Posted by: grokscience | March 23, 2011

Polar Bears

Polar bears are iconic figures of the arctic. Yet, their habitat and existence is being threatened by ongoing changes to the global environment. On this program, Kieran Mulvaney discussed the life and future of the great white bear.

Give them some Coke… 😉

LISTEN TO EPISODE

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Responses

  1. Great podcast – here is an online magazine for elementary teachers – Beyond Penguins and Polar Bears – http://beyondpenguins.nsdl.org – we integrate science and literacy

  2. I’m hearing this late, but I wonder if this had to do with Knut’s death.

    Why is extinction of polar bears portrayed as something important and bad? If they cannot adapt, let them be. It may seem cruel, but that’s how evolution works. Trying to artificially prop them up is no good for all creatures. Maybe there are some bears who can eat less (ie, smaller) that will survive. Or there might be better hunters or eat something else. Whatever the reason, there’s nothing wrong with their extinction.

    One might argue that it’s due to human made global climate change. But that logic leads to one being unable to build houses or cities or for that matter, live on earth at all in fear that something will go extinct because of some indirect consequence. In this global economy, something somewhere may have come from some activity that caused that last dung beetle habitat to go extinct in Brazil.

    The reason for caring for polar bear predicament I hear from most that I speak with is so stupid that it’s mind boggling. Just about the only reason why polar bears (and dolphins) are cared is because they look cuddly. How many care about extinction of rare flowers or insects all over the world? Unless it’s “pretty” or “cuddly”, they can go extinct and no one, other than few scientists, seem to care.

    Wooops. Maybe that’s the new evolution. Become cute and pretty creatures to human eyes and they survive. Maybe we can breed cuddlier polar bears to live in our houses. Kind of like dogs and cats.


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