Just in time for Polar Bears International’s self-proclaimed fall Polar Bear Week (5-11 November 2017), here’s a new resource for cooling the polar bear spin. I’ve updated my 2015 summary of reasons not to worry about polar bears, which is now more than two years old. In this new version, you will find links to supporting information, including published papers and fully referenced blog posts of mine that provide background, maps and bibliographies, although some of the most important graphs and maps have been reproduced here. I hope you find it a useful resource for refuting the pessimism and prophecies of catastrophe about the future of polar bears. Please feel free to share it.
As global leaders meet in Bonn for COP23 (6-17 November 2017), it’s time to celebrate the proven resilience of polar bears to their ever-changing Arctic environment.
TWENTY REASONS: THE BULLET POINTS
- Polar bears are still a conservation success story: there are more polar bears now than there were 40 years ago.
- Fewer populations are in decline than in 2010 (only one, officially) and only six are data deficient (down from nine).
- Abrupt summer sea ice decline has not affected polar bear numbers as predicted: even though sea ice levels dropped to mid-century levels in 2007, the expected decimation of polar bears failed to occur.
- The Chukchi Sea population is thriving despite a pronounced lengthening of the ice-free season since 2007.
- Less sea ice in the summer in the Chukchi Sea has meant a healthy prey base for polar bears because ringed seals feed primarily in the ice-free season.
- Polar bears have shown themselves to be adaptable to changing ice conditions in several regions.
- Southern Beaufort numbers have rebounded since the last survey count.
- Barents Sea numbers have probably increased since 2005 and have definitely not declined despite much less sea ice cover.
- There is no evidence that record-low summer sea ice in 2012 had a harmful effect on Southern Beaufort bear numbers.
- Other species are being negatively impacted by high polar bear numbers, especially nesting sea birds and ducks.
- Western Hudson Bay population numbers have been stable since 2004, despite what scientists are telling the media.
- Hudson Bay sea ice has not changed since about 1999: breakup dates and freeze-up dates are highly variable but the ice-free period was not any longer in 2015 than it was in 2004. However, this fall freeze-up is shaping up to be the earliest in decades.
- Problem bears in Churchill are not lean or starving.
- Churchill Manitoba had the most problem bears in 1983 and 2016, which were late freeze-up years, but many of the incidents in 2016 can be attributed to increased vigilance on the part of patrol officers after an attack in 2013.
- There have been only marginal sea ice declines during the feeding period in spring, when polar bears need sea ice the most.
- The is no evidence that subsistence hunting is affecting bear populations.
- Stressful research methods have been curtailed in much of Canada.
- There have been no reports of polar bear cannibalism since 2011.
- Polar bears appear unaffected by pollution: studies suggest only that harm is theoretically possible, not that it has happened.
- Polar bears have survived past warm periods, which is evidence they have the ability to survive future warm periods.
- Polar bears are thriving: they are not currently threatened with extinction.
- Tens of thousands of polar bears did not die as a result of more than a decade of low summer sea ice, as was predicted.
- Polar bears don’t need sea ice in late summer/early fall as long as they are well-fed in the spring.
From yesterday ..
Monday Mirthiness – ‘Russia caused Climategate’
Lol, this is hilarious! Asteroid expert and self-appointed super-sleuth Mark Boslough has it all figured out (on Twitter no less). It was the Russians wot dun it! Just like his ilk finds the effects of “climate change” under every rock and behind every tree, and no longer content to blame Exxon-Moblie, Boslogh has used his super-brain to figure out the ultimate reason behind Climategate and continued climate skepticism. He claims the Russians have funded us! Yeah, that’s the ticket! (h/t to
Phil Robert Schaeffer)
Boslough is the chairman of “Asteroid Day”, which occurs yearly on the anniversary of the 1908 Tunguska impact in….drum roll….Russia. While I agree with his goals there, because I’ve said before that an asteroid impact event is a far greater threat to the planet and humanity than than “climate change”, you have to wonder how somebody as intelligent as Boslough can fall victim to such wild conspiracy theory.
The derangement over “Russia” in nearly everything political these days (and climate change is no longer just about science, it’s highly politically charged) [seems] to run deep in the left. They can’t seem to logically reconcile that Hillary Clinton lost the Presidency on her own merits (or lack thereof) so it had to be “Russian meddling”.
Climatgate started right here on WUWT. And our own Charles the Moderator and Steven Mosher were the first ones to receive and view the files. They were also in contact with the person who left the files from the University of East Anglia of a Russian “dump” server. Oh gosh, that’s it a Russian Server. I was in Europe at the time, and I asked them to wait until I got back before releasing any of the files publicly. We had to confirm their authenticity first, and I was concerned that if they were made public, I might be stopped during my return to the USA. Steve McIntyre summed it up in the Mosher Timeline under the section: “The dog that didn’t bark”. Once I cleared customs in Dulles, I sat down with my laptop and wrote the story that broke the news.
Here’s what Wikipedia says about it:
On 19 November an archive file containing the data was uploaded to a server in Tomsk, Russia, and then copied to numerous locations across the Internet. An anonymous post from a Saudi ArabianIP address to the climate-sceptic blog The Air Vent described the material as “a random selection of correspondence, code, and documents”, adding that climate science is “too important to be kept under wraps”. That same day, Stephen McIntyre of Climate Audit was forwarded an internal email sent to UEA staff warning that “climate change sceptics” had obtained a “large volume of files and emails”. Charles Rotter, moderator of the climate-sceptic blog Watts Up With That, which had been the first to get a link and download the files, gave a copy to his flatmate Steve Mosher. Mosher received a posting from the hacker complaining that nothing was happening and replied: “A lot is happening behind the scenes. It is not being ignored. Much is being coordinated among major players and the media. Thank you very much. You will notice the beginnings of activity on other sites now. Here soon to follow.” Shortly afterwards, the emails began to be widely publicised on climate-sceptic blogs. On 20 November the story emerged in mainstream media.
Readers may recall that Steve Mosher was instrumental in figuring out who dumped a bunch of files into the media in Peter Gleick’s “Fakegate”, where a forged fie was given to the media to make it look like climate skeptics were employed by the conservative think tank The Heartland institute, among many other claims. Mosher figure out it was Gleick who did it, and a forensic analysis of the writing style by a court-level writing expert using a computer analysis of writing patterns pretty much confirmed it was Gleick who did it.
Similarly Mosher, Charles, McIntyre and I have spent quite a bit of time trying to figure out the identity of the [Climategate] leaker. It is clear to us that even though the FTP link was to a Russian “dump” server, used to host all sorts of pirated files like software and games, that was simply a way for the person to separate themselves geographically from the source of the files in the UK in East Anglia. This isn’t particularly sophisticated, hackers and gamers do this all the time to cover their tracks when they post illegally pirated software. These are called “warez” servers.
Mosher spent a lot of time looking at the wording of the communications from the leaker, and the opportunity. He’s identified a person, and while I won’t share the name here, I can tell you it’s a person at UEA, not in Russia.
Long-time readers may remember when McIntyre and I were toying with the folks at UEA over the Yamal and HadCRUT files. You see, the server security was so bad at UEA, that McIntyre discovered one critical file he was seeking via FOIA was just lying on their server in plain wide-open FTP public sight. Once it was discovered that McIntyre had the file, the folks at the Climate Research Unit at UEA started thinking of nefarious methods, like hacking rather than their own incompetency. To help that along, I wrote a satirical piece on the imagined Mole at UEA. What was really going on was that I had public FTP access to the file on the UEA server, just like Steve did. Readers may also recall another article I wrote, post Climategate where it was discovered that the director of CRU, Dr. Phil Jones, was so computer un-savvy, that he couldn’t even plot temperature trends in Excel.
From our story It’s Time For The Person Who Leaked the CRU Emails To Step Forward by Dr. Tim Ball:
Canadian network engineer Lance Levsen after detailed analysis showed, convincingly, the source was someone within the university. He concluded, “For the hacker to have collected all of this information s/he would have required extraordinary capabilities…to crack an Administrative file server to get to the emails and crack numerous workstations, desktops, and servers to get the documents.” Access to the files is a major hurdle, but once inside there is a bigger challenge. Which files do you select? Whoever released the files knew which ones were significant. This required considerable knowledge of climate science as well as the politics and machinations of the people involved.
A comment posted on Anthony Watt’s web site encapsulates the problem. “It would take a hacker massive amounts of work to parse through decades of emails and files.” The commenter suggested a different scenario that involved hacking a single file. Such a file would exist because of “an ongoing process of internally collating this information for an FOI response is entirely consistent with what we find in the file.” The problem with this argument is that the emails appeared in November 2009, at which time both the CRU and the University of East Anglia were rejecting all FOI requests. In January 2005 Phil Jones “states that he will be using IPR (Intellectual Property Rights) to shelter the data from Freedom of Information requests.” In an email on August 20th 2008, Prof. Jones says “The FOI line we’re all using is this. IPCC is exempt from any countries FOI – the skeptics have been told this. Even though we (MOHC, CRU/UEA) possibly hold relevant info the IPCC is not part our remit (mission statement, aims etc) therefore we don’t have an obligation to pass it on.” It is unlikely anyone did much work preparing files to answer FOI requests. Even if they did, files for an FOI request are different from those required to expose corruption and still required selection.
Levsen reached a solid and logical conclusion “the simplest explanation or strategy tends to be the best one”. “The simplest explanation in this case is that someone at UEA found it and released it to the wild and the release of FOIA2009.zip wasn’t because of some hacker, but because of a leak from UEA by a person with scruples.”
Bottom line: lax security, combined with UEA’s own FOIA refusals, likely caused the FOIA officer to leave a file with the emails (that he gathered for an anticipated FOIA release) left in the open on the server, and it was accessible withing the UEA network. Our leaker, the person with the opportunity and the means, saw the file, and realized what a hot potato he had, and dumped it on the Russian Warez server. Then he made anonymous postings using a proxy server on various climate blogs to advertise the availability of the file. It was simple obfuscation using publicly available tools and apparently effective enough that the Norfolk police never figured out his identity, and closed the investigation.
This isn’t James Bond MI-6 level stuff, this is the sort of thing computer game players who don’t want to pay licenses fees and script-kiddies do every day on the web, no Russian help needed.
Mark Boslough should probably stick to asteroids.
If tourism causes climate change, why then do we have COP23?
This week, another COP meeting gets underway; COP23. For those of you new to the subject, COP stands for “Conference of Parties” and is a UN sponsored climate shindig for policy wonks, self described planet savers, and serial doomsters. Two of note were COP15 in Copenhagen in 2009, which became DOA thanks in part to “Climategate” and COP21 in Paris, which produced the toothless and pointless “Paris Accord” of which the USA is no longer a part of, thanks to president Donald Trump.
Every year, thousands of people come from all over the world to participate in
trough feeding wealth redistribution climate reparations high level negotiations to figure out how the heavy hitters must compensate poorer countries for supposedly causing “climate change” through such things as generating electricity, driving cars, growing food, and yes, even going on travel/holiday.
Yet, these same people seem oblivious of their own carbon footprint related to travel. Here is a list of locations for all the COP conference so far:
1995: COP 1, Berlin, Germany
1996: COP 2, Geneva, Switzerland
1997: COP 3, The Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change
1998: COP 4, Buenos Aires, Argentina
1999: COP 5, Bonn, Germany
2000: COP 6, The Hague, Netherlands
2001: COP 6, Bonn, Germany
2001: COP 7, Marrakech, Morocco
2002: COP 8, New Delhi, India
2003: COP 9, Milan, Italy
2004: COP 10, Buenos Aires, Argentina
2005: COP 11/CMP 1, Montreal, Canada
2006: COP 12/CMP 2, Nairobi, Kenya
2007: COP 13/CMP 3, Bali, Indonesia
2008: COP 14/CMP 4, Poznań, Poland
2009: COP 15/CMP 5, Copenhagen, Denmark
2010: COP 16/CMP 6, Cancún, Mexico
2011: COP 17/CMP 7, Durban, South Africa
2012: COP 18/CMP 8, Doha, Qatar
2013: COP 19/CMP 9, Warsaw, Poland
2014: COP 20/CMP 10, Lima, Peru
2015: COP 21/CMP 11, Paris, France
2016: COP 22/CMP 12/CMA 1, Marrakech, Morocco
2017: COP 23/CMP 13/CMA 2, Bonn, Germany
For example, COP21 in Paris, had an estimated 50,000 people, including media and world leaders, flying in for that big save the planet shindig, including president Obama flying in his entourage on Air Force One. From an article in the New York Daily News:
Most of the people traveling to the meeting arrived by airplane, the world’s top transit offender when it comes to belching CO2 into the atmosphere.
The average attendee, and there are about 50,000, will travel around 9,000 miles. Traveling on a Boeing 747 like Air Force One – which guzzles around one gallon of jet fuel every 16.5 miles – means the summit will consume an estimated 27 million gallons of fuel.
Each gallon of burned jet fuel produces about 21 pounds of carbon dioxide, which is estimated to emit in the neighborhood of 575 million pounds or nearly 290,000 tons, according to calculations by Wired.
Yet despite that enormous footprint of all the COP meetings, full of sound and fury, signifying essentially nothing to the planet’s climate, we have our betters telling us that we shouldn’t travel to Australia, because we’ll damage the climate. Sounds to me like they are jonesing for a climate impact fee attached to airline tickets. Of course we all know that the only way to save the planet is with more taxes and fees, just ask anyone in Canberra.
Australian tourism policies fail to address climate change
Australia’s Federal and State governments are failing to produce effective long-term tourism policy to address climate change, according to the findings of new QUT-led research.
Australia’s Federal and State governments are failing to produce effective long-term tourism policy to address climate change, according to the findings of new QUT-led research.
- Tourism contributes to climate change
- Tourism policy on climate change in Australia is inconsistent and ineffective
- Federal and state governments are not collaborating on best practice approaches to tourism policy on climate change
- The tourism industry can contribute to the sustainable management of climate change
Dr Char-lee Moyle, from QUT’s Australian Centre for Entrepreneurship Research, and her co-authors from Griffith University and James Cook University analysed 477 relevant documents for their paper – Have Australia’s tourism strategies incorporated climate change?
Just published in the international Journal of Sustainable Tourism, it reveals only 21% of Australia’s tourism strategies mention climate change, with most simply acknowledging it as an issue.
“Despite the fact tourism is worth billions of dollars to our economy and has been found by scientists to accelerate climate change, only five Australian tourism strategies analysed by us (one per cent of the entire sample) even recognised the sector’s impact,” Dr Moyle said.
“Looking at policy documents from 2000-2014, we have seen Australia’s tourism strategies increasingly focus on adaptation strategies, with mitigation appearing to have fallen off the policy agenda in recent years.
“Even certification and accreditation schemes are essentially viewed by industry as adaptation measures and a way to reduce climate change induced costs such as rising electricity bills.”
Dr Moyle emphasised the link between tourism climate change rhetoric and federal government election cycles.
“We found significantly more tourism climate change strategies were produced during the years the Australian Labor Party was in power at the federal level, with a peak in 2007,” she said.
“State Governments appear to be far less proactive in considering climate change in relation to tourism and, conspicuously, New South Wales did not even mention climate change in any state-level tourism strategies.”
Dr Moyle said there was significant room for the tourism sector to improve and step up action, particularly in developing tangible adaptation and mitigation policies.
“There are opportunities for the tourism industry to contribute to the sustainable management of climate change, including through the development of more ‘green’ products and implementing more environmentally-friendly practices,” Dr Moyle said.
She added that many initiatives proposed and subsequently implemented no longer exist, indicating an extremely dynamic climate change policy environment, as well as a lack of long-term consistent support and planning for tourism climate change response.
“On a positive note, there has been an increased focus on identifying opportunities, strategic needs, barriers, challenges and potential actions in relation to climate change since 2008,” Dr Moyle said.