Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Fri 22 Feb, 2013 04:14 am
@roger,
I agree, and i don't think feeding the bears is an effective use of our resources in dealing with the effects.
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Fri 22 Feb, 2013 05:03 am
@Setanta,
Whats the Canadian take on this whole issue of "feeding the bears".
I hope they are a bit more rational about it and choose not to make this another cause that will grow into an entire industry like we did with ringneck pheasants.
For those unaware, the "Ringneck Pheasant" was introduced as a game bird in the late 1800's. AT that time ag praactices were based upon small field operatons bounded by tree lines and scrub fences.
Today, ag practices have changed in a manner that i not friendly to propoagation of pheasants in a wild state. SO, many states have set up huge phesant hatcheries and "Farms" , all supported by tax dollars and justified by "hunting needs"

The ringneck pheasant is doing fine in the midwest, and its a victim of ag practices in the east. WHy not just admit the inconsistency and stop building these multimillion dollar pheasant rookeries?

Shall we do thi with polar bears too (of course for reasons that sound initially enobling yet equally as dumb).
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Fri 22 Feb, 2013 05:06 am
@farmerman,
I can't say what the Canadian take on this is. The guy being interviewed suggested that feeding the bears was a good alternative to the depredations they might otherwise inflict on the local, aboriginal populations. In other interviews on other programs, the Inuit don't seem to see this as a problem. Bears bothering you? Shoot the goddamned bears. That seems to be their solution.
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Fri 22 Feb, 2013 06:34 am
@Setanta,
a diest of polar bear meat (especialy the liver) can be toxic, so Im sure the Innuit just use em as an appetizer.

Most Innuit food are kinda vile by our standards anyway.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Fri 22 Feb, 2013 06:52 am
Mmmmmm . . . raw seal liver . . .
0 Replies
 
Falco
 
  1  
Reply Fri 22 Feb, 2013 07:37 am
@Setanta,
The point I was trying to convey is that if a "green" policy was set in place at the beginning of the industrial age, and CO2 and other greenhouse gasses output into the atmosphere were highly minimal from human sources, then there would be more reason to believe that the current warming trends to be a part of natural periodic event, and not in anyway meaningful related to humans. Then at least from the ethical perspective, we wouldn't be morally obligated to intervene in anyway, unless of course this bear lands itself in the endangered species list.
I understand that the issue is more complex than feeding the bears. Nor do I condone such an idea because I prefer an ecocentric approach to the problem at hand. And neither do I have definite evidence that climate change is anthropogenic other than the word of mouth by many academics in science, which may possibly be related to receiving grant money for research money. Who knows?
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Fri 22 Feb, 2013 08:02 am
@Falco,
That's a pretty big "if." If wishes were horses, beggars would ride. We can only go with the data we have. Indulging "what ifs" about how people might have behaved centuries ago is a fruitless pursuit. Fifteen hundred years ago, the north Atlantic region (at least) was just coming out of a cold spell which is often referred to as a "mini-ice age." Twelve hundred years ago, there was a dramatic warming trend in the north Atlantic region (at least) known as the "little climactic optimum." In the third century BCE, a merchant captain sailing from Masilia (Marseilles) reported that he encountered pack ice just south of the coast of what we now call Iceland. That was during the little ice age. A thousand years later, the Albans (the people who had inhabited Scotland before the Picts and Irish arrived) were hunting walrus off the coast of Iceland, and probably at least "over-wintering" there, it not actually settled there. By the late 800s, the Norse were colonizing Iceland, and although they claimed that they were the first there, they weren't very good propagandists. Their own sagas tell of them enslaving the Irish they found there. (They may have been Irish, they may have been Albans--but people definitely were living in Iceland before the Norse arrived.)

More than a century later, Eirik Raudi (we call him Eric the Red) was outlawed for three years for manslaughter (a euphemism for murder--you have to be careful what you say in a society in which nearly every many goes about heavily armed). In 981 he sailed to Greenland. He spent three years exploring, and then having returned to Iceland, in 985, he lead colonists there. A few years after 1000, the Norse made an unsuccessful attempt to colonize Newfoundland, undoubtedly what Leif Eiriksson had called Vinland. That was the height of the little climactic optimum. In a few centuries, the climate had changed so dramatically that not only were the coasts of Iceland and Greenland free of the pack ice which had previously prevented their colonization, but they could be colonized and support large human and livestock populations.

After 1200, when the little climactic optimum had ended, the climate began to cool rapidly. By 1450 (or thereabouts), a Dutch whaling captain recorded finding the last Greenlander, dead, lying face down on a path leading from an otherwise empty settlement. By 1600, lakes in northern Scotland would be frozen over by the end of August. By 1709, the winters were so severe, that that year in France, birds froze to death and fell dead from the trees, and rabbits and badgers froze to death in their burrows. Wolves stalked the poor around Paris, and attacked the guards at the barriers on the roads leading into the city. When they could get through, they stalked the poor in the streets of the city at night.

Climate change, just in the historical period alone, has been known to change rapidly and dramatically. "Green" policies are probably a good idea in their own right. However, i see no reason to assume that climate change is anthropogenic. We are not nearly as important as we think we are. Hurricanes and typhoons prove that to us on an annual basis.
0 Replies
 
farmerman
 
  2  
Reply Fri 22 Feb, 2013 09:14 am
@Falco,
present microstratigraphic data from lake beds and paleoclimatic data are casting some serious doubt on the anthropogenic "theory". Climate IS changing, the assumption that its man induced has been accomplished by not much sound science . Its been a real game of autocorrelation in many scientists minds. The assertion that the scientific community is "Solidly behind man induced climate change" is incorrect. The largest numbers of climate skeptics actually comes from the ranks of paleoclimatologists, dendrochronologists, geologists , and paleobotanists.

WHen CO2 levels in ice cores seems to follow positive climate changes, then there is reason enough to take more careful looks at the "pile on" of anthropogenic causes.
The fact that atmospheric CO2 is increasing is , perhaps. BECAUSE the temperatures are warming and CO2, trapped in ice, mud, duff,water, etc is being released by the increasing temperatures , and, NOT the other way around.
We should keep minds open and review the incoming data. SO far, no data is rolling in that contradicts the "Temp rise is causing CO2 to be released" hypothesis. It all been done by statistical autocorrelation and that, to me, a geoscientist, smells funny.
0 Replies
 
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Fri 22 Feb, 2013 04:35 pm
@Setanta,
Setanta wrote:

I agree, and i don't think feeding the bears is an effective use of our resources in dealing with the effects.
Just exploring possible scenario's here...
What if we started feeding the bears and it worked and the bear population increased. Then the question might become, how many bears do we want? What if we got too many, do we just throttle the population back through starvation? What is the genetic minimum for the population to thrive? It probably depends on how much land they have to thrive on. So how much land would we have to give them to allow them to thrive. We would soon have to give them a lot more than simply food.

I think the idea of simply feeding the bears would result in a whole lot of other issues besides the simple economic challenge of supporting a population of bears through charitable contributions.
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Fri 22 Feb, 2013 04:53 pm
@rosborne979,
Im sure there would be sizeable support for a "hunting season" for excess bears. (This is what we attempt to do now with most game animals).
We have a sppecific carrying capacity from the environment for a fixed number of various animals. In Pa, the deer "optimum" is considered to be less than 100 does per square mile of range.
We are way in excess of that and the Pa Game comission tries to balance the number of hunting licenses for doe harvest to match the
regional optimum. Bucks, the usual target of the species is a much larger number of licenes, almost on a "anybody can go hunting" number.
Hunters are concerned that this "scientific" herd maintenance is culling too many, but the fact is that deer licenses and fees on game lands, ammo and weapons sold in the state actually pays for most of the deer hunt program

BEar hunting in PA (where the largest black bears have been taken in all the states of the US), the license numbers are carefully metered and expenses matched to program needs. Bears are almost a money maker for our Commonwealth

WHAT EFFECTS does all thi managed hunting have on the target species. Bears are hunted and size is the desired trait. e have that. Most of our bears go 600 lb and 700 pounders arent rare. 800 pounders are taken a few each year, Whereas in MAine , the aberage bear is about 250 pounds because its being hunt to distraction. Deer the same. SO, weve had noticeable effects on the phenotypes of all these game animals (With the exception of bears in PA0 all other states are oroducing bears of smaller sizes when they achieve sexual maturity. SOme MAine or Vt sows are "nubile" in their second year.
Deer in all states are quickly becoming a smaller sized species .
Moose and ELk are still increasing in sizes based on population dynamics and because these herds are managed only by the number of licenses based on numbers that are somewhat larger than carrying capacity (Thats primarily the reason that moose and elk ranges are spreading somewhat quickly from the all time lows of the mid 20th century when PA elk went extinct and(EAstern forest) moose were limited to Maine, NH, Vt nd none in NY

Now NY has a growing population and thereve been limited sightings of moose in the swamps of N E Pa.
0 Replies
 
 

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