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Why all you’ve been told about these polar bears could be WRONG- David Rose Visits Hudson Bay

December 30, 2018

By Paul Homewood

 

h/t Patsy Lacey

 

Good news. David Rose is back in town, with polar bear report from Hudson Bay:

 

 image

On the afternoon of July 3, Aaron Gibbons, a hunter from the Inuit hamlet of Arviat on the north-west shore of Hudson Bay, took his three children on a boat trip.

Gibbons, 31, had a well-paid job at Meadowbank, a gold mine deep in the Arctic tundra, which took him away for weeks at a time.

But when he was home, he loved to deploy the inherited skills of his ancestors.

‘He was an experienced provider of country food for his family,’ says his uncle, Gordy Kidlapik, 60, a hunting veteran. ‘His father had brought him up that way, and he was good at it.’

Aaron and his children were headed for Sentry Island – seven miles across the bay from Arviat – a popular spot for picnics, hunting and fishing, where they planned to harvest some of its abundant supply of Arctic tern eggs.

In dappled summer sunshine, the island is idyllic – a place of rugged moorland, shingly beaches, and brilliant green shrubs.

Unfortunately, polar bears like tern eggs, too, and the family hadn’t been there long when Gibbons realised that a mature male, 9ft in length from jaws to rump, was stalking them.

He yelled at the children to get back in the boat, and as they scrambled to escape, he stood his ground on the beach. For reasons that remain unknown, he was without his rifle.

The bear pounced, and while his 12-year-old daughter desperately radioed for help, Aaron was mauled to death…..

 

Part of a chain of coastal settlements in Nunavut, Canada’s northernmost territory,

Arviat, population 2,800, is a snowy huddle of low, well-insulated buildings and very remote. The nearest road connected to the rest of Canada is at Winnipeg, 800 miles away.

For six days before my arrival, blizzards and ice on the runways had forced the Arctic carrier Calm Air to cancel its Arviat flights.

Last week, Arviat’s minimum temperature hit minus 36C. However, as I rapidly discovered, its people – who are almost all Inuit – are as warm as its weather is brutal.

They also turned a conventional wisdom on its head, saying that polar bears are not in crisis, nor even in decline: the main problem, according to the people who know them best, is that there are too many of them.

Climate change – cited as the reason for their imminent demise, due to rising temperatures shrinking the ice essential to their survival – may be altering their behaviour, but the Inuit say they are adapting, and remain fat and healthy, and perfectly able to breed.

Scared and exasperated by the threat the bears pose, some Inuit leaders are voicing a demand which, if granted, may trigger a global furore akin to Japan’s decision to resume commercial whaling.

They want to be allowed to increase their permitted polar bear hunting quota to reduce numbers.

Like almost any story about polar bears, the summer maulings were soon slotted into a familiar narrative. They were, it was claimed, one more symptom of climate change caused by humans, which is said to be rapidly driving the bears towards extinction.

‘Without action on climate change, we could see dramatic declines in polar bear numbers by mid-century,’ says campaign group Polar Bears International (PBI). The reason: ‘Loss of their sea-ice habitat and reduced access to their seal prey.’

According to PBI’s conservation director, Geoff York, ‘what we’re seeing across the Arctic as sea ice recedes is that more polar bears are spending time on shore… It is creating that perfect storm of potential for human-bear conflict’.

In places such as Arviat, adds Professor Andrew Derocher of the University of Alberta, there might appear to be more bears, ‘but you can’t equate seeing more bears with there being more bears’.

All that was happening was that the bears were spending more time near humans, and hence becoming more visible.

Around the Arctic, polar bears – estimated by the International Union for Conservation of Nature to number in total about 26,000 – are divided into 19 ‘sub-population’ groups.

Prof Derocher said he had ‘no hesitation’ in saying that the sub-population in the Arviat region, known as West Hudson Bay, has ‘declined from historic levels’. Eventually, the level would become ‘unsustainable’. Already, he says, the bears have become skinnier and less able to reproduce, while fewer cubs grow to adulthood.

The people of Arviat vehemently disagree, their knowledge derived from centuries of survival in the harshest environment imaginable and co-existence with bears and other wildlife.

Inuit elder David Alagalak, 74, spent his early years living in a traditional stone hut, and shot his first adult bear in 1952, when he was nine.

He says: ‘The population in this area has increased by 300 to 400 per cent. Everywhere the hunters go, they see polar bears. There are a lot more than in the past.’

William Tiktaq adds: ‘When I was a kid, I didn’t worry about bears. Now you have to keep your eyes open and your ears clean. I wish the scientists from down south who say they’re dying out would come and spend a year, or even five years, and they would know about this increase. If we had scientists living here, they would have a different perspective.’

Mayor Bob Leonard, originally a southerner who has lived in Arviat for 45 years, agrees: ‘Something has happened in the past six or seven years. We never used to see bears, even if we went camping somewhere like Sentry Island. People are angry and afraid.

And because of the claims scientists have made in the past, which turned out not to be true, they don’t care much for what scientists say. You get the sense the world looks on this place as a large zoo, and has to have an opinion on it. That can get irritating.’

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6539067/Why-youve-told-polar-bears-WRONG-Inuits-different-story.html

 

The full story is worth reading.

David Rose and the Inuit he has spoken to confirm what sceptical scientists such as Dr Susan Crockford have been saying for some time.

Yet still Derocher and his chums at the activist PBI deny reality.

20 Comments
  1. MrGrimNasty permalink
    December 30, 2018 12:04 pm

    I predict a few angry/dishonest letters next week – from the Grantham Institute etc.

    Hopefully the author will follow up with similar on reefs, sea level rise, renewables……….

    and dispel a few more climate propaganda keystones.

    • A C Osborn permalink
      December 30, 2018 12:20 pm

      He has been trying to do so, along with Chris Booker for many years now.

    • December 30, 2018 10:09 pm

      And yet another vexatious complaint from Bob Ward to IPSO

  2. A C Osborn permalink
    December 30, 2018 12:19 pm

    Perhaps the hunters should go out there and shoot them all with tranquilisor guns and tag them and then we would have an actual count.
    Except of course it would be very dangerous and expensive.
    One thing is certain you cannot convince the acolytes with facts if they don’t align with their faith as handed down by the great gods of Computer Models.

  3. Coeur de Lion permalink
    December 30, 2018 12:33 pm

    What’s this about disappearing Arctic ice? 3rd week September 4.6 million sq km as usual. C. 14 million by March.

  4. December 30, 2018 12:54 pm

    The Daily Telegraph needs its own David Rose, rather than the copy-n-paste patsies for Big Green, such as this fund raising event today for the RSPB (paywalled) about declines in UK seabirds:

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2018/12/30/urgent-action-needed-reverse-drastic-seabird-declines-britains/

    Climate Change gets blamed of course, but the focus should be on all that greens hold dear, i.e. the EU (industrial trawlers), wind farms, and possibly the army of ecology students that now swarm over the breeding grounds looking for signs of climate change.

  5. tom0mason permalink
    December 30, 2018 1:41 pm

    The really dumb idea is that Polar bears require Arctic ice to survive.
    No they don’t.
    They require food and shelter from the worst weather. They are opportunist feeders and can live on a wide range of foodstuffs including human flesh (fresh or frozen).

    • December 30, 2018 5:00 pm

      Actually, they need ice from late fall (November) to late spring (June) – they can do without over the summer. They could probably do without ice over the darkest part of the Arctic winter in the far north, since they rarely hunt then anyway. Spring and fall hunting from the ice are the crucial times.

      • Richard Ferris permalink
        December 31, 2018 12:04 am

        Please explain the NEED for ice for 1/2 the year. Polar bears do better in warmth because what they eat does better in warm.
        Warm is better. Warmer is still better than colder right now!

      • tom0mason permalink
        December 31, 2018 2:36 am

        Why thank-you Susan for a real informative reply. 🙂
        May you have a happy, productive and prosperous New Year!

  6. Jack permalink
    December 30, 2018 2:00 pm

    One Inuk
    Two Inuit

  7. Broadlands permalink
    December 30, 2018 2:09 pm

    What is rarely remembered in the “green” rush to blame the climate is what actually happened to the polar bears: commercial hunting, not CO2.

    “The current [2012] scientific consensus places the worldwide polar bear population between 20,000 and 25,000 animals. Prior to the 1973 worldwide restriction on commercial polar bear hunting, that number was dramatically lower, so low that a meeting of polar bear specialists in 1965 concluded that extinction was a real possibility. Some reports even estimated the number of bears as low as 5,000 worldwide.”

  8. R2Dtoo permalink
    December 30, 2018 2:32 pm

    Many of these same polar bear “specialists” did help bring the population back by drawing attention to over-hunting and the fact the bears needed some protection decades ago. The fact that they can’t take a victory lap now is because they have built a research “industry” around the species and funding must keep flowing to support the network. In a sense, they are a microcosm of the much bigger climate change issue, which also must keep exaggerating issues to retain their jobs. Their self-interest is costing society a lot of money and grief – and killing science.

    • Broadlands permalink
      December 30, 2018 3:00 pm

      Yes R2Dtoo… “Terry Audla, the president of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, Canada’s national Inuit organization, says that when it comes to really understanding how healthy the polar bear population is, it makes no sense to pit the feelings and hunches of far-flung conservationists against the direct observations of local people who deal with the bears all the time. As far as overhunting goes, says Audla, “if you’re reliant on something as a source of food, you’re going to make darn sure that you’re keeping that source healthy.” When you live in Resolute Bay, Nunavut, it’s hard to give a lot of weight to a conservation organization in southern California or a worldwide endangered species treaty that is signed in Qatar.”

      “Consider Mitch Taylor’s story. He spent more than two decades as a polar bear researcher and manager for the Nunavut government and has published around 50 peer-reviewed papers. That should garner widespread respect. But Taylor has been highly vocal about his belief that polar bears are mostly doing fine, that cub mortality varies from year to year and that the much ballyhooed predictions of extinction by 2050 are “a joke.” He also alleges that a lot of the “exaggerated decline” is just a way to keep certain scientists well funded and to transfer control of the polar bear issue from territorial to federal hands.”

      Indeed…follow the money.

  9. Jackington permalink
    December 30, 2018 3:17 pm

    Thanks indeed for the return of David Rose to the Mail on Line but we need him on the main paper too so that we all know what is really going on.

  10. dennisambler permalink
    December 30, 2018 3:22 pm

    Climate and People in the Prehistoric Arctic
    Archaeological Survey of Canada, Canadian Museum of Civilization, Ottawa
    https://web.archive.org/web/20010222053802/carc.org/pubs/v15no5/5.htm

    “By about 7000 years ago the massive glaciers of the last Ice Age had retreated to the mountain peaks of the eastern Canadian Arctic. Tundra vegetation had become established, and was grazed by caribou, musk-oxen, and, in some areas, by bison.

    The gulfs and channels between the arctic islands had long been at least seasonally ice-free, and provided a home to populations of seals, walrus, and whales.

    There is considerable evidence that for the next 3500 years the arctic climate was noticeably warmer than today, the tree-line was north of its present position, sea ice was less extensive, and animal populations were large and well established.”

  11. dennisambler permalink
    December 30, 2018 3:32 pm

    There’s money in them thar bears…

    “Awesome Polar Bear Season in Churchill”: Natural Habit Adventures in conjunction with WWF

    https://www.nathab.com/polar-bear-tours/classic-polar-bear-expedition/

    “On our flagship polar bear trip, meet the world’s greatest concentration of these big carnivores as they wait for freeze-up on Hudson Bay and the start of seal-hunting season”

  12. December 30, 2018 10:23 pm

    Reblogged this on Climate Collections.

  13. December 30, 2018 10:29 pm

    How much sea ice shrinkage is there?

  14. December 31, 2018 1:24 am

    Paul. thanks for presenting this, and thank you, David, for investigating and writing it.

    It is truly well done.

    Regards….AND HAPPY AND HEALTHY NEW YEAR TO ALL,

    Bob Tisdale

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