Blog dedicated primarily to randomly selected news items; comments reflecting personal perceptions

Friday, February 23, 2018

The Complexity of the Argument on Polar Bears

"Polar bear experts who falsely predicted that roughly 17,300 polar bears would be dead by now [given sea ice conditions since 2007] have realized their failure has not only kicked their own credibility to the curb, it has taken with it the reputations of their climate change colleagues."
Susan Crockford, adjunct professor, University of Victoria,

"Emaciated, it [starving bear] stumbled across a green Arctic  landscape without a speck of snow or ice in sight ... Media outlets seized on the video as an example of how climate change is killing its poster child. But behind the headlines is an awkward question: have climate change activists chosen the wrong mascot?"
"The polar bear population [with rising temperatures in the Arctic and less ice] should have crashed. It hasn't. If anything, numbers are up compared with ten years ago."
"The species is not at immediate risk of extinction."
British environment writer, Fred Pearce, New Scientist magazine

"There’s no doubt about what’s happening to Arctic sea ice … but their populations aren’t declining as was once expected."
"We’re way past being able to make generalizations … but a whole lot of people have a lot of positions staked on that, and that’s where things get politicized."
"The problem is, we could go along for some time thinking everything’s fine, and then populations fall off a cliff."
Douglas Clark, University of Saskatchewan researcher

"Both scientific data and traditional knowledge prove that nothing threatens our bears [in the Chukotka, Russia region across the Bering Sea from Alaska]."
"During spring counts of dens we often find female bears with three cubs, which proves that the population is in good shape and there is no danger of a decrease in the population."
Yegor Vereshchagin, Russian conservation official, Russian Geographical Society
A polar bear walks on blue ice in the Canadian Arctic

Polar Bears International is holding its 2018 conference on the ongoing environmental threats posed by Global Warming on the international polar bear population. It is also a fund-raising event, a gala to raise funds for the protection of Arctic bears where $15,000 will net a corporate, high-profile table for those willing to sponsor the event and raise funds for this noble environmental battle to save polar bears from the ravages of monumental climate change.

Sponsored by The Globe and Mail, a number of corporations, several Canadian banks it will be a sumptuous occasion of superior food, classy entertainment and good company marking International Polar Bear Day, and drawing applause to Polar Bears International's science-based dedication to sound the alarm for the survival of polar bears. This event is taking place in Yorkville, Toronto, in the Four Seasons Hotel ballroom.

A sister event is simultaneously taking place at  the Toronto Reference Library, Founders' Room, sponsored by the Global Warming Policy Foundation of London, England, where a new report on the state of polar bears is set to be launched. With, alas, no entertainment scheduled, nor food. Those in attendance are there solely for the scientific data set to be released by Dr. Susan Crockford who has published some contraindications for the demise of the polar bear population.

Steven Amstrup, adjunct professor at the University of Wyoming, a leading purveyor of climate change theory that polar bears could be exterminated from the Arctic regions, is the chief scientist at Polar Bears International. In the lead-up to their opposing conferences, Dr. Amstrup launched attacks on Dr. Crockford's science relating to the state of existential health of the Arctic's largest, most ferocious predator, big, white and furry.

Dr. Crockford's recent publication of a critique of Dr. Armstup's casus belli which served as a rallying call for convinced Global Warming enthusiasts has been questioned. The portrayal of the majestic polar bear as an imminently endangered species whose threat to continued existence is identified as human degradation of the environment found a robust response in dedicated believers in human interference in nature.

The paper set to be released by the conference at which Dr. Crockford is the featured speaker will be delivered to an audience of teachers, scientists, students, decision-makers and the general public. The report, titled State of the Polar Bear Report 2017, lays out the argument that global polar-bear numbers have remained stable, or have even increased since 2005, despite a decrease in summer sea ice levels: "Overly pessimistic media responses to recent polar bear issues have made heartbreaking news out of scientifically insignificant events", she concludes.

Andre Forget/QMI Agency    
"The underlying concept is pretty simple. Bears need sea ice as a platform from which to hunt seals."
"The idea that they are just going to adapt somehow to a largely different ecological environment that they have been evolving into for a few hundred thousand years is simply unrealistic wishful thinking,"
"[Warming is not universal, and is having a unique effect on every region and every polar bear population. But], warming will eventually reach them all unless we are able to slow or stop it in time."
Biologist Ian Stirling, researcher, University of Alberta

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