G. P. Bear goes to Washington: part 2

By Bill Steigerwald

“Junior gets brainwashed”

Of all the animals the Inuit traditionally hunted, Nanuk, the polar bear, was the most prized. Native hunters considered Nanuk to be wise, powerful, and “almost a man.” Some called the bear “the great lonely roamer.” Many tribes told legends of strange polar-bear men that lived in igloos. These bears walked upright, just like men, and were able to talk. Natives believed they shed their skins in the privacy of their homes.

– Polar Bears International

TASIILAQ, EAST GREENLAND

“Guess what I learned today?” Junior asked as he came running in from school.

“I can’t imagine,” Grandpa mumbled.

“Shush, Dad,” said Mother. “What did you learn, Junior?”

“I learned all about ‘global melting,’ ” Junior began breathlessly. “The whole world is getting hotter because humans drive too many cars. The sea ice is going to go away forever and — ”

“Whoa!” interrupted Grandpa. “Who taught you that stuff? Rosie O’Donnell?”

“No,” said Junior. “Principal Hansen. She came to homeroom today. Her big computer says Earth is getting hotter and hotter and Greenland is melting really, really fast. All the ice will be gone when I get as old as you.”

“That’s preposterous,” Grandpa said.

“Principal Hansen said the oceans will get taller and taller,” Junior said with a worried look on his face. “Principal Hansen said polar bears and lots of other animals will get ‘stinkt if humans keep burning stuff like coal. It’s really scary, Grandpa.”

“Principal Hansen’s even crazier than Al Gore,” Grandpa said to Mother so Junior couldn’t hear. “Didn’t I tell you that boy should have been home-schooled?”

Later that same night, after midnight, Grandpa was at his desk sending his usual round of disparaging e-mails to the politicians in Washington when Junior’s cry pierced the stillness.

“Grandpa!” Junior wailed. “Help me. I’m burning!”

Grandpa and Mother raced to Junior’s bedside. Junior was crying in his sleep. “Help me, Grandpa,” he pleaded mournfully. “I’m too young to melt.”

“Junior, wake up,” Grandpa said, shaking him. “You’re dreaming.”

Junior’s eyes popped open. “Grandpa! Mother! The ice was all gone! We were stuck on a tiny iceberg. The ocean was boiling!”

“It was just a silly nightmare, Junior,” soothed Mother. “The ice isn’t melting. See?” she said, patting the rock-hard wall of their cave.

Grandpa was fuming. He gritted his big teeth and looked Junior straight in his teary eyes.

“Boy,” he said firmly, “I’m going to tell you something I want you to remember for the rest of your life. We are polar bears. We are the largest land carnivores on Earth. We are the species ursus maritimus – ‘bears of the sea.’ We can swim 200 miles. We can walk 100 miles a day.

“We learned how to live on this frozen wasteland at the top of the world thousands of years before humans discovered fire. There are 25,000 of us alive today – twice as many as 50 years ago. We are not going to become extinct – no matter what Principal Hansen and her computers say. Now go to sleep – and no more silly nightmares.”

“That was no nightmare,” Grandpa whispered angrily to Mother. “That boy’s being brainwashed by a bunch of kooks.”

“That’s all the schools teach,” said Mother. “It’s like a new religion. Every cub I know thinks the ice will be gone before they grow up. All the mothers are complaining.”

Grandpa was fuming. “Polar bears having nightmares,” he snarled. “That’s pathetic. It’s time somebody stood up to lunatics like Hansen and their doomsday stories.”

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71 thoughts on “G. P. Bear goes to Washington: part 2

  1. Hi WWUT,
    I found a graph published by NSIDC which I found to look strange. I have looked at other Arctic and Antarctic sea ice data and even downloaded data.
    The averages in this graph don’t look right to me.
    http://nsidc.org/images/arcticseaicenews/20091207_Figure3.png
    Here is the global ice chart I got from Cryosphere, which seems to give another impression:
    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/global.daily.ice.area.withtrend.jpg
    Maybe it is just the scale of the thing.
    I downloaded the data and found that the standard deviation of all sea ice extent from 1979 to be 2.6 million sq km. Three standard deviations equals 8.9 million sq km of ice. So in my mind (only having taken one course in stats) is that to be statiscally significant, there would have to be a variation from the mean of at least 8.9 million sq km of ice.
    Help.

  2. Here’s a creepy cartoon from the Guardian:
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/theobserver/cartoon/2009/dec/20/climate-change-cartoon-chris-riddell
    Here’s a gushing review of James Hansen’s new book, “Storms of My Grandchildren: The Truth About the Coming Climate Catastrophe and Our Last Chance to Save Humanity” in the LA Times:
    http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/news/la-ca-james-hansen27-2009dec27,0,5460299.story
    And here’s the WUWT thread on the recent Build-A-Bear propaganda videos:
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/12/23/unbearable-global-warming-threatens-the-north-pole-christmas/
    The Warmists’ use and manipulation of children to propagate the catastrophic anthropogenic global warming narrative makes my skin crawl…

  3. Thumbnail (20:49:09) :
    Hi WWUT,
    I found a graph published by NSIDC which I found to look strange. I have looked at other Arctic and Antarctic sea ice data and even downloaded data.
    The averages in this graph don’t look right to me.
    http://nsidc.org/images/arcticseaicenews/20091207_Figure3.png
    Here is the global ice chart I got from Cryosphere, which seems to give another impression:
    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/global.daily.ice.area.withtrend.jpg
    Maybe it is just the scale of the thing.
    I downloaded the data and found that the standard deviation of all sea ice extent from 1979 to be 2.6 million sq km. Three standard deviations equals 8.9 million sq km of ice. So in my mind (only having taken one course in stats) is that to be statiscally significant, there would have to be a variation from the mean of at least 8.9 million sq km of ice.
    Help.

    Not sure about the stats, but the first graph is from the Arctic sea ice extent, and the second from the Antarctic. The Antarctic is cooling and gaining ice (despite what you may be told from time-to-time). When added to the Arctic ice, there is no overall global trend at all.
    The first graph looks scary until you consider the ‘hidden’ part of the graph from 0 to 9. So the bit that has been lost is one sixth (2/12) of the whole at the maximum loss. It is gaining since 2007 (not quite sure about that 2009 plot?).
    Interestingly it does not follow the ‘global warming trend’ as that has not been up for the last 15 years (see previous post). It could possibly be a delayed effect, however, although the oceans seem to be cooling right now.
    In any case, it is only 1/6th down at the absolute worst extent and is recovering nicely, so we don’t need to panic just yet.

  4. Try this one on the school staff. You have 2,500 cups of tea (coffee whatever) prepared for the coming meeting. The cups arranged in fifty rows, fifty deep. Your job is to keep them warm. You are only allowed to heat up one cup. You then share that heat with the other 2,499. You can heat up that one cup as many times as you want, just don’t let the tea go cold. Go for it!

  5. About 2/3rds of the Continental United States was covered with snow for Christmas this year of 2009. I will be 74 years old in a few days, and remember most of those years quite well. I have never seen so much of the US covered in snow at Christmas in my entire life. No where near so much. “Baby, it’s cold outside”.

  6. Thumbnail: The problem is that the warmists are like people who believe in ghosts, a creak on the stirs is a manifestation of the ghostly presence rather than the natural movements of the house. Take a look at these:
    “It will without doubt have come to your Lordship’s knowledge that a considerable change of climate, inexplicable at present to us, must have taken place in the Circumpolar Regions, by which the severity of the cold that has for centuries past enclosed the seas in the high northern latitudes in an impenetrable barrier of ice has been during the last two years, greatly abated….
    ….. this affords ample proof that new sources of warmth have been opened and give us leave to hope that the Arctic Seas may at this time be more accessible than they have been for centuries past, and that discoveries may now be made in them not only interesting to the advancement of science but also to the future intercourse of mankind and the commerce of distant nations.” A request was made for the Royal Society to assemble an expedition to go and investigate.
    President of the Royal Society, London, to the Admiralty, 20th November, 1817, Minutes of Council, Volume 8. pp.149-153, Royal Society, London. 20th November, 1817.(from) http://www.john-daly.com/polar/arctic.htm
    “The arctic ocean is warming up, icebergs are growing scarcer and in some places the seals are finding the water too hot. Reports all point to a radical change in climate conditions and hitherto unheard-of temperatures in the arctic zone. Expeditions report that scarcely any ice has been met with as far north as 81 degrees 29 minutes. Great masses of ice have been replaced by moraines of earth and stones, while at many points well known glaciers have entirely disappeared.”
    —US WEATHER BUREAU, 1922

  7. New Scientist has done an article on climategate. I reckon Jones Mann ect will not be ble to employed in any decent university after this…. They (NS) seem to distancing themselves from the UEA crowd

  8. Darrell (21:01:09) :
    Cute, but no less an appeal to emotion than the Build-a-Bear cartoons
    The Polar Bear series here is intended for adults, not children. The emotion appealed to is adult humor. It states some well known facts. Do they frighten you?

  9. Thumbnail (20:49:09) :
    Hi WWUT,
    I found a graph published by NSIDC which I found to look strange. I have looked at other Arctic and Antarctic sea ice data and even downloaded data.
    The averages in this graph don’t look right to me.
    http://nsidc.org/images/arcticseaicenews/20091207_Figure3.png
    Here is the global ice chart I got from Cryosphere, which seems to give another impression:
    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/global.daily.ice.area.withtrend.jpg
    Maybe it is just the scale of the thing.
    I downloaded the data and found that the standard deviation of all sea ice extent from 1979 to be 2.6 million sq km. Three standard deviations equals 8.9 million sq km of ice. So in my mind (only having taken one course in stats) is that to be statiscally significant, there would have to be a variation from the mean of at least 8.9 million sq km of ice.
    Help.

    I read in a piece by Dr. Ole Humlum of Svalbard (www.unis.no) that although global temps. peaked in the mid-1930’s, the arctic temps peaked in the early ’40’s. If this is correct, then maybe the same thing is happening again.
    ————
    The Poe-faced warmagists can’t stand the humour, so bring it on!

  10. This GP Bear stuff may be funny, but, really, it’s in the same camp as the Coke/Pepse/UK TV ads propaganda. And all the worse for being aimed at children.
    Cut it out, Anthony.

  11. They are indeed preying on children by pumping them full of horror stories and plain old superstitions. Reads much like a modern-day Grimm’s Fairy Tales.
    Yes Billy, there are monsters in the dark, only they live in darkened minds, not closets.

  12. New Scientist, in this article, appears to be shifting its position and is now supportive of openness, the artlce also links the hocky stick directly to the Briffa data and CRU, its encouraging.
    When New Scientist contacted Jones about the data wars in July this year, he said: “McIntyre has no interest in deriving his own global temperature series. He just wants to pick holes in those that do. I’m getting pretty fed up with this. It is just time-wasting.”
    (NO jones was aware that the only data set that mattered to the IPCC was his and if that were to be proven fraudulent his carreer would be finished, its nothing to do with confidentiality agreements)
    http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20427393.600-battle-for-climate-data-approaches-tipping-point.html

  13. the stupidity training starts real young with the collection of tabs from soda cans. the lesson to be learned is that your time is worth nothing and if enough people get together and do something very stupid together, then it isn’t stupid anymore, because everyone is doing it.

  14. P. Olson (02:46:07) :
    This series is very…um… (YAWN…) …Ineffective? Condescending…? I’ve got it: Fatuous.

    Yous missed one – WRONG
    http://www.polarbearsinternational.org/
    Polar bears walk on average at a speed of 5-6km/hr
    assume 24 hours and 6 km/hr
    = 144km/day = 89.5 miles
    Swim 200 miles??
    “They have been known to swim more than 60 miles without a rest and have been clocked swimming as fast as six miles per hour.”
    Can polar bears swim at max speed for 33 hours ??

  15. Thumbnail (20:49:09) :
    Hi WWUT,
    I found a graph published by NSIDC which I found to look strange. I have looked at other Arctic and Antarctic sea ice data and even downloaded data.
    The averages in this graph don’t look right to me.
    http://nsidc.org/images/arcticseaicenews/20091207_Figure3.png
    Here is the global ice chart I got from Cryosphere, which seems to give another impression:
    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/global.daily.ice.area.withtrend.jpg
    Maybe it is just the scale of the thing.
    I downloaded the data and found that the standard deviation of all sea ice extent from 1979 to be 2.6 million sq km. Three standard deviations equals 8.9 million sq km of ice. So in my mind (only having taken one course in stats) is that to be statiscally significant, there would have to be a variation from the mean of at least 8.9 million sq km of ice.
    Help.

    I could be completely wrong, but:
    The graph covers 30 years and there are 30 data points shown in it, one per year. Still, it claims to be representing *montly* sea ice extent. How can that be?
    It says “November 1979 to 2009”. Is it November data only from each year?

  16. Having a daughter which is a helicopter pilot, until last year working at the North Slope (Alaska), she told us that her colleagues traced a polar bear, swimming 300 miles (500 km) from the sea ice to the mainland… Not a big problem for it. They had a lot of work to keep the bears away from the worker’s settlements (especially the waste dumps), as there are an increasing number of bears, all looking for (easy) food…

  17. http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200508/s1436787.htm
    Last Updated:Saturday, August 13, 2005. 0:07am (AEST)
    Polar bear makes 74 km Arctic swim
    A polar bear has been tracked swimming 74 kilometres [46.0 miles] in one day.
    Scientists have tracked a tagged polar bear swimming at least 74 kilometres in just one day – and maybe up to 100 kilometres [62.1 miles]- providing the first conclusive proof the bears can cover such giant distances in the water.
    Bears often roam thousands of kilometres in a year in search of prey such as seals and there has often been anecdotal evidence of prodigious ursine swims, with bears turning up on remote islands or across wide bays.
    Previously there had been doubts about whether the bears had walked over ice part of the way or hitched a ride on an iceberg.
    “What’s new this time is that we have data showing how long the bear was in the water,” Jon Aars, a researcher at the Norwegian Polar Institute, said on Friday.
    “This is the first time that such a long swim has been documented by satellite telemetry for polar bears,” the institute added.

  18. Robuk (03:28:46) :
    (NO jones was aware that the only data set that mattered to the IPCC was his and if that were to be proven fraudulent his carreer would be finished, its nothing to do with confidentiality agreements)

    Jones’ career isn’t really finished, it has just reached its tipping point.

  19. Ferdinand Engelbeen (05:47:14) :
    her colleagues traced a polar bear, swimming 300 miles (500 km) from the sea ice to the mainland… Not a big problem for it.

    Do you really believe this?
    swimming at 6km/hour [4mph] (Not a bad speed for a fur ball) this will take the bear 300/3.73 hours = 80 hours = 3.4 days continuous swimming at max speed (can bears sleep whilst swimming?)
    If it managed this distance it has to have used most of its energy reserves and be near starvation. A swim of desperation not migration

  20. Not cute.
    Actually, if you are going to appropriate indigenous culture, you should do so in the language spoken – which in this case is Inuktitut. Otherwise, in Greenland, most Inuit also speak Danish. English is increasingly spoken by the younger generation, but not by those over 50. And if people call a government official outside of Nuuk – they call Copenhagen – not Washington – since Greenland, Kalaallit Nunaat, is a autonomous region of Denmark.
    Rather than putting words into the mouths of indigenous peoples – a rather impolitic thing to do – why not have someone who is Inuit do the speaking? For example, Kuupik Kleist, the Greenlandic Prime Minister, who is leader of the Inuit Ataqatigiit Party which won the 2009 elections.
    “For Greenland climate change also offer new opportunities in terms of tapping the natural wealth of our country. Less ice means easier access to the sustainable harvesting of oil, gas and minerals. The ice-melt will also provide huge hydro-power resources, giving us a unique opportunity to establish energy-intensive industries based on clean, renewable energy. All of which will be vital in securing our economic self-sufficiency.”
    “Climate change is a very real threat for traditional hunting – especially of marine mammals that are so important for our food security and nutritional well-being. Hunters, on both the East coast and in the North, report of unsafe sea ice and changes in animal populations, making it ever more difficult to hunt. But climate change also presents new exciting prospects. Agriculture in South Greenland is one such example. Warmer and longer summers enable farmers to cultivate more land, harvest better yields and introduce new types of crop.”
    http://74.125.47.132/search?q=cache:lLPxnhGIayUJ:uk.nanoq.gl/Emner/News/News_from_Government/2009/12/speech_by_kuupik.aspx+%22kuupik+kleist%22%22global+warming%22&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us&client=firefox-a
    So Greenland’s elected leader sees both opportunities and hardships due to global warming – a considerably more nuanced position. And one that does not appropriate traditional culture for political ends.

  21. I have a little nightmare of my own. Several months ago I was in the Home Depot and a father and daughter were buying light bulbs. The little girl, maybe 8 or 9, turned to the dad and said buy these (pointing to CF bulbs) it will save the trees. The dad replied ‘I don’t like those.’ The girls nagged some more. When I had heard all I could stand I butted in. I turned to the young girl and said, ‘those bulbs have poison in them. Heavy metal, Mercury.’ The girls looked at me as if I had crushed her dreams. I didn’t stop. I then picked up a package and flipped it over, ‘See look at this big warning label, Contains Mercury. If this gets in your brain it doesn’t come out. It stays in your fatty tissue forever. It will eat at your brain like a virus. If this gets in the water, everyone gets it.’ The girl stood there dumb founded. I popped her bubble. The dad is grinning from ear to ear. He leaned over to me and whispered ‘Thanks.’ I then said all you have to have is the truth and the truth is more important than someone’s silly notion of global warming.

  22. “Mike (07:27:21) :
    […] The little girl, maybe 8 or 9, turned to the dad and said buy these (pointing to CF bulbs) it will save the trees. […]”
    You could just as well have said “It doesn’t cause enough CO2 emissions. The trees would become very hungry.”. (Which is way oversimplified. But trees do eat that.)

  23. I remember an ABC radio news report from a Greenpeace trip to the Arctic where they were ~ “surpised to find so much open water.” They also claimed a Polar Bear passed by right next to them as they camped on ice “as though to say, ‘thank you’.”
    Anyone believing this kind of claim’s interpretation needs to get serious, at least for once in their life. They might even find that they prefer it.

  24. And this little story is better than AGW hype? You may have trumped the “hide the decline” trick. For shame.

  25. tfp formerly bill (06:38:44) :
    That polar bears could swim long distances, was known already, and as the message after mine told, they can do 75-100 km a day. Nowadays several of them are tagged (a quite dangerous task, where polar bears are shot asleep, but may be faster awake than expected).
    But there are more stories like the one I told. Here one of a bear swimming from Greenland to Iceland (some 200 miles/320 km shortest distance) or even from the more distant polar ice:
    http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2028001/posts
    I suppose that the 500 km one is an exception, as most polar bears don’t wait that long to swim back to the mainland when the ice is melting, but some stay on the ice all summer, going northwards together with the receding ice and the fish/seals which follow the ice edge. And I am sure that this will cost them a lot of their fat reserves, which are hardly compensated with berries on the mainland, or by sleeping to reduce energy use…
    It seems that the main problem for polar bears for the moment is that there are too many for the number of seals available, and that the shorter hunt season is a problem too. But they survived the previous interglaciation with average North Slope temperatures of 5 C higher than today and no sea ice in summer at all…

  26. I can’t find any “Endangered Species” list that includes polar bears. We do know that as the earth’s temperature has risen, polar bear population has increased. So the evidence suggests that if something is ailing the polar bears, global warming is the cure.

  27. In San Francisco Bay Area, the ‘Air Management Quality Board’ made Christmas Day
    a ‘Spare The Air Day’ although there was plenty of blue sky. They just did not want
    families to have word burning fireplace fires. There was very little haze but the KCBS
    news station was happy to tout this outrage.
    I’ve decided to call this new ideology ‘Ecoism.’ Rather than dredge up some old ‘ism’
    from the dustbin of history and have people become outraged.
    The perpetrators and cult believers can be called ‘ecotists.’
    I wish some group could file a lawsuit to have the air quality board produce the reasoning and math behind this nonsense.
    Happy New Year!

  28. tfp formerly bill (11:57:57) :
    Can you give me another reference please? Wikipedia has become somewhat discredited of late, especially in matters relating to the climate.

  29. tfp formerly bill (11:57:57) :
    Mike (07:27:21) :
    I’m afraid you lied to the child, especially if you live in the coal powered USA
    Your standard filament bulb causes the release of 5.8mg of mecury into the environment
    a CFL releases 1 to 5mg Hg and causes to be released 1.2mg Hg
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Mercury_emissions_by_light_source_EPA_2008

    Anytime you want the pure, unembellished facts, just go Wikipedia, especially if the topic is something controversial like global warming. NPOV rules at Wiki!
    /sarc off

  30. Even if the children are being brainwashed about AGW (and I don’t know either way on that), children have a way of growing up. And finding their own truth. Testing authority – or rejecting it.
    Enough of them will soon find that they have been lied to, much as my generation was lied to by our US government in the 1960’s. The results then were (almost) revolutionary. It should be fun to watch what the current group of teens and 20-somethings do as they find they’ve been lied to. They have the internet with which to communicate. All we had was tv, our songs, and “happenings.”
    Below are some questions that teens and 20-somethings should be asked to get them thinking:
    — When CO2 was much higher in the past compared to today, why did ice ages occur? Why didn’t the earth have hotter summers and melting polar ice caps with much higher CO2?
    — What caused the ice ages to end, was it CO2?
    — How did the recently-discovered ancient hunter get beneath a glacier in the Alps, especially since he was mortally wounded with an arrow? Did he dig a hole through the glacier to die under there?
    — Since any gas (like CO2) absorbs radiation energy (like heat from the earth) such that each doubling of the gas absorbs less and less than the previous amount, why should anyone be concerned about an increase from 380 ppm to 760 ppm (a doubling)?
    — The Roman warm period, and the Medieval warm period were both much warmer than today, so how did Polar bears survive those warm periods? PETA and WWF were not around back then.
    — Why is the sea level decreasing off the coast of California?
    — Why are sunspots so very critical to earth’s average climate? Why were there so few sunspots during both the recent cold events (Maunder and Dalton)? Why were there so many sunspots during the 1980’s and 1990’s?
    — Why do climate scientists (Mann, Hansen, and others) hide their data for years, and never reveal their calculation methods? What are they hiding?
    — Why is the Main Stream Media so silent on Chiefio’s blog results, the March of the Thermometers? see http://chiefio.wordpress.com
    — Why do thousands of scientists say (signed their names) that man-made global warming is junk science?
    — Why do process control engineers know that increasing CO2 above 350 ppm cannot possibly have any role in changing earth’s climate?
    — If the science is settled, why are governments funding additional research in the billions of dollars per year?
    — And this one just to get them thinking about the entire Environmental Doom: if the oceans are so fragile and vulnerable to oil spills, how did the oceans manage after all the millions of barrels of oil were spilled in World War II attacks on oil tankers? Hundreds of tankers were sunk, and many hundreds more of other oil-fueled ships went to the bottom, leaking oil from their fuel tanks.

  31. Here is the quote from Polar Bears International that is used as the epigraph of this fable:

    “Many tribes told legends of strange polar-bear men that lived in igloos. These bears walked upright, just like men, and were able to talk.”

    This was obviously used as a mere “peg,” segue, or jumping-off point to get readers to suspend disbelief in the concept of talking polar bears, not as an appropriation of indigenous culture. The fable could do fine without such a link to the native legend. It’s peripheral. But John Egan takes it as though it were central and takes offense:

    Not cute. Actually, if you are going to appropriate indigenous culture, you should do so in the language spoken – which in this case is Inuktitut.

    Huh? Polar bears speak a human language? Why would they? In most (all?) native legends I’ve heard of, animals have their own language.

    Rather than putting words into the mouths of indigenous peoples – a rather impolitic thing to do – why not have someone who is Inuit do the speaking?

    Huh? Polar bears are an indigenous people?

  32. Robuk (03:28:46) :
    The article states that CRU/Hadley claim” “Much data remains under lock and key. It is tied up in confidentiality agreements with the governments that provided it. ”
    Does anyone know exactly which governments’ data is “tied up in confidentiality agreements” ??

  33. My earlier comment notwithstanding (you know – ‘fatuous’), I need to balance it by saying how much I appreciate this site, Anthony. I have been a long-time reader, almost daily. It is a haven of honesty and common sense in what feels to me like a world gone mad. I think the reason for my earlier comment was that this little series seems so out of place, and counterproductive. I cringe when I imagine critics quoting or linking to it as exemplary of this site. As a fully-fledged member of the choir, I don’t need convincing, and I can’t at all imagine someone who is not skeptical being swayed to another viewpoint by it.

  34. DirkH (09:24:17) :
    You could just as well have said “It doesn’t cause enough CO2 emissions. The trees would become very hungry.”. (Which is way oversimplified. But trees do eat that.)
    It is not oversimplified at all. CO2 is plants’ (apart from a few carnivorous ones) only source of carbon which is used to make carbohydrates and then proteins. That is ‘food’. No other source at all. Water and a few trace compounds are needed, and sunlight to do the conversion, but CO2 is the only ‘food’ they eat.
    Since all animals eat plants or other animals that have eaten plants, CO2 is the source of all food. That’s the Carbon Cycle, without which all life as we know it dies, and CO2 is central to it. Bring it on, I say…..

  35. Bart Nielsen (14:50:21) :
    tfp formerly bill (11:57:57) :
    Mike (07:27:21) :
    I’m afraid you lied to the child, especially if you live in the coal powered USA
    Your standard filament bulb causes the release of 5.8mg of mecury into the environment
    a CFL releases 1 to 5mg Hg and causes to be released 1.2mg Hg
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Mercury_emissions_by_light_source_EPA_2008
    Anytime you want the pure, unembellished facts, just go Wikipedia, especially if the topic is something controversial like global warming. NPOV rules at Wiki!
    /sarc off
    Lets drop the sarcasm, interact like adults for once, and do a little research before [snip]
    If you powered a standard incandescent light bulb with electricity produced by a coal-based power plant for 5 years, the power plant would release 10 mg of mercury into the environment. Now, power a CFL for 5 years, and because of its far lower energy consumption the power plant would only be releasing 2.4 mg of Mercury into the environment. Add that to the 4 mg of mercury that is found within the CFL, and you still get only 6.4 mg of Mercury, significantly less that the 10mg released by the operation of the incandescent bulb. Also, if you recycle your CFL properly (currently only required for large industrial operations, but available in several progressive areas, including, for example, Seattle) that 4 mg of Mercury is recovered, leaving only the 2.4 mg of emissions from the powerplant.
    Obviously, these numbers are different if you live in an area that doesn’t use coal power. At this time 44.2% of all electricity in the U.S. is generated by coal plants, comparable with the UK.
    So, Mercury is bad. But 2.4 mg is less than 1% that in a mercury thermometer, and less than .1% that in a thermostat. 10 mg is obviously a lot more. But, all of this hinges on whether your electricitiy is coming from coal. If it is, you’re better off with a CFL if cost of your electricity and minimizing mercury in the environment are your concerns. If your local electrcitiy come from a different source, educate yourself. Maybe you’re better off with the incandescent!
    But for goodness sake, don’t go traumatizing some poor little child if you don’t know what you’re talking about.
    EPA fact sheet on Mercury in lightbulbs: http://www.gelighting.com/na/home_lighting/ask_us/downloads/MercuryInCFLs.pdf
    Facts about coal use in the UK: http://www.eia.doe.gov/cabs/United_Kingdom/Electricity.html
    Facts about coal use in the US: http://www.eia.doe.gov/cneaf/electricity/epm/epm_sum.html

  36. <Now, power a CFL for 5 years, and because of its far lower energy consumption the power plant would only be releasing 2.4 mg of Mercury into the environment.
    Anyone had a CFL last 5 years?

  37. http://www.energy.gs/2007/05/cfl-mercury-myths.html
    One study looking at long tubular fluorescent bulbs found that over a two week period, only 17 to 40 percent of the mercury in the bulb evaporated. The rest remained stuck in the bulb. Roughly one-third of the mercury that evaporated did so in the first eight hours after the breakage; the rest seeped out slowly over the remainder of the study period.
    The mercury in a CFL can however be reclaimed and reused through the process of recycling. Collected bulbs are crushed in a machine that uses negative pressure ventilation and a mercury absorbing filter. Therefore if you use a CFL with renewable energy and recycle it, the mercury emmission level is actually negated completely.
    Mercury emissions from power plants get into rain clouds and come down in lakes and rivers, poisoning fish and the people who eat them, which has been the contributing factor the recent new recommendations from Health Canada for fish consumption. Coal-fired power plants in the US are the largest source of mercury emissions, spewing 50 tons a year into the air, about 40 percent of the total US mercury emissions. By installing CFL bulbs, you should reduce you mercury emissions from electricity by 14%. If the USA as a nation completely installed CFLs, this should lead to a 7 tonne reduction of mercury emissions per year. Each CFL should last 5 years on average. So that would equate to 35 tonnes of mercury emissions avoided, it would take 8.75 billion CFLs being disposed to landfill to equal the US mercury savings over the same time frame or 30 per US citizen, an almost impossible feat to achieve even with serious neglect.
    In the European Union, CFL lamps are one of many products subject to the WEEE recycling scheme. The retail price includes an amount to pay for recycling, and manufacturers and importers have an obligation to collect and recycle CFL lamps. You should contact your local authority for information on how to recycle bulbs in your area

  38. My experience with CFL lamps is that roughly one quarter of new lamps operated 8 hours continuously per day failed after an average of 1000 hours.The remainder of the original group lasted in excess of 4000 hours operated in the same fashion without failure. More frequent on /off cycles as found in a home environment tend to shorten the life of the lamps. Also, the extra energy involved in manufacture/ recycling of a more complex product is often not accounted for in comparisons. In any event I’ve yet to achieve more than three years service with fluoresants.

  39. I ahve replaced a few bulbs with CFL’s and found they are not as bright when compared to an incadescent bulb. So what what it last a little longer and uses less slightly less energy. I like my light to be bright and cheery, with an CFL I always get a headach because of the loss of light brightness. With the regular bulbs not so much, did I mention they are cheaper than CFL’s and you get 4-6 of them in a package for a couple of bucks. A package of two CFL’s equivalent to 60W bulbs costed me $20.00. The supposed savings in electricity is only about $10 for the life of the bulb. $20-$10 does not equal $2 the price paid for 4 bulbs. So what is the benefit to me for buying CFL’s? HHHmm, 1) HEadaches 2) losing $8 3) Greater loss of brightness after just the few first hours of use. 4) increased risk to cancer and poisoning by breakage of bulb due to floor lamps being knocked over and dropped from replacing high ceiling bulbs with one of those long pole bulb changers.

  40. As to Bears being conceived as a variety of human and also as actors in Indian mythology and renditions of events, or as a kind of peripheral teaching method “about things”, I’ve read a fair amount of traditional Indian “stories” and the Bear often plays a big role, as though it is human. These stories are very interesting. What got me started was reading about the Nez Perce, Nimi-i-pu, “the real people”, of Chief Young Joseph’s Band who inhabited the area where I live. It quickly became apparent to me that they were much smarter than the Whites they had to deal with.
    Also, a Bear foot print really can strongly resemble that of a human, as I first became aware of when I encountered such a set of prints on some snow a couple of miles up a trail, where certainly no one would be going barefoot. I knew they couldn’t be human, but they looked human. No claw marks were present in those prints. I was pretty well amazed.

  41. I agree with your arguments about CFLs not lasting 5 years. But notice that I said if you operated a CFL for 5 years vs. if you operated an incandescent bulb for 5 years. I was just using the numbers provided in the studies I dug up, but I agree, that neither is going to last 5 years. But if you drop it down to, oh lets say 2.5 years just for ease of doing the math in my head, then the incandescent bulb is going to produce 5 mg of mercury output from the plant, and the CFL is only going to produce 1.2 mg of mercury output from the plant. The benefit to the CFL is then obviously negated if the CFL breaks or is not disposed of properly, as it would then add an additional 4 mg of Mercury to the environment, but if recycled, the CFL is still preferable, even using a shorter given lifespan for the bulb.
    I also agree that CFLs that are 15w bulbs and claim to be as bright as 60w are often not bright enough for me (or 12 w that claim to be like 40 w) but the advantage to the lower energy draw is that you can use a higher wattage bulb. So if your light fixture is rated to 60w, and that 15w CFL isn’t bright enough, go ahead and stick an 18w (supposedly equivalent to a 75w) in. You’re in no danger of overloading the fixture or bulb, and you’ll get the brighter light you desire. And even if your bulb is lasting only 2 or 3 years, remember that an incandescent bulb has a lifespan of only 900 hours, which is 6 hours a day for 6 months before it burns out.
    Finally, as for the dislike for the nasty cool tone of CFLs, this is true of some brands and of older CFL bulbs, but if you look around there are new ones that use slightly tinted glass or a different gas combination to produce a warmer toned light, comparable to incandescent bulbs. Look for the Kelvin rating (K) on the package. Those with a rating around 5000 produce a cool light, similar to that of daylight, while those around 2500 produce a warmer light.
    Finally, Tom, the 10,000 hour lifespan of a CFL is based on infrequent (only once or twice a day with an extended period of time between) turning the light on or off. Places where the light is flicked on and off quickly, for example a closet or a rarely used bedroom, should use incandescent bulbs.

  42. .Peden (21:33:18) ” I knew they couldn’t be human, but they looked human. No claw marks were present in those prints. I was pretty well amazed.”
    Maybe it was a Bigfoot

  43. GirlArchaeologist (02:50:56) :

    Finally, Tom, the 10,000 hour lifespan of a CFL is based on infrequent (only once or twice a day with an extended period of time between) turning the light on or off. Places where the light is flicked on and off quickly, for example a closet or a rarely used bedroom, should use incandescent bulbs.

    Exactly. Not to mention outdoor use with light sensors.
    The reason I’m familiar with their lack of life is because I do use them where they make sense. I’ve also found that Home Depot takes the bad ones for free, a service I’ve had to use surprisingly frequently.
    So maybe we can agree on this:
    People should be free to use CFLs as they see fit.
    In other words, let the market decide, and stop with the command and control efforts to force people to do what they don’t want to do with something as simple as a lightbulb choice.

  44. Ed Darrell (03:55:56) :
    Interesting site. Not coincidentally I presume, they’re press release was aimed at helping to “frame” the argument for COP-15.
    This is what I found by hunting around their site.
    http://pbsg.npolar.no/en/status/status-table.html
    Very interesting how their assignments of “declining” are so rarely linked to any of the numbers they actually present. Also note how at least a couple of times, their new “estimates” are at the very bottom end of the range listed for historical values.
    On what basis?

  45. John M, why not nose around the PBSG site and see “on what basis” they make their predictions? Among other things, the comments on the chart you link to explain how the estimations and calculations are made.
    These are the data upon which the “polar bears aren’t declining” claims are based, by the way. It’s also interesting to note how non-experts who are not in on the studies and don’t write up the results come to conclusions nearly opposite what the experts do. How does that obtain?
    You may want to pay particular attention to the PBSG section that details threats to the bear populations from climate change.
    Any polar bear study that is finely tuned enough to list tourism as a threat to the bears is one worth paying attention to.
    John M, Mitch Taylor asked for a special exception to the 30-year history of the PBSG, and didn’t get it. Surely you don’t think that the case against warming is so weak that it must be granted special privileges to be heard, do you? PBSG is composed of a select group of the most active polar bear researchers, who serve rotating, limited terms. Taylor is no longer active in the kind of research that would have qualified him; he recently retired from his academic position; and his long, previous service term-limited him out of an official invitation. What did he have that was not considered in published research? What makes you think Taylor’s views were not considered?
    If you don’t stop listening to those you find “unhelpful” in your work, you’re cheating your employer. Experts are paid to be experts, to cut through the chaff and get to the grain. If they don’t do that, they’re not doing their jobs.

  46. Ed Darrell (08:39:30) :

    Surely you don’t think that the case against warming is so weak that it must be granted special privileges to be heard, do you?

    Surely you don’t think the case for AGW is so weak tht all dissent must be shut down at all costs, just because it is deemed to be “unhelpful.
    From your link.

    Polar bears are totally reliant on the sea ice as their primary habitat. If climate change alters the period of ice cover, bears may be forced on shore for extended periods and forced to rely on stored fat. If these periods become excessively long, mortality will increase.

    How old is the polar bear species?

    Experts are paid to be experts, to cut through the chaff and get to the grain. If they don’t do that, they’re not doing their jobs.

    AGW advocates have a sense of humor after all.

  47. > The Polar Bear series here is intended for adults, not children. The emotion appealed to is adult humor. It states some well known facts. Do they frighten you?
    Not in the slightest, and no sane person would infer otherwise from my comment.
    I merely pointed out that this story has no value other than as an appeal to emotion, which it does. (Although, I suppose if a person really thinks it’s funny, it does have that value.)
    Whether it was aimed at adults or children, it is silly, and, IMHO, doesn’t rise to the level of the usual content at WUWT.
    I’m sorry I got under your skin. Perhaps you’re a little too vulnerable to appeals to emotion.

  48. Darell:
    Whether it was aimed at adults or children, it is silly, and, IMHO, doesn’t rise to the level of the usual content at WUWT.

    Now you’re cooking! (See how much further understatement gets you?!)

  49. GirlArchaeologist (17:32:39) :
    Assuming for the sake of argument all your facts are correct, you are poisiting a 36% reduction in mercury being released into the environment. All well and good, except that the mercury released by the power plant will probably have a good portion of that mercury captured by the emissions scrubbers and sequestered, and the mercury which does escape into the atmosphere will be extremely diffuse. On the other hand, the CFL that breaks in your home will aerosol the mercury into the not so terribly diffuse environment of your home.
    If you want to live in a progressive community that has a recycling program for CFLs and are willing to live with the risk of CFLs breaking in your home, I believe it should be your right to do so. If I prefer to live in a community which does not choose to subsidize the use of CFLs by running a tax-funded recycling program and choose to not expose my family to the risk of broken CFLs in my home, this should be my right as well.
    Finally the argument that CFLs will reduce demand for electricity is ultimately fatuous. As efficiency of use of fuel increases, the total consumption of fuel tends not to decrease. This can be seen with automobile fuel efficiency standards. As fuel economy has improved, people have tended to log more miles per person. Thinking that widespread use of CFLs will reduce total coal usage is not a well supported hypothesis. On the other hand, increased use of nuclear energy will decrease coal usage.

  50. Ed Darrell (10:15:01) :
    OK thanks.

    Somewhere during the mid-Pleistocene period (roughly 100,000 to 250,000 years ago), a number of brown (same as grizzly) bears (Ursos arctos) probably became isolated by glaciers. many probably perished on the ice; however, they apparently did not all disappear. Some survived due to the fact that “organisms vary” (Steve Gould’s terminology and logic is used here), that is, every litter of grizzly’s has a variation in coat thickness, coat color etc. which imparted a slight evolutionary advantage to some indivials of each litter. These successful individuals underwent an apparent rapid (rapid, probably because of the small population, and extreme selection pressure) series of evolutionary changes in order to survive (note they were not necessarily “better” in any absolute sense, or on any absolute “bear” scale of perfection – they were simply more in keeping with their new environment than their siblings). Today, polar bears are adapted to their harsh northern environment.

    Sound pretty hardy to me, particularly when one notes what they’ve already lived through.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Ice_Age_Temperature.png

  51. Very hardy, but within limits. Polar bears have evolved themselves out onto a limb, or an ice shelf. They need snow to hibernate and den properly — not enough snow, the cubs die. They need lots of ice to roam and hunt seals. Not enough ice, the cubs die, then the adults starve. Ironically, while they can roam on land, if there is not enough snow and it’s too warm, they can’t den properly and the cubs die (part of the denning process, the mother hibernates while the cubs drink her milk — interruptions in that cycle leave the cubs at serious risk of starvation).
    Pandas live on bamboo. That doesn’t mean polar bears can live on grass.
    We might pay some attention to the guys who have studied the bears hard over the last half century, you know? Sometimes you can learn a lot just by listening.

  52. Once again a charming appeal to authority.
    You know, skepticism of experts is not a new idea.

    People making scientific decisions should develop a healthy skepticism when listening to a science expert, particularly an enthusiastic one, President Conant told his Columbia University listeners in New York last night.
    Delivering the third of his quartet of Bampton lectures, Conant suggested that “among the highly significant but dangerous results of the development of modern science is the fact that scientific experts now occupy a peculiarly exalted and isolated position.”
    The President urged that there is a need for balancing the biases of these experts when their opinions count in making decisions. He even recommended that the Department of Defense introduce a quasi-judicial system of review which would provide forced opposition to new projects. “The taxpayers’ money would be more wisely spent,” Conant said.

    http://www.thecrimson.com/article/1952/4/25/conant-urges-skepticism-before-blind-faith/
    Admittedly, not as comforting as blind acceptance of someone else’s expertise, but perhaps a better way to approach societies problems.

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