pageok
pageok
pageok
Can Polar Bears Save the World?

My New Atlantis article on the FWS decision to list the polar as a "threatened species" under the Endangered Species Act is now available online. Here's my conclusion:

the polar bear's ESA listing will do little to preserve bear populations in the wild. It could complicate other conservation efforts. It will have no effect on the projected loss of sea ice over the next few decades. And it will have no effect on global warming. Getting a handle on anthropogenic climate change will require broad international efforts; jury-rigging a decades-old species-conservation statute just won't cut it. The polar bear may be an "animal to save the world," but the Endangered Species Act will do little to save the bear.

Hey Skipper (mail) (www):
I happen to live in Anchorage. The Anchorage Daily News has gone on something of a global warming jeremiad, so we have been getting a snootfull of the AGW party line.

Needless to say, the arctic ice coverage issue has been getting prominent coverage. In that coverage, AGW features prominently as the root of all evil, with "other causes" coming in a distant second.

Curiously, other than blaming AGW, there was never any evidence provided -- no mention of how temperatures have changed over time.

So, I investigated a little.

To summarize the link:


Arctic temperatures have risen 1.2 degrees centigrade [over the 133 years since detailed temperature records have been kept], or about 0.094 degrees per decade. Restrict history to the 20th century, though, and that increase amounts to all of 0.05 degrees per decade.

And, by the way, it was warmer in the 1930s and 40s than in recent decades, and there is a little matter of current and atmospheric pressure variations making untangling the causes of arctic ice melting nearly impossible.


(The temperature records are courtesy of the University of Alaska, Fairbanks.)

I'm willing to bet that no MSM story about polar bears or arctic ice coverage so much as mentions the temperature series.

I doubt it is due to malfeasance, but rather an unquestioning acceptance of AGW.
8.30.2008 1:00am
Ryan Waxx (mail):

Getting a handle on anthropogenic climate change will require broad international efforts; jury-rigging a decades-old species-conservation statute just won't cut it.


Ah, but the whole point to jury-rigging a old statue is to bypass the need for broad consensus.
8.30.2008 10:16am
Jay Myers:
The listing is flawed because it merely assumes ongoing warming. Since even the UN admits that there has been no warming over the past decade (which was not predicted by any of the computer simulations that AGW supporters love so much), there is no scientific support for the belief that warming will restart and continue unabated for the next fifty years until the polar bears' habitat is gone. Maybe that will happen, but our understanding of the global climate system is so incomplete that we cannot say with any certainty that we know it will. We can't even take observations from the past and get a computer model to correctly come up with current climate conditions.
8.30.2008 3:59pm
pmorem (mail):
To me, the question is whether or not anyone will have to testify under oath in support of the science.

If so, then the polar bear may indeed be an animal to save the planet, by driving a stake through "Anthropogenic Global Warming".
8.31.2008 12:57am