Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Years of false prophecies about polar bears have finally become unstuck

Happy International Polar Bear Day! Thriving polar bear populations have exposed the hubris behind global warming’s most beloved icon.

In 2005, international polar bear specialists decided that future sea ice loss due to human-caused global warming had replaced wanton over-hunting as the primary threat to polar bear survival.

It was the first time that such future risks were used to decide a species conservation status.

In 2007, American government biologists insisted that by 2050, when summer sea ice would cover 42% less of the Arctic than it did in 1979, polar bears in ten populations most at risk would be wiped out.

Almost 20,000 bears would be gone by mid-century and by 2100, the species would be on the brink of extinction.

The process had already begun, the experts said, and it would only get worse.

Polar bears became a global warming icon, the preferred symbol of the consequences of burning fossil fuels.

The media, with the help of polar bear specialists and conservation organizations, made sure we were aware of each incident that signaled the dying of the species.

A few polar bears were reported to have drowned in a storm – expect more and more bears to drown during long swims across open water, we were told.

Photographers filmed a bear or two breaking through thin ice, and suggested yet another way drowning deaths could occur.

A few photos of starving bears made headlines, usually accompanied by the suggestion that perhaps hundreds more were in the same condition.

A few incidents of cannibalism also made headlines, again with the implication that dozens more were going unreported across the Arctic, as polar bears became desperate with hunger.

This frenzy of dire news went on unchecked until 2007, when the first reports on polar bear studies undertaken since 2004 were made public.

Surprisingly, the news from a new Davis Strait study wasn’t grim but encouraging.

Not until about 2013, however, as more studies were completed, did it become clear that polar bears really were thriving.

Unfortunately, the media weren’t so keen on good news: if positive results were reported at all, the encouraging aspects were downplayed or dismissed, often using quotes from polar bear specialists themselves.

It was as if polar bear scientists and their government funders wanted the public in the dark about the good news.

What was going on?

Summer sea ice had indeed declined – more than expected, in fact.

By 2016, it was apparent that potentially devastating ice levels had come decades sooner than experts predicted.

By September 2007 sea ice extent was about 43% less than it had been in 1979 – a magnitude of decline not expected until mid-century, and every year after was almost as low, or lower.

Polar bears had been living through their dire sea ice future since 2007.

Yet no more drowned polar bears were documented, no more bears than normal starved to death, no unusual spikes in cannibalism occurred, and not a single polar bear population was wiped out.

Polar bear photos still led media stories about starving bears, sea ice loss, and the threats of global warming but they were photos of fat, healthy bears.

By 2015, new studies showed that several populations once thought to be declining had increased in size or remained stable.

In 2005, the official global polar bear estimate was about 22,500.

By 2015, it had risen to about 26,500 but only part of that was a real increase.

However, by early 2017, the results of two studies of bears in high-risk regions were made public: they never made the mainstream papers, but they changed the picture.

Polar bear numbers in one half of the Barents Sea, had increased by 42% between 2004 and 2015, suggesting the entire population grew, by about 1100 – an increase not included in the official global estimate.

A survey of Baffin Bay bears, completed in 2013, showed that the population had not declined by 25% as expected but increased by 36% – adding about 750 more bears to the global total.

The formerly small population in Kane Basin more than doubled.

Now we know that between 2005 and 2015, the estimated size of polar bear populations in the two ecoregions that experts thought would be wiped out by years of low summer sea ice had grown by more than 3100.

The global average had risen to about thirty thousand bears, far and away the highest estimate in more than 50 years.

So why did the models devised by polar bear experts get it so wrong?

First, it appears that sea ice conditions and food abundance in early spring have been very good for polar bears despite the decline in summer ice extent.

Polar bears consume 8 months worth of food during early spring, which makes it the critical feeding period.

Second, it appears the experts assumed that when summer sea ice was present, polar bears ate more seals than they actually do.

Adult bearded and harp seals are virtually the only seals that rest on the ice from about mid-May to October because most ringed seals (the primary prey species of polar bears) have left the ice to feed.

Broken pack ice in summer leaves these adult seals many escape routes, which means most polar bears eat very little over the summer whether they spend those months on the sea ice or on shore.

It turns out summer is not a critical feeding season for polar bears.

Lastly, seal pups in many areas are more abundant than they were in the 1980s.

Less summer ice in the Chukchi Sea, for example, has meant more ringed seal pups in spring for polar bears to eat because these seals do most of their feeding in open water.

In short, the claim that summer sea ice is essential habitat for polar bears has been scuttled by their continued health through years of low ice coverage.

Evidence does not support the claim that loss of summer sea ice, regardless of the cause, is a major risk for polar bear survival.

Polar bear specialists vastly underestimated the resilience of polar bears when they modeled future survival and many of the assumptions they made were wrong.

Thriving polar bear populations have exposed the hubris behind global warming’s most beloved icon and “the plight of the polar bear” has become an international joke.

Humpback whales were recently taken off the US Endangered Species List because their population size indicated a strong recovery from past over-hunting.

Polar bears have done the same and are not currently threatened with extinction.

A thorough external review of the polar bear status issue is now required -  not only because it’s the right thing to do but because it may help restore public support for science and conservation.



If environmentalism is a religion, violence is its central tenet.

The largely white, privileged, “protesters” occupying a river bed in North Dakota to try and stop construction of a modern energy pipeline were told to leave this week by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Being spoiled rich kids, they didn’t take the news well.  They set fire to the camp, unleashing rampant pollution into the atmosphere and into the very river bed they claimed they were protecting.

The arson attack also sent two kids to the hospital.  A 17-year-old girl was severely burned by environmentalists and had to be airlifted to a hospital.  A little seven-year-old boy was also burned by environmentalists.

The environmentalists’ temper tantrum resulted in the burning-down of 20 buildings and a car.

The Dakota Pipeline protesters are hated by the very Native Americans they claim to represent.  The media narrative is the pipeline crosses Indian lands and the movement is a Native American protest.

In reality the pipeline is hundreds of miles away from the reservation and many tribe members despise the protesters, who consider the protests to be nothing more than a fun “Burning Man”-style festival.

The environmentalists behind the arson attack that wounded two kids have also tried to kill police officers on multiple occasions.  They have been caught trying to stampede wild buffalo into police and throwing bombs at officers.  One girl had her arm blown apart.  Protesters claim it was from a flash grenade thrown by police.  Police point out they do not have flash grenades, and she was among a group of protesters lighting propane tanks on fire and throwing them at officers.

Another environmentalist was arrested and faces charges after trying to shoot and kill police officers.

The protesters call themselves “water protectors,” but they built their camps directly in the very river bed they claim they are protecting.  That will unleash toxic waste into the river when the winter snows melt and water fills the river bed.

These “water protectors” have also dumped barrels of raw sewage directly into the ground, and have abandoned around 300 cars, which will leak oil into the ground.

That would be the very thing they claimed they were protesting.  There are now fears the environmentalists have turned the riverbed into a toxic waste site.

Most of the environmentalists eventually left the camp, but only after they were given free hotels and food paid for by North Dakota taxpayers.

Many of the protesters were paid to commit acts of violence and disruption, and have no plans to pay North Dakota’s income taxes on their illicit paychecks.


GIGO-based energy and climate policies

It’s like formulating public safety policies using models based on dinosaur DNA from amber

Paul Driessen

Things are never quiet on the climate front.

After calling dangerous manmade climate change a hoax and vowing to withdraw the USA from the Paris agreement, President Trump has apparently removed language criticizing the Paris deal from a pending executive order initiating a rollback of anti-fossil-fuel regulations, to help jumpstart job creation.

Meanwhile, EPA Administration Scott Pruitt says he expects quick action to rescind the Clean Power Plan, a central component of the Obama Era’s war on coal and hydrocarbons. The US House Committee on Science, Space and Technology is reopening its investigation into NOAA’s mishandling or tampering with global temperature data, for a report designed to promote action in Paris in 2015.

Hundreds of scientists signed a letter urging President Trump to withdraw from the UN climate agency. They warn that efforts to curtail carbon dioxide emissions are not scientifically justified and will kill jobs and exacerbate US and international poverty without improving the environment or stabilizing climate.

Hundreds of other scientists told Mr. Trump he must not waver on climate stabilization efforts or make any moves to defund government or university climate research. Hundreds of businessmen and investors told the President failure to build a low-carbon economy puts American prosperity at risk.

Over in Britain, Members of Parliament say efforts to build a low-carbon economy have led to a 58% rise in electricity prices since 2006, sending manufacturing and jobs overseas, to countries that are under no obligation to reduce fossil fuel use or CO2 emissions. MPs are also angry that carefully hidden “green subsidies” will account for nearly one-fourth of sky-high residential electricity bills by 2020.

All of this is a valuable reminder that the Climate Crisis & Renewable Energy Industry is now a $1.5-trillion-a-year business! And that’s just for its private sector components, the corporate rent-seekers.

This monstrous price tag does not include the Big Green environmentalism industry, the salaries and pensions of armies of federal, state, local, foreign country and UN bureaucrats who create and coordinate climate and renewable energy programs, or the far higher electricity and motor fuel costs that businesses and families must pay, to cover the costs of “saving people and planet from climate ravages.”

Earth’s climate is likely changing somewhere, as it has throughout planetary and human history. Our fuel use and countless other human activities may play a role, at least locally – but their role is dwarfed to near irrelevance by powerful solar, oceanic, cosmic ray and other natural forces. Moreover, real-world ice, sea level, temperature, hurricane, drought and other observations show nothing outside historic fluctuations. Unprecedented disasters exist only in the realm of hypotheses, press releases and computer models.

So there is no reason to cede control over our livelihoods and living standards to politicians, activists and bureaucrats; replace reliable, affordable fossil fuel energy with expensive, unreliable renewables; destroy millions of jobs in the process; and tell billions of impoverished people they must be content with solar ovens, solar panels, wind turbines, and health, nutrition and living standards little better than today’s.

There is no reason to honor the document that President Obama unilaterally signed in Paris. As Dr. Steve Allen observed in a masterful analysis: “The decisive action promised in the treaty that is not a treaty consists of governments, most of them run by dictators and thieves, promising, on an honor system, to take steps of their own choosing, to change future weather patterns, and then coming up with ways by which they can measure their own progress and hold themselves accountable by their own standards for the promises they have made, on penalty of no punishment if they break their word.”

Mainly, Allen continues, the Paris con is about “taking money from taxpayers and consumers and businesspeople and electricity ratepayers, and giving it to crony capitalists; and taking money from people in relatively successful countries and giving it to rich people in poor countries, to benefit governing elites.”

India alone wants hundreds of billions of dollars in climate “adaptation and reparation” money from industrialized nations that are supposed to slash their fossil fuel use, CO2 emissions and economic growth, while pouring trillions into the Green Climate Fund. Meanwhile, India, China and other rapidly developing nations are firing up hundreds of coal-fueled power plants, burning more oil and gas, and emitting more CO2, to industrialize their countries and lift their people out of abject poverty – as well they should.

So just follow the money – and power-grabbing. That is the real source of the religious fervor, the Catechism of Climate Cataclysm, behind the vehement denunciations of President Trump for having the gall to threaten the global high priests who drive and profit from climate change fear mongering.

Those forces are desperate and determined to keep their power and money train on track. They’re ramping up indignation and cranking out “research” to justify their demands. For example:

Expert Market (whose core expertise is helping companies compare prices for postage meters, coffee machines and other B2B products) has just released a study purporting to show which US states will suffer most “from Trump’s climate change denial” and America’s “climate change inaction.”

The total cost will be $506 billion by 2050, just for hurricane and other real estate damages, extra energy costs, and more frequent and severe droughts. “Vermont emerged as the state worst equipped to handle the cost,” the study contends, while Montana, Wyoming and the Dakotas are also “severely at risk.” California and New York are among those best able to endure the imminent chaos.

It sounds horrific – and it’s intended to be, the better to pressure the White House and Congress to codify and enforce the nonbinding provisions of the Paris non-treaty, and retain Obama-era anti-hydrocarbon energy policies. But the entire exercise is a classic example of Garbage In/Garbage Out (GIGO) black box computer modeling, carefully crafted to ensure the justifications required for a predetermined political outcome, especially the monumental “nationwide green initiatives” that Expert Market supports.

Thus, carbon dioxide will drive rapidly rising global temperatures that will warm the planet enough to increase sea surface temperatures dramatically – spawning more frequent, more damaging hurricanes, and melting polar ice caps enough to raise sea levels 23 inches by 2050, the Expert Market experts assert.

Global warming measured in hundredths of a degree over the past 19 years will suddenly be replaced by runaway heat waves. Seas now rising at 7 inches per century will suddenly climb at ten times that rate over the next three decades, sending storm surges far inland. Major US land-falling hurricanes that have been absent now for eleven years will suddenly proliferate to unprecedented levels.

How Vermont and the other top-five “worst equipped” states – all of them inland – will be affected by any of this is anyone’s guess. But the model says they’re at risk, so we must take drastic action now.

Soaring temperatures will increase demand for air conditioning, and thus raise household energy costs, says Expert Market. CA, NY and other “green” state electricity costs are already twice as high as those in coal and gas-reliant states. Imposing wind and solar initiatives on fossil fuel states would likely double their family and business energy costs, but that factor is not included in its calculations.

Droughts “will become more frequent and severe” in states already afflicted by arid conditions – assuming all the dire CO2 depredations, and ignoring both those states’ long experience with drought cycles and how California’s years-long drought has once again given way to abundant rainfall.

The Expert Market study is symptomatic of the politicized assumptions and data manipulation that have driven climate models and disaster scenarios since the IPCC began studying manmade climate chaos.

Indeed, the entire climate chaos exercise is akin to basing public safety policies on computer models that assume dinosaur DNA extracted from fossilized amber will soon result in hordes of T rexes running rampant across our land. We deserve a more honest, rational basis for policies that govern our lives.

Via email

Take Back Al Gore's Nobel And Give It To The Fracking Industry

Climate Change: U.S. output of so-called greenhouse gases continues to decline, a new report shows. Even so, global warming activists are likely to be disappointed. The drop has nothing to do with their pet cause, alternative energy.

That's right. The Environmental Protection Agency's yearly greenhouse gas emissions report noted that after rising slightly in 2013 and 2014, greenhouse gas output fell in 2015 — the most recent full year for which data are available.

OK, but maybe it was a one-year fluke? Hardly.

First off, the drop was significant in size — 2.2% on an annual basis, far too big to be a fluke or statistical anomaly.

Second, as the folks at The American Interest helpfully point out, "U.S. energy-related CO2 emissions hit a 25-year low over the first six months of 2016, continuing the progress that the EPA says we made in 2015."

So it's continuing. More important, The Hill reminds, "The EPA attributed the overall decline to lower carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels, which itself came about because of less coal consumption in favor of natural gas, warmer winter weather that decreased heating fuel demand and lower electricity demand overall."

This continues a long-term trend for the U.S. of lower greenhouse gas emissions. Ironically, while the U.S. was pilloried for not ratifying the Tokyo Accord (though then-Vice President Al Gore ostentatiously signed it, despite knowing that the Senate wouldn't ratify it) to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions, it is the only major industrial nation actually slashing its output.

Since the Kyoto Accord was struck in 1997, Energy Department data show, U.S. output of greenhouse gases plunged 7.3%, even though real U.S. GDP over that time has grown a whopping 52%. We're greener today than we have been in decades.

Go figure.

For all this progress, we can thank the fracking business, which has given U.S. industry and homes access to massive amounts of cheap, relatively clean natural gas. It may yet make possible a U.S. industrial renaissance — and bring back jobs now done overseas, not by government trade protectionism but by pursuing free-market energy policies that will lead to ever more energy at lower prices.

Global warming crusader Al Gore won a Nobel Prize merely for his profit-making activities as a green activist. Here's an idea: If the Nobel committee geniuses really want to reward those who've done the most to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, they should give Gore's Nobel to the U.S. fracking industry.


New German wind turbine destroyed by a gust of wind

It was put up in 2014 so had a life expectancy of 20 years.  The big blow was associated with a low pressure system. Other nearby turbines were not affected

Das Sturmtief „Thomas“ ist in der Nacht von Donnerstag auf Freitag über die Region gefegt – und hat zum Teil schwere Schäden angerichtet.

Man könnte es wohl als ironische Laune der Natur bezeichnen: Ausgerechnet eine Windböe hat in der Nacht von Donnerstag auf Freitag ein Windrad im Windpark Laubersreuth bei Münchberg total zerstört. Wie von starker Hitze geschmolzen hängen die Flügel nun nach unten. „Zwei Rotorblätter sind komplett aufgespreißelt. Ein Flügel hat sich sogar um das Maschinenhaus gewickelt“, berichtet Sabine Scherer, deren Familie das Grundstück an der A 9 gehört.

Erst am Morgen als sie mit ihrem Hund spazieren gehen wollte, habe Scherer den Schaden bemerkt. Ganz im Gegensatz zu ihrer Nachbarin. Die wurde schon in der Nacht von einem „ganz komischen Geräusch“ wach gehalten, wie sie Scherer erzählte. „Sie dachte, gleich fliegt das Dach davon.“ So penetrant sei der Krach gewesen.

Das zerstörte Windrad gehört der Windpark Laubersreuth GmbH & Co. KG mit Sitz in Nordrhein-Westfalen. Warum ausgerechnet diese Anlage so stark in Mitleidenschaft gezogen wurde, wird nun ein Gutachter klären, sagt der Geschäftsführer Christian Struck auf Anfrage unserer Zeitung. Denn zwei andere Windräder, die unmittelbar neben dem zerstörten stehen und ebenfalls 140 Meter hoch sind, laufen nach wie vor einwandfrei. Die kaputte Windkraftanlage wurde 2014 aufgestellt und ist demnach „nagelneu“, wie Struck erklärt. Eigentlich sollte sie 20 Jahre dort stehen.



For more postings from me, see  DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC and AUSTRALIAN POLITICS. Home Pages are   here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  

Preserving the graphics:  Most graphics on this site are hotlinked from elsewhere.  But hotlinked graphics sometimes have only a short life -- as little as a week in some cases.  After that they no longer come up.  From January 2011 on, therefore, I have posted a monthly copy of everything on this blog to a separate site where I can host text and graphics together -- which should make the graphics available even if they are no longer coming up on this site.  See  here or here


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