Nautilus

Conservationists Are Learning How To Use a Pretty Face

This August, German photographer Kerstin Langenberger posted a photo to Facebook of a frail polar bear, evidently starved, adrift among the disappearing ice. In the photo’s caption, she blamed global warming for the bear’s malnutrition and for the death of many others she’d seen. Articles featuring Langenberger’s commentary and photo followed soon after, with headlines like: “Polar Bear’s Shocking Appearance May Be Tied To Climate Change” and “Emaciated Polar Bear ‘Doomed to Death’ Fuels Global Warming Debate.”

An emaciated polar bear, scavenging in the Arctic.Kerstin Langenberger

This story is real enough. If something doesn’t change soon, two-thirds of polar

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