Climate Craziness of the Week: NBC: Polar Bears Like 'Passengers on the Titanic' Because of Global Warming

Image: Toonpool

Newsbusters reports: Teasing an upcoming story on Wednesday’s NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams warned of “the habitat of the polar bears melting earlier and faster than ever” and promised “a jaw-dropping look at a way of life quickly disappearing.” [Listen to the audio ]

In the report that followed minutes later, chief environmental correspondent Anne Thompson kept up the global warming alarmism: “This 10-month-old polar bear cub practices his ice-breaking skills on the tundra….But Dr. Steve Amstrup, chief scientist of Polar Bears International, says the greenhouse gases we are putting into the atmosphere threaten the cub’s future.”

While Thompson noted that the arctic polar bear population “runs as high as 25,000,” a sound bite ran of Amstrup proclaiming:

“Liken it to the passengers on the Titanic. It didn’t matter how many people were on the Titanic or how well they were doing, when the Titanic slipped beneath the waves and they lost their habitat, that was it. Polar bears will also go away because of their dependence on the sea ice.”

Read more and see video of the NBC news story :

Meanwhile, back in the real world, polar bear expert Dr. Susan Crockford takes on this nonsense. She writes:

Amstrup really wants people to believe that all the polar bears in the world will die some day, all at once, in some mega ice-loss catastrophe!

This is absolutely ridiculous, fear-mongering hyperbole — no models predict all bears will die, even given their worst-case scenerio, see yesterday’s post.

On top of that, we now know that many of the critical assumptions those models are based on are wrong, in part due to data collected by polar bear biologists themselves (see summary here and Monday’s post, “Eemian excuses: the warm was different then, polar bears were fine”).

More here:

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
November 15, 2013 10:25 am

Dr. Steve Amstrup … degree in … journalism maybe?

November 15, 2013 10:28 am

Polar bears of 100 to 300 thousand years ago were more grizzly-like than today, yet even now they can hunt, forage, survive, & indeed thrive on land in the summer with ease. Amstrup is a liar, & knows he is, just like his CACA spewing colleagues.

November 15, 2013 10:28 am

Oops, how wrong could I be … bachelor’s degree in forestry in 1972 …

November 15, 2013 10:31 am

Isn’t the 25,000 polar bears the estimate based on increasing population? Amstrup uses this number. And I believe there have been numerous reports from Inuit and towns in polar bear land that the numbers are increasing and one doesn’t want to go strolling when they are moving about.
Dr. Crockford’s blog link was an interesting read.

November 15, 2013 10:33 am

Hmmm … hid did ‘win’ the “Our Earth Bambi” Award in Düsseldorf in 2012 …
Bambi Award – or “The Bambi” – presented annually by Hubert Burda Media to recognise excellence in international media and television “with vision and creativity who affected and inspired the German public that year,” both domestic and foreign..

Frank K.
November 15, 2013 10:38 am

Thanks for posting this, Anthony. I unfortunately saw this report on NBC “news” the other night and immediately my BS meter was pegged. I had never heard of “Polar Bears International” and it turns out they are yet another Greenpeace-type eco advocacy organization:
I also think it is very irresponsible for them to continue to convey the “warm, cuddly” image of polar bears. They are in fact, noble but quite dangerous animals.

Henry Galt
November 15, 2013 10:41 am

Guess who will get the headlines.

November 15, 2013 10:46 am

Old Doc Amstrup – at odds with a living, breathing individual living in an active polar bear area and who has actual ‘skin’ in the game:
– – – – – – – – – – – – –
Title: Rosy view of polar bear aerial survey questioned
. . Posted by Steve Davies on April 27, 2012
Opening excerpt:
Polar Bears International says recent media reports about increasing polar bear numbers in Western Hudson Bay present a highly misleading picture of the actual situation.
The stories “stem[] from a press release on a preliminary study of the Western Hudson Bay population that relied on a different methodology (aerial vs. capture-recapture) and larger geographic survey area than previous studies,” PBI said.
The aerial survey was conducted for the government of Nunavut in Canada. The Inuit population in Nunavut is concerned that the hunting quota in Western Hudson Bay will be lowered.
An article in the Toronto Globe & Mail said the survey “shows the bear population in a key part of northern Canada is far larger than many scientists thought, and might be growing.”
The bear population is not in crisis as people believed,” Drikus Gissing, Nunavut’s director of wildlife management, told the Globe & Mail. “There is no doom and gloom.
Full article:

j ferguson
November 15, 2013 10:49 am

Maybe one of you can contend with the effects of the earlier thaw and later freeze over the last 30 years in the area as reported on this program. This timing should be knowable and if it is, then can this shorter “winter” affect the diet of the bears?
I didn’t buy the nonsense about how we’re the sole cause of this discomfiture of bears any more than the rest of you, but is it really impossible that there could be something to the rest of it?

Bob B.
November 15, 2013 10:55 am

Obama is gearing up for some new regulations so we need to trot out the cute, cuddly polar bears again.

Mark Bofill
November 15, 2013 10:58 am

Wouldn’t that be nice.
Stop the polar bear menace before it’s too late!

November 15, 2013 11:03 am

j ferguson: “This timing should be knowable and if it is, then can this shorter “winter” affect the diet of the bears?”
All animal eat from what is in their environment. So hypothetically, if the environment changes, then it *can* effect the diet. Which is so acutely tautological that it’s meaningless.

November 15, 2013 11:07 am

Amstrup is well known for spreading misinformation on polar bear numbers, along with his sidekick Stirling. There is no lie too small or too large for these activists.
It’s well known polar bear numbers were as low as approx. 5,000 in the 1970’s before hunting restrictions were introduced. confirmed numbers are now at least 25,000 and according to the latest surveys could be as high as 32,000.

Gunga Din
November 15, 2013 11:08 am

There was another post where this might be a better fit but I couldn’t find it.

November 15, 2013 11:09 am

Polar bears survived an ice-free for a millennium or more during the early Holocene warm period.
Polar bear numbers are up 5 times since the 1950s and rising! I vaguely recall that Spring sea ice is more important to polar bears than late summer sea ice.
Why Less Summer Ice Increases Bear Populations
If you want the nitty gritty on the polar bear science go to Dr. Susan J. Crockford’s website She “is a zoologist with more than 35 years experience, including work on the Holocene history of Arctic animals.” She has a few few things to say about Dr. Steve Amstrup’s Titanic statement.
Leave the polar bears alone chaps, they are doing fine.

November 15, 2013 11:13 am

If you really want to learn about polar bears from a reliable source then go to Susan Crockfords site polarbearscience. Pure facts, no spin, from a proper scientist.
It’s a pity there is no permanent link from this site.

November 15, 2013 11:13 am

Polar Bears Like ‘Passengers on the Titanic’
Being a passenger on the Titanic must have been bad enough without having to share a berth with a polar bear.
Or maybe it’s…
Polar Bears Like ‘Passengers on the Titanic’ – meaning they like ’em for dinner.
And didn’t ice kill the Titanic? But it’s supposed to save the polar bears…
I never metaphor I didn’t like, but that’s a mixed metaphor!

November 15, 2013 11:15 am

What! Dr. Susan Crockford says:

It is perfectly normal for bears to go without food (called “fasting”) for several months during the summer. The polar bears of Hudson Bay routinely go 4-5 months without eating each summer – this is normal for them.

She launches full attack again on Steven Amstrup and the Eemian survival of the polar bears.

Sean Peake
November 15, 2013 11:22 am

Why is it always the Titanic? Why not the Hindenburg… crashing into a daycare centre on ‘Bring-Your Kitten-To School” day?

November 15, 2013 11:25 am

Polar bears don’t only eat seals. They eat plenty other things.
Unlike those on the Titanic polar bears can swim more than 100km. In fact much, much more. One was found to give a loving piggy back to her ‘lillun’. Polar bears are more robust than previously thought! Sound the alarm.

Consequences of long-distance swimming and travel over deep-water pack ice for a female polar bear during a year of extreme sea ice retreat
….Between an initial capture in late August and a recapture in late October 2008, a radio-collared adult female polar bear in the Beaufort Sea made a continuous swim of 687 km over 9 days and then intermittently swam and walked on the sea ice surface an additional 1,800 km…..The extraordinary long distance swimming ability of polar bears, which we confirm here, may help them cope with reduced Arctic sea ice……
Polar bear cubs may reduce chilling from icy water by sitting on mother’s back
We describe an observation of a polar bear cub on its mother’s back while the mother was swimming among ice floes in Svalbard, Norwegian Arctic. Similar observations are to our knowledge not earlier described in the scientific literature. We point out that this behaviour minimize exposure to cold water and hence significantly may reduce chilling of the cub….

November 15, 2013 11:35 am

Alarmist warmist climate scientists were just classified at the high end of critical on the endangered species list, whereas polar bears didn’t even make the list, as they are having an “unprecendented” rise in population.

November 15, 2013 12:10 pm

Good old crazy people at the BBC. I thought they were in danger of going extinct; there was so little crazyness emanating from there compared to the Glorious days of Richard Black, the king of the crazy people. But it looks like they are still breeding in BBC HQ.

Claude Harvey
November 15, 2013 12:20 pm

When the polar bears start to tip over, can the penguins be far behind? These stories seem to have the same infinite shelf-life as weight loss remedies and sex advice columns. Whoda’ thunk?

November 15, 2013 12:29 pm

To help BBC out…
As the cold tightens its grip on the northern hemisphere, the wolves and polar bear find their habitat extends ever further south, soon marauding packs of these creatures will be roaming the streets of London itself, consuming any BBC employee too stupid to stay in out of the cold…
Do I need “sarc”?

November 15, 2013 12:33 pm

Why might warming Arctic waters mean more polar bears? Ringed seals are the favourite food of polar bears. Ringed seals eat cod.

During the 1920s and 1930s, there was a dramatic warming of the northern North Atlantic Ocean. Warmer-than-normal sea temperatures, reduced sea ice conditions and enhanced Atlantic inflow in northern regions continued through to the 1950s and 1960s, with the timing of the decline to colder temperatures varying with location. Ecosystem changes associated with the warm period included a general northward movement of fish. Boreal species of fish such as cod, haddock and herring expanded farther north while colder-water species such as capelin and polar cod retreated northward. The maximum recorded movement involved cod, which spread approximately 1200 km northward along West Greenland. Migration patterns of “warmer water” species also changed with earlier arrivals and later departures. New spawning sites were observed farther north for several species or stocks while for others the relative contribution from northern spawning sites increased. Some southern species of fish that were unknown in northern areas prior to the warming event became occasional, and in some cases, frequent visitors. Higher recruitment and growth led to increased biomass of important commercial species such as cod and herring in many regions of the northern North Atlantic. Benthos associated with Atlantic waters spread northward off Western Svalbard and eastward into the eastern Barents Sea. Based on increased phytoplankton and zooplankton production in several areas, it is argued that bottom-up processes were the primary cause of these changes. The warming in the 1920s and 1930s is considered to constitute the most significant regime shift experienced in the North Atlantic in the 20th century.

Abstract – Oryx / Volume 3 / Issue 05 / August 1956, pp 233-239
………..Primarily the polar bear is an animal of the broken arctic pack ice and is found in greatest numbers along the southern edge of the pack. It avoids large expanses of open water or frozen sea ice. The movements of the pack ice to a large degree determine its distribution and movements. Polar bears are carried southward with the pack ice in the spring and summer. In August and September when the ice begins to break up they generally come ashore and make their way north. At this time of year they may be found in considerable numbers along certain coasts where the sea ice has been brought by the winds, tides and currents. An Eskimo from Southampton Island, in northern Hudson Bay, informed me that in August, 1948, he and a companion counted over 180 of these bears along the east coast of that island.

November 15, 2013 1:04 pm

Besides Dr. Crockford’s scientific blog on polar bears, I find it interesting to check out “Polar Bear Alley” written by a fellow in Churchill, Manitoba (polar bear capital of Canada). This is anecdotal and an easy, but informative read.

November 15, 2013 1:45 pm

The book “Never Look a Polar Bear in the Eye” is available here on Amazon:
One review says of it:
“Mr. Unger started out as an environmentalist ‘believer’ until he actually went to Churchill, Manitoba (lots of bears congregate there – along with tourists and scientists) and found that we are being duped by some scientists (’cause that’s how you get funding!) and the media is in on it (’cause it’s the politically correct agenda).”

Greg Goodman
November 15, 2013 2:31 pm

“the habitat of the polar bears melting earlier and faster than ever”
simply untrue, but don’t let that stop you “saving the planet”.

Stephen Skinner
November 15, 2013 2:34 pm

So we have a bear that can swim and in water that is really really. To be adapted for that skill requires open water and for many centuries?
Equally the Eskimos are skilled Kayakers and have been for centuries which again requires open water. It seems Kayaks go back 4,000 years which would fir more with the time that Eskimos arrived rather than the presence of open water.
This from Wikipedia:
“The umiak, umialak, umiaq, umiac, oomiac or oomiak is a type of boat used by Eskimo people, both Yupik and Inuit, and was originally found in all coastal areas from Siberia to Greenland. First arising in Thule times, it has traditionally been used in summer to move people and possessions to seasonal hunting grounds and for hunting whales and walrus. Although the umiak was usually propelled by oars (women) or paddles (men), sails, sometimes made from seal intestines, were also used, and in the 20th century, outboard motors….
…The open umiak is significantly larger than the enclosed kayak which was built to carry one or two men while hunting. Normally 9 or 10 m (30 or 33 ft) the umiak would be anywhere from 6 to 10 m (20 to 33 ft) and 1.5–2 m (4 ft 10 in–6 ft 7 in) wide. Hans Egede, a Norwegian-Danish Lutheran missionary to Greenland in 1721, stated that he had seen umiaks 60 ft (18 m) long.
Although an umiak could carry up to 30 passengers it was still light enough to be carried over the drift or shore ice to the open water by a few people. A modern company which trains people to hand make umiaks says that a 24 ft (7.3 m) boat weighs about 150 lb (68 kg) compared to 750 lb (340 kg) for a modern vessel”.

Greg Goodman
November 15, 2013 2:35 pm

Since the rate of decline in Arctic ice area is now about ‘as slow as’ at the beginning of the record I suppose we are entitled to say it’s the slowest rate of melting in “recorded human history” TM.

lurker, passing through laughing
November 15, 2013 2:45 pm

NBC, the network whose “news” enterprise includes blowing up trucks with pyrotechnics and blaming the gas tank, splicing tapes of conversations to deceive people, and relentlessly echoing the talking points of one political party.
Now they are using deceptive claims to push false ideas about polar bears.
NBC- What to watch when you want to be manipulated instead of informed.

Louis Hooffstetter
November 15, 2013 3:24 pm

From Polar Bears International Website:
“Our research, education, and action programs address the issues that are endangering polar bears: Climate change, environmental impact of industry, sea ice loss, global warming sustainability options, endangered species. Our interest is in anything that can, will, or is happening to polar bears. Learn here what we’re doing to help polar bears survive all the problems they face.”
“And, please, if you like what we’re doing, consider donating to support our efforts.”
They left off “This message has been approved by P.T. Barnum.”

Mike Smith
November 15, 2013 3:38 pm

This is nonsense.
All the polar bears I know never stop complaining about the damn cold.
Take a look at the photos on the Polar Bear International website and then answer the following question:
How many of them look like they’re suffering from heat exhaustion?

Gary Hladik
November 15, 2013 4:20 pm

Um, wasn’t the Titanic destroyed by too much ice?

David Riser
November 15, 2013 5:29 pm

Its all good, AGW melts the ice, polar bears get hungry and eat the humans, human CO2 is thereby reduced, causing the temp to drop and we have ice again. I am sure it will all work out!

Mike Maguire
November 15, 2013 6:27 pm

“World’s Biggest Liar is an annual competition for telling lies, held in Cumbria, England”
“The World’s Biggest Liar competition is held every November at the Bridge Inn, Santon Bridge”
The NBC reporter/news crew interviewing Dr. Steve Amstrup must have been in Cumbria, covering his participation/story as a top runner in this years competition (:

Bob Diaz
November 15, 2013 7:19 pm

(Part Sarcasm & Part True) There appears to be a correlation between increasing CO2 levels and increasing BS. This may be caused by the lack of any real warming over the last few years.

November 15, 2013 9:44 pm

“Polar bears like ‘passengers on the Titanic'”.

November 15, 2013 9:45 pm

“Gary Hladik says:
November 15, 2013 at 4:20 pm”
No, not at all. It was put together using shonky parts and safety features were compromised for the sake making certain features more “pleasing” to the first class passengers. A bit like climate models being initialised with shonky, made up, data and assumption and made to look “pleasing” for policy makers.

David Ball
November 15, 2013 9:49 pm
Stephen Skinner
November 16, 2013 3:27 am

Pat says:
November 15, 2013 at 9:45 pm
“No, not at all. It was put together using shonky parts and safety features were compromised for the sake making certain features more “pleasing” to the first class passengers. A bit like climate models being initialised with shonky, made up, data and assumption and made to look “pleasing” for policy makers.”
Please. The number of lifeboats on the Titanic was based on previous experience of how long ships take to sink. It was assumed that the lifeboats provided could relay passengers from a slowly sinking ship. The Titanic sank in under 2 hours which was unexpected.
The Captain drove the ship at speed, at night, through seas where ice bergs were present.
The double hull and bulkhead design did not consider the situation such as this, just as the World Trade Centre had been designed to withstand a plane flying into it of 707 size, in landing configuration, and not a plane twice its size flying at max speed.
So I understand the intent of your analogy but please don’t talk of shonky parts as you will be unintentionally aligning the workers of the Belfast shipyard where the Titanic was made with those who make Climate models! Those workers and their descendants are already at fault for bringing about yet to happen catastrophe.

David Riser
November 16, 2013 5:47 am

The shonky parts was the hull plating, it was made from steel with a high sulphur content (causes sever embrittlement at low temperatures). What is not known is if the builders knew they were using shonky steel or if that was the best steel available at the time. Certainly it would not be acceptable in this day and age for shipbuilding.

November 16, 2013 6:37 am

“Stephen Skinner says:
November 16, 2013 at 3:27 am”
Yes, one factor was the Captian, to drive for the best time across the Atlantic (To prove a point). The number of lifeboats was reduced as there was actually no law for a minimum requirement (As we now know) and was a decison made for asthetic reasons. Double hull, really? Not at all. The hull was single skin, made from poor quality steel, affected by cold temperatures, along with the rivets, of poor quality with high sulfur content and other impurities. The parts were ordered by the ship “makers”, NOT the ship builders. They worked with whatever they were supplied. When the “makers” ordered “standard rivets” which were of poor quality iron, sinking was inevitable. Maybe not on that night, but certainly at some point in time.

November 16, 2013 8:00 am

Re titanic ,the problem was the rivets used. They were snapping off. Rivets were shown to be
Faaulty due to inferior steel from what I saw on some show recently. They had reciepts of rivets
As proof ,but still just a theory. ………
Wwf is running radio ad saying the moose population is declining in NE due to gw.

November 16, 2013 8:08 am

Couldn’t possibly be the habitat destroyed across NE to make room for windmills( sorry wind turbines, windmills were actually useful

Stephen Skinner
November 16, 2013 9:14 am

Pat says:
November 16, 2013 at 6:37 am
“When the “makers” ordered “standard rivets” which were of poor quality iron, sinking was inevitable. Maybe not on that night, but certainly at some point in time.”
What? You mean like the RMS Olympic?

David Ball
November 16, 2013 2:11 pm

john piccirilli says:
November 16, 2013 at 8:00 am
“Wwf is running radio ad saying the moose population is declining in NE due to gw.”
I have a solution, but electricity prices will necessarily have to skyrocket.

Kevin Kilty
November 16, 2013 2:31 pm

“a jaw-dropping look at a way of life quickly disappearing.”

Hunting megafauna with atlatl and dogs?

November 16, 2013 8:36 pm

“Stephen Skinner says:
November 16, 2013 at 9:14 am
What? You mean like the RMS Olympic?”
I don’t know what type of rivets were used in her construction. At the time, most ship builders were using the “best of best”. I can only assum these were used. Given the pressure the company was under to build three massive ships, costs were cut and design changes were made. It’s all well documented. Because of the volume needed many smaller foundaries popped up to capitalise on supply contracts. According actual company records, lower grade rivets were ordered.

November 17, 2013 3:19 am

Where did Polar Bears go during last ice age when all their territory was supposedly a mile deep in ice ?

Gunga Din
November 17, 2013 9:20 am

Lonie says:
November 17, 2013 at 3:19 am
Where did Polar Bears go during last ice age when all their territory was supposedly a mile deep in ice ?

(Scroll down abit.)

Gunga Din
November 17, 2013 9:24 am

OOPS! Link didn’t work.
Try this one.

November 17, 2013 5:21 pm

Hi All,
A mother Polar bear and her cub were walking through the snow and the cub asked “Mum am I Grizzly bear?” and the mother shakes her head slowly and says,”No you are a Polar bear”. A little while later the cub asks “Mum am I a Brown bear?” and again the mother replies “No you are a Polar bear”. The young bear presses his mother again, “Mum am I a Black bear?” and this time the mother has had enough of the questioning and asks the cub why?
The young bear says,
“because I’m freezing!’

%d bloggers like this: