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June 25, 2008

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Discussion Topic: On Hunting Threatened Polar Bears

From the Associated Press:

Officials from northern Canada were in Washington on Monday to make an unpopular argument: Let U.S. hunters continue to kill polar bears for sport. . . .

The recent decision to declare the polar bear threatened under the Endangered Species Act also means U.S. sportsmen may no longer bring home trophy skins—which is what hunting's high-rollers actually prize.

This "will effectively wipe out our sports hunting industry," Bob McLeod, the Northwest Territory's minister for energy, industry and tourism, said Monday in an interview. . . .

He said hunters, mostly from the United States, spend an estimated $1.6 million annually during the polar bear hunts, much of it going into the economies of the isolated villages where the hunts are organized and concentrated. . . .

[He] insists continued hunting and protecting the species can go hand in hand.”

What do you think?



And of course, he doesnt have a better solution for control of deer and bear populations. http://www.tikka.co.za/

SD Bob

From what I've read, these licenses are allocated to the residents where these people recognize the tag is more valuable sold than shooting the bear themselves. If this is true, which I have no reason not to believe, then all a ban will do is prevent guys/gals with money to stop going to the arctic to go bear hunting. I think it's reasonable to believe these people will just go back to shooting the bears themselves. End result will mean just as many if not more bears being killed with no memory of the polar adventure from a traveling hunter. It just seems our lawmakers are just not capable of making any reasonable decision. There are more pressing issues, like high gas prices! Canadians are smart people and if they say the resource can sustain, then let our fellow countrymen go north and bring their bear home!


As this instance proves, achieving balance in such things will be increasingly more complicated.

I for one would plunk my money down for a photography only excursion to photograph Polar Bears. I am a lifelong hunter but have no antlers on my wall or hides on my floor. Trophy photographs would be great mementos for me. The next person may want to take a bear and have the skin made into a rug, I am generally ok with that so long as the rest of the animal is also consumed and not wasted.

What is important is realizing that a balance does need to be achieved here and working toward it based on sound management (scientific) practices rather than on emotion from either faction.

Mike Diehl

Although I have lots of sympathy for the Canadian g&f managers and American hunters denied access, I am not too worried about local Canadians losing access to revenue. There have to be more than a few wealthy SE Asians who would pay for the opportunity to hunt, harvest, and fully use all the various parts of a polar bear.

IMO the decision is best left to Canadian fish & wildlife officials as a matter of course.


The problem to me is that Canadian officials are looking at the issue of hunting polar bear as a dollars and cents issues because they don't want to lose tourist money. Wildlife management should never be looked at this way but rather focus on the population management side of things. I for one don't think game management officials should confuse the economic politics of tourism with what a game management position actually entails- conserving game resources. As for hunting polar bears- do it if the population will sustain itself which would probably entails removal from the endangered species status.


Polar bears are forcasted to be entinct in the next 50 years. Not only should the US uphold its ban, but Canada and the rest of the world should instate their own. Hunting a species at the threshhold of extinction is wrong anyway you look at it.


why continue to hunt a threatend animal? 1.6 million isnt even that much...

Mike Diehl

"Wildlife management should never be looked at this way but rather focus on the population management side of things."

I think it is presumptuous to assume that Canadian G&F are not managing the population scientifically.

"why continue to hunt a threatend animal?"

US law only pertains to US states or territory. Canadian G&F may not agree that the Polar Bear is in fact threatened or particularly endangered in Canada.


Its interesting that the G&F guy said that he doesn't want to give up polar bear hunting cuz he doesn't want to give up the revenue that hunting them brings in. Well since that polar bear population is dropping like a stone, and we keep shooting them on the way down, whats gonna happen in 50 years when there arent any polar bears left to shoot? if they'd just wait a few years to let the populaion rebound,we wouldnt be having this discussion


At no time has legal sport hunting ever caused a species to become extinct! Polar bear populations, are at present, expanding. The endangered species classification is due to presumed effects from global warming. We don't know that global warming exists. We don't know the effects of global warming, if in fact, it does exist. We don't know, if global warming exists, if in fact, its man caused.
If global warming exists, and its found to be a natural event, and it has harmful effects on polar bears, how is not hunting that species going to help? Please remember, we never hunted dinosaurs. They're still extinct!
P.S. While the June stats aren't in yet, it appears that this month has been colder than normal in the North Central Region. That trend started in January.


"At no time has legal sport hunting ever caused a species to be extinct" - While there is rarely if ever a single factor that causes anything in nature, it is my understanding that legal hunting was a major factor in the exctinction of the dodo bird.

"We don't know if global warming exists" - We absolutely know that global warming exists. If there is any question at all, it is in regards to the extent of human's contribution to warming trends. There is plently of evidence though to suggest it's extensive.

Lastly, in regards to the assertion that since the population may already be in decline, why not shoot polar bears... I don't even know how to respond to that...


Keep drinking MSM Koolaid Bob. Its good for you! Also please remember; People don't kill people; Guns kill people!

Mike Diehl

C'mon, Yoop. Bob's not parroting MSM in re GW. There's overwhelming scientific evidence documenting its occurrence and very compelling evidence to indicate that it is human-caused *this time.* With respect to GW, the only narcotic kool-aid being ingested is by people who still imagine "human caused global warming" is all either imaginary or a fairy tale being spread by a vast, secret conspiracy of tens of thousands of climate scientists. Anyone who believes that sort of nuttiness probably thinks that 9-11 was part of a right wing conspiracy.


"Polar bears are forcasted to be entinct in the next 50 years. Not only should the US uphold its ban, but Canada and the rest of the world should instate their own. Hunting a species at the threshhold of extinction is wrong anyway you look at it."

You people make me sick, don't talk about it unless you know about it. In 1972 the polar bear populaion was 5000, last year the did another check on the population and it was 25,000! Increased by 500% and you are saying they are going to die out? Crazy look at the facts stop listening to greenies with an agenda.


GW is not real, it is faulty science. The average is just that an average temp will very rarely be right on the average. The same papers that are screaming about GW were going crazy about global cooling in the 1970's find the Time magazine edition warning of the coming ice age. 19,000 American scientists have signed a petition stating they disagree with GW. That does not look like a consensus to me.

Mike Diehl

Joshua, your claims are not correct. They are, indeed, irrational. Mean ("average") terrestrial and ssts have been consistently increasing. That means that things are heating up.

As for your 19K dissenters, there aren't ten on the list who have any training in climate science. Those 19K are about as consequential to me as 19K vegans' opinions about hunting.


The mean has been going down since 1998 not up, this year is so far the coldest in 50 years.

Just because you don't like thier oppinion does not mean they are not qualified. Read both sides and open your mind, science is about open talk and debate not shutting down someone who disagrees with you, but i guess it is easier for you to not think and just spit out what ever Al Gore tells you is the truth.


If this year is "so far the coldest in 50 years" how can you explain why scientists predict that in many parts of the world this might be the first time in recorded history where sea ice doesn't form? As for your claims that the mean [temperature] is going down since 1998- a 10 year period of time is a small microcosm of the big picture and isn't enough of a window to judge environmental change through.

Mike Diehl

"The mean has been going down since 1998 not up, this year is so far the coldest in 50 years."

That is not correct.

"Just because you don't like thier oppinion does not mean they are not qualified."

They're not qualified to make an opinion (most of them) because they have no training or expertise in the subject. Placing your faith in the assertions of, for example, Fred Singer, is like entrusting a wildlife biologist to run a nuclear reactor.

"Read both sides and open your mind"

Having an open mind does not mean that one has to tolerate flawed conclusions. I've read the arguments both for and against the claim that climate change is happening, and there is absolutely no merit of any kind to the claim that it is not happening.

"science is about open talk and debate not shutting down someone who disagrees with you"

It is perfectly acceptable within the operating parameters of science to shut down someone who disagress with you when you have evidence in support of your position and the person disagreeing has no evidence to support their position.

Or as the late eminent rationalist Carl Sagan once noted in his Baloney Detector Kit, "A claim offered without evidence may be rejected without evidence."

"but i guess it is easier for you to not think"

Non-sequitur ad hominem etc. I am pretty sure (not dead certain, mind you, but pretty sure) that I have spent alot more time mulling the evidence than have you.

"and just spit out what ever Al Gore tells you is the truth."

I've never read or watched anything written by or performed by Al Gore. I prefer technical sources.

Mike Diehl

Here you go, Joshua. Some mean SST and LST data from NOAA (that's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration):


And a different presentation of evidence from global satellite observation presented to you by NASA (that's the National Aeronautics and Space Admin) Goddard Institute for Space Studies:


And a technical discussion as to why 2007 had the highest recorded mean annual LSTs where the SSTs were only the 9th warmest on record:



Mike Diehl
You're causing my head to hurt with that info. So I'll put on my tinfoil hat to keep out abarent thoughts.
There is no Global Warming. Yooper Jack lives under a glacier!!
I have seen pictures of a glacier that a friend of mine's grandfather took about 1905 and he took a picture from the same spot in 1981 or 1983. the glacier had receeded about 10 miles during those 80 years.


Mike check this stuff out and try to understand these people DO have any and all creds nessary to have an opinion on the matter.

You are a green freak who tells me i am wrong but presents no facts of your own you simply say no thats not true. Typical GW argument no facts just yell louder than the other people that's how you win an argument. The southern ice shelf is larger than it has EVER been dumb A** what does that tell you about warming? Polar bear numbers have INCREASED 500% in the last 30 years so why can't we shoot them? Answer that question please try i would love to see your scientific logic there. You are brain washed and you will not see the light even when the papers and tv switch back to global cooling (like they did in the 70's, 30's, and early 1900's) you make me laugh you are nuttier than squirl sh*t.

This might help you….



and another by weather channel founder:


The following is is for you Mike read carefully!

"Am I worried about carbon induced global warming? The answer is no and yes. No because there has been no sign of global warming in New Zealand since 1955, this year snow has fallen in Portugal for the first time in 52 years and 3 US states are united by the fact that they have recorded their lowest temperatures ever. Yes because it has become a political football that has lost its foundations in real science.

What especially worries me is that if anyone dares to question the dogma of the global warming doomsters who repeatedly tell us that C not only stands for carbon but for climate catastrophe, we are immediately vilified as heretics or worse as deniers.

I am quite happy to be branded a heretic because throughout history heretics have stood up against dogma based on bigotry.

I don’t like being called a denier because deniers don’t believe in facts. There are no facts linking the concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide with imminent catastrophic global warming there are only predictions based on complex computer models.

Name calling may be acceptable in political circles but it has no place in the language of science, indeed what is happening in the annals of global warming smacks of Macarthyism complete with witch hunts.

Robust science is carried out in a robust way through reasoned argument based on well researched data and although it may dent the ego of the loser it does not smear the name of science.

I offer two simple data sets that are already in the public domain.

The most reliable global, regional and local temperature records from around the world display no distinguishable trend up or down over the past century.

The last peak temperatures were around 1940 and 1998, with troughs of low temperature around 1910 and 1970.

The second dip caused pop science and the media to cry wolf about a catastrophic ice age just around the corner. Our end was nigh! As soon as the temperatures took an upward turn in the 1980’s the scaremongers changed their tune switching their dogma to imminent catastrophic scenarios of global warming all based on computer models some that were proved to be as bent as the hockey stick which no longer features in IPCC’s armoury.

I used to discuss climate change with my undergraduates and point out that there was much good scientific evidence that the latest of a string of ice ages had affected the climate and sea levels around the world. Thank goodness it began to come to an end a mere 18,000 to 20,000 years ago The Romans grew grapes in York and during the world wide medieval warm period when civilization blossomed across the world, Nordic settlers farmed lowland Greenland (hence its name) and then got wiped out by the Little Ice Age that only started to wane around 1850).

Back to the data, how can a sixty-year cycle of changing temperature give any credibility to claims that carbon dioxide is causing an inexorable march towards a climate Armageddon.

The concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has risen throughout this time frame, yet the temperature has gone up and down in a cyclical manner. How can this be explained unless there are other factors in control overriding the effect of this greenhouse gas? There are of course many to be found in peer reviewed literature, solar cycles, cosmic ray cloud control and those little rascals El Ninos and La Ninas all of which are played down or even ignored by the global warming brigade. As are the positive aspects of carbon dioxide in the growth of plants.

Add to that the fact that since 1998 the world’s average temperature has shown a tendency to fall not rise. This fact the warmers play down by arguing that you need a 10 year period, or better still a 30 year period to register a convincing change. Well 2008 is just around the corner and sadly another 20 years on the next natural cycle will have done its best or worse vindicating carbon dioxide as the villain of the piece.

Turning to Al Gore’s doom and gloom laden Oscar, I will pose but two questions. Why scare the families of the world with tales that polar bears are heading for extinction when there is good evidence that there are now twice as many of these iconic animals, most doing well in the Arctic than there were 20 years ago? Why cry wolf on a rise in the spread of malaria thanks to rising temperatures when this mosquito borne disease was a main killer of people throughout the Little Ice Age in Britain and northern Russia?

To date it has cost the world around $ US 50 billion to spread global warming doom and gloom. However now thanks to questions asked by we the sceptics The New Zealand National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research’s Dr Jim Renwick has spilt the beans that "Climate prediction is hard, half of the variability in the climate system is not predictable, so we don't expect to do terrifically well." Later on New Zealand radio, Dr Renwick said: " The weather is not predictable beyond a week or two." The spin of a coin starts a rugby match the spin on 50 million greenbacks surely deserves an unbiased referee.

New Zealand leads the world in the eradication of feral plants and animals making restoration of the natural ecosystems that kept the biosphere in balance long before the IPCC was invented. Habitat destruction and the loss of biodiversity is one of the greatest threats to climate and landscape stability. I beg your government to continue to lead the world in this sustainable endeavour.

In the words of a great mathematician and satirist Tom Lehrer, “Don’t be scared be prepared”. "

David Bellamy
June 2007


If in fact, there is global warming, and it'll cause extinction of polar bears, why would we ever hunt moose? They are also a species dependent on extreme weather. I think that species should also be declared endangered.

Also on that track; If man controls global warming, why can't we set the summer temp up here between 75 and 85, and the winter temp between 0 and 20. Those temps would be optimal for most activities. People would be more productive and pay more taxes. More tourists would come here, increasing jobs. Think about it!

Mike Diehl

Hey Yoop -

The funny thing is that despite global warming Canadian wildlife biologists aren't particularly alarmed about the polar bear, much less moose.

I think what a rationalist may derive from that observation is that global warming is not necessarily the factor affecting polar bear populations, as they are not particularly scarce in Canada.

As to the rest, I think the problem is that humanity does NOT control global warming. If we could identify the perfect CO2 concentration for ideal weather in the UP it might well be worth shooting for that mark. Unfortunately, we don't have that fine a level of control. We seem at this time only to have the ability to, in effect, turn up the thermostat.

We do live in interesting times though don't we.

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