Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Note to Greenpeace - it's not about the polar bears!

I spotted a banner on the excellent Greenbang site from Greenpeace, which is exhorting us to save the polar bear by donating £3 per month. Surely this kind of "save the fluffy animals" approach to climate change is way out of date? It's not that I don't care about the polar bears, but much more is at stake. And photos of cute creatures simply trivialise the largest single threat to mankind ever. It's our own extinction we're facing, not some animal most of us have only encountered in zoos.

It's not that I don't applaud Greenpeace's work, I just think they need better ads - especially on a site like Greenbang, which is likely to attract readers already quite well informed on climate issues. Any species going extinct is a bad thing - but if we can save ourselves, the polar bears will survive too.


Chris Lawrence said...

The other important thing to note is that while climate change is a critical problem, that's not the threat to polar bears. Polar bears have been around for over 300,000 years and have always survived melting cycles in the past.

The reason polar bears are going extinct is because we humans have been killing them and we have destroyed a large part of their food supply. There used to be thousands of whales in the ocean near them, and when ice caps were tiny, there would always be new carcases drifting in they could eat. Most of these whales are gone now, including entire species that are now extinct.

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