Incredibly sad video (that doesn’t show the incredibly sad ending). {Planet Earth}

Via Waylon Lewis
on Jun 22, 2013
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“Drowning from exhaustion because there was no ice.”

Is prajna/wisdom/awareness or ignorance preferable? All of us would say “wisdom.”

Is sadness or satisfaction preferable? What if awareness wisdom shows us the sad effects of our selfish actions? Do we still want to “see”?

Is there a point beyond guilt trip? Can awareness lead to responsible action?

Cause and effect is the technical definition of “karma.” It’s too bad the effects (melting ice) and the cause (us, driving, etc) are disconnected by “out of sight, out of mind.”

So let’s keep it in sight. From Planet Earth, with the majestic baritone of Sir Attenborough.

“Warning – that video is incredibly depressing. You can see, though, that it’s an issue with the ice being weak and they struggle, exhaust themselves, and eventually drown (video cuts off before he actually dies).”


About Waylon Lewis

Waylon Lewis, founder of elephant magazine, now & host of Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis, is a 1st generation American Buddhist “Dharma Brat." Voted #1 in U.S. on twitter for #green two years running, Changemaker & Eco Ambassador by Treehugger, Green Hero by Discovery’s Planet Green, Best (!) Shameless Self-Promoter at Westword's Web Awards, Prominent Buddhist by Shambhala Sun, & 100 Most Influential People in Health & Fitness 2011 by "Greatist", Waylon is a mediocre climber, lazy yogi, 365-day bicycle commuter & best friend to Redford (his rescue hound). His aim: to bring the good news re: "the mindful life" beyond the choir & to all those who didn't know they gave a care. | His first book, Things I would like to do with You, is now available.


10 Responses to “Incredibly sad video (that doesn’t show the incredibly sad ending). {Planet Earth}”

  1. samitee says:

    More alarmism and fearmongering, not supported by any empircal data whatsoever. Arctic Ice is currently at a 10 year high for this time of year.

    Here is the raw data so that any of your readers can verify for themselves.

    Here is a graph that plots that data:

    We are currently experiencing the coldest Arctic summer on record according to the DMI.

    Furthermore, several recent peer reviewed studies have proven once and for all that the Polar Bear population is thriving and growing, despite a recent decline in sea ice (which is currently on the rise in the short term). It is estimated that there are 5 times more polar bears today than there were in the 1960s. Please educate yourself on the population of polar bears before posting misinformation which appeals to emotion rather than relying on logic and factual information.

    Even NPR knows that Polar Bear populations are on the rise.

    Read Zac Unger's book for starters. Polar Bears have survived for millions of years through everchanging thin and thick ice in the Arctic and all sorts of conditions. They can swim just fine. This idea that the Polar Bears are drowning and it's all our fault is maybe the number one lie from Al Gore's movie and you are peddling this misinformation without understanding the basic facts about the Polar Bear population which is thriving. Please stop misleading your readers.

  2. elephantjournal says:

    Two people can post lots of well-backed up links: 'Fattest' polar bears survive climate change. The latest study into the effects of climate change on polar bears has found only the 'fattest' survive the shrinking of the ice. ( " Tracking the bears revealed a trend of them arriving onshore earlier in the spring and departing later in the autumn.

    Previous studies have shown that the western Hudson Bay polar bear population, recently estimated at around 900 animals, has declined since the 1990s, as have their body condition and the number of cubs surviving to adulthood. "

  3. elephantjournal says:

    A recent article titled "No Decline in Polar Bears Populations," written by CNSNews and picked up other sources, correctly states that our group concluded that one of 19 polar bear subpopulations is currently increasing, three are stable, and eight are declining mainly due to global warming induced loss of critical sea ice habitats. It failed, however, to note that this compares negatively with our last report in 2005, which found that five subpopulations were declining, five were stable, and two were increasing.

    USGS projects that polar bears during the next half-century will disappear along the north coasts of Alaska and Russia and lose 42 percent of the Arctic range they need to live in during summer in the Polar Basin when they hunt and breed.

  4. elephantjournal says:

    8 Science-based Facts:

  5. elephantjournal says:

    At the most recent meeting of the IUCN Polar Bear Specialist Group (Copenhagen, 2009), scientists reported that of the 19 subpopulations of polar bears, eight are declining, three are stable, one is increasing, and seven have insufficient data on which to base a decision. (The number of declining populations has increased from five at the group's 2005 meeting.)

  6. samitee says:

    Thanks for the rebuttals, Waylon, much appreciated. Unfortunately, most of the links you've provided are mainstream media articles. I am sure you understand that the media has a bias and agenda to push so I don't know why you think The Washington Post or the Telegraph would report objectively on the issue of polar bears. Regarding the Washington Post article, it's entirely based on projections, which means absolutely nothing especially in light of the fact that most prior projections by the IPCC and others have failed miserably. Projections of Polar Bear populations declining does not mean that they are declining, much in the same way that projections of Arctic Sea Ice loss or sea level rise doesn't actually mean that sea ice is declining or sea levels are rising. As I stated above, this is the coldest summer in almost a decade in the Arctic. This is based on empirical data, real world measurements, real science. Not computer models or projections. The fact that you gloss over this makes me wonder if you're aware of these facts?

    Furthermore, you also linked to the National Wildlife Federation, which is more of an activist organization than a scientific one. While you did link to which is certainly credible when it comes to this issue, you are using old data and reports and ignoring the more recent peer reviewed studies. Are you aware that polar bears reach maturity and reproduce in one quarter of a season?

    Regardless, you have posted some valuable information but you have failed to link declining subpopulations with climate change and have ignored larger factors such as hunting. Polar Bear skins have doubled in price in the last 3 years. Prior to the 1970s, the primary cause of polar bear decline was hunting, and hunting regulations were the primary cause of population increase. This of course has nothing to do with climate change or carbon dioxide. For example, all polar bear populations have increased since the 1970s, because that was when international regulations on polar bear hunting were enacted. This is clear from the literature, and nothing to do with climate change. The data for the Peacock study comes from 2005 – 2007 and notes that the reproductive rates of some subpopulations have declined possibly as a result of sea-ice changes but there is no definitive cause. Futhermore, even if the sea ice change was found to be the definitive cause (which it has not), there is no empirical data that supports the claim that these sea ice changes have anything whatsoever to do with carbon dioxide. …(continued)…

  7. samitee says:

    Also, you’ve cited the Western Hudson Bay studies and seem to ignore the rest of the subpopulations. Did you know that the only polar bear subpopulation that has had a statistically significant decline in recent years is the one in Western Hudson Bay? Curious that you should focus on only that one, don’t you think?

    It should be noted that there are many problems with the Hudson Bay sub-population studies, I urge you to look further into that (see Susan Crockford) for a better understanding of why they are not reliable to determine the overall health of Polar Bear populations. Additionally, the Davis Straight subpopulation is far more significant (again, for a number of reasons).

    On February 19, 2013, the Global Warming Policy Foundation published a peer-reviewed paper which concludes that despite sea ice having declined since the 1970s, polar bear numbers in Davis Strait have "not only increased to a greater density than other seasonal-ice subpopulations, but it may now have reached its ‘carrying capacity.’" This is peer review, Waylon, why have you not posted about it on your website? It's great news for the Polar bears and the planet, is it not?

    I'd also like to point out that there doesn’t appear to be a published optimum Sea ice amount for the optimum success rate for Polar Bears in harsh climates, such as the Arctic. In fact, Polar Bears seems to have the highest life expectancy in warm zoos with little or no ice. I hope you can at least admit that Arctic ice is doing really well this year, I'm sure your readers would appreciate your acknowledgement of that fact.

    If you had done your homework, Waylon, you would understand that Polar Bears have already survived an ice free Arctic. Please see:

  8. samitee says:

    Additionally, it should be noted that Polar Bears have been very resilient over the last 10,000 years and there are many reasons for this…here are a few abstracts for your consideration.

    Alternative Flooding

    "Food habits of polar bears on land during the ice-free period in western Hudson Bay were examined between 1986 and 1992. In contrast to previous studies, feeding on vegetation during the ice-free period was common…"

    "The analysis indicated that it is possible for polar bears to maintain their body mass while on shore by feeding on arctic charr and seal blubber. Polar bears of body masses up to 280 kg could gain sufficient energy from blueberries to match the daily energy loss."

    "Analyses were made of 233 scats collected from islands in James Bay and 212 scats gathered on the southwest coast of Hudson Bay. Birds, primarily Anatidae, were the most commonly used summer and autumn food of bears in James Bay. Marine algae and grasses were the foods most often eaten by bears on the mainland…."

    "Bears which fed in the dump were significantly heavier than those which did not. There was no evidence that bears using the dump gained either reproductive or survival advantages…." (Canadian Journal of Zoology)

    "…During spring and summer, polar bears in some areas increased predation on migratory harp seals and beluga whales. In Western Hudson Bay, bearded seal consumption declined between 1995 and 2001 for both male and female bears and continued to decline among females up to the most recent sampling (2004)….Overall, our data indicate that polar bears are capable of opportunistically altering their foraging to take advantage of locally abundant prey…"

    Swimming Abilities

    “Consequences of long-distance swimming and travel over deep-water pack ice for a female polar bear during a year of extreme sea ice retreat….Between an initial capture in late August and a recapture in late October 2008, a radio-collared adult female polar bear in the Beaufort Sea made a continuous swim of 687 km over 9 days and then intermittently swam and walked on the sea ice surface an additional 1,800 km…..The extraordinary long distance swimming ability of polar bears, which we confirm here, may help them cope with reduced Arctic sea ice…”

    “Polar bear cubs may reduce chilling from icy water by sitting on mother’s back…We describe an observation of a polar bear cub on its mother’s back while the mother was swimming among ice floes in Svalbard, Norwegian Arctic. Similar observations are to our knowledge not earlier described in the scientific literature. We point out that this behaviour minimize exposure to cold water and hence significantly may reduce chilling of the cub….”


  9. samitee says:

    So, you see Waylon, despite the imaginary ice loss that you think is happening, even if it was happening, Polar Bears have survived much worse and will continue to do so. I’m just curious…what do you think happened to the polar bear during the much hotter times of the Holocene and warmer interglacial periods? Did they just magically appear during the little ice age? They are over 600,000 years old and they used to be brown bears before that. They adapted and survived through much worse than anything happening in the Arctic today or anything related to carbon dioxide.

    Biologist Susan Crockford gives us ten good reasons not to worry about polar bears here. I urge you to read and consider this and stop relying on the Washington Post and the Telegraph to inform you about Polar Bears. You’ll find many of your points thoroughly refuted on this page alone.

    In conclusion, you have provided absolutely no proof that ‘climate change’ (which is always happening) has any effect on the population of polar bears. Of course you haven't even come close to providing any proof that carbon dioxide emitted by human beings is affecting the polar bears, either. Polar Bears are not dying off due to climate change and their numbers are thriving. Please stop with the wild speculation, biased studies, and emotionally based fear mongering. I urge you to research this polar bear issue more thoroughly, Waylon, because it seems you are painfully misinformed and your readers deserve better from such a wonderful website as elephantjournal.

    With respect,