Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Poor, Poor Polar Bears

Who’s in trouble, polar bears or people?
"“Each year, the ice melts earlier,” Mr. Suzuki tells us. “Today’s bears have less time on the ice than their parents and grandparents … When the ice finally vanishes, the long, hot summer begins.” This population, we are told, has dwindled by 22 per cent in less than two decades.

Or has it? Last week, the government of Nunavut released a population survey of those very same bears. It was considerably more optimistic. It estimates the bear population on the western shore of Hudson Bay at 1,013, which is a lot higher than some thought. “The bear population is not in crisis as people believed,” said Drikus Gissing, Nunavut’s director of wildlife management.

This is awful news for the David Suzuki Foundation and other environmental groups that depend on the plight of the polar bear to raise money. After all, polar bears are even more photogenic than baby seals. The stakes are so high that polar-bear statistics are bitterly disputed. Whenever someone says the bears are okay, a dozen researchers rise up to protest that they’re not – as in this case, where researchers who object to the government’s finding say their methodology is more accurate. The scientists simply don’t believe the local Inuit, who say they’re seeing as many bears as ever. They believe the Inuit are biased because the bear hunt, which is tightly regulated, brings in lots of money.

My own opinion, for what it’s worth, is that the polar bears have managed to survive at least 100,000 years of freezing and melting, so they will probably survive us. The most endangered species in the North isn’t polar bears. It’s people – especially young people. Unfortunately, they’re not as cute as polar bears, so they don’t get much attention."
Don't let the facts get in the way.
"The social indicators of Nunavut’s population, who are overwhelmingly Inuit and young, are the worst in Canada. Nunavut has the highest rate of lone-parent families and the lowest education levels in the country. Most kids don’t finish high school. The rate of teenaged pregnancy is five times greater than the national average, and the rate of child sex abuse is 10 times the national average. The rates of suicide and murder are also more than 10 times higher than in the south. Thirty per cent of people over 12 are heavy drinkers. Among Inuit families with children aged 3 to 5, household food insecurity is 70 per cent.

There are about 15,000 polar bears across Canada’s Arctic, according to Mr. Gissing. There are about 33,000 people in Nunavut, who are overwhelmingly dependent for their survival on the state. Social conditions haven’t improved much in the 13 years since Nunavut became a territory. Fortunately, the tourism business is reasonably good. People from the South are happy to pay thousands of dollars for the chance to spot a musk ox or a polar bear. At the moment, they don’t seem to be having any problem."
Are we surprised? Of course not.

Ian Plimer on this hoax:

tenets of a climate change sceptic
""Carbon dioxide has an effect on the atmosphere and it has an effect for the first 50 parts per million and once it's done its job then it's finished and you can double it and quadruple it and it has no effect because we've seen that in the geological past, and we've seen it in times gone by when the carbon dioxide content was 100 times the current content. We didn't have runaway global warming, we actually had glaciation.""
"When the Earth's climate has been cooler – such as during the most recent Ice Age – he argues that populations have fallen, there were terrible droughts and social disruption.

Many historians and anthropologists would agree with the premise that global cooling has caused massive problems in the past – and that a cooler world is also a drier world, leading to droughts."
"Prof Plimer said of scientists such as those that contribute to the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC): "They are taking advantage of the current situation. That is understandable. In previous times people got wonderful research grants in a war against cancer and they achieved a lot of money for that.

"Now we have a war on climate change and we have a huge number of people out there who have their career staked on it and are beneficiaries of this process.""
The cause of truth and reason in today's global warming debate has received a major boost with the launch of Professor Ian Plimer's book, Heaven and Earth - Global Warming: The Missing Science
"Some might think Plimer's geology expertise irrelevant to any discussion of climate change, since everything weather-wise supposedly occurs in the atmosphere where man's "polluting" carbon dioxide emissions are forcing up the world's temperatures at an alarming rate.

In fact, the most reliable information on long-term climate change is to be found in ice cores, peat bogs, ocean sediments and tree rings. These tell us the story of climate change over millions of years, and set the context for today's ever-changing weather and climate.

Plimer, on the other hand, citing vast numbers of scientific findings from around the world, examines in detail the roles played by the sun, the earth, ice, ocean currents, water and air in causing climate changes over millions of years. Next to these vast forces, increasing human emissions of carbon dioxide are puny in the wider scheme of things."
...throughout his book Plimer relieves his lengthy technical explanations with morsels of humour and satire. For example, regarding the "endangered" polar bears, so dear to Al Gore and his acolytes, he writes:

"Even if polar bears first appeared in the creationist world at 9am on 26 October 4004 BC, they still had to survive at least five periods of global warming before they entered the Late 20th Century Warming."
If you haven't read Plimer's book, I would highly recommend you do. It's a massive tome, containing thousands of citations from scientific literature. I've written extensively about it on my blog, quoting passages from it rather copiously. Click on the "Plimer's da Man" label below and read. Evidently, "the sky is falling" global warming fanatics are adverse to reading such stuff. Perhaps scientific illiteracy isn't their only problem.

Related discussion at Hot Air.

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