Mean Joe Green #27: Polar Bears Prove the Right Right

  • Published on September 26th, 2008

CNN recently came out with a chilling report titled; Polar Bears Resort to Cannibalism as Arctic Ice Shrinks. I can only imagine how Bill O’Reilly spins this on The O’Reilly Factor (see below). Considering about a year ago O’Reilly had environmental knucklehead John Stossel on his show–offering Stossel another venue from which to prove his knuckleheadery–where he stated “polar bear populations are increasing…”

If you say so John. That mustache apparently filters the truth.

More from the Conservative Right Wrong: Governor Palin sued to fight the listing of polar bears as endangered.

Good choice Sarah, just because the land that they walk on is melting doesn’t mean they are endangered. I’m sure they’ll leap frog millions of years of evolution and grow gills.

In the meantime…

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About the Author

is an Environmental/Political cartoonist for Planetsave, Elephant Journal, Wend Magazine, Twilight Earth, Ecopolitology, EcoSnobberySucks, and more... Joe also does a kids enviro-toon called Hank D and the Bee on EcoChildsPlay and NaturalPapa. Joe lives in University City, Missouri and spends his free time with his beautiful wife, enthusiastic daughter, and curious toddler of the same name. He also enjoys writing, drawing, painting, walking, biking, skateboarding, gardening, reading, listening to music, playing sports, and watching plays (especially the plays his wife's site-specific theatre company, Onsite Theatre puts on).   Visit Joe's online cartoon gallery at


  • Captain,

    True, but this is not necessarily an article. In a weblog format there is no way to post a cartoon without having some text before the break. We (Green Options editor and I) set up the format to be 1)Before the break–my reason/inspiration for the cartoon and 2) the cartoon after the break. Not saying I should not have my facts straight–but it's more of an opinion piece prior to the cartoon. And my opinion is Stossel is a knucklehead, and that the statement on polar bears is misleading. So, the only statement i probably should have done without was the mustache one.

    Thanks for your input–and for keeping me on my toes.

    Much appreciated,


  • MJG,

    But you realize that your article spins the facts as well right? You dismiss Stossel's statement as false, when it is not so. Is it missing the point? Sure. But by failing to say that in the article, it seems like Metyu was right.

    In fact, your reply to Metyu was better than your original post. The original post was sloppy. It either lacked fact checking or was a spin piece. Either way, the credibility is lacking.

    Now to be fair, I have not fact-checked Metyu's statements, but as I'm not the author of this article I'm free from that resposibility. You however, are not.

    The Captain

  • Metyu,

    Just because because someone is right wing does not make them wrong, but the three from the right that I site above are more wrong than right, right? When Palin sues to keep the Polar Bears from becoming endangered solely to keep Alaska open for drilling–which will do little to help our current situation and only keep the attention away from where it should be focused–she is wrong. When Stossel says the polar bear population is growing he is missing the point. His stats may prove his stance but The U.S. Geological Survey reports that thinning sea ice from global warming could kill off two-thirds of the world's polar bears (including the entire Alaskan population) by mid-century. So yesterday's polar bear census is a moot point. The fact is, the ice is melting, therefore all who live ON it are endangered. And O'reilly well he's, O'reilly–enough said. In regards to cannibalism, animals resort to cannibalism when they are hungry. Of course, this is not the first time a polar bear has been hungry–the article never said this is the first instance of polar bear cannibalism, it is however a growing trend due to less access to food. As for the cartoon, it's a lampooning, like all editorial cartoons.

    You can support your side of the story with facts but will you allow common sense to aid your thought process?


  • If you want to know something about polar bears, why not go to the source yourself instead of relying on received wisdom? See e.g. links below.

    1) all bears engage in cannibalism, and always have.

    2) bear population = 5k in 60s, 25k today. Yet, the IUCN insists on giving them the same rating today as 40 years ago: vulnerable.

    3) 15 bears die per year as a result of habitation loss. 49 die per year as a result of humans shooting them.

    Just because someone is right wing, does not mean they are automatically wrong it what they say. I for one used to be left-wing, but I'm so fed up of the bullhit being spread all over environmentalism that I'm beginning to agree with Peter Huber: it's time to save the environment from the environmentalists.

    "Intraspecific predation, infanticide, and cannibalism have been reported in polar bears (Belikov et al., 1977; Hansson and Thomassen, 1983; Larsen, 1985; Lunn and Stenhouse, 1985; Taylor et al., 1985). However, some of the instances have followed human activities such as harvest or immobilization (Taylor et al., 1985)." [note the dates!] from

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