Monday, October 31, 2011

Are Polar Bears Really Drowning?

Outside of alarmist literature, I've never seen anything that remotely implies that polar bear populations are in danger--or are even declining.
Remember the U.S. government report report five years ago that polar bears were drowning? Kassie Siegel, director of the U.S.-based Center for Biological Diversity, cited the report in her call to place the polar bear on the endangered species list. Never mind that we now have 5 times as many polar bears today than we did 50 years ago. We must take action immediately. Based on one report. Because that’s how science works. One report is all it takes to leap to a conclusion that may cost society billions.

In December 2006, Kassie Siegel told the Ottawa Citizen: “This is a watershed decision in the way this country deals with climate change. The science of global warming and the impact to polar bears are so clear that not even the Bush administration can deny that polar bears are threatened with extinction because of global warming.”

Well, it turns out that report was likely crap. The Office of Inspector General of the U.S. Department of the Interior is investigating the veracity of the report.


Dean Baird said...

Today in citation-free, manufactured statistics:
"Never mind that we now have 5 times as many polar bears today than we did 50 years ago."

1. You can buy what an axe-gringing blogger floats. Or you can believe your own lyin' eyes:

Polar Bear Population Trends

Bothersome facts. They're so messy. Better to simply make an assertion, knowing the intended audience isn't the type that's keen to ask for proof.

2. What methodology was used to count polar bear populations 50 years ago? Have such techniques improved over the past 50 years? Could improved techniques yield higher counts?

One could argue that there has been an explosion in the number of extra-solar planets in the past few decades. In 1980, there were none; in 2010, there were many. Were *did* all these "new" planets come from in such a short time period? Alarming, the growth.


Darren said...

I'm sure the IG is inspecting because there's *nothing* wrong with the original report.

Dean Baird said...

Seems reasonable to await the outcome of the investigation. Less reasonable? Labeling the report as "crap" on the basis that an investigation is being made.

Are we to judge Herman Cain harshly because charges were raised against him? (Or that his organization settled out of court for an undisclosed sum of cash?) The answer is no, because to do so would be wrong.

I know I can rest assured that if the report is found wanting, I'll be able to read about it--in detail--at this very blog.

Should I be equally sanguine that if the report's veracity is verified, I will be able to read all about it here? The dearth of RotLC posts on the BEST study results gives me pause.

And I know you didn't make the unsubstantiated claim that there are 5 times the number of polar bears today that there were 50 years ago. But you did choose to link to someone who did.

Darren said...

Oddly enough, a story yesterday about polar bears:
It states there are about 25000 polar bears in the wild, the same as the next links I'll give.

And this from a group that believes in AGW and believes it will eventually harm polar bears:
The Polar Bear Specialist Group of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the organization of scientists that has attempted to monitor the global polar bear population since the 1960s, has issued a report indicating that there was no change in the overall global polar bear population in the most recent four-year period studied.

“The total number of polar bears is still thought to be between 20,000 and 25,000,” the group said in a press release published together with a report on the proceedings of its 15th meeting

20,000 to 25,000 polar bears worldwide is exactly the same population estimate the group made following its 14th international meeting.

“The total number of polar bears worldwide is estimated to be 20,000–25,000,” the scientists said in the report they issued after that previous meeting.

And a story from 3-1/2 years ago:
Research done by the U.S. Department of the Interior to determine if global warming threatens the polar bear population is so flawed that it cannot be used to justify listing the polar bear as an endangered species, according to a study being published later this year in Interfaces, a journal of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences.

Polar bears somehow survived the Medieval Warm Period and the Little Ice Age, I'm sure they'll survive whatever future historians will call the current climatic period.

Anonymous said...

Liberals are, by nature, people with low self-esteem. They need to believe that they can change the climate. It makes them feel more powerful than they actually are. . . . .

Constantly pretending that they are intellectually superior, and championing solutions for fake catastrophes, saves them from looking in the mirror and accepting the reality of how powerless they are. . . .

The religion of global warming has already been disproved, and emails have been released that show it's all been a hoax - but they . . just . . can't . . let it . . go.