One-sided science ignores the fact that ‘Sea ice is not a stable habitat for polar bears’

Guest essay by Dr. Susan Crockford, Zoologist

A new paper by Dr. Susan Crockford, published by the Global Warming Policy Foundation, explains a fundamental problem with polar bear conservation – the fallacy that under natural conditions, sea ice is a stable, predictable habitat for polar bears and their prey.

Foreword by Dr. Matthew A. Cronin

This same practice of Lysenkoism has long been under way in western science in regard to the politically correct theory of man caused, catastrophic, global warming. [Peter Ferrara, Forbes1]

Harsh words indeed. Ferrara’s insights got my attention because, as a geneticist, I am quite familiar with the tragedy of Trofim Lysenko’s science in the Soviet Union in the 1900s. Lysenko insisted that agricultural science be consistent with communist doctrine, and he rejected western science, most notably Mendelian genetics. This resulted in persecution of dissenting scientists, and the failure of Soviet agriculture, which in turn resulted in massive famines at a time when western science was giving us the Green Revolution of greatly increased agricultural production.

The reason Lysenko was so influential was because he used the government to force his science, and farming policy derived from it, onto the entire Soviet Union. The author Michael Crichton MD also saw the parallel of Lysenkoism and global warming:

Lysenko.. .dominated Russian biology. The result was famines that killed millions, and purges that sent hundreds of dissenting Soviet scientists to the gulags or the firing squads… Now we are engaged in a great new theory. . .that has drawn the support of politicians, scientists, and celebrities around the world. . .Once again, critics are few and harshly dealt with…” [Michael Crichton 2004]  2

Ferrara and Crichton believe that global warming has now become a politicized science similar to Lysenkoism, in which dissenting views are not allowed. Cries of ‘The science is settled’ on global warming and persecution of so-called ‘deniers’ are unsettling echoes of this era. The similarities of global warming and Lysenkoism described by these authors should serve as a warning to scientists and laymen alike.

Undeterred by such a politically-charged climate, Susan Crockford has addressed an important aspect of the global warming issue: the status of polar bears. Her thorough analysis convincingly argues that the science on polar bears has been presented in a one-sided way to support predictions of impacts from global warming and makes the point that we must consider data whether or not it supports predictions. Scientists know that predictions are basically hypotheses that need to be tested with observations, not accepted as conclusions.

I have experience with such wildlife issues including impacts of oilfields on caribou in northern Alaska (the population grew tenfold during the period of oilfield development and operation but only negative impacts are emphasized by wildlife biologists), and the arbitrary classification of subspecies and populations for Endangered Species Act (ESA) listings.

My work and that of others with DNA and fossils have also shown that polar bears likely have been a species for at least several hundred thousand years and thus survived previous interglacial periods in which there likely was little or no Arctic summer sea ice.

I pointed out that if the bears survived one such period perhaps they could survive another, with the logic that if we can predict the polar bear’s future we can also infer its past. This has been ignored (and denigrated) by the polar bear research community although it is a legitimate finding. This is presumably because it does not support predictions (i.e. hypotheses) of polar bears’ extinction.

Crockford’s work is similar in presenting data that do not support declines of polar bear numbers caused exclusively by loss of summer sea ice. She uses her broad background in several scientific fields to question the basic assumption that sea ice is a stable environment in all seasons, even over short time periods.

The loss of stable sea ice is a basic assumption of the models used to predict declines in polar bear numbers to the point of being threatened with extinction (being threatened or endangered with extinction is the criterion for ESA listing).

Scientists know that the assumptions used in a model are critical to its validity. For example, assumptions in genetic models that I use (e.g. mutation rates or species divergence times) are estimates, not known quantities, making model results uncertain.  It is legitimate to use models with uncertain assumptions, but the uncertainty of the model results must be openly acknowledged and alternatives considered.

Crockford demonstrates that this has not been done for polar bears and that the basic assumption of stable sea ice is not valid. She strengthens her argument with revelations that there is a consensus that winter sea ice is expected to persist despite global warming, and that heavy spring ice, not absence of summer ice, has a negative impact on seals and thus polar bears. These points could change the entire argument about the future survival of polar bears.

The constant chorus declaring crises for high-profile wildlife (snail darters, spotted owls, wolves, bears, etc.) has led to what I call the ‘pan-impact’ paradigm: there is always a human impact on wildlife, and scientific information will be found to support a preconceived conclusion. This has resulted in many of us now having a skeptical ‘boy who cried wolf’ attitude regarding wildlife: everything people do will be claimed to have a negative impact on some critical species, and must be corrected by top-down government regulation (of which the ESA is a preferred mechanism in the USA).

This is dangerous, not only to science and economics, but because we might not pay attention when real threats arise.

I appreciate that global warming is potentially very important. But,we should not stifle the open discussion and debate that is integral to science. Crockford’s article is a valuable contribution to the scientific discourse on polar bears, and I hope it gets a fair hearing.

I encourage readers on both sides of the climate debate to engage in civil discourse on these issues, and not prejudge anywork without thoughtful consideration.


 

Matthew Cronin is Professor of Animal Genetics at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Footnotes to foreword

1. http://www.forbes.com/sites/peterferrara/2013/04/28/the-disgracefulepisode-of-lysenkoism-brings-us-global-warming-theory/2/

2. Michael Crichton. 2004. State of Fear (Appendix I Why politicized science is dangerous). Harper Collins, New York.

The Arctic Fallacy: Sea Ice Stability and the Polar Bear

Summary

Since the late 1960s, Arctic marine mammal conservation has been based on the assumption that sea ice provides a stable, predictable environment for polar bears and Arctic seals: today, it underpins their ‘threatened with extinction’ status. A stable environment, the oversimplified K-selection theory goes, should support populations at relatively high levels over time, without marked variation in size due to habitat change.

This idealized concept was strongly promoted by the most popular university-level ecology textbooks of the 1970s and was embraced by early polar bear biologists, who began their careers at a time when polar bear were truly threatened with extinction by overhunting.

Observations since then, however, have shown the assumption of sea ice as a stable habitat over short time scales is false. Spring sea ice thickness has been naturally variable over time scales of a few years to decades in the Beaufort Sea, East Greenland, and Hudson Bay; spring ice extent has been naturally variable in the Barents Sea for centuries and spring snow depth on sea ice is known to vary over short periods.

Marked declines in polar bear and ringed seal survival in response to thick spring sea ice and reduced snow depth have been documented. These two variables are closely tied because spring (April — June) is the period of on-ice birth and nursing for ice-dependent seals and is also when polar bears consume two-thirds of their annual prey.

Apparently expecting stable or increasing populations, despite their own evidence to the contrary, Arctic biologists now surprisingly attribute virtually every downturn in population size of Arctic species to declines in summer sea ice blamed on human use of fossil fuels.

Shifting the blaming for the devastation caused by thick spring ice onto recent summer ice declines, biologists portray summer ice changes as manifestations of unprecedented, human-caused habitat instability.

Regardless of such willful blindness to the facts, the assumption that Arctic sea ice is a naturally stable habitat over short time frames is a biological fallacy. Predictive population models based on this myth are flawed, their results illusory. Yet, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the US government have, for the first time, accepted modeled (future) population declines of Arctic species based on modeled (future) summer sea ice changes as valid threats to their survival, all built upon this fallacy.

Given what we now know about the animals and their naturally changing habitat, it is time to concede that data do not support predictions that polar bears, walrus, and Arctic seals are threatened with extinction due to habitat instability.

Read the whole thing:

GWPF press release here http://www.thegwpf.org/polar-bear-scientists-willfully-blind-to-the-facts/

Essay pdf  http://www.thegwpf.org/content/uploads/2015/06/Arctic-Fallacy1.pdf

PolarBearScience blog post http://polarbearscience.com/2015/06/08/my-new-arctic-fallacy-paper-sea-ice-stability-and-the-polar-bear/

A second PolarBearScience blog post: http://polarbearscience.com/2015/06/30/usgs-promotes-another-flawed-polar-bear-model-ghg-emissions-still-primary-threat/

53 thoughts on “One-sided science ignores the fact that ‘Sea ice is not a stable habitat for polar bears’

  1. Dr. Crockford has already been ravaged in print by the believers for her fact/observational approach to polar bear research. I’m beginning to think that if you are an honest scientist and haven’t been called a ‘denier’, you’re just not working hard enough.

    • ” . . . if you are an honest scientist and haven’t been called a ‘denier’, you’re just not working hard enough.”
      Excellent! I have to get a T-shirt with this on it. I will be sure to give you credit. Thank you.

  2. I agree that there is a need for genuine scientists to express their data and observations without fear or favour as with this study about polar bears and Arctic ice. The problem has been the use of this species for propaganda purposes by those supporting global warming; they are nice and white and furry with adorable little cubs, but anyone travelling in these climes carries a rifle in case of attack. State funded science was a disaster under Soviet government with Lysenko and the group think on global warming is heading the same way.

    • nice and white
      The nice part got my attention.
      Then there was this excellent save: “anyone travelling in these climes carries a rifle

      • Yes, and I’m guessing if it isn’t at least as hefty as a .30-’06, you harbor a death wish.

    • Did the eventual outcome of state funded science (Lysenkoism) suit the government’s goals at the time? This was the Soviet Union after all.

      • The Soviet Union suffered disasterous poor harvests in 1962/1963/1964 which, according to Zhores Medvedev in his authoritive history of Lysenkoism (and its demise) was due to “the backwardness” of Soviet agricultural biology and practice. Food had to be imported from the West. I have always wondered if the food supplies from the US to the Soviets after the Cuban crisis were a factor in its resolution; you never read something to that effect in the history books, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Kennedy used food power as a bargaining tool with khrushchev in Vienna. khrushchev was deposed in 1964 and with him Lysenko and his ism disappeared as well.

      • Mao Tze-Tung (Zedong) did the same thing with disastrous results. He wanted to get rid of the traditional lunar planting schedule (shown on the traditional “10,000-Year Calendar” still in use today) by imposing communist agricultural theory–did he get it from Lysenko?–dictating when they should plant. Any farmer who ignored it was killed. He caused famine instead, and millions died. The 10,000-Year Calendar uses lunar (and solar) cycles to indicate specific planting conditions. To the typical western mind (like mine when I was first taught it), it’s all too metaphorical to make much sense, but a deepened understanding of the I Ching clarifies its wisdom. Mao tried this experiment for three years then relented.

  3. Given what we now know about the animals and their naturally changing habitat, it is time to concede that data do not support predictions that polar bears, walrus, and Arctic seals are threatened with extinction due to habitat instability.
    Yes indeed. Especially since the numbers of polar bear seem to be doing very well despite “global warming”. Especially since there has been no “global warming” for nearly 20 years. Especially since the darn polar bear may be one of the best swimmers around for mammals.
    But, what if the alarmists were correct (**) for once, shocking as that would be, and the polar bears were indeed facing a changing environment? Well, they either change or die — but I don’t see why killing off several billion humans by destroying the modern industrialized societies would be the answer. No, I guess we would just have to live with black bears and forget those white ones. Too bad, so sad.
    ** Please note that the above “what if” in no way indicates that I believe for even a moment that there is going to be a summer without sea ice in the arctic. Not even a chance.

    • Note that in that comment of mine the first paragraph was supposed to be a block quote. Those words are from the original post and are not mine. I do not write that well as everyone should know by now. I will be more careful in the future. (I hope)

  4. Good work Dr. Crockford
    Scot, Where has she been ravaged in print?? Based on what?
    Crockford has been spot on. I can corroborate her analyses and have likewise shown how the journal papers have contradicted their own observations and many should be retracted.
    On the subjectivity of mark and recapture population estimates:
    http://landscapesandcycles.net/how-science-counts-bears.html
    On alarmists contradicting their own research that shows heavy ice is most detrimental
    http://landscapesandcycles.net/blind-polar-bear-researchers.html
    On research that less sea ice has benefitted whole food chain:
    http://landscapesandcycles.net/less-arctic-ice-can-be-beneficial.html
    The hijacking of successful walrus conservation
    http://landscapesandcycles.net/hijacking-successful-walrus-conservation.html

  5. How have Polar Bears adapted to be able to swim miles and even days in near freezing waters?
    How and why did the Thule people learn to use boats to hunt whale?

  6. From Canadian Geographic:
    http://www.canadiangeographic.ca/magazine/dec12/polar_bears.asp
    The truth about polar bears:
    “Despite all this hedging, the numbers still tell a powerful story. It’s just not always clear what that story is. In Davis Strait, between Greenland and Baffin Island, the polar bear population has grown from 900 animals in the late 1970s to around 2,100 today. In Foxe Basin — a portion of northern Hudson Bay — a population that was estimated to be 2,300 in the early 2000s now stands at 2,570. And in specific areas of western Hudson Bay, the most-studied, most-photographed group of bears on Earth seems to have been on a slow but steady increase since in the 1970s.”
    “News like this leaves climate-change deniers crowing from the rooftops.”
    1. Clearly this article was written by somebody that uses the term “denier”, so we know where their bias is.
    2. Yet, there is no denying that the numbers and data in the article, despite the bias, show that polar bears are doing much better than what one side falsely presents.
    BTW, I’m proud to be a denier……………of CO2=pollution. It’s a beneficial gas according to all life on this planet, with the exception of humans armed with global climate models programmed with equations to amplify the effect of CO2 on warming(and doctored temperature graphs that cool the Medieval Warm Period that was warmer than today and cool the 1930’s in the US for the same effect.
    http://a-sceptical-mind.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/Comparison-charts.jpg
    The IPCC can try to rewrite climate history, using 1 silly, biased non scientific study but it doesn’t change the actual recorded historical events. :
    http://www.ancientdestructions.com/greenland-once-a-viking-paradise/
    Evidence of NOAA cooling the past and warming recent years:
    https://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2014/06/23/noaanasa-dramatically-altered-us-temperatures-after-the-year-2000/
    NOAA can also try to rewrite climate history but it doesn’t change this:
    http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/science/indicators/weather-climate/high-low-temps.html
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/10/24/climate-and-state-high-temperature-records-wheres-the-beef/
    Same thing going on with claims of extreme weather increasing, animals being threatened, crop yields projected lower, sea levels accelerating higher, human health deteriorating and all the other junk science manufactured to support an ideology.
    The weather and climate during the past 3 decades has been the best for life on this planet in almost 1,000 years, since the Medieval Warm Period.
    Humans have helped to rescue that life from dangerously low levels of the beneficial gas, CO2.

    • Been reading your link – kinda long and not finished yet. Interesting read, like story-telling; keeps you captivated.

    • OK, finished reading your link. A very significant paragraph:
      ONE WINTER AFTERNOON I stopped by the makeshift Churchill office of a nonprofit dedicated to protecting polar bears. The place swirled with activity, and at one point a publicist for a major environmental organization sat down next to me. “It’s just so sad,” she said, pushing her lips into a long pout. “They all look so skinny that it’s hard to look at them.” A few minutes later, her chair was filled by a biologist with the Manitoba conservation department. “The bears look good,” he mused. “I haven’t seen them this fat in years.”

      • Thanks for taking the time to check out the article. It was long, but for good reason.
        It seems that there are rare individuals who can not sustain a delusion in the face of inconvenient evidence. Even when financial incentives tempt them to discredit their own experience.
        From that point of view, I found this to be an inspirational piece.

  7. There are plenty of biomarker evidence that shows that the first 2/3 to 3/4 of the Holocene had seasonal winter ice, as most. (then Neoglaciation started about the end of the Minoan period)
    Can anyone explain how the polar bears managed back then, and didn’t become extinct. 😉

    • I’ve seen it suggested by experts (sorry, no link) that since those warmer periods polar bears may have evolved to such an extent that our contemporary bears are incapable of adjusting to warmer conditions. It was just speculation meant to squelch references to historical variations, but it seems wrong. The remarkable endurance at swimming of our current crop of polar bears indicate a rather high level of adaptability.

  8. I disagree with the title:
    “One-sided science ignores the fact that ‘Sea ice is not a stable habitat for polar bears’”
    Oh, it is one-sided all right, but it is not science.

  9. I’m just wondering how that polar bear got up there on top of the squiggly iceberg. Also why it would bother climbing up there.

  10. It is too bad that the Lysenko type scientists do not read history. Hudson Bay archives in Winnipeg Manitoba have thousands of pages with sailing dates from Moose factory and Fort Churchill. Even a cursory reading of this material gives you different sailing dates because of ice. In certain years the ships could still leave in late November, in other years they had to overwinter in the middle of October. Similarly, ships arriving from London, UK sometimes could sail right through Hudson Bay in April and hardly see any ice, other times they were icebound in Hudson Straight till early August.

  11. Never ever seen so many fallacies in an argumentation. People is allowed being stupid – Stupidity to show off…..
    The worst of all stupid fallacies is the line in the title…… FACT: There has never during our life time been any problem what so ever regarding the sea ice situation for the Polar Bears. At worst each Polar Bear has had more than twice Manhattan area to walk on alone!!!!!!!!!! Btw in our life time. In old days when the temperarature in Northern Hemisphere were AT LEAST 1-3 degrees Celsius higher than today, in other word from 980 AD to 1341 AD, the population were many times today’s and it was possible up to 1280’s to sail north of Greenland…..
    as for the area each polar beat “own” alone – it’s only to do traditional math……
    as for temperatures 1000 years ago – please look up and read “Garden under Sandet” a farm enbaded in permafrost round 1360 never to be seen again from those days on up to 1990’s…..
    Suggested reading: Most of the Viking expansion took place during what scientist refer to as the dimatic optimum of the Medieval Warm Period dated ca, A.D. 800 to 1200 (Jones 1986: McGovern 1991); a general term for warm periods that reached chere optimum at different times across the North Atlantic (Groves and Switsur 1991). During this time the niean annual temperature for southem Greenland was 1 to 3°C higher than today.” Julie Megan Ross, Paleoethnobotanical Investigation of Garden Under Sandet, a Waterlogged Norse Farm Site. Western Settlement. Greenland (Kaiaallit Nunaata), University of Alberta, Department of Anthropology Edmonton. Alberta Fall 1997, page 40
    as a starter there are more if you look up the farm at your own university library……
    Consensus is a political “term” not to be used at all by any serious scientist who understand Theories of Science. You may read about facts instead of fictions in Facts not fiction and Theories of Science – Basic knowledge

  12. The polar bear story is a social memory embedded by propaganda. Propaganda has embedded into social consciousness the idea of beautiful white pure creatures of the north being decimated by the cruelty and selfishness of humanity.
    It is difficult to displace an embedded memory tied to a socially favorable idea; a pure and moral society must protect the innocent, the innocents being polar bears in this case. It is especially difficult when anyone providing contrary evidence is immediately cast as being against protecting the innocent.
    I remember having a discussion on the gender wage gap and expressed an interest in digging into the numbers. I was immediately asked why I did not support equal rights for woman. Ouch! I wanted to punch him. Instead I asked how many women he has hired and mentored their professional careers beyond his own pay grade. Sorry getting off track. The point is there is an atmosphere where ideological mobs surround seemingly all public issues and ensure evidence is anathema due to some imagined moral imperative.
    So much credit is due Dr. Susan Crockford for bringing reason, common sense and most importantly evidence into the discussion in the face of ideological mobs ready with unwarranted and irrational aspersions.

  13. With so much alarmism about, it’s nice to be reminded that Global Warming isn’t actually a democracy and that there is only one vote which counts — Gaia’s. The Arctic sea ice cover is a pretty good way of gauging that vote, and so is interesting every year. This year the Arctic ice looks thick and dour, and even the Hudson Bay ice looks reluctant to melt. Go ice, make those alarmist heads explode! SG’s site doesn’t allow comments, else I would have left a few by now.

  14. So the snail darter was brought up here. This does seem to be a distinct species that only existed in a small habitat that would be made unsuitable by completion of the Tellico Dam. “Transplanting” many individuals of this species to nearby other rivers allowed it to survive completion of the Tellico dam, and to have its endangerment status reduced by one notch in 1984.
    There is the controversial matter that this species of freshwater perch was first identified in 1975, possibly by using a search for an obscure species to use a 1973 amendment of the Endangered Species Act to stop completion of the Tellico Dam. For that matter, Congress gave the project of completion of the Tellico Dam a mechanism, known sometimes as the “God Squad”, which allowed the Tellico Dam to be completed.
    I have yet to hear significant argument that the snail darter is not a distinct species. Thankfully, apparently due to human efforts, this species lives on and survived completion of the Tellico Dam. That dam seems worthy for reducing USA’s consumption of fossil fuels for satisfying electrical energy demand, and I feel thankful that the snail darter survived that deam due to human efforts.

  15. Well, I tried to go to the link to get this paper, but it wasn’t there. Has the intimidation already begun?

  16. “I encourage readers on both sides of the climate debate to engage in civil discourse on these issues, and not prejudge anywork without thoughtful consideration.”
    Good advice, except for the poisoning of the well rhetoric in the forward of this article.

  17. ” there likely was little or no Arctic summer sea ice”
    How was there no ice in the Arctic in the last ice age?
    With the Laurentide sheet on one side, Greenland ice sheet on another and the Siberian on the other, I have a little trouble thinking of the Arctic as ice-free.
    I know Ewing and Donn thought of the Arctic sea as providing the moisture needed to create these 3-4 kn thick sheets, but given that the ice is there now, and it is “quite warm” up there, how does an ice-free arctic exist?

  18. The current issue of Geoscientist (a magazine for Fellows of the Geological Society of London) carries a polar bear on a small ice floe on its cover. Inside, and article by a ‘scientist’ from the British Geological Survey commands a 6 page article, again featuring the lonely polar bear trope. Apparently, the rising temperature graph has to have plateaux in it, thus neatly accounting for the recent ‘pause’.
    The editor of Geoscientist is a well-known climate alarmist, and can be reached at ted.nield@geolsoc.org.uk.
    Oddly enough, the author of the article does not disclose his sources of funding, which must include his own salary at BGS, as he is working on Carbon Capture and Storage.

  19. Last week I drove to Deadhorse on Prudhoe Bay to swim in the Arctic ocean and see what the evil Alaskan oil field and pipeline looks like. It was an amazing trip. The water was cold; although, not as cold as a mountain stream. I think it felt (not very scientific, but I was just on vacation) in the 40’s for sure. The water was “fresh” (again, i didn’t measure anything, it just didn’t feel sticky after the swim and it didn’t taste salty). The temperature and salinity was due to the recent ice melt and the shallow bay. The guide said it would get salty before winter as it slowly mixed with ocean water.
    I was encouraged that the area in and around the drill sites and the processing buildings was not “crapped up.” In fact, it was downright clean in most places. There was no smell or smoke anywhere. The air was clean. The lakes and tundra around and in the site were pristine. On the way up, I camped around lakes that were crapped up more by “Joe Camper” than the BP and Conoco around Deadhorse. I’m sure I didn’t get to see the worst stuff, but there was a lot you could see that was very very clean. You could see forever and mostly what you saw was pristine tundra. We a ton of wildlife in the oil fields (way more than we saw on the drive up.) All coincidence of course, but to see green fields and a few caribou between pockets of industrial buildings and machines was proof somewhat that we can drill and mine in areas like this without destroying everything.
    We drove along pristine wilderness and the single pipeline for days to get there. In many places the pipeline went underground or was high enough for animals to get past it. We saw no signs of environmental disaster or blocked caribou along the entire pipeline. Granted we couldn’t see all of the pipeline because it winds around a lot, but we could see a lot of it. The one thing that was certain was the lush vegetation growing right up to the pipe. The pipe was immaculately maintained. it looked like it was built yesterday. The only areas that were crapped up were truck stops.
    We were never struck by any feelings of environmental disaster. On the contrary, the drive was indescribably beautiful. The pipeline, when you could see it, was impressive, and awe inspiring, and it sort of fit in with the awe inspiring scenery. This is obviously not to say that we should stick pipelines everywhere for the sake of their beauty, but to point out there is no reason for horror when we do need one. To the east and west of the pipeline for ~thousands of miles lies untouched wilderness – partly immense glacier carved mountain, boreal forest, or tundra. It was one of the most beautiful and awesome stretches of land I have ever seen – and I have lived in Colorado and Lake Tahoe for a long time. I never would have seen it without the Dalton highway, the road that oil built, and the pipeline.
    If you are worried about environmental damage to the planet, get in your car and drive from Seattle to Prudhoe bay. You will see much more devastation around the places people live than along the pipeline and at the drill site. Vancouver, one of the cleanest and most beautiful cities in the world, had more crap in and around it than we saw from that point on.
    Interestingly, the oil industry has learned enough from this pipeline that they could do the next one completely underground. They have learned how to drill many wells from a single well head, technology that would cut the surface impact at the drill site. They obviously have learned how to keep the site cleaner than expected (credit to the previous generation of environmentalists and industry working together). I am encouraged that the trend is in the right direction and expect the future to be both more economical and environmental. I am sure there are still bad spots. I couldn’t see everything. I didn’t take soil and water samples. There were a few very old rusty oil drums on the beach. But the overall feeling was that the area was clean enough for wildlife to flourish right next to the industrial equipment, piping, and buildings.
    Now, If I were a climate scientist, I would see the inverse.
    I would I say running a single pipe through an area the size of Texas has had unimaginable environmental consequences! The 2 caribou I saw represent a 99.9999% decimation of the population obviously caused by man’s .00000001% changing of the land up there. I saw zero polar bears, so clearly they were all killed off by man. In fact, I never saw more than a handful of any animal species, so I can only conclude that there are probably no animals left in northern Alaska. I saw no icebergs, so they are all melted, and obviously they would never have melted except for 400 ppm of CO2 .
    The vastness of the area and its remoteness make accurately counting animals impossible. There is basically 1 dirt road through the entire northern half of the state. You could have millions of animals up there and never see one of them. These animals move a lot. How do we know when we counted an animal or not? There have to be huge error bars on these animal counts. I didn’t see anyone up there counting.
    Oh by the way, I did see one weather station on the drive up. Next to the road and a bunch of buildings of course. I do not believe it could be an accurate representation of the surrounding area’s temperature, either currently or historically. Within 5 miles of the weather station, I could have been on the top of a mountain, or the bottom of a valley. This weather station was located in a relatively developed area, which is entirely not representative of Alaska.
    These animals have adapted to huge weather extremes. When I was up there, it was like spring or summer anywhere else in the lower 48. This is when the animals do most of their eating, mating, etc. In the winter the temperatures drop down to Dakota levels and beyond. This winter is what limits food and does the killing. To say that increasing the temperature a few degrees is going to have a negative impact on any of these populations just goes to show how stupid these “scientists” think everyone else is.
    This trip just made me feel even more certain that today, there is no part of environmentalism that isn’t hyperbole or BS. I expected an environmental disaster and was presented with a garden of Eden with a little pipe. I actually feel even more certain that we are making incredible strides. We are capable of extracting ever more resources with ever less impact.
    If someone can tell me how to do pictures, I could add some so you all can see what I saw.

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