Random weirdness for the week of Sept. 15, 2015

starvingbear
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Remember this photo of a starving polar bear we published nearly a month ago, in large part because some skeptics thought it was a Photoshopped fake designed to win converts to the climate change crowd? Well, there’s not much doubt the photo is real, but the hype that’s exploded during the past week or so making the poor creature the poster child of the “new normal” for bears in our warming world is a much, more crazier fiction. Make no mistake – polar bears are seeing the sea ice they traditionally feed on vanishing fast, forcing them to hunt in new places for new types of prey – but researchers monitoring the animals in Svalbard say they are still generally in good health. Plenty of well-fed bears were found during the past year in particular since there was more sea ice than in recent years. Old and sick bears like the one in the picture have existed as long as the species has. But Kerstin Langenberger – who to her credit did offer a thoughtful rebuttal to those findings when she originally posted the photo – is now embracing the bold “bears are doomed” headlines because, well, apparently fiction is OK to tell what she sees as a larger truth. “Maybe I cannot prove that this individual polar bear had starved because of climate change: but it surely gave a face to those many animals that die directly or indirectly because of climate change,” she wrote in a column for International Business Times. “This image is so powerful: it sums up what is happening in the Arctic.” That’s one way of ending the argument about whether it’s Photoshopped, we suppose.

About Post Author

Mark Sabbatini

I'm a professional transient living on a tiny Norwegian island next door to the North Pole, where once a week (or thereabouts) I pollute our extreme and pristine environment with paper fishwrappers decorated with seemingly random letters that would cause a thousand monkeys with a thousand typewriters to die of humiliation. Such is the wisdom one acquires after more than 25 years in the world's second-least-respected occupation, much of it roaming the seven continents in search of jazz, unrecognizable street food and escorts I f****d with by insisting they give me the platonic tours of their cities promised in their ads. But it turns out this tiny group of islands known as Svalbard is my True Love and, generous contributions from you willing, I'll keep littering until they dig my body out when my climate-change-deformed apartment collapses or they exile my penniless ass because I'm not even worthy of washing your dirty dishes.
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One thought on “Random weirdness for the week of Sept. 15, 2015

  1. Living very far away from the Arctic, and having never seen even a zoo display of such magnificent creatures, the photograph did have a strong impact on me. I was horrified! The bear does look old, and is obviously is major distress. If the potential exaggeration of it’s circumstances causes people to look up; and, even better, do something to help, then the bear’s final days will not have been in vain.

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