Last month NLPC reported that during the holidays Coca-Cola will change its traditional red cans to white as part of an advertising campaign to raise $2 million for the World Wildlife Fund’s “polar bear conservation efforts.” This despite the fact that global polar bear populations are healthy (much larger than 50 years ago), their Arctic habitat is recovering, and the locations where a few of their numbers have declined in some cases are attributed to too much ice, not “global warming.”
Since polar bears are not endangered, it’s worthwhile to investigate what WWF activities the Coke money (which will also match other donations at the company’s Canadian Web site) will support. WWF is international, with separate chapters/Web sites for 48 different countries, but the Coke funding appears to largely go toward U.S. and Canadian efforts.
A visit to WWF-Canada’s polar bear “conservation” page provides some clues. The organization tells how the bears amazingly adapt to the “rugged Arctic environment,” but yet, they are “so vulnerable.”
“All recent indicators show that sea ice in the Arctic is melting at an alarming rate,” WWF-Canada explains (falsely), “a problem that needs to be addressed immediately if polar bears, and other species unique to the region, are to survive.”
So what does WWF plan to do about it? Among its strategies:
· “Negotiate (Translation: threaten and litigate) with governments, industry, and individuals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate climate change”
· “Protect critical habitat including important movement corridors, and denning habitat” and similarly, “Prevent or remove direct threats from industrial activity such as oil and gas development, and arctic shipping” (Translation: keep humans away from natural areas that WWF doesn’t want them to touch).
· “Fund field research by the world’s foremost experts on polar bears to find out how global warming will affect the long-term condition of polar bears” (Translation: Create “science” that will support WWF’s global warming agenda)
In case there is still doubt about WWF’s motivations, there’s this:
The actions we take include providing support for and communication of key science that will help us build resilience; engaging with indigenous and local communities to reduce human-wildlife conflicts and work towards sustainable development opportunities; and drafting and spearheading management solutions that address the major threats of climate change and industrialization of the Arctic.
So the point is clear: humans must avoid any activities, regardless of where they are in the world, that harm polar bears. WWF believes both the close proximity of people negatively affects the animals, but then again, human activities in generating greenhouse gases from thousands of miles away also harm the bears. Just as the Leftist agenda to restrict carbon dioxide – the gas that is so essential for life – is intended to halt human progress, so also are efforts by environmental groups to get the polar bear listed as an endangered species an extension of that agenda.
It’s funny that WWF doesn’t want humans hanging around polar bears, especially since research shows they coexist just fine. A June 2007 Arctic Institute of North America study showed that polar bears whose habitat was intruded upon by oil drillers on Alaska’s North Slope felt threatened much less than bears who dwelt in areas without a human presence.
“Bears exposed to industrial activity on the ice road were significantly less wary than bears in other areas,” the report said. “Maternal groups not exposed to truck traffic on the ice road spent four times as much time engaged in vigilant behaviors as those near roads.”
Next thing you’ll hear is the polar bears have joined Newt Gingrich’s “Drill Here, Drill Now” campaign. Meanwhile WWF blows its Coke money on activities they say threatens the polar bears, as the eco-activist group pretends it’s trying to protect them. For example, WWF and other Green groups joined with director Franny Armstrong to promote her documentary “The Age of Stupid,” which makes the point that “apart from setting a forest on fire, flying is the single worst thing an individual could do to cause climate change.” Irish filmmaker Phelim McAleer showed after the film’s premiere how Armstrong and her supporters, who fly extensively, were hypocritical in pushing the message while failing to follow it themselves.
As NLPC reported last month, WWF wants limits placed upon aviation because of its significant contribution to carbon dioxide emissions, but WWF president Carter Roberts sets a poor example, as he routinely flies to remote locales as though it helps call attention to the planet’s climate-caused decay. This week he’s flown up to Hudson Bay, Canada, to see the alleged plight of the polar bears first-hand.
Meanwhile Roberts and staff belch those habitat-killing emissions into the atmosphere with their frequent flier miles. From Fiscal-Year 2007 through 2009, WWF-U.S. and WWF-Canada spent $18.8 million on travel for staff and donors, according to tax returns available on Guidestar. There’s no telling how much was spent for airplanes at WWF’s 46 chapters in other nations. That’s the kind of polar bear protection that Coca-Cola and its customers are paying for with their holiday promotion.
Also WWF has spent at least $3.3 million on lobbying at the state level since 2007, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Unsurprisingly the extent to which they pleaded for the poor polar bears only went so far as to protect them in their whole-earth habitat, where WWF believes oil companies are the wrecking balls, and only taxpayer funding of more Solyndras can save them.
Finally – so as to drive their point home about polar bears – WWF asserts, “The (UN) Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has confirmed that human-induced climate change is a reality. It can no longer be dismissed as a theory.”
Global warming alarmists have long cited the flawed and less-than-representative IPCC as their authority. In the case of WWF, it was their own activist publication arm that produced some of the so-called “science” for the IPCC’s Fourth Assessment Report, which was anything but unbiased or peer-reviewed. Blogger Donna Laframboise compiled a list of WWF materials that made their way into the IPCC report, which included titles such as “Climate Change and the Financial Sector: An Agenda for Action,” “Employment Potential of Renewable Energy in South Africa,” and “Sustainability Standards for Bioenergy.” None sound like objective research into climate issues.
This is what passes for polar bear preservation with Coca-Cola and its undiscerning, animal-loving customers who also support WWF. Maybe once they understand the truth, they’ll demand the whole campaign be put on ice.
Paul Chesser is an associate fellow for the National Legal and Policy Center.