Susan Crockford is a polar bear expert with a message that climate alarmists don’t want to hear: polar bear populations are thriving and are certainly in no danger from thinning summer sea ice supposedly caused by ‘man-made global warming.’
That’s why the alarmist establishment is currently trying destroy her.
First came a hatchet job in Bioscience, described by climate scientist Judith Curry as “absolutely the stupidest paper I have ever seen published.”
Crockford’s rebuttal is epic and can be read in full here.
Now, the New York Times has weighed in with a piece entitled ‘Climate Change Denialists Say Polar Bears Are Fine. Scientists Are Pushing Back’.
The headline has been poorly subbed. “Scientists” should be in danger quotation marks.
Its introductory paragraph will give you a taste of its quality:
Susan Crockford, arguably the world’s greatest polar bear expert, has some really bad news for environmentalists.
Their favorite ursine poster child of climate doom is doing great. Polar bear populations are stable, if not growing. That stuff you read in the liberal media about bears starving to death because thin summer sea ice is pure nonsense. The only evidence we have that polar bears are in any kind of trouble is the fake evidence of activists’ computer models.
Crockford’s full State of the Polar Bear Report 2017, produced for the Global Warming Policy Foundation, can be read here.
Here is a summary of its conclusions:
• Global polar bear numbers have been stable or risen slightly since 2005, despite the fact that summer sea ice since 2007 hit levels not expected until mid-century: the predicted 67% decline in polar bear numbers did not occur.
• Abundant prey and adequate sea ice in spring and early summer since 2007 appear to explain why global polar bear numbers have not declined, as might have been expected as a result of low summer sea ice levels.
• The greatest change in sea ice habitat since 1979 was experienced by Barents Sea polar bears and the least by those in Southern Hudson Bay, the most southerly region inhabited by bears.
• As far as is known, the record low extent of sea ice in March 2017 had no impact on polar bear health or survival.
• Some studies show bears are lighter in weight than they were in the 1980s, but none showed an increase in the number of individuals starving to death or too thin to reproduce.
• A just-released report of Southern Beaufort Sea bears having difficulty finding prey in 2014– 2016 suggests that the thick ice events that have impacted the region every ten years or so since the 1960s have continued despite reduced summer sea ice.
• Claims of widespread hybridization of polar bears with grizzlies were disproven by DNA studies.
• Overly pessimistic media responses to recent polar bear issues have made heartbreaking news out of scientifically insignificant events, suggesting an attempt is being made to restore the status of this failed global warming icon.
Or – short version – pretty much everything that Greenpeace, the WWF, the IPCC, the IUCN, the Guardian, CNN and the New York Times have ever told you about polar bears is a lie.
What particularly interests me about Crockford’s report are the extraordinary similarities it shows between global warming alarmism and polar bear alarmism.
In theory, there ought to be no connection whatsoever. Global warming studies, after all, involve scientific specialities like meteorology, climatology, atmospheric physics, palaeoclimatology. Polar bear studies, on the other hand, tend much more to lie in the realm of zoology.
It’s sad. Very sad. You can see why it has gone viral and been all over the media from the Mail (“soul-crushing footage”) to CBCto the Washington Post(“we stood there crying”).
It’s the kind of sad thing you want to share it with your friends so they can wallow in the same pool of helpless misery you’re wallowing in.
For example, that bit where the emaciated bear reaches with his sad paw into that rusting trash can in search of something, anything, to eat. As you watch, you want so desperately to help him….
The footage was filmed on Baffin Island in Canada. Surely, if you or I had been there, we could have found something edible to push that stricken bear’s way: maybe a visiting delegation of performance poets, abstract artists and avant-garde musicians who arrived by antique sailing ship on a Rockefeller-Foundation-funded arts project to “raise awareness” of melting icecaps; or a group of Greenpeace activists(aren’t bears attracted by strong smells?) on a No To Arctic Drilling protest; or one of the plethora of explorers on another of those deep and meaningful eco-expeditions, sponsored by one of those big reinsurance companies whose business model largely depends on scaring potential clients into thinking global warming is a serious problem.
OK, perhaps I shouldn’t be so flippant. Watching a once-mighty beast in its death throes is never a pretty sight.
I’ll tell you what’s a lot uglier, though: the way that polar bear’s death has been completely misrepresented for political ends by the usual suspects in the climate alarmism lobby.
And I’ll tell you what’s uglier even than that: all the old people – not bears but actual humans – who’ve died equally miserable deaths in fuel poverty brought about by precisely the kind of environmentalist propagandizing we’ve seen in the cynical, manipulative promotion of this video.
Earlier this week, as I’m sure you know, was International Polar Bear Day. Usually I celebrate by tossing a well-marinaded bear haunch onto the barbecue – note to novices: DO NOT eat the liver. It’s poisonous – but I couldn’t this year because of pesky global cooling, so instead, I sat indoors by the fire and drank a toast to the world’s exploding polar bear population which has now reached record highs of 30,000.
30,000 polar bears is a lot. As someone else remarked (remind me where and I’ll link to it), when Al Gore was born the population was just 5,000. Even as recently as 2005 it was estimated at no more than 22,500.
When the population of something explodes six-fold in 70 years that’s a sign that it’s doing pretty well, right? In fact, frankly, at that point it ceases to be a species in any kind of danger and starts to look more like a pest.
So why do the greenies persist in treating it like it’s a rare and precious species on the verge of extinction due to man’s selfishness and greed (TM)?
This is the question asked and answered by the best short video you will ever see about the polar bear non-problem.
It has been made by Canadian polar bear expert Susan Crockford for the Global Warming Policy Foundation and it calls for the US Administration to reassess the polar bear’s (utterly bogus) classification as a “threatened” species.
As the film makes clear, the polar bear is not “threatened” and hasn’t been for many decades (not since hunting was mostly banned). When in May 2008 the US Fish and Wildlife Service listed it as “threatened” under the Endangered Species Act this was a political gesture not a scientific one.
The flimsy justification for the polar bear’s “threatened” status was the dramatic decline in summer sea ice which – so the fashionable theory ran – would render polar bears unable to feed because whenever they pursued seals they’d collapse through the thin ice.
Well that all depends on where you prefer to place your trust: on reality or on computer models concocted by activists who desperately want the polar bear to retain its status as the ursine victim of the man-made global warming apocalypse.
If you prefer to go with reality, here’s the good news from Susan Crockford, who puts the global polar bear population at a very healthy 26,000. This would mean, she has noted before, that the population has increased by around 4,200 since 2001.
Ironically, the IUCN—the world’s leading conservation monitoring body, responsible for producing the “Red List” which classifies endangered species—agrees with her estimates. What it won’t do is admit that the news is good. (Well, good if you think having lots of extra polar bears is good. I’m not so sure. I’d agree with my friend Steven Crowder that actually they are evil: one of only two species—the other being the Saltwater crocodile—which deliberately hunts down human beings as prey).
There are two main reasons for this discrepancy of opinion.
The first is that the doomsday scenario for polar bears comes, not from real-world observation but from computer-modeled predictions of what might happen in the future if the ice caps melt, etc. Like all computer models—global warming—these have little if any bearing on reality.