Polar Bear Cannibalism

With a topic like polar bear cannibalism, you might expect this to be another one of my posts about the natural world (which, of course, this is in a sense), but alas, this one must unfortunately be filed under politics, or mor accurately, lack of political will to face a growing problem.  Polar bears are essentially the poster animal for the problems of global warming.  They need arctic sea ice to eat because it is only when they can go out on the ice that they can catch seals– their primary food source.  With global warming, the length of time their is Arctic sea ice has been shrinking pretty dramatically.  With less opportunity to eat seals, the latest study finds, disturbingly, that some polar bears are apparently turning to cannibalism.  So, in short global warming leads to polar bear cannibalism. 

On a quasi-related note (I'm a fan of those, as you may have noticed), polar bears will also eat beluga whales on occassion.  In “Blue Planet,” the coolest nature documentary I've ever seen (and I've seen a lot), a polar bear waits by a hole in the ice as a group of beluga whales swirl below basically holding their breath until they cannot take it anymore.  Alas, they must breath and the polar bear basically pulls a beluga (adults weigh over 3000 pounds) out of the water and eats it.  Absolutely amazing.  If you like nature documentaries at all, the first couple episodes of this series are completely riveting viewing. 

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Bush’s “comeback”

One of my favorite topics to touch on in my Intro to American Government course is how the press essentially operates as a pack and is all to quick to adopt a “conventional wisdom” whether or not that wisdom reflects reality.  The latest CW is that Bush is on a big comeback after the death of Zarqawi and his trip to Iraq.  Of course, there's not any polling data or such to suggest that this “comeback” is actually resonating with the public.  But once the Washington press corps collectively decides something, it is as good as fact.  Steve Benen nicely deconstructs here.  

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