My work has shown clearly that without stopping greenhouse gas rise, no other management actions can make a difference. If, however, we mitigate GHG rise, on the ground management like establishing protective zones, etc. can help. The problem is that many have become fixated on the prospect of setting up refuges, establishing critical habitats, regulating hunting, etc. and those topics can become dangerous distractions from the real concern and the only thing that can really save polar bears.
If we allow ourselves to be distracted from the mission of reducing GHG emissions, we surely will become polar bear historians rather than polar bear conservationists.
...But planetary physics require the world to warm as long as greenhouse gas concentrations rise. Therefore, we can predict with absolute certainty that if we allow GHG concentrations in the atmosphere to continue to rise we are guaranteed to cross these thresholds and many more...I am confident that soon we will observe a sea-change on sentiment about global warming and action to address it. It is coming in fits and starts, but businesses and communities are increasingly seeing the need to address climate change. Ultimately, these grassroots efforts will drag our policy leaders along—even if kicking and screaming. After all, the deniers have children, too. I really don't believe they will continue to deny a future for those children...
If after every report of a weather disaster, the reporters simply added "climate experts predict these sorts of events will be increasingly frequent in a warmer world," the public would take notice. It is this same process in reverse that has kept the public confused about global warming. FOX News, for example, has never missed an opportunity to state, even though it is not true, that this cold snap or that snow storm is evidence there is no global warming. So why don't we who have the physics behind us use the same tactic.
"We harvest more polar bears in Nunavut than the rest of the world combined," said Drikus Gissing, Nunavut's head of wildlife management. "Our annual harvest is between 450 and 500 bears a year.