The Blog

Polar Bears on the Brink

In Connecting the Dots on Friday, 11 April 2008 at 9:52

Here at Brijit, we like cute things, and we like controversy. This week, we got the best of both worlds with … polar bears. Vanity Fair reports that last summer the Arctic lost a half-million square miles of sea ice — that’s polar bear habitat the size of Texas and California combined. (I’m recalling that digital image from The Inconvenient Truth where the polar bear’s ice flotation device melts, and he hangs in the water looking forlorn.) So what? asks The Weekly Standard‘s Michael Goldfarb, who wishes everyone would chill out about the cuddly ones. After all, there’s an estimated 400 billion barrels of oil beneath the arctic seabed just waiting to be got, and evidence of the polar bear’s demise is tenuous, he argues.

There’s another polar bear controversy brewing, but this one’s, well, less of a crisis. The BBC reports that the Berlin Zoo’s new baby polar bear Flocke is threatening the popularity of Knut, who has gotten overweight in his old age (he’s now a year old.) Perhaps Goldfarb and friends should get a good look at Knut and Flocke — in ten years, their Arctic brethren’s only habitat might be the caged variety.

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