Commentary: The great polar bear conspiracy


It’s easy to become flippant as the title suggests but I will address three objections to “A Reasoned Response” and other climate-related articles.

First, to objections to my source on polar bears it depends upon whom you read. Susan J. Crockford, an active professional zoologist, holds a Ph.D. in Zoology and has spent the last 25 years studying Polar Bears, including field studies and has written a number of scientific papers.

Doctor Crockford has dispelled several popular myths about polar bear habits and habitat, first being that Polar Bear habitat is dramatically shrinking and the bears are in peril. She notes in “Polar Bear & Sea Ice Basics:” “The area of polar bear habitat equals the approximate extent of Arctic sea ice in March (the yearly maximum), with three...exceptions; the Okhotsk Sea, Baltic Sea and the Gulf of St. Lawrence (no bears since 1900); if all were filled with ice, they would represent 2.4 mkm2 of the total Arctic extent. Remove those areas of sea ice from the Arctic extent totals for the satellite record (1979-2016), total polar bear habitat at the end of March has been virtually constant at about 14.0 mkm2 per year…There is no evidence that polar bears ever lived in the Okhotsk Sea or the Baltic Sea. Polar bears are currently well distributed throughout their available habitat, despite recent changes in sea ice coverage: there have been no range contractions due to reduced habitat. Polar bears live primarily around the edge of the Arctic Ocean, in the so-called peripheral seas that lie off the land masses of the Northern Hemisphere, which include the enormous Hudson Bay basin…the exception to this pattern is along the coast of Alaska. Polar bears are divided into 19 subpopulations for international management purposes by the Polar Bear Specialist Group of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.”

Crockford further states that “sea ice coverage changes from winter to summer and year to year…sea ice extent can be highly variable in different regions…more ice than average in some areas during the winter and less in others but such changes do not always impact regions where polar bears live.”

Her writings are interesting and well-supplied with visual graphics but the most important point to make is that the polar bear population in 1975 was around 5,000; today it is estimated to be around 32,000. The decision to continue to list the bears as endangered is about politics, not science.

Another “fan-letter” took me to task for suggesting that a political agenda might be behind climate alarmism and driving economic policies. Allow me to provide a few quotes from the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Ottmar Edenhofer co-chaired the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change working group on Mitigation of Climate Change from 2008 to 2015. Edenhofer stated, “One has to free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy. This has almost nothing to do with the environmental policy anymore, with problems such as deforestation or the ozone hole…We redistribute de facto the world’s wealth by climate policy.” He also stated in 2010, “the next world climate summit in Cancun is actually an economy summit during which the distribution of the world’s resources will be negotiated,” (Both quotes are from Investor’s Business Daily, March 29, 2016, “Another Climate Alarmist Admits Real Motive Behind Warming Scare.” Christine Figueres, executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change reiterated Edenhofer’s ideology in similar statements. There are many other quotes and it’s amazing that these people think that nobody is paying attention when they “let their hair down and tell it like it is” as if video and audio recorders don’t exist in their conference watering holes.

We hear constantly that “95 percent of the world’s climate scientists agree that the world is warming and most of it is human-caused.” Except, that’s based upon a survey of 77 scientists, two of whom disagreed, ignoring the work of thousands of scientists whose papers contradicted the conclusions of the “77.” Thousands of atmospheric scientists vehemently disagree with their work being politicized by the UN executives who write executive summaries from international climate commissions for the press. The press unquestioningly reiterates the “95 percent consensus” trope and eventually, most people come to accept it as fact. There are thousands of scientists who take issue with the catastrophic scenarios posed by climate alarmists, not to mention that real science doesn’t operate on the basis of “consensus.” Ask Einstein, whose Theory of Relativity was questioned for most of the 20th century, or Louis Pasteur, whose germ theory as the cause of disease was rejected as nonsense by most of the medical establishment until time and evidence proved him correct. It didn’t help that Pasteur wasn’t a physician but a chemist, a curious and brilliant one to be sure. What I do accept is that yes, there is some warming, a natural occurrence which is cyclical in nature, not surprising since we have been emerging from the “Little Ice Age” (1350-1850). The alarmist crowd now denies that the Little Ice Age existed even though the documentation for it, whether historical or based upon evidence compiled within multiple fields of the Earth Sciences is massively abundant.

The danger for all of us is that politicians on all sides of the aisle are building their careers on saving the planet. They’re adopting or advocating regulations and laws (e.g. the Green New Deal) that will destroy personal liberty and reduce America from the most prosperous, free society on the planet to abject poverty and misery within a generation.

More In Opinion