Sunday, February 3, 2008

Thick Ice, Thriving Polar Bears, & Global Warming Legislation

This picture of polar bears puportedly stranded on a drifitng ice flow has become an icon of the global warming community. We now know it was taken wholly out of context. We also know that sea ice is at or above normal levels in both hemispheres. Polar bears are thriving. Yet there is legislation in Congress to declare polar bears a protected species. That legislation has little to do with protecting polar bears and everything to do with advancing the global warming agenda through our courts.


The iconic photo above, purported to show two forlorn polar bears stranded on a drifting ice flow, was made famous by the Goracle. Al Gore used that photo as a centerpiece on his lecture circuit, stating of the two bears: "Their habitat is melting . . . beautiful animals, literally being forced off the planet."

There are several important falsehoods in the Goracle’s doomsday pronouncement. Arctic sea ice now covers as much territory as it did in 1970, there is actually more sea ice in the Antarctic, polar bears are thriving, and the use of this picture to show polar bears in danger was, as Carole Williams terms it in a recent article, a classic example of "How the Environmental Extremists Manipulate the Masses." Ms. Williams has the whole background story to the photo, which was stolen from a marine biologist and subsequently forwarded to the Goracle and his acolytes who proceeded to twist it completely out of context. (H/T EU Referendum)

As a threshold matter, polar bears are some of the world’s greatest swimmers, being able to swim tremendous distances. Polar bears have been tracked swimming over 60 miles at a time. You of course would not know that from the Goracle, but what you also wouldn’t know, until you read Ms. Williams article, is that the photo of the polar bears was taken near shore, easily within swimming distance for the bears. They were in no danger whatsoever. Or as Christopher Booker put it today, the bears "weren’t drowning," they were just "waving" for the cameras. And you would also not know from the Goracle that the polar bear population is at "historic highs" and growing.

The second bit of what we now know to be incorrect in the Goracle’s statement is that the sea ice has replenished. To be fair to Gore, what knowledge we had indicated otherwise whilst he was on the lecture circuit, bringing home the green. But, as Christopher Booker explains:

Last autumn the BBC and others could scarcely contain their excitement in reporting that the Arctic ice was melting so fast there would soon be none left.

Sea ice cover had shrunk to the lowest level ever recorded. But for some reason the warmists are less keen on the latest satellite findings, reported by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) on the website Cryosphere Today by the University of Illinois.

This body is committed to warmist orthodoxy and contributes to the work of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Yet its graph of northern hemisphere sea ice area, which shows the ice shrinking from 13,000 million sq km to just 4 million from the start of 2007 to October, also shows it now almost back to 13 million sq km.

A second graph, "Global Ice Area", shows a similar pattern repeated every year since satellite records began in 1979; while a third, "Southern Hemisphere Ice", shows that sea ice has actually expanded in recent years, well above its 30-year mean.

Read the article here. That one will be difficult to explain away but I have faith in the Goracle and the IPCC once they get time to focus on it. They are busy at present trying to work out how global warming is causing snow from Iraq and Jerusalem to a massive snowfall in China.

But back now to the polar bears. In a bit of utter insanity, the Fish and Game Service is currently being pushed to declare polar bears an endangered species. Hearings are occurring as we speak.

What makes this truly insane is that the polar bears are thriving. According to the Inhofe blog, studies undertaken in 1970 estimated the the polar bear population to be about 5,000 –10,000. A 2002 study put the polar bear population at "historic highs, between 20,000 and 25,000. They occupy their entire natural range. And they are a hearty species. The fossil record shows that polar bears have survived several past global warmings that occurred before recorded history, one of which saw the Arctic wholly denuded of ice.

So how on God’s green earth can anyone suggest that polar bears should be listed on as an "endangered species?" And what could possibly be their motivation?

To justify listing polar bears as endangered, global warming enthusiasts are using dubious computer models that, they claim, predict that thirty years or so down the road, the now thriving polar bears will become endangered They have no physical evidence to support their assertions. It is a measure of how screwed we are as a people that our government is seriously considering this legislation.

The motivation for listing the polar bears as endangered has everything to do with the politics of global warming, not the plight of the thriving polar bears. Once listed as endangered, then global warming enthusiasts can challenge in court a whole host of economic and other activities across the width and breadth of America on the basis of their supposed effect on the polar bear and its Arctic home. Or as Senator Inhofe has stated:

Listing the bear as a threatened species is not about protecting the bear but about using the Endangered Species Act (ESA) to achieve global warming policy that special interest groups can not otherwise achieve through the legislative process.

Read the post here. You can find the Minority Report on this issue here. There is a reason we have democracy and several hundred men and women to debate and hold hearings. Somehow, though, I suspect this attept to run around the left side of the legislature and get it into the courts has the Goracle’s full support.

1 comment:

Joanne said...

Polar bears are great swimmers and can swim for miles; they are also maneaters and big mothers, so these people that are so concerned should have the polar bears sent to their neck of the woods for a visit - that would teach them.