Talk:Polar bear

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Ouch!

I joined when I saw the butchery that is currently being done to this article. I'm not going to argue about Conservapedia's stance on Global Warming, but the current article is actively misleading to the degree that I have to assume that the edits are motivated by an agenda. Apologies to Ed Poor, but there is no way that you could misread the sources this badly.

Let's check the sources:

"although scientists assert that the polar bear population is stable"

Other quotes from the source:

In areas where long-term studies are available, populations are showing signs of stress due to shrinking sea ice. Canada's Western Hudson Bay population has dropped 22% since the early 1980s. The declines have been directly linked to an earlier ice break-up on Hudson Bay.
Some Native communities in Canada have been reporting increasing numbers of polar bears on land. Traditional hunters believe this indicates an increased population, although the increased presence on land may, in fact, be related to shrinking sea ice and changes in the bears' distribution patterns.
Climate change is the main threat to polar bears today. A diminishing ice pack directly affects polar bears, as sea ice is the platform from which they hunt seals. Although the Arctic has experienced warm periods before, the present shrinking of the Arctic's sea ice is rapid and unprecedented.

"or increasing"

And why is it increasing?

Polar bear experts said that numbers had increased not because of climate change but due to the efforts of conservationists.

The battle to ban the hunting of Harp seal pups has meant the seal population has soared - boosting the bears' food supply.

At the same time, fewer seal hunters are around to hunt bears.

"I don't think there is any question polar bears are in danger from global warming," said Andrew Derocher of the World Conservation Union, and a professor of biological sciences at the University of Alberta in Edmonton. "People who deny that have a clear interest in hunting bears."

And elsewhere, it was mentioned that the numbers went up since the 1960s (implying the same "Global Warming is harmless and hyped!" argument as above). The "is stable" source had something to say about the reason there, too:

In the 1960s and 1970s, hunting was the major threat to the bears. At the time, polar bears were under such severe survival pressure from hunters that a landmark international accord was reached, despite the tensions and suspicions of the Cold War. The International Agreement on the Conservation of Polar Bears was signed in Oslo, November 15, 1973 by the five nations with polar bear populations: Canada, Denmark (Greenland, Norway, the U.S., and the former U.S.S.R.

(...)

The Oslo agreement was one of the first and most successful international conservation measures enacted in the 20th century. Its legacy continues today, with member scientists from each nation continuing to work together in face new threats to the bears including climate change, pollution, industrial activities, and poaching.

Just going by the sources that are being used here to make us feel okay about the effects of Global Warming, you can see a slightly different picture once you actually read them: Hunting was a major problem in the 60s, and the ban of this unlimited hunting is the reason why the population recovered. All of that despite Global Warming, which is acknowledged by ALL sources as the major threat here. Trying to play down the effects of Global Warming is highly misleading.

I will see if there is any way to fix this article. Any help is welcome. --DHayes 18:49, 11 March 2008 (EDT)

Rewrite

As per the section above, I rewrote a substantial part of the article. Some changes in detail:

  • Removed images. The population trend one didn't say one word about where the graphic or the data came from, and the one with the cubs was cute, but right now, the article isn't long enough to offer a good space for it. Keep in mind that not everybody has a hi-res display, and the taxonomy box is huge. The focus should be on the text, not on many images.
  • Global Warming section was expanded, clarified and split into "Population and Protection" and "Activism". It's important to keep an eye on what is pure activism and what is fact. The population did increase, but that was due to the hunting ban. And it's currently listed as vulnerable because of global warming. That's a cold, hard fact, and it's sourced. The antics of Greenpeace and whoever else are another issue, and while they should be discussed, they should be kept separate from the actual facts and data.
  • I chose the section order based on factual importance. The Coke ad bears are cute (and I loved those spots), but they're really just trivia. The "Activism" section got ranked lower than the "Population" one simply because I feel that actual numbers should rank higher than arguments and counter-arguments over how to tackle Global Warming (also because that is a transition away from the actual topic!).
  • The "Main article" bit was turned into a "See also" link simply because the linked-to article didn't actually touch the issue about the polar bears or the surrounding activism, so I felt that it's better placed there.
  • To the best of my knowledge, I did not remove any sources. In fact, I added one.

I pray that my edits will not immediately reverted or butchered. --DHayes 20:16, 11 March 2008 (EDT)

It's not acknowledged by "all sources", as you surely know. I would block you for intentional dishonesty, but if you can provide useful information I'll overlook it for now. --Ed Poor Talk 20:18, 11 March 2008 (EDT)
.........pardon me? I just spent more than an hour rewriting the article, and you now implicitly threaten me with a block for dishonesty? I meant that in the sense of "all sources (that are currently in the article)". I would never seriously claim that I read all articles on the planet about this. I also do not deny that there is discussion about this. But the fact is that the sources in the article regarding the actual facts list global warming as the major threat.
I take it that this was just a silly communication mistake, yes? I do not have to feel slightly intimidated by a fellow encyclopedia editor suddenly waving his sysop powers (also on my user page) because of a simple talk page comment that was phrased a little bit fuzzily, yes? --DHayes 20:30, 11 March 2008 (EDT)

Polar bears have been in the news recently, with "concern" being expressed about them mainly because they add ammunition to the fight to promote the global warming treaty. It's like the "concern" for caribou expressed when the Alaskan pipeline was first proposed: environmentalists said they feared the pipeline would hurt the caribou, but it turned out that the oil in the pipeline warmed the tundra, providing extra food for the caribou, which flourished.

So much of environmentalism is false and dishonest that you can't help if a little of the tar from the brush drips on you now and then.

There are also sources that list DDT as a major threat, but the decision of Ruckelshaus to ban it went directly counter to the science; a textbook example of politicization of science. --Ed Poor Talk 22:16, 11 March 2008 (EDT)