The politics of starving polar bears: my op-ed in the National Post last week

polarbearscience

In case you missed it: The real story behind the famous starving polar-bear video reveals more manipulation (29 August 2018).

Chukchi Sea polar bear Arctic_early August 2018_A Khan NSIDC

It was tragedy porn meant to provoke a visceral response — the gut-wrenching video of an emaciated polar bear struggling to drag himself across a snowless Canadian landscape made billions of people groan in anguish. Taken in August 2017 by biologist Paul Nicklen, a co-founder of the Canadian non-profit SeaLegacy, the video was posted on Instagram in December 2017, stating “This is what starvation looks like” amid a discussion of climate change.

Two days later, SeaLegacy’s media and communications partner, National Geographic, published the video with added subtitles that began: “This is what climate change looks like.” The SeaLegacy webpage published the video also, under a headline that claimed “This is the face of climate change.” The message was clear: Blame climate change for this bear’s…

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