Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Save the Polar Bears

We have all seen the pictures of the dying polar bear. Shot by National Geographic the image has been presented as irrefutable proof that climate change is killing off the polar bears. Never mind that we only see one lonely bear. Never mind that we do not know why the bear was dying. It doesn’t matter. To true believers, the polar bear instantly became a totem, a symbol of the horrors that Donald Trump was causing to the pristine natural world.

If it’s too good to be true, it probably is. Even Slate, no right wing organ of incorrect opinion, has explained that, in the words of an expert, polar bears die all the time. You will admit that the idea is astonishing.  Even more amazing, we often do not know why. For all we know the bear in question was dying from bone cancer. It would be difficult to blame that one on Republicans, but perhaps the bear would have been saved by Obamacare. Hey, you never know.

Slate reports:

For one thing, [wildlife biologist Jeff Higdon] says, during summertime, part of the Arctic is often ice-free. That’s due to seasonal changes, not climatic shifts. And while it can be hard to stomach never mind witness, animals starve to death all the time, for a million different reasons. “We may start to see more [climate-caused starvation] over time, but at this point, there’s no evidence I’m aware of that we’re seeing that,” Higdon adds.

Not wanting to disappoint its readers Slate adds that climate change is killing the polar bears, though not necessarily the one we see dying before our eyes.

Still, we can ask whether or not Slate is right? Are the polar bears doomed because Trump walked away from the Paris Climate Accord? Enquiring minds want to know.

The NoTricksZone blog (via Moonbattery and via Maggie’s Farm) summarizes the latest in peer reviewed science:

Most of the world’s polar bears live in Canada.  Hunters and elders from northern Canada’s native communities have been immersed in studying polar bear ecology for centuries.

In two new peer-reviewed papers published in the journals Ecology and Evolution and Polar Record, scientists record the observations and experiences of Canada’s polar bear “experts” — the community members who live side-by-side with these “sea bears” (Ursus maritimus).

According to scientists, no study has indicated that there is reason to presume that the perspectives of community observers are either suspect or incorrect.  In fact, there have been multiple occasions when traditional ecological knowledge gleaned from local populations accurately identified polar bear subpopulation trends before new scientific studies could be conducted to corroborate them (York et al., 2016).

The overwhelming conclusion from years of accumulated conversations with native populations about polar bears is that there is almost no connection between the long-term observations of polar bear ecology and the more recent claims that polar bears as a species are in grave danger due to climate change and thinning sea ice.

In fact, the long-term observations suggest that polar bear subpopulations are currently faring quite well, with 92% of  the subpopulations studied either remaining stable or growing in recent years.

According to Inuit observers, there may even be “too many” bears now.

Now we can all rejoice because the polar bears are thriving. Right?


Jack Fisher said...

This Bear (4-9, last in the NFC North) is dying of embarrassment and is pining away because Jay Cutler left. Science proves it. #NukeTheBears!

Sam L. said...

Warmenists attribute all bad (as they see it) outcomes to the Dreaded Warming. It's all they have.

Sam L. said...

I'll believe what the locals say about the bears.

trigger warning said...

Given that many of the Inuit rely on income from bear hunting (cost often exceeding $20,000/hunt) and its associated services, it's in the interest of the locals to conserve and protect that resource. Inuit live with the bears; they know what's going on.

Anonymous said...

Wait till these snowflakes see pic of a polar bear warding off starvation. That can be hard to stomach too -- but not so much for the polar bear