Global Warming clause won't be used to protect polar bears, ecos plan to sue

On one hand, we have a sensible decision, on the other, no good deed goes unpunished. – Anthony

U.S. global warming rules won’t change to help polar bears
Gore's famous polar bear peril - no protection needed
Excerpts from the LA Times story
The Endangered Species Act ‘is not the appropriate tool for us to deal with what is a global issue,’ Interior Secretary Ken Salazar says in announcing that the Bush-era policy on emissions will stand.

By Jim Tankersley

Reporting from Washington — The Interior Department on Friday let stand a Bush administration policy barring the federal government from using the precarious state of the U.S. polar bear population as a reason to crack down on global warming, upsetting environmentalists and cheering oil and gas companies.

“The single greatest threat to the polar bear is the melting of Arctic Sea ice due to climate change,” Salazar said in a conference call announcing the decision. But the Endangered Species Act “is not the appropriate tool for us to deal with what is a global issue,” he added.

Like Bush administration officials before them, Interior officials said it would be impossible to directly link any one factory or power plant to the decline in polar ice, and thus impractical to regulate their emissions.

Environmental groups promised to sue.

“It just doesn’t make any sense to recognize that the polar bear is threatened and then exempt the primary threat to the species,” said Noah Greenwald, biodiversity program director for the Center for Biological Diversity.

Energy industry groups celebrated Friday, as did many Republicans.

“The Endangered Species Act is not the proper mechanism for controlling our nation’s carbon emissions,” said Jack Gerard, president of the American Petroleum Institute.

President George W. Bush’s Interior Department listed the polar bear as threatened last year. But shortly before Bush left office, the agency issued a rule prohibiting the government from using the bear’s status under the Endangered Species Act to curb greenhouse gas emissions, closing what Bush officials called a “back door” to climate regulation.

Salazar pledged to reconsider the rule when he took office in January. On Friday, he said that revoking the rule would lead to “uncertainty and confusion” in the department’s efforts to protect polar bears.

Instead, he said, the U.S. must tackle climate change with a comprehensive set of emissions limits, such as the one President Obama is pushing Congress to enact this year.

Yet Salazar sided with Bush on another high-profile species issue, moving ahead with a plan to remove gray wolves from the endangered list in the Great Lakes region and parts of the Mountain West.

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May 8, 2009 11:17 pm

It truely is all about money, isn’t it. One of the provisions in the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming bill on Cap & Trade (Tax) is the right for organizations like WWF and others to sue CO2 emitters for “PROJECTED FUTURE HARMS” due to predicted global warming.

May 8, 2009 11:53 pm

…an unashamed tribute to you, and your untiring efforts at

Mike McMillan
May 8, 2009 11:57 pm

I do enjoy balanced reportage.
Seems to me that the greatest danger to precarious polar bears is being swept out into the Atlantic with the rest of the multi-year ice caught in the Polar Drift current.

May 9, 2009 12:07 am

🙂 Sorry its sort of free association, it has to do with bears and the Alaska gov and its funny…
On topic, did anyone happen to mention that when they ‘repopulated’ wolves in the NW they imported a large wolf then was natural for the area. They have had no trouble populating but the ranchers and hunters are getting a bit ticked. Just another example of man screwing up trying to fix nature. Im still not seeing drown polarbear corpses..

May 9, 2009 12:16 am

I can’t help but think that the supertanker of AGW is at least slowing if not yet stopping. Slightly encouraging, but a long way to go.

May 9, 2009 12:30 am

Seems that sanity is slowly becoming fashionable again.

Heraldo Ortega
May 9, 2009 12:37 am

That photo was taken at the famous world Polar Bear Diving Championships 2004 !!.

May 9, 2009 12:54 am

It is a good thing if they sue as a court of law will examine evidence and be able to distinguish between that and ideology. The more this stuff ends up in the courts the better I think.
Kind Regards

Rhys Jaggar
May 9, 2009 1:34 am

If you can sue for projected future harms due to seeohtwo, then, you’d better lock up every boy and girl child born forevermore.
Because if you didn’t, every parent could be sued for producing progeny which MIGHT in the future be a murderer, a rapist or a torturer.
Shouldn’t you?
Because believe you me, SOME of the girls and boys born today, tomorrow and forever more WILL become one of those malign species.
Won’t they?

May 9, 2009 1:52 am

Let the Greenies have their day in court, a legal examination of Polar Bear numbers and causes of any population declines will be highly embarrasing for the melting ice theory.

Leon Brozyna
May 9, 2009 1:58 am

Now all they need do is to close that other back door that the environmentalists use, the Clean Air Act. That’s what Congress should be doing, clean up the Clean Air Act so such a mundane emission as CO2 isn’t labeled a pollutant.

May 9, 2009 2:19 am

Gary Plyler (23:17:55) :
It truely is all about money, isn’t it. One of the provisions in the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming bill on Cap & Trade (Tax) is the right for organizations like WWF and others to sue CO2 emitters for “PROJECTED FUTURE HARMS” due to predicted global warming.

Oh Boy! So I can have a computer toy say it will get hotter, then project my beer budget rising exponentially due to the heat, and sue for PROJECTED FUTURE CIRRHOSIS!
Thus getting the money that will let me sit around drinking the beer and proving my case…
I Like It!
Amerrricka! Wadda Country!

Pierre Gosselin
May 9, 2009 2:23 am

Why do you call them “environmental groups”?
Everybody knows these are just front groups for a certain political faction that abhors free enterprise and individual freedom.
Just call them TAX & REGULATE MOBS.

Pierre Gosselin
May 9, 2009 2:25 am

Adam Gallon,
“highly embarrasing” to normal folks, but not to an activist judge.

James Griffin
May 9, 2009 2:30 am

The polar bear population at the end of the 2nd World War was circa 5,000 and is now at 22,000 – 25,000…some even reckon the figure could be as high as 40,000.
The sun sycle has changed and we appear to be heading for severe cooling…more Maunder than Dalton according to another article on WUWT today.
There has been no overall warming for several years…
Global Sea Ice is at a 20 year high with temps dipping worldwide and yet we are evidently going into catastrophic “Global Warming”.
As another post has said let the Greenies have their day in court…bring it on.

May 9, 2009 2:52 am

Yes, a brief bit of clarity on the all too fast march toward Eco-driven insanity.
As a scientist, one thing that worries me is what the public will think of science when the predictions fall flat. AGW is the biggest public display of ‘science’ and when it crashes it will reflect poorly on all of us. Worse than that, apart from the many believers and those whose science brushes into AGW (telling how their favorite virus, animal, or forest will be affected by AGW), it strikes me how few scientists are actually out there ‘proving’ (ie publishing) that AGW is real. Throw out Hansen, Mann, and a few handfuls of others and we’d be back to the seemingly hand-drawn IPCC 1990 graph that showed we likely haven’t topped the temps of the MWP. The longer and more entrenched AGW becomes the harder that fall will be and the more it will shatter the public confidence in all science.

Roger H
May 9, 2009 3:30 am

MatE brings up a good point, if AGW is ever proven completely wrong, especially in a political sense ie. it was all about the money(hidden tax) will other theories come under more scrutiny and doubt. For example: The Big Bang Theory(I didn’t hear it) ; Evolution(I never have an urge to climb trees) ; Men on the Moon(why didn’t they bring back some cheese?) The list could go on and on. Seriously, what does it say about the Scientific Community when so many of them jump on a bandwagon and stay there after the horse pulling it breaks a leg and the wagon loses 2 wheels? To me it seriously challenges the quality of their scientific training and/or intelligence.

May 9, 2009 3:43 am

If they sue it will be against the government’s action, not to prove or disprove AGW. This means the issue will likely be very narrowly framed. If you recall, Mass. v EPA, 549 US 497 549 U.S. 497 that upheld the EPA’s can regulate tailpipe emissions and that “greenhouse gases fit well within the Clean Air Act’s capacious definition of air pollutant.” All it does, really, is note the EPA can regulate and that at least some plaintiffs have standing to sue. It did not rule on AGW. But Stevens, in the majority, did toss out that quote above about greenhouse gasses as pollutants.
Essentially it means you’ll have a pro-AGW group(s) suing as plaintiffs against a government agency that agrees with them. The issue will be whether the EPA needs to regulate pollutants endangering polar bears (that’s another case winding it’s way through the courts). After the pro-AGW wins in court, the EPA will crank up the regulatory machinery. You all seem familiar with how that process works. The Greenies will win, in the end, and regulations will be issued (imho). Then, when they’ve started will likely be the time for a person(s) damaged by them to sue and only then may the facts of the AGW foundation be challenged in court. And the way the courts will be by then after the “only liberals need apply” to open vacancies approach don’t be surprised if the courts rule in favor of the Greenies. And they may also rule that alchemy is real science since they’ll be ruling based on politics.
The decision by the EPA merely kicks things down the road at bit but it does not end the bear case and it will not introduce the bare facts of AGW (couldn’t resist the pun). What is does show is the Obama Administration must feel like they’ll take political hits if the EPA steps out on this without being “forced”. Especially since Congress is writhing over the cap-and-trade bill(s). They can always fall back to the EPA if they lose that. My guess is you’ll see a flurry of EPA action sometime after November 2010.

Paul Coppin
May 9, 2009 3:47 am

“precarious state of the U.S. polar bear population”
I guess as a Canadian, I have to say “what U.S. polar bear population’? The couple dozen in US zoos? The 6 or 12 north of Alaska? … :)~ 🙂

May 9, 2009 3:52 am

OT – Catlin crew will be heading home soon
“The UK Ops team are also in constant dialogue with Kenn Borek Air. It will, after all, be the pilots’ decision as to when exactly the team will be extracted. When the time comes (quite possibly within the next 7-10 days), KBA will on this occasion use two Twin Otter aircraft, instead of the usual one. Of these two planes, one will be carrying nothing but fuel, allowing the aircraft to venture far out onto the ocean.”
Be prepared fot the press hailing it an unprecendeted success that proves (once again) AGW conclusively.
The photo of the day is Pen doing ‘science’

UK Sceptic
May 9, 2009 4:20 am

Shrinking glaciers are apparently a sign of global warming. Growing glaciers are apparently a sign of global warming also.
And to support AGW there’s a link to an outdated video relating to alleged Alaskan warming. Wilkins Ice shelf break up, 2008 and now alleged Alaskan warming 2008, both linked to or touted as current events? Seems like the AGW argument is becoming old news.
Was the Iditarod race start line hindered by lack of snow this year? The video made much of the fact the start line had to be moved further north in 2008.

May 9, 2009 4:34 am

Is there ANY evidence for a “precarious state” of the US polar bear population? Are they precariously about to have a population explosion? Now THAT could be a problem.
Noah Wylie says they’re about to go extinct, he wouldn’t lie, would he?

May 9, 2009 4:36 am

Michael and Adam Gallon:
“Michael (00:54:51) :
It is a good thing if they sue as a court of law will examine evidence and be able to distinguish between that and ideology. The more this stuff ends up in the courts the better I think.”
“Adam Gallon (01:52:16) :
Let the Greenies have their day in court, a legal examination of Polar Bear numbers and causes of any population declines will be highly embarrasing for the melting ice theory.”

Gentlemen, you seem to have an over-ambitious belief in the logic and efficacy of our legal system.
Having your “Day in Court” means precisely nothing, in these dark days of the politically correct tyranny of the majority, and their selected judicial lap-dogs.
We are all so screwed, and the only feasible answer is to kill all the lawyers.
(By way of full disclosure, Kaboom admits that he might be a lawyer.)

Ron de Haan
May 9, 2009 4:54 am

I congratulate all the Polar Bears.
Thanks to the US Government they will stay out of the hands of the environmentalists.
I must think of the 1946 atomic bomb test at Bikini.
After only 50 years, the people are back, the corals restored and life as abundant as it was before the test.
Nature is resilliant.
The process which Darwin called “survival of the fittest” which we could translate into “development through competition” does not fit the green socialist agenda.
They want the picture perfect post card of nature and freeze it in time.
Any human influence is bad.
All people must be the same. The same education, the same opportunities, (as the other life forms) and the Green Socialists at the wheel controlling everything.
Where and how trees grow, where and how (many) people will live, what they do, wear, eat, drink, make a living and what they think…
In the mean time they want to control our weather, our climate and the temperature of the oceans. Anyhow, they believe they can!
This is not very “natural”, especially if the arguments are unscientific and falsification
of evidence serves a political goal aimed at “TOTAL CONTROL” of our planet, human kind and it’s resources.
The human race and our technology, our incredible property to solve problems and to adapt must not be halted by a sick unreal doctrine that is aimed to role back our industrial development. I say it’s unnatural to do so.
I am grateful the US Government has taken the right decision for us and for the polar bears.
The only threat to Polar Bears is hunting, not our society, our industries or our way of life.
I really hope nature is left alone and we get back to the times when animals were free, without colored paint spots, tags, gps collars, battery packs and satellite trackers.
Now we can concentrate on three other attempts to put green shackles on humanity,
Cap&Trade, Emission Regulation of CO2 via the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act by EPA and the recent plan to renew and adapt the Montreal Protocol.
Yes, if the democratic way does not work, we simply go over the heads of the people and decide for them.
Democracy has become a nuisance anyhow. Just like Capitalism.
We all know that democracy and capitalism is the best guarantee for our survival.
It’s the human interpretation of Darwin’s Evolution Theory and it will even bring us trough an Ice Age.

Robert in Calgary
May 9, 2009 4:58 am

For me, another Canuck, the interesting part of this story was the score – Bush mentioned 7 times, Obama just two.

May 9, 2009 5:14 am

Matt E
I hope the public come to realise the good things that science has done for mankind.Extreme weather warnings have saved countless lives,I hope the day will come when an earthquake warning can be issued in enough time to save people.That said,I hope scientists takes a long look at what happened,and learns something from it.Maybe an independent world science organisation,or something like that.There is corruption in every branch of society,science is no different.

May 9, 2009 5:35 am

A reminder on the polar bear photo at the top. When I first saw I thought it was a good perch to look for food, passing British adventurers, etc. Mr. Gore, of course, had a better use for it:

He used it in a presentation on man made global warming.
“Their habitat is melting… beautiful animals, literally being forced off the planet,” Mr. Gore said, with the photo on the screen behind him. “They’re in trouble, got nowhere else to go.”
Audience members let out gasps of sympathy…
[From: The National Post (Canada), Gore pays for photo after Canada didn’t, 23rd March, 2007]

Credit for the photo goes to Amanda Byrd, and that’s another source of controversy:

So were the polar bears stranded?
“They did not appear to be in danger…I did not see the bears get on the ice, and I did not see them get off. I cannot say either way if they were stranded or not.”

Polar bears are good swimmers. So how did all this come about?
Photographer Amanda Byrd gave her photo to fellow cruiser, Dan Crosbie – to have a look.
“Dan Crosbie gave the image to the Canadian Ice Service, who gave the image to Environment Canada, who distributed the image to 7 media agencies including AP.”
[Email from Amanda Byrd to Media Watch]

More at

James P
May 9, 2009 6:32 am

The photo of the day is Pen doing ’science’
Which, with his measuring skills, will also prove conclusively that it’s possible to land a Twin Otter on six inches of ice…
I stumbled on this quotation just now, from Harold Macmillan, one time Prime Minister of Britain. It seems apposite:
“We have not overthrown the divine right of kings to fall down for the divine right of experts.”

chris y
May 9, 2009 6:44 am

Dr. Taylor and Dr. Dowsley published a nice overview of their opinion of the status of global polar bear populations and their alleged imminent extinction due to climate change.
Demographic and Ecological Perspectives on the Status of Polar Bears, by Dr. M. Taylor and Dr. M. Dowsley (2008)
“The concern that polar bears will decline if the climate continues to warm is valid. However, the assertion that polar bears will become extinct unless immediate measures are taken to curb greenhouse gas emissions is irrational because it is inconsistent with the long-term persistence of polar bears through previous periods of warming and cooling; and because the IPCC climate model predictions 50 and 100 years into the future do not suggest a future with insufficient sea ice to support polar bears as a viable species.”
“Although two polar bear subpopulations (Western Hudson Bay and Southern Beaufort Sea) no longer appear to be viable due to reduction in sea ice habitat, polar bears as a species do not appear to be threatened by extinction in the foreseeable future from either a demographic or an ecological perspective.”
“The popular notion that polar bears are declining or already expatriated worldwide has been initiated and perpetuated by environmental organizations and individuals who apparently believe that current subpopulation numbers and trends are an insufficient basis for an appropriate status determination. These individuals and organizations suggest that an ecological consideration constitutes more appropriate methodology to assess status of polar bears and presumably all species. Observations of natural mortality, intra-specific aggression, poor condition, and even healthy bears in good condition on ice floes have been cited as evidence of a population impacts on polar bears due to declining sea ice. Anecdotal information, although useful and interesting, is not equivalent to scientific information based on valid statistical analysis of sample data. Simultaneously, traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) from Inuit has been largely ignored because TEK is mostly oral, and because TEK generally does not support the assertion that polar bear populations are in general, or even local decline.”

Ellie in Belfast
May 9, 2009 6:45 am

Old joke (that even made its way across the Atlantic): Why did New York get all the landfill sites and California get all the lawyers? New York got first choice. (Apologies to Kaboom, Roger Sowell and any other WUWT-reading lawyers. I couldn’t resist.)

Ellie in Belfast
May 9, 2009 6:46 am

Sorry – I think that should have been New Jersey.

Michael J. Bentley
May 9, 2009 6:50 am

I’ve had the pleasure of knowing a few real scientists in my life, including a couple that you wouldn’t let out except on special holidays. To a person they were explorers who would admit to wrong turns and conclusions, and then poke around in another dark corner for more clues. These folks you don’t loose faith in. But they are not the ones the news services like to interview either.
I could be wrong, but it seems to me we started to slide when businesses stopped funding pure research and development departments. ATT, Dupont, Westinghouse, 3M, Kodak, HP, etc etc. These organizations, while directed along certain lines of thinking like communication, chemical processes, photography and the like produced some of the greatest discoveries of the last century – often by happy accident. These businesses also funded university research to a large extent as well. Yes, it wasn’t all hugs and kisses then, because anywhere you have people politics is in play – but you have to admit, it was productive.
Has there been one breakthrough discovery this century? I can’t think of one that doesn’t have its roots firmly planted in the 20th century. We are nearly a tenth of the way into this century and the voyage of discovery has wrecked on the shoals of government funding. Funding provided for the express purpose of federal policy direction. Probably with the understood provision that the policy in question is such-and-such, and this grant is given with the beief that policy will be supported by the data.
The answer to MattE is no, I won’t loose respect for true scientists whatever their belief, because these people are explorers and admit their errors then poke their noses into another dark corner.

Michael J. Bentley
May 9, 2009 6:53 am

Third paragraph, last line, beief should by belief (curse that sticky “L”!!)

Bruce Cobb
May 9, 2009 6:59 am

Polar bears? What polar bears? They went extinct long ago during much warmer periods than todays’. Such fevered imaginations those “environmentalists” have!
It seems they’ve adapted to climate change before. If only we humans were as smart!

Steve H
May 9, 2009 7:10 am

MattE (02:52:51) :
“As a scientist, one thing that worries me is what the public will think of science when the predictions fall flat. AGW is the biggest public display of ’science’ and when it crashes it will reflect poorly on all of us.”
I couldn’t agree more. This is PRECISELY what worries me more than anything else. Science is already, as Carl Sagan aptly put it “a candle in the dark” of our “demon-haunted planet”. The number of human persons who has a clear idea even of what it consists of is almost vanishingly small when the global population is considered. The rise of “fundamental” (read: simplistic) religious groups threatens a new Dark Age, and the likes of the young earthers out there are always looking for an opportunity to shame what they perceive as “mainstream” science. The collapse of the AGW paradigm may well bring with it some serious consequences for the already beleaguered public image of Science, and hugely increase public distrust.
This is why WUWT (and its like) is SUCH an important blog, since by and large it is highly science-regarding, and careful in its content, even attracting regular posts from acclaimed public figures in the scientific community. In order to thrive, Science must be true to its roots, and be truly independent. The chief sickness of AGW hype is that it overpoliticizes what ought to be a much more purely scientific inquiry.

May 9, 2009 7:15 am

The polar bears are fine, I’m going to snip myself about the lack of benefit to politicians for regulating polar bears. I have done what I think is an interesting plot of arctic ice. – Lots of work for a simple result.
I’ve expanded on the trend plot and done a calculation of trend for each pixel of the gridded data. I don’t think I’ve ever seen the data presented this way, it revealed an increased ice level in the Bering strait as the weather pushed ice out from the cap.
Seeing the trend in flow show up so visibly was surprising to me.

May 9, 2009 7:26 am

Rather than “no good deed goes unpunished”, I would suggest “hoist by one’s own petard”. (Being just a simple red neck, I thought I’d better look it up: )
When the AlGoracle negotiated the Kyoto accords for the United States, the Clinton Administration floated a trial balloon to see if they could get it approved by the Senate. There was not a single Democrat vote for it, much less a Republican vote.
“On 25 July 1997,…..the U.S. Senate unanimously passed……..should not be a signatory”
For the eight years of the Bush Administration, the Democrats used the failed Kyoto treaty as a cudgel to beat Republicans. And the sycophants that repeated their drivel in the press failed to mention that not a single Democrat supported the treaty.
(It was reported, but not widely. There are a few in the media that are willing to say that the king has no clothes.)
Now the Democrats have total control over both the White House and Congress. They can pass any legislation they want and the voters have chosen that the Republicans can not stop anything. In deed, Nancy Pelosi has changed house rules to cut Republicans out of the process altogether.
The Democrats know that cap-and-trade and other “green” regulations will complete the ruination of the US economy. They will increase energy prices and take tens of billions of tax dollars out of an already weakened economy. And they are stuck with their rhetoric.
This is much like their claims that they didn’t know about the extreme interrogation techniques being used by the Bush Administration: Now we know that yes, they did know in detail what was going on and they lied about it in an attempt to cause the Bush Administration to fail.
Their chickens are coming home to roost.
Steamboat Jack

May 9, 2009 7:40 am

Our chums on the ice have posted their first results
Open the excel file. Note all the gaps in the data. Maybe they only drill when they are on thin ice? Hence the average 1.77
Note the disclaimer: ‘Measurements biased for undeformed ice.’

May 9, 2009 7:52 am

They didn’t do ‘science’ on 17 days out of 45. Or maybe they did but the results they got were wrong so they left them out.
Is there anyway to cross check this ‘data’ with the results from the Bremen survey? They give coordinates so should be straight forward, but of course only if they covered the same ground.

May 9, 2009 7:52 am

I don’t know why the insistence on that imaginary polar bears extinction. Hybridization between polar bears (Ursus maritimus) and brown bears (Ursus arctos) is happening at the present time. Hybridization is possible because the two species are genetically related and is unequivocal signal of an entry of polar bears to territories of gray bears. If the problem was real, I would charge on hunters more than on a supposed melting of the cryosphere.

May 9, 2009 8:04 am

Compare and contrast the data in the excel file with the team’s mission statement (still showing on the ‘science’ page)
“The Catlin Arctic Survey’s highly experienced team will be travelling on foot, hauling sledges from approximately 81°N 130°W, across 1000 km of drifting sea ice, for over 90 days, in temperatures as low as -50°C, towards the North Geographic Pole.
The surface-based team has the experience to continue the Survey through blizzards, white-outs, fog, and across ice rubble-fields, even donning immersion suits when open water and thin ice crossings deem it necessary.
Over 30 different types of measurement and sample will be taken by the surface team (some continuously, others hourly, daily or weekly) from the water column (using a SeaCat CTD Profiler), the ice/snow layers and the atmosphere. Such information will build a benchmark data set on the state of the ice, allowing for a better understanding of the interaction between the processes affecting the condition of the sea ice.
The team’s ground-penetrating radar (SPRITE) will distinguish between the base ice layer and any over-lying snow layer, as it is the thickness of the ice which is an important parameter for lifespan estimates by computer modellers.”
I count 44 datapoints in all measured over the forty five days shown. Pretty poor return I would say.

May 9, 2009 8:05 am

I spent a little time at Huffingtonpost yesterday talking with the biggest bunch of bleeding hearts you’ll ever encounter. This one guy, despite the fact that I showed him graphs and charts showing the ice was in fact still there, kept referring me to Disney’s ‘Earth’….because that’s how he knows the polar bears are endangered. ‘Oh, the children were crying’ he said. Oh the outrage. Seriously, that’s how they think.

May 9, 2009 8:07 am

Polar bears aren’t going to be doing much hunting on ice where they’re prey can’t get through. I would think that if we go into an extreme cold regime where you’re looking at thick multiyear ice their hunting range could become more limited rather than less.

Robert Kral
May 9, 2009 8:11 am

Check out the Northern Hemisphere Sea Ice Extent graph at Cryosphere Today.
Note that the slope of the decline curve (May to July, say) last year is twice as steep as the current decline slope. Can’t say whether this trend will hold, of course, but at the moment it certainly seems that we are headed for a less extensive melt than last year.

May 9, 2009 8:21 am

I would not cheer this, it is simple housekeeping in the Administration to make sure there is no cross-purpose regulations between agencies. The EPA is the Gestapo on GHG emissions and having to bring the DOI in is counter productive to the plan.
The environmental lobby will rattle some sabres, but will back off as to not hurt the chances of the EPA regulations. Speaking of which the clock is ticking on this front and the EPA regardless of public comments will rule that GHGs are a dangerous pollutant. The Obama administration has effectively doubled the EPA budget in 2010 to 13.8 Billion Dollars through the Stimulus and Budget, why would you need to do that if you had any intention of not regulating GHG? The regulations are being written in advance of the finding thanks to the extra 3.6 Billion (Operating budget was 7.2B at the EPA in 2008 Budget) given to the EPA in the Stimulus for 2009.
When in doubt about a Government Action follow the money.
Shameless self promotion bit at the end…;)
I am planning to be in Seattle on May 21st, as long as my work schedule will allow it, for the EPA Public Hearing (Seattle .. land of the 20c plastic bag and coffee cup tax, you think that was an accident?) and hope to blog it on my site.

May 9, 2009 8:46 am

The photo almost looks like a tongue-in-cheek Disney creation. See if you can see what I see, and I hope a cartoonist with ‘paint’ or some other program can embellish it, but the highest bear (at 9 O’clock) looks like it’s sitting on the head of a large-billed duck. The ice at 6 oclock looks like a Pirouetting pig, the ice at 3, looks like the back end of a dancing elephant, and the one at 12 looks like the back of a head of a dancing elephant.

May 9, 2009 8:47 am

Make that last one the side of the head of a dancing elephant.

Arn Riewe
May 9, 2009 8:48 am

Paul Coppin (03:47:50) :
““precarious state of the U.S. polar bear population”
I guess as a Canadian, I have to say “what U.S. polar bear population’?”
Great catch! I had overlooked that in the article. A little more evidence of the laziness of environmental reporters (read: advocates)
chris y (06:44:48) :
“Dr. Taylor and Dr. Dowsley published a nice overview of their opinion of the status of global polar bear populations and their alleged imminent extinction due to climate change.”
I’ve read this through recently. Well worth the time. The interesting part is that Dr. Taylor doesn’t try to fight the global warming theory, but uses the IPCC ice estimate for the analysis. Using AGW data, he still determines the polar bears are not in any forseeable danger of extinction.
Let’s see… Should I trust the PR efforts of WWF and Greenpeace or a researcher that has been studying polar bears for 30 years? Hmmm…

May 9, 2009 8:51 am

BarryW (08:07:43) :
Polar bears aren’t going to be doing much hunting on ice where they’re prey can’t get through. I would think that if we go into an extreme cold regime where you’re looking at thick multiyear ice their hunting range could become more limited rather than less.
Indeed, Barry; polar bears extinction is another irrefutable idea.

May 9, 2009 8:51 am

The Greenies might have their day in court, and might ‘somehow’ be tried before an activist judge. But the defining problem of our time is the relentless brainwashing by National Geographic, Discovery and the media at large. Huge chunks of the population, and most so, the young people, take it as read that any hint of extremity of hot, cold, dry or wet weather is a direct outcome of despicable manmade global warming. (Oops! Climate change). Probably earthquakes, volcanoes and tsunamis too. Those California fires–don’t even ask the question. Who needs to so much as enquire as to whose responsibility they might be?
What I don’t see is those people who are so uptight about electricity and oil refusing to have anything to do with electricity and oil. It would demonstrate considerably better sincerity if they were to permanently pull their main breakers and confine their transportation to the riding of bicycles while never forgetting to wear their CO2 absorption gear.
Thank you Anthony for working so tirelessly to restore a modicum of sanity to this twisted and beleagured planet. We all owe you a huge debt of gratitude!
Geoff Alder

Steven Hill
May 9, 2009 9:09 am

Once Obama puts in Cap and Tax and it’s gets colder and colder, we can have a Revolution and get rid of Washington forever.

May 9, 2009 9:21 am
Richard M
May 9, 2009 9:26 am

Maybe someone can help me understand something that has been bothering me for sometime. I know it’s a little OT.
Why don’t we have CO2 measuring capabilities at every NOAA weather site?
It seems to me we know from Beck’s work that local CO2 amounts vary significantly from location to location. This is even used by warmists to discredit Beck’s work. So, if there are local differences that can be up to thousands of PPM then it seems like that should also impact the local temperatures. It would also seem like forecasting weather would be severely hampered without CO2 monitoring since the effects of radiation are immediate.
Of course, if we had this capability then I can think of several ways to demonstrate the validity of the CO2 effects on temperature. So, why haven’t climate scientists been up in arms demanding that we have this data?
I realize that the satellite that was lost could have provided some of this information. And, other satellites are available. But it seems to me very local CO2 monitoring stations where the temp is monitored right next door would be invaluable to understanding AGW.
Why aren’t we putting the dollars budgeted for improved models into collecting this data. Can anyone tell me where I’m off base?

May 9, 2009 9:30 am

I have a question (maybe a bit off topic)
Will Cyrosphere Today never use/update the “Compare side-by-side images of Northern Hemisphere” tool again?
I found it quite interesting to compare the sea ice area from this date to another, previous date.

May 9, 2009 9:38 am

Re: Paul Coppin (03:47:50)
Come on now Paul, there are a few more than 6-12 polar bears in Alaska.
“Two populations of polar bears occur in Alaska: the Southern Beaufort Sea population which is shared with Canada and the Chukchi/Bering seas population which is shared with Russia. Based on recently conducted mark/recapture studies from 2001-2006, the Southern Beaufort Sea population has approximately 1500 bears and is currently thought to be declining. Although accurate estimates of the Chukchi/Bering seas population are unavailable, the best available information suggests that there may be about 2000 bears and that the population is declining. Sport hunting for polar bears, which was thought to be the primary reason for the decline in the Alaska populations prior to 1972, was stopped with the passage of the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972 (MMPA)”

Ron de Haan
May 9, 2009 10:07 am

Steven Hill (09:09:30) :
“Once Obama puts in Cap and Tax and it’s gets colder and colder, we can have a Revolution and get rid of Washington forever.”
Besides all the local State wide initiatives, Three serious threats remain:
1. Cap&Trade, as you just stated
2. Regulation via the Clean Air and Clean Water Act by EPA
3. Adaption of the already signed Montreal Treaty (Ozone)
There are people who would like the public to do something now.
Revolutions are too messy.

Paul Coppin
May 9, 2009 10:18 am

“Although accurate estimates of the Chukchi/Bering seas population are unavailable, the best available information suggests that there may be about 2000 bears and that the population is declining.”
Yup, I do like scientific non-sequitors 🙂 I’m holdin’ to 6 or 12. The rest are Canadian bears our Inuk sent over to help get the population going again….

Steven Hill
May 9, 2009 11:09 am

You can’t change Washington without revolution……those people have been up there for 30 and 40 years are totally controlled by greed. That’s why they want to ban guns in the US. The 2nd amendment was put in place for just such occasions, Jefferson knew this would happen in time.

Oh, Bother
May 9, 2009 11:15 am

MattE and Geoff Adler bring up some interesting points. Assume the science does prevail. Taxpayers the world over will find they have been swindled by the UN and their own governments. As Michael J. Bentley points out, these days most science is funded by the government and expected to produce a desired result. Most taxpayers don’t know that.
We non-scientists are dumb about these things. We respect scientists because they can do things we can’t do, and because we’ve been taught from childhood that scientists are noble, impartial searchers for truth. Once we find out how those smart, smart ‘scientists’ prostituted themselves to politicians and real scientists didn’t blow the whistle I believe many people will be unhappy. I suspect scientists in all fields, not just climate-related ones, will face neo-Luddite backlash. “Why the he!! should I believe you? Where were you during the Great AGW Swindle?”
MattE is right. It will be some time before most Americans regain any respect for science, real science. How can we non-scientists tell the difference?
Funding will be hard to get. I hope the backlash stops there.

May 9, 2009 11:32 am

John K Sutherland.
Hitting it a little early aren’t we?

D. King
May 9, 2009 12:17 pm

Gary Plyler (23:17:55) :
It truely is all about money, isn’t it. One of the provisions in the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming bill on Cap & Trade (Tax) is the right for organizations like WWF and others to sue CO2 emitters for “PROJECTED FUTURE HARMS” due to predicted global warming.
Gary you pegged it in the first post! It’s not about AGW and CO2 as a pollutant. It’s about the ability to sue the government with its endless pool of money. It’s about how laws are written and a complicit judiciary that help to facilitate the thievery. In California, the Department of Fish and Game have a 100 year old fish stocking program that has to now provide an environmental impact study. They were sewed, lost, and now, cannot stock many lakes and man-made reservoirs. Why the Fish and Game stocking program? Because it is funded by license fees. It is a pool of money that is not in the California general fund (state budget), We also have the Delta Smelt; it was used to cut off water to farmers that have been farming for three generations. Remember the Spotted Owl? The EPA is not an elected body, and are therefore not accountable to voters. This is why you’re seeing more and more states asserting “states rights”. I believe Cap and Trade has pushed people to the limit and the backlash is going to expose most of the corruption. The good thing is that we know who they are!

Bill P
May 9, 2009 12:47 pm

From today’s Non-Sequitur comic strip:
I don’t usually read comics other than Dilbert, but I have noticed how political the kiddie page is getting. Even when I agree with the message, I wonder what the take-away message is for kids. I was happy to see this one – til I showed it to my (generally-savvy) teenage daughter, who thought it a pitch for global warming.
Still, I’d have to say, the message is getting through, however subtly. If cartoonists are beginning to see the light, maybe in 20 years, the current generation will look back on the early decades of the 21st century with some sense of irony over what “they” believed.

Bill P
May 9, 2009 12:55 pm

Bill P (12:47:56) :
Re: today’s Non-Sequitur comic strip:
Did I misread it?

May 9, 2009 1:05 pm

Michael J. Bentley (06:53:45) :
Third paragraph, last line, beief should by belief (curse that sticky “L”!!)

Since you’re in correction mode, “loose” should be “lose” 😉

May 9, 2009 1:22 pm

What I don’t see is those people who are so uptight about electricity and oil refusing to have anything to do with electricity and oil. It would demonstrate considerably better sincerity if they were to permanently pull their main breakers and confine their transportation to the riding of bicycles while never forgetting to wear their CO2 absorption gear.

I keep making this point over and over and over whenever some troll shows up and tells us we’re all idiots, that AGW is a proven fact. I guess they bought a few CFL bulbs and feel all smug about themselves.

Michael J. Bentley
May 9, 2009 6:18 pm

Jeff Alberts,
Not enough coffee – thanks
Mike zzzzzzzzzzz

Ron de Haan
May 9, 2009 6:54 pm

These are the consequences when a judge decides in favor of an endangered species, this time a fish in California:

May 9, 2009 9:04 pm

The fun part of a trial would be in watching what actual science gets introduced as evidence. And if reality actually wins in court, even more entertainment could begin. A court ruling which involved the lack of global warming would be nice. I’d be tempted to buy a subscription to every newspaper that actually reported the result.

May 9, 2009 9:16 pm

I just hope everybody is clicking the “green” Ads by Google like I am. It is good indeed when I know they must pay, and for every cent that my energy bill increases I will click more, dump my cache and click again.
Reply: Please stop this kind of encouragement, any attempts to game the system could lead to a loss of the privilege. You don’t think this kind of behavior is easily detected? ~ charles the moderator

May 9, 2009 10:21 pm

Worthy of note, sorry charles.

May 10, 2009 6:47 am

Charles, Google Adsense is *not* a privilege. Blogger has run it on their system for ages and Google is aggressively pandering it out to whoever will accept it. Its simply another ad marketing scheme being used by Google to facilitate revenue flow. WordPress has simple signed on, and gets a piece of the action. It sounds to me like WP marketed it to Anthony as a big deal (and maybe they’re just starting to play with it). A big deal its not – its available to most bloggers if they want to open an account and put the code up. When users click, the ad circle is complete. The only time the system is gamed is when Anthony clicks, and he’ll be IP restricted as the account holder. Google uses the creativity of its users to facilitate a sales tool to advertizers, and may toss a small residual to the blogger. Although I’ve seen money come and go on the blog I put it up on, I’ve yet to see a cheque. Anthony should do better with his traffic, but only if people participate.
REPLY: Actually in this case, Adsense is a priviledge, only the VIP hosted blogs on are allowed to have it. They run about $500 per month to operate. So I’m getting the opportunity to earn something, without the base cost. – Anthony

Ron de Haan
May 10, 2009 12:19 pm

Global Warming won’t lead to Cap & Trade either, anyhow that’s what it looks like:
Is Cap & Trade Dead?
May 10, 2009
Is Cap-and-Tax-and-Redistribute dead?
“Democratic dissention, Republican opposition and growing public skepticism may derail Congress’ potentially economy-crippling carbon cap-and-trade bill, perhaps saving Americans billions [TRILLIONS] of dollars.
The bill’s author, Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Los Angeles, is opposed by centrist Democrats, who fear the Draconian regulations would severely harm their constituents. Congress members representing the steel industry and coal and nuclear power generators oppose the 648-page American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009, authored by Rep. Waxman and Rep. Edward Markey, D-Mass.
Meanwhile, Republicans cite studies showing the bill would increase a typical family’s energy prices at least $3,100 a year, and over 20 years result in 7 million lost jobs and $7 trillion in reduced economic output. Republicans say the legislation is essentially a “tax bill,” and plan alternative legislation to create incentives for “clean” coal and more nuclear energy. …
Growing skepticism over the approach – and even the need – to fight global warming by curbing greenhouse gas emissions isn’t limited to Capitol Hill. An artificial market in government-mandated carbon credits would be “monstrously stupid to do right now,” Berkshire Hathaway Inc. CEO Charlie Munger told CNBC, adding that the move is “almost demented” considering other nations’ intention to continue industrial development, emitting vast amounts of greenhouse gases.
Public sentiment is at a new low, too, says pollster Zogby International. Only 30 percent of Americans support cap-and-trade, and 57 percent oppose it. A Pew Research poll of voter priorities ranked global warming dead last behind the economy and 18 other areas. …
In addition, a recent study by the National Center for Climate Research shows that if fully implemented, the Waxman-Markey bill would produce global temperature “savings” of only 0.05 degree centigrade over 50 years [calculated assuming AGW theory, which is bogus]. Even James Hansen, the NASA scientist and perhaps most ardent proponent of manmade global warming as a threat, urges the bill’s defeat, saying it would be ineffective in reducing greenhouse gases.
Even the premise for curbing greenhouse gases is flawed. There has been no cause-and-effect relationship convincingly established between rising carbon emissions and higher temperatures. Indeed, temperatures have leveled off or declined since 1998 while CO2 emissions have skyrocketed, the opposite of the global warming theory.
Considering its questionable assumptions, economic costs and hardships, this bill promises a paltry return on investment. One might say it’s “almost demented.”

Ray B
May 10, 2009 9:18 pm

The green meanies plan to sue. That is nothing new, that is what they do over virtually every park and forest plan, power plant, refinery, dam, and other energy sources. They get even a minor ruling in the suit to go their way and the govt pays them jacked up lawyer fees. It has been going on for years. The last time that I checked, the Sierra Club made something like 130 million a year, but owned only nominal land. The rest went to lawyers suing the government (you and I) and million dollar salaries. They could buy and ‘save’ 40,000 acres every year, but feel that the lawyers are a better investment. It is not about the environment, that is just an excuse.
Getting the EPA to list the polar bears as endangered was supposed to be the environmental lawyer full employment and enrichment act of 2006. They were honked when they could only get endangered status, and then hit right in the wallet when Bush stopped the CO2 related suits. Of course they are going to sue. This was supposed to be their meal ticket for the next few decades. This would open the door to sue the evil oil cos, the evil industries, the evil utilities, the evil car companies, the government, and evil capitalists all over the planet. (Whistling, “We’re in the money..”)
Someone above mentioned the relentless brainwashing by Nova, Discovery, Nat Geo, et al.. That is something that anti-AGW theory folks and political conservatives are way behind on. The ovine population believes their telescreen and their teachers at school. As a result the next generation thinks that capitalism is bad, socialism is good, and buying a Prius will save the world.
By my bar bet record, only about 1 in 10 have heard of the federalist papers, but almost all of the other 9 have been green washed and strongly believe that green socialism holds a bright future for the USA. Since the left and green own academia and the media outright we are pretty much fighting an uphill battle trying to bring some sanity to these issues.

Steven Hill
May 12, 2009 2:11 pm

No new lawyers needed for 50 years, close the Universities.

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