Gallery: The Canadian Government Ruthlessly Works Out the Cost of a Pol...


The polar bear is the largest land predator on the planet. Its sheer size, power, grace, cuteness (when young) and its endangered status has made it an emblem of the environmental movement and a source of pride to countries that are home to them. However Jon Mooallem, writer for the NYT Magazine, has discovered that Canada has conducted a disturbing bureaucratic cost assessment that puts a dollar value on the lives of polar bears. The figure appears in a lengthy report from June 2011 coldly called “Evidence of the Socio-Economic Importance of Polar Bears for Canada” that essentially asks the question: “How much is it going to cost for us to save them and is it worth it?”

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