Saturday, December 6, 2008

'Polars bears on the brink? Don't you believe it'

by Janet Crain

Polar Bears Like It Hot is the title of a cute children's book we had in the library I used to work at. It is about debunking popular myths we have all accepted as truth. It turns out that Polar Bears at the zoo like it warm and don't require a specially cooled habitat. It seemed like a good title for an article exploring the inconvenient truth about global warming and its harmful effects on Polar Bears.

For several years now the popular press, movies and television programs have inundated their audiences with horror stories and images to support the theory of global warming. A theory which is just that; a theory. There is less and less support for this theory as time goes by, especially since last year when the earth cooled as much in one year as it had warmed in the past 100.

But the idea has become so firmly entrenched in the public mind, so popular, so worthy, so sacred, that it cannot now be eradicated. Politicians both left and right embrace this theory firmly. And spout all kinds of nonsense.

Since Al Gore made this theory a household concept with the movie "An Inconvenient Truth", almost everyone believes our planet is warming with every bite we eat, every ounce of hot water we use, meal we cook, mile we drive, grass we cut, and so on and so on. People have told our children it is wrong to eat meat as if soy beans just fall from the sky like manna and require no fuel or fertilizer to produce. Teachers in public school should not be telling students to adopt a new lifestyle based on theory. Politicians should not be committing our future economic resources to solve problems that may not exist.

Cap and trade? Or rob and swindle the American citizens out of their hard earned income?

Do not misunderstand me. I love animals as much as anyone except some nut who puts them above humans. But we should get our priorities straight.

I believe in conserving every resource we have. I was raised to recycle, reuse and use it up long before it was fashionable. I have advocated using solar, wind, thermal, passive design, etc. for at least 35 years. Just to get us off our dependence on the Middle East would be reason enough.

But for a politician to impose draconian measures in these difficult economic times of which we had no fault, it is simply criminal irresponsible and foolhardy.

To explore this subject I have put together excerpts from several articles on the Internet.

From the Tierney Lab:
There’s one very hard piece of evidence that casts doubt on the doomsday predictions: a polar bear jawbone that appears to be at least 110,000 years old, meaning that polar bears have survived eras with considerably warmer temperatures than today.

My colleague Andy Revkin reported in December, at his Dot Earth blog, that the discoverers of the jawbone told him there was “no threat of outright extinction within a century or more” and that “this finding reinforces the idea that they can endure.”

More good news for the polar bears: sea ice extent has returned to "near normal" levels after last summer's "record" thaw, and the Northern Hemisphere has more snow cover right now than at any time in the last decade.

And this "sky is falling" report which is just not based on good science:

Imperiled by Shrinking Ice and Trophy Hunters
A disturbing report, with a malevolent twist, on the plight of polar bears in the Arctic—from The Independent: The appalling fate of the polar bear, symbol of the Arctic
Polar bears – the very symbol of the Arctic’s looming environmental disaster – are crashing towards extinction as a result of global warming, the US government has found. The admission, the result of a massive investigation by the Bush administration, could force the President finally to take action against climate change.
The development comes at the end of the most momentous week in the human history of the Arctic, which is warming faster than anywhere else in the world. Satellite observations have revealed that its ice has shrunk to much its lowest ever level, raising fears that it had reached a “tipping point” where it would melt irreversibly, disappearing altogether in summer in less than 25 years, with incalculable global consequences.

And a rebuttal by Senator Inhofe:

Inhofe Interview on CNN American Morning

'It's the photo that became a symbol of global warming: polar bears stranded on a melting ice-floe in mid-winter. The truth? It was taken in summer'

Then, wealthy tourists discovered the thrill of nature-watching breaks and Churchill, home to the most easily accessible polar bear population, became a fashionable - and newly prosperous - adventure holiday destination.

Although the town is still accessible only by train or light aircraft, its guesthouses are packed during late summer and autumn, when the vast ice-sheet over the bay melts, forcing around 1,000 bears to lollop around for months on the shore.

Lately, however, it is not only polar bear watchers who come flocking.
With the clamour over global warming, it has become a magnet for an army of environmentalists and climatologists who have given Churchill an air of impending doom.

The Arctic ice-cap is shrinking fast, is their message, and as it disappears, so too will the polar bears.

Today, the polar bear population may hover healthily around 25,000 (they live in Russia, Alaska, Greenland, Norway and Canada).

Yet, we are repeatedly warned, if the planet continues to overheat at the present rate, within four decades our biggest carnivore will be extinct, starved to death as its natural hunting grounds disappear.

"Come up and see them while you still can," is the gist of their depressing refrain.
To some Churchill residents, who base their opinions on personal experience rather than fancy charts and computer models, this is so much nonsense put about by scaremongers for their own dubious ends.

When outsiders question whether anyone would be so cynical, they are reminded of that now-famous photograph of a polar bear which appears to be teetering precariously on an Arctic ice-floe, melting faster than ice-cream, in the depths of winter.

For a while, it became a powerful symbol of the perils of global warming - until it was revealed to have been taken three years ago and during the height of summer.


Dennis Compayre raises bushy grey eyebrows as he listens to the environmentalists predict the polar bear's demise.

"They say the numbers are down from 1,200 to around 900, but I think I know as much about polar bears as anyone, and I tell you there are as many bears here now as there were when I was a kid," he says as the tundra buggy rattles back to town across the rutted snowscape.

"Churchill is full of these scientists going on about vanishing bears and thinner bears.
"They come here preaching doom, but I question whether some of them really have the bears' best interests at heart.
"The bear industry in Churchill is big bucks, and what better way to keep people coming than to tell them they'd better hurry to see the disappearing bears."

After almost three months of working with those who know the Arctic best - among them Inuit Indians, who are appalled at the way an animal they have lived beside for centuries has become a poster species for "misinformed" Greens - Nigel Marven finds himself in broad agreement.
"I think climate change is happening, but as far as the polar bear disappearing is concerned, I have never been more convinced that this is just scaremongering.

"People are deliberately seeking out skinny bears and filming them to show they are dying out. That's not right.

"Of course, in 30 years, if there's no ice over the North Pole, then the bear will be in trouble.
"But I've seen enough to know that polar bears are not yet on the brink of extinction."

Unless we announce disasters, no one will listen."

— Sir John Houghton, first chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and lead editor of its first three reports.

The following was written by Edmund Contoski, a columnist for FORCES International Liberty News Network, a blogger, and author of three books. He is a retired environmental consultant.

During the 20th century, the earth warmed 0.6 degree Celsius (1 degree Fahrenheit), but that warming has been wiped out in a single year with a drop of 0.63 degree C. (1.13 F.) in 2007. A single year does not constitute a trend reversal, but the magnitude of that temperature drop — equal to 100 years of warming — is noteworthy. Of course, it can also be argued that a mere 0.6 degree warming in a century is so tiny it should never have been considered a cause for alarm in the first place. But then how could the idea of global warming be sold to the public? In any case, global cooling has been evident for more than a single year.

Global temperature has declined since 1998. Meanwhile, atmospheric carbon dioxide has gone in the other direction, increasing 15–20%. This divergence casts doubt on the validity of the greenhouse hypothesis, but that hasn't discouraged the global warming advocates. They have long been ignoring far greater evidence that the basic assumption of greenhouse warming from increases in carbon dioxide is false.

Man made emissions of carbon dioxide were not significant before worldwide industrialization began in the 1940s. They have increased steadily since. Over 80% of the 20th century's carbon dioxide increase occurred after 1940 — but most of the century's temperature increase occurred before 1940! From 1940 until the mid-1970s, the climate also failed to behave according to the greenhouse hypothesis, as carbon dioxide was strongly increasing while global temperatures cooled. This cooling led to countless scare stories in the media about a new ice age commencing.
In the last 1.6 million years there have been 63 alternations between warm and cold climates, and no indication that any of them were caused by changes in carbon dioxide levels. A recent study of a much longer period (600 million years) shows — without exception — that temperature changes precede changes in carbon dioxide levels, not the other way around. As the earth warms, the oceans yield more carbon dioxide to the atmosphere, because warmer water cannot hold as much carbon dioxide as colder water.

The public has been led to believe that increased carbon dioxide from human activities is causing a greenhouse effect that is heating the planet. But carbon dioxide comprises only 0.035% of our atmosphere and is a very weak greenhouse gas. Although it is widely blamed for greenhouse warming, it is not the only greenhouse gas, or even the most important. Water vapor is a strong greenhouse gas and accounts for at least 95% of any greenhouse effect. Carbon dioxide accounts for only about 3%, with the remainder due to methane and several other gases.

Not only is carbon dioxide's total greenhouse effect puny, mankind's contribution to it is minuscule. The overwhelming majority (97%) of carbon dioxide in the earth's atmosphere comes from nature, not from man. Volcanoes, swamps, rice paddies, fallen leaves, and even insects and bacteria produce carbon dioxide, as well as methane. According to the journal Science (Nov. 5, 1982), termites alone emit ten times more carbon dioxide than all the factories and automobiles in the world. Natural wetlands emit more greenhouse gases than all human activities combined. (If greenhouse warming is such a problem, why are we trying to save all the wetlands?)

Geothermal activity in Yellowstone National Park emits ten times the carbon dioxide of a midsized coal-burning power plant, and volcanoes emit hundreds of times more. In fact, our atmosphere's composition is primarily the result of volcanic activity. There are about 100 active volcanoes today, mostly in remote locations, and we're living in a period of relatively low volcanic activity. There have been times when volcanic activity was ten times greater than in modern times. But by far the largest source of carbon dioxide emissions is the equatorial Pacific Ocean. It produces 72% of the earth's emissions of carbon dioxide, and the rest of the Pacific, the Atlantic, the Indian Ocean, and the other oceans also contribute. The human contribution is overshadowed by these far larger sources of carbon dioxide. Combining the factors of water vapor and nature's production of carbon dioxide, we see that 99.8% of any greenhouse effect has nothing to do with carbon dioxide emissions from human activity. So how much effect could regulating the tiny remainder have upon world climate, even if carbon dioxide determined climate?

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1 comment:

SpeakDog said...

Gah! I'm so tired of the global warming scam! How can people believe this nonsense? Why don't people understand that the Earth's temperature rises and falls in cycles?

It's become a religion to the Left, and they are pushing it with everything they've got.

The fact that the temp hasn't risen for 10 YEARS, and that 2008 has in fact been exceptionally cool doesn't even phase them. They just call the cooling "climate change" and somehow contribute it to global warming!