The universal explanation

I was just telling Nelson, my friendly neighborhood bodega operator, about my close encounter with a bear at my house in Pennsylvania. A woman at the counter said, "You're the second person I've heard today talking about a closing counter with a bear!"

"Well," I said, "they are moving into populated areas more and more."

"It's all a part of climate change," she replied.

As I have mentioned before, I am not a climate change "skeptic." But ma'am, no, just no. Not every single circumstance that alters in the natural world is due to climate change. Bears disappeared from populated places after European settlement because there were people in those places who had guns and would shoot them. They are now repopulating those places because they are less likely to be shot. (Not that I think they are consciously calculating the odds here: no, this is a marginal process like so many other range of population changes.)

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