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Polar Bears Having A Whale Of A Time!

December 4, 2019

By Paul Homewood


[This is intended as a general recap post, so please bear with me (pun unintended!]



The BBC has just broadcast Episode 6 of Sir David Attenborough’s Seven Worlds, One Planet, focussing this week on North America.

Sadly he has again chosen to grossly mislead viewers about the effect of climate change, this time on polar bears. The false claims are so blatant that the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF) has submitted a formal complaint to the BBC, accusing their production crew of being “either incredibly incompetent or duplicitous”

Attenborough states in the programme:



The claim that the hunting of belugas from shore is something new does not tally with the facts. A peer reviewed scientific paper, for instance, by Tom Smith and Becky Sjare in 1990 found exactly the same sort of hunting in 1985 on Somerset Island, far to the north of Hudson Bay in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago.

Given that most polar bears live their lives without being filmed does not mean that others have not regularly done the same thing in the past elsewhere in the Arctic.

There are also many other recorded instances of polar bears feeding on beluga, often at catching them at breathing holes in the ice, something which Attenborough himself recorded in his 2008 Blue Planet series.

There are other seriously misleading assertions in the programme:

1) Summer is not a time of “starvation” for polar bears. Biologists correctly refer to it as “fasting”, an evolutionary strategy unique to polar bears, which allows them to thrive in one of the most harshest habitats on the planet.

Describing naturally fasting bears as starving animals is an appeal to emotions designed to make people feel uncomfortable, but does not properly describe the natural biological process.

2) Far from being starving, the bears shown hunting beluga were fat and healthy, just as you would expect in July, when the filming took place. Polar bears consume roughly two thirds of their annual calorie intake in spring, feasting on young seal and storing the excess energy as fat.

3) The implication that “other polar bears are not so lucky” is also incorrect. Surveys by various agencies show that virtually all polar bears in the region have been reported as fat and healthy in recent years.


This latest example of fake reporting is part of a pattern in this series.

In the first episode, Attenborough claimed that the world’s population of albatross has halved in the last 15 years, because warming of the Southern Ocean has brought with it more extreme weather.

In reality, the Southern Ocean has been cooling since the 1980s, and sea surface temperatures are no higher now than in the 1880s:


Sea Surface Temperature Anomalies – Southern Oceans 60S to 90S 

Bird experts insist that the real cause of population decline, which commenced in the 1970s, is industrial fishing for tuna. Fishing boats nowadays use longline fishing methods, with fishing lines often as much as 80 miles long. Unfortunately albatross, as well as other seabirds, turtles and dolphins are accidentally trapped and drowned, something that is known as “bycatch”

It is astonishing that Attenborough, a supposed expert on zoology, made no reference to this at all, preferring to sell the climate change line instead.


And in the second episode, Attenborough took us to the Siberian coastline where thousands of Pacific walrus were beached, because there was “no sea ice” for them to rest on:



The footage was shot at Cape Serdtse, which has long been one of a number of haulout sites regularly used by walrus on that coastline, as the study below, published in 2000, showed:



Rather than hauling out on beaches because there is “no sea ice”, Pacific walrus only migrate south to the Chukotka coastline in October, by which time the sea ice has already begun to reform in the Chukchi Sea.

As the ice continues to develop in November and December, the walrus resume their migration through the Bering Strait, in order to stay on the edge of the ice fields, rather than be trapped amongst thick floes where they would not be able to feed.

There are many historical scientific accounts of large numbers of walrus hauling out on the Chukotka coast dating back to the early 20thC, so there is nothing new about this latest event.

The large numbers of walrus observed in the programme are a reflection of the currently thriving population of Pacific walrus, and not some battle for survival, the impression given in the episode.

We await with bated breath the next instalment of climate propaganda!


  1. Curious George permalink
    December 4, 2019 4:52 pm

    “Canada is warming faster than any other country”. Stop Global Warming, or Canadians will move north away from the U.S. border!

    • MrGrimNasty permalink
      December 4, 2019 5:05 pm

      Everywhere is warming faster than the rest of the world!

      [video src="" /]

    • bobn permalink
      December 4, 2019 5:07 pm

      Canada, being already cold, is cooling slower than other countries more likely. Also, ‘warming faster’? According to which satellite? Given there are not enough land based thermometers to record the temperature across all of Canada.

      • December 4, 2019 7:05 pm

        Sounds normal. Countries on/near the equator have a natural limit to how warm they can get, so surplus heat is sent polewards.

        The colder the country, the greater its capacity to absorb extra heat.

  2. Jackington permalink
    December 4, 2019 5:00 pm

    Like you, Paul, I look forward to the next episode, not so much for Attenborough but for your forensic demolishment of its contents. For there will be surely some howlers; there usually are.

  3. MrGrimNasty permalink
    December 4, 2019 5:03 pm

    The other major major problem with Albatross is rats/mice/super mice literally eating them alive – also featured in pretty recent BBC news/documentaries and articles from more than a decade ago!

    Clearly this is known to proper scientists as they have just completed a rodent eradication exercise on South Georgia and are considering/starting on Gough, Marion etc. etc.

    Another article on the BBC’s scandalous misrepresentation :-

  4. wobbledog permalink
    December 4, 2019 5:13 pm

    I have heard similar reports of other bears (black, brown, etc) starving in the winter season, sometimes not finding a decent meal for months straight. If only man could cool the planet, we could stop this madness.

    • bobn permalink
      December 4, 2019 5:23 pm

      Yep, all those starving animals dying in the winter season. If only man could Warm the planet then bears and other animals would have more to eat and not die of the cold so much. Alas, try as we might, we just can’t warm the planet to make it more comfortable for life..

  5. Canuck49 permalink
    December 4, 2019 5:31 pm

    The lies are getting more and more outrageous!!

    • Harry Passfield permalink
      December 4, 2019 10:47 pm

      We should worry: “The Lies” to us are taken to be more like absolute truth to the CC believers. There is a huge missionary program to be embarked upon – over and above what so many good sceptical blogs have achieved. This is, and I say this with a full understanding of how hyperbolic it may seem, a fight for the freedom of our democratic way of life – such that it is (as Churchill said – look it up). My ambition is that XR becomes – Extinct! And we have no need, in our sophisticated society, for candles.

  6. December 4, 2019 5:37 pm

    Reblogged this on Climate-

  7. Phoenix44 permalink
    December 4, 2019 6:37 pm

    The whole “Canada” thing is absurd. Canada has the highest proportion of its area in the Arctic, which is the fastest warming region. The claim is simply tautologous . The region warming fastest is the fastest warming region. Well I never.

  8. Pancho Plail permalink
    December 4, 2019 7:11 pm

    Now look here, you humans, do you think us walruses are daft. Why ever would we want to rest on an ice floe when there is a nice warm beach handy. We like to cuddle up to our mates and be sociable, and just how many walruses do you think you can fit on a bit of floating ice without it tipping us all into the water, mid kip?
    And another thing, Attenborough, when a chap is having a nice snooze the last thing he wants is to be woken up by a bloody drone zooming about overhead, so pack it up and mind your own business.

  9. MrGrimNasty permalink
    December 4, 2019 7:33 pm

    I see in the news today Grey Seals are suffering terribly from climate change. From only 500 in the early 20th century (from over hunting) there are now 120-160,000 in UK waters. All that plastic pollution and warm water fueled disease isn’t doing much to control numbers. Culling was stopped in 1978 after public outcry. So not good news for Puffins, won’t be many sand eels left after the Seals and EU fishing ships have scoffed the lot.

  10. December 5, 2019 6:30 am

    Please watch ‘Tony Heller’ on you tube, videos on sea ice in the arctic and ‘Susan Crockford Polar Bear Science’.Susan has proven all Attenborough claims wrong. In fact it was the camera men that scared the Walrus over the cliff. The alarmists lobbied to have her research grants stopped at Victoria BC University. The Arctic has 24 hours of sunlight for a brief summer and it can get warm there for a short period of time. Anyway read up. ore fake news from the UK is getting tiresome. Wait to your hydro goes out. Good video by Dr Harris on renewable energy costs on Heartland Instisitute. Europe and the UK are going to go broke and become third world countries if the craziness keeps up about renewables

  11. Henning Nielsen permalink
    December 5, 2019 5:25 pm

    Attenborough is rapidly demolishing his professional reputation. He will be regarded as a disgrace to science in the future, which is a pity, as he has no doubt made many good programs in the past.

    However, his final list of honours could well be:

    Styles and honours
    Mr David Attenborough (1926–1974)
    Mr David Attenborough CBE (1974–1983)
    Mr David Attenborough CBE FRS (1983–1985)
    Sir David Attenborough CBE FRS (1985–1991)
    Sir David Attenborough CVO CBE FRS (1991–1996)
    Sir David Attenborough CH CVO CBE FRS (1996–2005)
    Sir David Attenborough OM CH CVO CBE FRS (2005–2007)
    Sir David Attenborough OM CH CVO CBE FRS FSA (2007–)
    Sir David Attenborough OMG ROFLMAO (2015–)

    • December 6, 2019 12:00 am

      David Attenborough has never ‘made’ any good programs ! (that was his brother Richard)
      There is a huge production team that MAKE the films that he present’s & narrates, David Attenborough is just a jobbing actor (a very good one) & a freelance broadcaster.

  12. It doesn't add up... permalink
    December 6, 2019 1:38 pm

    The BBC reports on polar bears doing extremely well in Ryrkaypiy

    Where’s that? It’s where Attenborough filmed the walruses falling down the cliff, of course. Strange that the story doesn’t mention that.

  13. It doesn't add up... permalink
    December 6, 2019 1:48 pm

    Some updates from Anatoly Konchev, who was advisor to Planet Earth

    His Roots post contains some important admissions about his lifetime of observations – including in the comments.

  14. December 12, 2019 5:14 pm

    Reblogged this on Climate Collections.

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