polar bears

Are Polar Bears Really Endangered?

“Glib contrarianism” in environmental journalism

The news web site Slate is known for its counterintuitive articles – so much so, that the term “slatepitch” has been coined.  But sometimes trying to write a counterintuitive article leads you to write something, well, just wrong. Today, Slate ran an article about “Five Species You Thought Were Endangered That Really Aren’t (Including the …


Jeremy Bentham and Polar Bears

Over at the Reality-Based Community, my co-blogger James Wimberley rightfully takes to task a right-wing economist named Karl Smith for what Wimberley calls the dumbest blog post of 2011.  Smith essentially seems to argue that it’s okay to cause hundreds of species to become extinct because it will increase aggregate wealth in the short run. In doing …


Polar Bears. Wolves. Sea Turtles.

Polar Bears.  Wolves.  Sea turtles. Did I mention polar bears, wolves, and sea turtles? The most popular posts on our blogs feature those subjects, along with fetching pictures.  Some people dismissively refer to such creatures as charismatic megafauna, as if there were something wrong with people being attracted to some of nature’s coolest denizens.  But …


Saving the Polar Bear: The Saga Continues

Follow-up:  Greenwire now (Oct. 22) has more details: The Obama administration today proposed protecting more than 200,000 square miles in Alaska as critical habitat for the polar bear — an area the administration said would be the largest the government has ever put forward in a bid to protect an imperiled species. The Interior Department’s …


Greetings from New England – Home to Green Jobs, But No Polar Bears

Residents of Pittsfield, Massachusetts who stay close to home may not have seen a polar bear in – well – a long time, and the economy may be in a general slump. but the town fathers and mothers have seen a recent growth in green jobs.  The Berkshire Eagle reports that The Center for Ecological …


Environmental Measures in Spending Bill Clear Congress

At the same time, the measure chips away at several leftover Bush administration policies. It clears the way for the Obama administration to reverse a rule issued late in the Bush administration that says greenhouse gases may not be restricted to protect polar bears from global warming. Another Bush administration rule that reduced the input …