Did you ever see the acclaimed climate change documentary ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ by Al Gore? Even if you didn’t you’ll no doubt be familiar with the images of forlorn, desperate polar bears swimming sadly through the open waters of a melting Arctic.
Polar bears are the poster child of climate change, the mascot of global warming, the pawn of environmental activists. They tug at our heartstrings, they stare out of the computer screen with limpid, intrinsically mournful expressions, and they
inspire rallying cries of ‘Save Our Sea Ice’!
And yet, for every claim that bear numbers are dwindling there’s a graph showing unprecedented increase in populations. For every comment that polar bears will suffer in a warming climate there is a counterpoint suggesting that they will adapt. For every image of a skinny, underfed bear struggling to find a seal-supper there’s a corresponding picture of a proud and glowing polar bear mum placidly leading her three robust cubs across the sunny tundra.
This energetic and often heated debate has so many aspects to it that it can be virtually impossible to come to a conclusion. Here we’ve compiled some of the most pertinent, recent, and thoughtful discussion from polar bear experts.