a shore excursion Saturday morning, according to The Joint Rescue Coordination Centres of Northern Norway (HRS).

RABIES ALERT: Reindeer observed near Ny-Ålesund in mid-July tests positive for disease; warning issued about infection risk

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A sick reindeer that was killed along with her calf near Ny-Ålesund earlier this month has tested positive for rabies, raising concerns about the further spread of the disease and the upcoming reindeer hunting season, according to The Governor of Svalbard.

Random weirdness for the week of July 24, 2018

catbarentsburg

Anywhere else on Earth this is merely a cute kid (redundant phrase) trying to pet an ugly cat (also redundant). But here it’s a criminal act that we’re arguably complicit in (not to mention being media whores for giving into the inevitable pussy, foxy and other non G-rated innuendo that follows).

Bipolar disorder: Record cruise crowds bring riches, but also complaints of intrusive behavior toward kids, cabin dwellers, wildlife

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An “invasion” of cabins and a kindergarten. Attacking birds and petting reindeer. Treating everywhere outdoors as a port-a-potty and digging up wild plants to take home.

The increasing intensity and frequency of such complaints about cruise ship passengers – especially when larger ships can mean up to 8,000 extra people in a 2,000-person town – aren’t just local vs. visitor feuds. Often they’re pitting local against local, with the pro-cruise folks arguing the complaints are about a relative handful of visitors, but can result in a generally negative attitude toward all of them.

Petrol power: Gas rises to top of post-coal electricity options for Longyearbyen, government-ordered report states

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Gas is cost-effective, clean and secure in terms of supplies, while alternatives such as solar, wind and an a giant “extension cable” from the mainland fail to match up in one or more aspects. And continuing to burn coal is for all practical purposes up in soot.