Since the early runaway, if mysterious, success of my post How not to Be killed by a polar bear, things have take a bit of a turn. I light of this I felt it only fair that I should offer advice on helping to not kill these vicious ursine killing machines.
There are various claims about the melting of the Arctic icecap threatening to bring about the extinction of the polar bears. Maybe so, maybe not. Anyway, although it’s widely acknowledged that global warming in the root cause, the jury is still out on whether this warming is anthropogenic. I’ll warn you now that anybody attempting to spark off an argument about the pros and cons of anthropogenesis will end up in the sinbin.
As is so often the case now, the television is awash with ‘Help save the <insert name of animal>’ advertising. Want to help save a jaguar in South America? Snow leopards in the Himalayas? Giant pandas? Mistreated donkeys in Turkey? Just a fiver a month will make all the difference. The same is also claimed for polar bears.
I’m not so sure about that. Their environment may be being degraded, but it’s not as if they’re being hunted to extinction, is it? It’s not like they live in a rain forest or on the African savannah, where if you chuck enough money around you may be able to plant some trees, stop illegal logging, and introduce an army of game wardens. All those things are possible, even if not feasible.
Hard to see how the same can be said of the melting of a continent. A fiver a month isn’t going to make scrap of difference is it? What are they going to do, introduce massive ice machines? Tie the pack ice together to create more stable floes? You can’t create a nature reserve and herd them all in, because they’re generally solitary, extremely territorial, and adult males will eat cubs given half a chance.
On balance, therefore, I’ll avoid trying to save a polar bear, even though the free cuddly toy with the registration pack is tempting. It’s just that, if global warming is manmade, nothing will stop the GOP denying it’s happening, and India and China are not going to be turning down the lights in the near future. Meanwhile you can skiing in Dubai, a country with no fresh water, so the snow has been made from desalinated seawater, which is a pretty energy intensive process. Your fiver looks a bit paltry doesn’t it?