National Geographic LIED About Picture Of Polar Bear ‘Starving’ Due To Climate Change
Nat Geo blamed this polar bear’s demise on climate change.
Apparently that was FAKE NEWS.
Dec. 7, 2017 – This is what a starving polar bear looks like. This bear was spotted by National Geographic photographer Paul Nicklen on Somerset Island in the Canadian Arctic. Since the bear went missing after this video was made, it’s impossible to know specifically what ailed it. However, scientists warn that as temperatures rise, and sea ice melts, polar bears lose access to the main staple of their diet—seals. Starving, and running out of energy, they are forced to wander into human settlements for any source of food. Feeding polar bears is illegal. Without finding another source of food, this bear likely only had a few more hours to live.
That video became one of “the most viewed video on National Geographic’s website.”
But — Was the polar bear’s demise REALLY due to climate change?
The team behind the photo, including Cristina Mittermeier, spoke out about the controversial image and basically admitted that it’s misleading. Climate change wasn’t responsible for the polar bear’s demise.
“Photographer Paul Nicklen and I are on a mission to capture images that communicate the urgency of climate change. Documenting its effects on wildlife hasn’t been easy,” she wrote. “With this image, we thought we had found a way to help people imagine what the future of climate change might look like. We were, perhaps, naive. The picture went viral — and people took it literally.”
“We had lost control of the narrative,” she continued.
There could’ve been a number of reasons that polar bear was dying. Maybe it was old. Maybe it was injured. Maybe it was sick. She even admitted that she couldn’t definitively say that the polar bear was “starving because of climate change.”
“Perhaps we made a mistake in not telling the full story — that we were looking for a picture that foretold the future and that we didn’t know what had happened to this particular polar bear,” she said.
Her explanation will appear in the August issue of National Geographic. The article contains this editor’s note as well:
Editor’s Note: National Geographic went too far in drawing a definitive connection between climate change and a particular starving polar bear in the opening caption of our December 2017 video about the animal. We said, “This is what climate change looks like.” While science has established that there is a strong connection between melting sea ice and polar bears dying off, there is no way to know for certain why this bear was on the verge of death. Above is an updated version of the video.
Millions of people saw that and will probably still believe the original narrative. It’s not easy to “take that back.” Creating fake news to push their own agenda is unprofessional and irresponsible. Shame on them.