David Attenborough Accused Of Misleading Public About Polar Bears, Again

  • Date: 02/12/19
  • Press Release, Global Warming Policy Foundation

The Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF) has today filed a complaint to the BBC, accusing Sir David Attenborough of misleading the public about the state of polar bear populations in Canada.

A fat and healthy polar bear on the hunt for a beluga whale.
Image: BBC One – Seven Worlds, One Planet

Misleading news coverage (Daily Mail)

In last night’s wildlife TV series Seven Worlds, One Planet David Attenborough and the BBC once again misled the public in a most egregious way.
 
In the programme, Sir David made false claims, used emotionally manipulative language and blatantly misrepresented several natural biological processes and habitat conditions as the effects of human-caused climate change.

Contrary to David Attenborough’s claim, summers are not a time of starvation for polar bears. The bears shown hunting beluga whales from the shore of Hudson Bay were neither starving nor desperate: they were already fat and healthy after feeding on young seal in spring.
 
Contrary to Attenborough’s claim, the behaviour shown of polar bears hunting belugas from shore in summer is not extraordinary, is not confined to this area of the Canadian Arctic and has not ‘only been reported in recent years.’ In fact, similar hunting strategies by polar bears have been reported at least since the 1980s.
 
Rather than a new behaviour born of climate-change induced desperation, this is a relatively rare but not unheard-of hunting strategy by healthy polar bears.

The GWPF has previously pointed out serious misrepresentations about walruses and climate change in Attenborough’s Our Planet series on Netflix.
 
GWPF letter of complaint (pdf)