American Elephants

Another word about the polar bears. by The Elephant's Child

Polar Bear Cub

Advances in DNA research point to a change in thinking about the evolution of the polar bear.

The stories revealed by ancient DNA are not all dismal.  Genetic study of polar bear fossils predicts a better fate for the endangered species.

Before 2007, it was thought that polar bears evolved from the brown bear fairly recently in the planet’s history.  But three years ago, a DNA study of polar bear fossils showed that the polar bear originated nearly 130,000 years ago.  That means the species survived the last interglacial period of global warming.

The discovery gives MacPhee hope about the polar bear’s fate in the coming decades.  “Its possible they will survive, even though they will suffer.” he said.

Well, yes, since it was much warmer during the last interglacial period, and far colder during the little ice age.  And, since polar bears are not endangered but multiplying nicely, in spite of all the environmental activist hype, we need not be too surprised that they have survived the less than one degree of warming that we have so far suffered in the current “global warming” panic.  Especially now that it has cooled.

The environmentalist hype about bears, usually accompanied by photographs of cute baby bears like the one above, has been intended to prevent drilling for oil in the arctic.  The designation of the bears as a “threatened” species is a bureaucratic misstep.  Environmentalist activists are determined to prevent the use of fossil fuels, and will go to extreme lengths to accomplish that.

Since this DNA confirmation that polar bears have survived climate both much warmer and much colder than the present misplaced panic has been available for three years, it might have affected the threatened designation, if the media had thought it worth mentioning.

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26 Comments so far
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If the polar bears deserve to survive, they will adapt. We should concentrate on ensuring our own survival. Ironically, the best thing we can do for the other species is to become even more technologically adept, so that we can survive and thrive off the Earth.

Comment by James McEnanly

i think we should save the polar bears and all the endangered animals because polution is really hurting us and the animals around us.

Comment by samantha


It is natural and good to care about people and animals. And its natural to be concerned about pollution. We all do.

But unfortunately there are some people who try to take advantage of our natural instinct to care for animals and the environment so that our government will send money, lots of money, to them and their political friends.

And lots of other good people get fooled into believing bad things are happening that aren’t really happening because they care so much, but don’t check to see if these things are true.

So when people tell you that pollution is harming something, you really have to do your homework and find out if its true. They might be one of those people who wants government money, or they might be one of the people who never bothered to check the facts.

The truth is that there aren’t LESS polar bears than before, there are lots MORE polar bears than before. Polar bears aren’t in any danger of going extinct, but lots of people want to scare you into believing they are because it gets them the money they want.

Comment by American Elephant

[...] Posts Another word about the polar bears.3:10 to Yuma!Environmentalists: loving Nature to deathA little coal for your stocking.There and Back [...]

Pingback by It’s Not Nice to Lie About Mother Nature. « American Elephants

global warmings hurtin the polar creatures not just bears

Comment by sanuja george

Sanuja, the globe has stopped warming. It stopped warming about ten years ago, and in the last five years it is actually cooling. It has cooled enough to eliminate all the warming that occurred during the last 100 years. That is why it is so cold everywhere this winter. That is what the observed science tells us.

The polar bears are not only just fine, they are thriving, as are all the other polar creatures. Some people have not kept up with the science, and do not know this.

Comment by The Elephant's Child

hi do you know enything about polar bears# do you i love polar bears.

Comment by nina

Thank you for writing, Nina,

Baby Polar Bears are really cute. It is hard to remember that they are wild, dangerous animals, and not like teddy bears. Some people worried that because the Arctic Ocean melted some in the summers, that polar bears would be affected by a lack of ice. This turned out not to be true. The ice is back, as it usually is in the winter.

Some people were worried about temperatures, and thought that the earth was warming. That has changed too. The earth stopped warming about ten years ago, and is now getting colder. It is a natural process, and polar bears have been living happily in the Arctic for around 130,000 years. There are more polar bears now than there were a few years ago.

Comment by The Elephant's Child

We should care about the animals, as the earth is their natural habitat, not ours, we are the ones destroying the earth, and we have no right to kill other animals, especially the rare ones.

Comment by Ed

Ed, Where did you think humans came from? Some other galaxy? Earth is every bit as much our natural habitat as any other living species. And we are the only species able to care for the other species on the earth. We try to keep natural populations in balance, which sometimes means killing predators.

We are not destroying the earth. That is a silly idea put about by greedy people who want to raise money for their particular organization. Nature is not benevolent. Wild animals eat each other, and are not just cute like this baby polar bear. Polar bears are wild, dangerous animals, but beautiful at a distance.

Comment by The Elephant's Child

Hi Everyone, I love this Photo it is so cute. So whoever took this photo is very good!!

Comment by Niamh

help da bears

Comment by max

can u please let me use the picture of the polar bear in my project about global warming
thx plz write bk to

Comment by kyle

I am wondering who you people are. You keep your identities quite concealed, which lends no credence to your opinions. Do YOU read up on the science happening around global warming?

“That is why it is so cold everywhere this winter. That is what the observed science tells us.”

The “observed science”? What the hell is that? Do you know what science and scientific research is?

Where are YOUR citations to prove that you read what actual trained scientists have to say about this? And yes, doing real research does cost money, but people usually do research to benefit society and give back as concerned citizens. Why do you assume these people or their organizations are greedy? What would society be like with no concerned citizens willing to work hard to start and contribute to an organization? What are you doing for society?

As far as I can tell the effects of global warming aren’t just about the warming temperatures in the Antarctic, but also cause much more variable weather, including colder winters and hotter summers.

Here is just one article that I have recently read, as I have already made it clear that to espouse opinions, claiming to be factual, without showing you’ve done your research convinces no one.

David G. Vaughan, Gareth J. Marshall, William M. Connolley, Claire Parkinson, Robert Mulvaney, Dominic A. Hodgson, John C. King, Carol J. Pudsey and John Turner. (2003). Recent Rapid Regional Climate Warming on the Antarctic Peninsula. Climatic Change, 60: 243–274

Comment by Annoyed at your ignorance

Goodness. On a blog, I could call myself Ingvaard Hanson PhD or Doris Mermelstein which would be as meaningless as my actual name. We try to let our words stand alone. I notice you did not click on the link which would have shown just where this particular bit of information came from. Polar bears, by the way, exist only in the Arctic, not the Antarctic. Observed science is that which actually can be observed like a temperature reading or an ice core sample. Global warming anxiety comes from the summaries of the UN’s IPCC which use computer models to attempt to project what the temperature will be far into the future, when they cannot even predict what today’s climate will be. The earth has been cooling for the last decade. It has cooled enough to discount all the increase in temperature over the past century. We are only talking about one degree here, that’s all.

I would suggest regular visits to Anthony Watts invaluable website: or better yet, read this address by Dr. Richard Lindzen, perhaps the world’s most honored climatologist:

Absolutely fascinating that whenever you tell someone that the earth is always warming and cooling, that it has been far warmer in the past as well as far cooler — they get annoyed. You would think it would be good news.

Comment by The Elephant's Child

Funny, it appears to be you who doesn’t know what science is. You ask “what the hell” observed science is, apparently oblivious to the fact that science IS observation. Anything that cannot be observed is not science, but theory. The fact that the Earth has been cooling since roughly 2001 is observed science, or fact, the idea that the Earth is warming is a theory that is contradicted by that and many other facts.

I love that you think “global warming” causes colder winters and shorter summers. Or in other words, you think global warming causes global cooling. That is evidence not of scientific thinking, but emotionalism and brain-washing.

And if you think scientists who receive millions upon millions in grants are just benevolent “concerned citizens”, why is it they badmouth, blacklist, and threaten scientists who challenge their findings?

You are the ignorant one.

Comment by American Elephant

Of course we have been going through a period of global warming. Approximately 14,000 years ago, Canadian glaciers carved out Yosemite National Park. The glaciers went home to Canada during the 14,000 years and now, people can live in South Dakota. We see a lot of people yelling about global warming, but I only saw one mention that Greenlanders, who formerly survived as hunters, now live well off fishing the suddenly warmer and increasingly rich ocean water around the island. Funny, the media did not emphasize that ‘news.’

Comment by Al Hodges

CUTE ness!!!!

Comment by mel

I agree Polar Bears should be saved. Man is responsible for the state the world is in and we should make change ourselves not just protect ourselves at the expense of all others.

Comment by Donnamaree


It’s very nice of you to want to save polar bears. If they really were in trouble, I would want to help them too.

But the people who have told you they need saving are wrong. Some of them are misinformed, some of them know better and are lying. There are more polar bears than ever. In 1950, there were about 5,000 polar bears, now there are over 25,000.

But polar bears are cute, so dishonest people try to get you to send them money, or support their political agenda (which is another way they get money) by telling you horrible things are going to happen to these cute adorable bears if you don’t do what they say. (notice how they never tell you to worry about slugs?)

They are lying to you. Polar bears are fine. The Earth has been COOLING for the last decade, not warming. The lack of sunspots on the sun means its going to keep getting colder, not warmer.

So rest easy, the polar bears are going to be just fine. And anytime someone tells you that bad things are going to happen if you don’t give them money or power — particularly when they try to play on your emotions — you should very carefully verify what they say with independent, trust worthy sources.

Comment by American Elephant

Okay, you can stay anonymous — from us.

Do remember it’s generally considered a bit of a sin to lie to children. You’re playing to an audience to whom you are well known, too.

Sanuja, the globe has stopped warming. It stopped warming about ten years ago, and in the last five years it is actually cooling. It has cooled enough to eliminate all the warming that occurred during the last 100 years. That is why it is so cold everywhere this winter. That is what the observed science tells us.

Warming is over? Got a journal citation for that? In the last decade we’ve had some of the hottest years on record. The droughts around the globe burn hotter than ever before — in California and Texas in the U.S., and in other places around the globe. Spring came 8 hours earlier in the U.S. just as it has every year during the last four decades of global warming.

If warming has stopped, can you tell the Sun, the rain, the winds, the birds, the weeds and the other living things? No other species, no weather process, no part of the climate seems to have gotten the message.

The polar bears are not only just fine, they are thriving, as are all the other polar creatures. Some people have not kept up with the science, and do not know this.

Sanuja, just to keep the millstone away from the necks of these elephants of very poor memory, let’s see what scientists actually say. Here is a report based on the studies of the Polar Bear Study Group — it shows that about half of all polar bear populations are under threats of decline or actually declining, and most problems are getting worse:

As a case in point, in Western Hudson Bay researchers have collected demographic information on polar bears since 1981. Over this time frame and location the sea ice breakup has been occurring earlier. The earlier breakup has been related to the poorer condition of polar bears and there is a correlation between the earlier breakup and a decadal scale pattern of warming air temperatures during the spring between 1950 and 1990. It appears that earlier breakup caused by warmer temperatures has resulted in declines in physical and reproductive parameters of polar bears in this area. This is the only study to date to demonstrate the effects of changed environment resulting from climate changes, and a corresponding effect on polar bears. Climate change is not uniform in all areas of the Arctic, however. Since Hudson Bay is located at the southern most extent of the range of polar bears, findings here may be a forewarning of changes to come in future years for other areas of the Arctic. Clearly, climate change and its effect on sea ice and polar bears should be closely monitored in future years.

In some areas, Sanuja, there are more bears. But there is not enough food for them, and so they are less healthy and they die younger.

Notice that the scientists don’t hit the panic button, but they don’t say that polar bears are doing well when they are not doing well.

Here, you can read the summary report and look at the tables focusing on each population of bears, from NOAA.

Or you can read the statement of last month’s 15th meeting of the international Polar Bear Study Group, with the good news, bad news, and simple observations.

Sanuja, polar bears are in trouble as a species. Some groups are doing well, other groups are in crisis; but generally conditions favorable to the bears, their habitat and their food species, are in decline. Bears are tough, but they are also long-lived, which means serious problems for bears may not be noticeable for a decade or two after the problems occur. Population declines now are a result of trouble that started 10 years and 20 years ago.

Polar bears might survive a climate catastrophe. That doesn’t mean the catastrophe is a good thing.

Comment by Ed Darrell

Sorry, Ed. You are mistaken. The Polar Bear Study Group under the auspices of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature/Species Survival Commission needs to produce a scary report on polar bears to insure the survival of their group. Polar bears have survived the natural warming and cooling of the planet for over 130,000 years. They will survive Al Gore too. Dr. Mitchell Taylor is a leading world expert on polar bears. He has been researching the state of the polar bear population around the Arctic for 30 years as a government scientist and as an academic. His work has made headlines by insisting that polar bear numbers are much higher than they were 30 years ago. Of the 19 known populations almost all are increasing or at optimum levels. Two have modestly declined, for local reasons.

I have written about the reasons the lawyers chose the polar bears as a sympathetic symbol for their global warming campaign. I have written about the newly discovered history of polar bears on the planet, and I have written about Dr. Taylor. If you want to learn the actual facts about arctic ice, start with Anthony Watts essential website The global warming political scam is falling apart in the wake of the cooling planet. You might read Ian Plimer’s Heaven+Earth: The Missing Science of Global Warming. I stand by everything I have written. It is well sourced. You might also read regularly. I wouldn’t count on NOAA either.

See here, and here, and here. I’ve also been writing about the global climate debate extensively. The UN’s IPCC was created as a political entity, not a scientific entity. Of course they have scientists, some quite excellent, but their work is expected to conform the the political summary written for the public. There’s a lot of political hay to be created from scaring the public about man made global warming. Pity the science doesn’t stand up.

By the way, what you experience when you go outside is “weather”. “Climate” is a statistic. It helps not to confuse the two. The climate is cooling. We may be entering a new Maunder Minimum as we have endured an exceptionally long period with no sunspots.
Are you unaware that the Canadian wheat crop is off by 20% from the cold? Crops around the world were affected by late frosts, cold weather and late planting.

It is not nice to scare little kids with disaster stories either.

Comment by The Elephant's Child

You ought to read the press release from the Polar Bear Specialists Group before you complain they are in error — especially since Dr. Taylor’s work was included there.

Yes, I know you’ve written on polar bears. That’s why we worry about you. Swimming long distances in cold water is difficult for starving or malnourished polar bears — how much more difficult for a human encumbered by millstones?

Tell the kids the truth. There’s no scare story in that press release — you didn’t even bother to read it, did you.

If it’s real science, you’ll find some way to denigrate it and tell tall tales about the people who do the research, I gather.

Lucy van Pelt’s library has been missing since Charles Schulz died, the library of how to be crabby. You appear to know where it is — do you?

Comment by Ed Darrell

If you want the facts on Arctic sea ice, check with Anthony Watts. He has extensive plots demonstrating that though the sea ice melts in the summer, it has returned to its normal extent. I am certainly a global warming skeptic. The IPCC was founded as a political organization to establish political ends. I did read the press release, and I’m not impressed.

The only place that global warming alarmism exists is in the computer models of the IPCC. They attempt to reproduce the climate of the Earth in a computer program. They enter things that are known, then estimate the things that are not known, and take wild guesses at the things they have no idea about. The IPCC produces a political document written by the political people (not the scientists) to which the scientists are required to conform their work. Many scientists have quit the IPCC in disgust.

Michael Mann’s famous “hockey stick” graph which showed the climate extending along for centuries with little variation and then suddenly shooting up like the blade of a hockey stick has been the basis for IPCC assessments. It was completely debunked by Steve McIntyre and Ross McKittrick (see Climate Audit) who demonstrated that any numbers you fed into their program would produce a hockey stick graph. Mann’s idea that climate has been constant is belied by the Little Ice Age and the Medieval and Roman Warmings. You can look up the Maunder Minimum in Wikipedia. You can check the Norse Eddas to read about the Viking settlements in Greenland, and Chaucer will tell you about grapes grown in England in what has been called the finest weather known to man — warmer than today, by the way. Or read about “the Killing Times” in Scotland, or the”Year without Summer.”

I have been reading “real science” for at least ten years, and following the debate closely. You perhaps missed the story about the German woman, so confused by the “romance” of polar bears that she leaped into their zoo enclosure and was mauled. Polar bears are beautiful animals, perfectly adapted to the icy climate at the top of the world. They have lived happily through the Little Ice Age, the Medieval Warming and the Roman Warming. They have been around for at least 130,000 years according to their DNA. Although they are beautiful, they are highly dangerous animals, and romanticizing them is not a good idea. Claiming that the bears can’t swim because they’re starving IS a scare story.

The earth is currently cooling. There has been no net warming since 1998, and it has actually cooled since 2002. Climate Science and Arctic Research were mostly matters of quiet study for a small number of scientists until the IPCC announced a false catastrophe and the grant money started flowing. The IPCC was established to prove that there was global warming and that it was caused by human activity — not to learn more about the climate of the earth. That’s a pretty important difference. The old saying “Follow the Money” applies.

The two websites that I mentioned will offer you so many links to scientists, papers and debates that there is little use in my mentioning more sites. Both are excellent resources. Kids in America and in England are being scared to death with false information on global warming that they have no ability to challenge. That has also been widely reported. It’s called indoctrination. Everything I write here is soundly based on the best available science, and I stand by every bit. We are happy to post dissenting opinions, but name-calling and vulgarity will get you banned.

Comment by The Elephant's Child


Comment by Mariana

[...] possibly draw from such a display is that if global warming is killing the polar bears anyway (it’s not), we might as well wear their [...]

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