Troubling Trend: Polar bear populations falling

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Despite what some climate-change deniers have claimed of late, polar bears are struggling to survive, as the planet warms.

An LA Times ran article on Saturday, reporting on a recent study that showed populations of polar bears in Alaska and western Canada fell by 40 percent, from 2001 to 2010. The research was conducted by scientists from a number of organizations, including the U.S. Geological Survey and Environment Canada.

As the report notes, hunting for food is much more difficult for the animals now. As the Arctic ice continues to dramatically melt, they are forced to swim greater distances between ice fields.

But some in the anti-science crowd continue to claim the ice is not melting and polar bears are healthy and happy. Just saying something that is not true over and over and over again doesn’t turn it into a fact.

It’s so sad to see entire species of majestic creatures slip into extinction, while the root causes are too largely ignored. Sometimes, as is the case with climate change, it is greed that drives the movement to ignore these issues.

PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

Polar bears did get some good news this month

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A federal appeals court upheld on March 1 a law listing polar bears as a threatened species.

The LA Times reporting explained the particulars as –

… U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C., upheld the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s 2008 decision to protect the animals because the dramatic loss of sea ice leaves them likely to become in danger of extinction.

There is of course the sea ice loss and the hunting activity that is adding to their plight. Despite these facts, the state of Alaska is fighting efforts to protect polar bears. In large part, the state is doing the bidding of the oil and gas industry – or should I say some big corporations are pulling the puppet strings and the state officials are dancing at the end of these strings.

 

Troubling animal-welfare news from around the globe

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The week isn’t turning out to be a great one on the Pack News Wire – in terms of news from the animal-welfare front.

IN CHINA: The New York Times reports protections for animals are still far down the road in China, where torturing animals is commonplace and the government looks the other way – entirely. The No. 2 economy on the planet gets a huge F in caring for animals.

The China Animal Protection Law, proposed in 2009, is gathering dust on a shelf somewhere.

The NY Times blog post linked above details the horrible dog trade, where they are tortured – stuffed into small cages without food for water for days on the back of trucks, before being thrown off the trucks and beaten to death. The people who engage in this practice are part of an evil club that includes poachers, dog fighters, bear bile farmers, puppy mill operators and anyone who tortures animals for profit or entertainment. Members of Club Evil also include individuals who abuse kids.

How anyone can be this evil is beyond comprehension. As is the case in other countries, I’m sure the majority of the people of China do not support the abuse of animals. But the government seems hell-bent on allowing the suffering to go on.

INTERNATIONAL: At an international summit held in Bangkok, a proposal to grant more protections for polar bears was rejected. This happened at the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species.

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A good decision and a horrible one

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Let’s start with a horrible decision by a judge, one based solely on politics and in no way based on logic or laws. And it certainly was not based on compassion or looking to the future.

The Associated Press reports a federal judge in Alaska has shut down a plan to designate 187,000 square miles in the state as habitat for polar bears, a species very much threatened by habitat loss and climate change. The AP article reports – “” U.S. District Judge Ralph Beistline, in a written order dated Thursday, said the designation was too extensive and presented “a disconnect between the twin goals of protecting a cherished resource and allowing for growth and much needed economic development.” “”

Oil and gas companies and a coalition of Alaska Native groups joined the state of Alaska in a lawsuit challenging the plan.

Alaska Governor Sean Parnell called the region “… massive sections of resource-rich North Slope lands …” So if we translate all of the information above, we can squeeze it all down to this: ‘The greedy can make a lot of money off this land. Our children’s future and the existence of endangered wildlife have no value.’

The judge sided with the greedy. Are we shocked? And finally, get this: U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) called the polar bear populations “abundant and healthy.” How uneducated can one individual be?

In much better news, it seems the US Army is looking to finally ban the use of goats in trauma training. The Fayetteville Observer out of North Carolina reports Fort Bragg slaughters 300 goats each month in studying wounds.

Here’s the key paragraph from the article: “” The 2013 National Defense Authorization Act, signed into law this month, requires the Department of Defense to provide Congress with a strategy and detailed timeline by March for the replacement of animals for medical training. “”

The use of animals for this research and training is stuck in the past. As the article notes, simulators, such as”cut suits” are far better. It’s an important news story and one those who support the use of animals need to read. It’s 2013 and we should no longer opt for animal cruelty, especially in cases such as this where technology has risen above it.

Video: Melting ice fields and hunters sending the polar bear closer to extinction

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The polar bears are in trouble. Their habitat range is melting away. And on top of this threat from a changing climate, some misguided and cruel people want to hunt them into extinction.

Causes.com is reporting President Obama and the Russian government are working an agreement to ban the trade in items derived from killing polar bears. But idiots in the Canadian government, probably the same warped individuals who support clubbing baby seals to death, are trying to block this important ban.

Killing a polar bear or any endangered species should result in extended time in prison, along with other hardened criminals.

Scientific American lists the Top 10 Science Stories of 2012

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Scientific American covers a vast array of topics in its publication and on its website. This week, it list the Top 10 Science Stories of 2012.

One of the most troubling stories on the list, as it relates to our regular topics here at Pack Mentality, is the record loss of Arctic sea ice. This will will have regional and global impacts and is really bad news for the wildlife in the region, particularly animals such as polar bears that depend on that ice.

 

AM News Pack: Topics – Animal Day, animal cruelty, trophy hunting

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ONE – October 4 is World Animal Day. It is also a day to recognize Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals.

PR News Wire also notes October is World Animal Month. For more information, go to WorldAnimalDay.org.uk.

TWOKENS5.com out of San Antonio, Texas is reporting the city’s Animal Care Services fields 80,000 animal abuse calls each year. Four officers are assigned to handle the investigation of these cases.

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Federal judge rightfully agrees that polar bears should be on Endangered Species List

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U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan gets a Pack of Justice Award for ruling polar bears should be on the Endangered Species List – due to the impact of melting sea ice.

The judge, as reported in an Huffington Post article, ruled the decision was “rational” and “based on science.” Great News – We need more judges who understand climate change and the need to protect wildlife species.

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