Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Rum And Pepsi For New Years?

Why not rum and Coke anymore? Well, it's all about the drowning polar bears. You know those cute, playful bears that eat those cute seal pups and the occasional human. Why do we never see the white fur of the polar bear covered with baby seal blood? Those same polar bears that our northern people could hunt to keep themselves warm and fed in the winter, but that's now a BIG NO NO! They are so busy drowning because the arctic is melting, that Coca-Cola has joined up with WWF to save them. That's right, buy a Coke product to save the polar bears!

So, I clicked on the link about polar bear populations, and I got a nice map of where polar bears live, but no data on how many polar bears actually exist and how badly there populations are being reduced by climate change.

I went looking for actual facts about polar bear populations and wasn't surprised that Kate from SDA's had already posted the facts a year ago:

"We are concerned," said Mr. Kempthorne, that "the polar bears' habitat may literally be melting" due to warmer Arctic temperatures. However, when we called Interior spokesman Hugh Vickery for some elaboration, he was a lot less categorical, even a tad defensive. The "endangered" designation is based less on the actual number of bears in Alaska than on "projections into the future," Mr. Vickery said, adding that these "projection models" are "tricky business."

Looking at the facts, it appears those cute polar bears are safe from extinction, but Coca-Cola might be their next victim. I wonder if they know this little fact about polar bears:

There are records of polar bears going after humans at all times and
all places encountered. They are not the misunderstood sharks of the
frozen north. They are large, hungry, dangerous as hell mammals, and
in their human-avoidant behavior not at all like their close cousins
the grizzleys. At no time or place can you be even reasonably sure of
being safe out on the ice with one. Unless you're in a polar bear
proof cage. Or you and several persons in your group are armed with an
automatic 12 or 10 guage shotgun loaded with OO buck (a horror weapon
that will stop anything at 20 feet, excluding possibly elephant-- and
even then I would not want to be the elephant).

Maybe Coke should rethink their new campaign, because I'm not buying Coke until they stop this nonsense! Maybe Coke should go up north, and try to interview one of those starving polar bears, or maybe they should get Paul McCartney to cuddle up to one of their cubs, see how that photo shoot goes. HA!

Leave the polar bears alone, they are doing just fine without human interference, unless you want to be their next snack!


Martin said...

In the 1960s and 1970s, hunting was the major threat to the bears. At the time, polar bears were under such severe survival pressure from hunters that a landmark international accord was reached, despite the tensions and suspicions of the Cold War. The International Agreement on the Conservation of Polar Bears was signed in Oslo, November 15, 1973 by the five nations with polar bear populations: Canada, Denmark (Greenland, Norway, the U.S., and the former U.S.S.R.

The polar bear nations agreed to prohibit random, unregulated sport hunting of polar bears and to outlaw hunting the bears from aircraft and icebreakers as had been common practice. The agreement also obliged each nation to protect polar bear denning areas and migration patterns and to conduct research relating to the conservation and management of polar bears. Finally, the nations agreed to share their polar bear research findings with each other. Member scientists of the Polar Bear Specialist Group now meet every three to four years under the auspices of the IUCN World Conservation Union to coordinate their research on polar bears throughout the Arctic.

The main threat to polar bears today is the loss of their icy habitat due to climate change. The summer ice loss in the Arctic is now equal to an area the size of Alaska, Texas, and the state of Washington combined.

In areas where long-term studies are available, populations are showing signs of stress due to shrinking sea ice. Canada's Western Hudson Bay population has dropped 22% since the early 1980s. The declines have been directly linked to an earlier ice break-up on Hudson Bay.

A long-term study of the Southern Beaufort Sea population, which spans the northern coast of Alaska and western Canada, has revealed a decline in cub survival rates and in the weight and skull size of adult males. Such declines were observed in Western Hudson Bay bears prior to the population drop there.

Another population listed as declining is Baffin Bay. According to the most recent report from the Polar Bear Specialist Group, the harvest levels from Nunavut when combined with those from Greenland (which were thought to be much lower than they actually are) has resulted in this shared population being in a non-sustainable harvest situation, meaning the population is at great risk of a serious decline. The harvest is thought to be several times above what is sustainable.

Some Native communities in Canada have been reporting increasing numbers of polar bears on land. Traditional hunters believe this indicates an increased population, although the increased presence on land may, in fact, be related to shrinking sea ice and changes in the bears' distribution patterns. Data is needed to understand the change. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service states, "In the declining polar bear population of Canada's Western Hudson Bay, extensive scientific studies have indicated that the increased observation of bears on land is a result of changing distribution patterns and a result of changes in the accessibility of sea ice habitat."

Climate change is the main threat to polar bears today. A diminishing ice pack directly affects polar bears, as sea ice is the platform from which they hunt seals. Although the Arctic has experienced warm periods before, the present shrinking of the Arctic's sea ice is rapid and unprecedented.

Martin said...

Sorry for the lengthy comment but I'm rather passionate about the subject. I study polar bears for a living. I'm also a conservative. Weird eh?

Sean McAllister said...

Martin, what makes you so sure that humans are responsible? Or is that just an easy way out.

rabbit said...

I am not surprized that Coke is confused about the status of polar bears. Their advertisements, after all, combine polar bears and penguins. Together. In the same place. In the wild.

Coke joins the ranks of the geographically bewildered.

hunter said...

Martin, Conservatives are more likely to actually conserve our lands (farmers) and animals (hunters), I have no problem with that at all.

What I have a problem with is using the polar bear for corporate gain. That is what Coke and WWF are doing. Scare mongering for profit.

Anonymous said...

Martin - I believe that conservatives are more environmentally responsible than the lefties. Lefties talk a good game but, truly, do you see them doing anything but talking about the environment? No, the environment, for lefties, is merely a vehicle through which a new tax can be imposed. Let's face it - Canada is not a major carbon-producing nation and yet the lefties would have us paying a carbon tax. For what? Will it have any effect other than to cause hardship for Canadians? Uh, no.

Okay, cue SQ to come up with some sort of crack against me and/or Hunter.

Martin said...

Martin, what makes you so sure that humans are responsible? Or is that just an easy way out.

I'm not sure if I understand your question Sean. The threats to polar bear populations in the 60s and 70s were clearly from humans. The bears were hunted for sport.

These days, the threat to the bears comes from shrinking Arctic sea ice. You can debate the causes of the shrinkage all you like but I've seen it first hand. The ice is indeed vanishing.

Hunter, I'm not sure wildlife and habitat preservation should be a partisan issue. Nor am I sure that all hunters and farmers are conservatives. I'm not sure it even matters.

It is rather ironic that Coke, the very company that shamelessly wastes water resources to produce it's products, becomes the champion of the polar bear, an animal it has exploited to sell soda.

As for the WWF, 66% of the money it raises comes from private individual donations. 38% of the money goes directly to conservation implementation projects. A mere 0.2 % is spent on lobbying.25% goes to running the organization and fund raising. The WWF is not in it for the money. They exist to promote and implement responsible stewardship of the planet's natural environment.

Southern Quebec said...

Martin, if you are here with facts, you can stop now. Hunter don't need no stinkin' facts. As a matter of fact, she prefers to make things up as she goes along. If you persist with your silly facts she will ban you. (You mentioned climate change. Hunter knows it was cold yesterday, so what's your point?) :)

Southern Quebec said...

She's quoting KKKate from Small Dead Animal about polar bear populations. Hahahahhahahahahah

West Coast Teddi said...

Thanks Martin for your insight.

There have been "reports" that the overall ice pack is increasing in the Arctic, but that in certain areas, such as in some of the straights, that there is more open water. Is this the issue for polar bears? Are there more ice flows and thus the bear is too far off shore from its food source?

Anonymous said...

Martin - I'm sure you have already realized that Southern Quebec is "special". He has this strange obsession with Hunter and haunts her blog to insult her. I hate to think of what he's doing with himself when he's inputting his comments. He adds nothing to any discussion except his own sickness.

As for his logic - if Hunter bans people who come armed with facts, obviously, SQ has no facts since he has not been banned.

SQ - you are such a jerk. Get help for your issue with female bloggers and especially with your unhealthy obsession with Hunter.

Hunter - time to return to comment moderation.

liberal supporter said...

Happy New Year, East of Eden!