Petition Congress to Investigate USGS Polar Bear Research Methods

More Research Finds Polar Bears’ Condition Unaffected by Reduced Summer Sea Ice.

Guest essay by Jim Steele

Director emeritus Sierra Nevada Field Campus, San Francisco State University and author of Landscapes & Cycles: An Environmentalist’s Journey to Climate Skepticism

Reasons to Petition Congress to Investigate USGS’ Dubious Polar Bear Claims

Sign Petition Here:

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Although the Inuit steadfastly claim it is “the time of the most polar bears”, the most recent IUCN polar bear assessment predicts a 30% drop in the global polar bear population by mid‑century by assuming a linear correlation between summer sea ice melt and polar bear survival. They suggest bears “require sea ice to hunt” and thus predict less sea ice will prevent access to their preferred prey.

However, polar bear ecology and observations contradict that simplistic assertion. As listed below the current alarming predictions are due to extremely biased models and critical sins of omission presented in USGS publications, which ultimately misguide conservation efforts and the public’s understanding of the effects of climate change. Please petition congress to promote more reliable polar bear population studies and sign the petition here:

1) Greater than eighty percent of most polar bears’ annual stored fat is accumulated during the ringed seal pupping season that stretches from late March to the first week of May. Well‑documented observations (Stirling 2002, Harwood 2012, Chambellant 2012) report that cycles of heavy springtime sea ice have drastically reduced ringed seal reproduction. Heavy springtime ice is likely the greatest cause of polar bear nutritional deprivations, yet not one USGS model incorporates sea ice conditions during this critical time.

2) In areas like the Chukchi Sea that have experienced some of the greatest reductions in summer sea ice, there has been no reduction in polar bear body condition and some improvement (Rode 2014), contradicting USGS models driven by the hypothesis that less summer sea ice leads to nutritional deprivation.

3) All USGS models incorporate measures of minimal summer sea ice area in September despite the fact that ringed seals leave the ice in June, after pupping and molting, and swim in distant open waters. During this time less summer ice has little effect on the accessibility of seals.

4) USGS models assume more open water is detrimental to polar bears. But all published ecological studies (i.e. Harwood 2012, Chambellant 2012) show that ringed seal body condition, and thus seal reproductive outputs, decline when sea ice is slow to clear in the spring. It is longer periods of sea ice that cause lower ringed seal body condition and reproductive fitness that ultimately reduces the polar bears’ prey availability.

5) The IUCN’s assessment predicting a 30% decline in the global polar bear population is driven largely by the USGS’ models suggesting unique declining polar bear population in Southern Beaufort Sea’s. USGS models:

a. -calculated unrealistic bear survivorship estimates (0.77 here) during 2005 and 2006 based on mark and recapture models, that were unrealistic compared to known survivorship calculations of radio-collared bears (0.969 here) and survivorship estimates in 2002 to 2004. Only by uncritically embracing unrealistically low survivorship, USGS models created a dramatic drop in estimated abundance.

b. -blamed less summer ice and global warming for re‑capturing fewer bears, despite observations that heavy springtime sea ice had reduced seal ovulation rates to 30% in 2005 (Harwood 2012), the year models determined the lowest survivor rate for adult bears.

c. -ignored the 70% reduction in seal pups in 2005 due to heavy springtime ice that forced polar bears to increasingly hunt outside the USGS’ study area and making marked bears unavailable for re‑capture. As discussed here and here, the lack of recaptures due to temporary emigration is easily mistaken as a bear’s death. The USGS dismissed their own observations of increased transiency. And despite acknowledging an increased number of radio-collared bears outside the study area in 2005 and 2006, USGS modelers suggested that instead of searching elsewhere, bears just died, resulting in a dramatic population decline without the bodies to prove it.

d. -never published calculations of biological survival for known radio‑collared bears (10% of their study). Biological survival calculations provide a constraint on the reliability of estimated apparent survival from mark and recapture models. Previous research demonstrated that modeled apparent survival dramatically underestimates true biological survival.

Additional Supporting Evidence for Petitioning a USGS investigation

Whether or not reduced Arctic sea ice is the result of natural variability or rising CO2, reduced sea ice benefits the Arctic ecosystem. As discussed in Why Less Summer Ice Increases Polar Bear Populations, evidence and theory unequivocally demonstrates that less ice allows more sunshine for plankton to photosynthesize, causing marine productivity to increase 30% this decade (i.e. Arrigo 2015). Increased marine productivity then reverberates throughout the entire Arctic food chain benefitting cod that are fed on by seals that are fed on by bears. Furthermore all observations have determined that thinner sea ice benefits ringed seals, the polar bears main prey item. Contrary to alarming assertions, less sea ice has generated a more robust food chain!

In a recently published United States Geological Survey (USGS) article, Rode et al (2015) Increased Land Use by Chukchi Sea Polar Bears in Relation to Changing Sea Ice Conditions, researchers tracked radio-collared bears in the Chukchi Sea region and analyzed how much time bears spent on land versus sea ice for the months of August to October. Then they compared that behavior between the 1986–1995 period to 2008–2013. As should be expected with less sea ice, bears naturally spent more time on land. However despite theoretical assertions that less sea ice causes polar bears to suffer “nutritional deprivation”, these researchers observed that a “lack of a change in the body condition and reproduction of Chukchi Sea polar bears during the time period of this study suggest that Chukchi Sea polar bears either come onshore with sufficient body fat or they are finding sufficient food resources on land (marine or terrestrial) to offset increased durations on land.” This confirmed an earlier study during that same time period concluding, “body condition was maintained or improved when sea ice declined”.

In 2007 the 2nd greatest decrease in Arctic sea ice was observed in the waters surrounding Wrangel Island in the Chukchi Sea. That summer researchers likewise observed greater numbers of polar bears on the island. However again contradicting the “less‑ice‑means‑starving‑bears” theory, there were no signs of increased nutritional stress. Quite the opposite! Researchers determined that only less than 5% of the Wrangel Island bears were skinny or very skinny and that compared very favorably to their previous designations of the 7 to 15% skinny bears observed in years with heavier ice. Furthermore researchers determined that not only did 29% of all bears look “normal”, the remaining 66% were fat or very fat.  Those polar bear experts wrote, “Under certain circumstances, such as were observed on Wrangel Island in 2007, resources available in coastal ecosystems may be so abundant that polar bears are able to feed on them more successfully than while hunting on the sea ice.

Wrangel Island equally illustrates Rode (2015)’s alternative explanation for finding healthy polar bears on land: bears can find sufficient food resources on land to supplement their diet after ringed seals leave the ice.” In the essay Has David Attenborough Become A Propaganda Mouthpiece Promoting Climate Fear? I provided links to published accounts from past centuries and earlier BBC videos demonstrating that polar bears throughout the Chukchi Sea commonly hunt walrus on land; a fact that Attenborough distorted into a cinematic illusion misrepresenting a natural behavior as a function of catastrophic climate change. There is a long list of observations of bears on land actively hunting walruses, reindeer and fish, foraging on berries or scavenging whale carcasses. Although there has been a hypothetical debate on whether or not such supplemental diets could provide the appropriate calories to maintain polar bears’ body condition, based on observations, most bears are doing just fine during years with reduced sea ice.

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So why is it suggested that less sea ice reduces polar bears access to food? The short answer is the politics of the “climate wars”. For centuries walruses and polar bears have been observed on land despite much heavier Arctic sea ice during the Little Ice Age. However in the past decade there is a widespread attempt in the media to characterize observations of walruses and bears on land as a “perversion” caused by less sea ice from rising CO2. Skinny injured bears absurdly become media icons of climate change. Yet there is a multitude of peer-reviewed evidence (i.e. McKay 2008, Fisher 2006) that bears and walruses are well adapted to thrive in the extensive periods of reduced Arctic sea ice that were much less than today and persisted throughout the last 10,000 years of the Holocene.

Nearly every alarmist publication that asserts less sea ice causes polar bears to suffer from nutritional stress references as “proof” a 1999 paper by Ian Stirling showing body condition of bears in the western Hudson Bay declined from the 1980s to 1997. However, as seen in the graph below, since 1997 western Hudson Bay polar bears’ body condition has been improving surpassing levels observed in the1980s despite, or because of, years of reduced sea ice. The unpublished improvements of polar bear body condition during the 2000s corresponds well with published reports that since the heavy ice years of the early 1990s reduced ringed seal body condition and reproduction, ringed seal pups tripled during subsequent lighter ice years of the 2000s. However Nicholas Lunn of Environment Canada, has yet to publish that data, while Lunn and other PBSG researchers continue to reference only older zombie pre‑1997 data in assessments as recently as 2014. Publication bias that fails to report positive changes has been a disturbing phenomenon observed elsewhere by authors making catastrophic climate assertions (here and here). Dr. Susan Crockford has also highlighted Lunn’s penchant for deceptive reporting here as he attempts to downplay a recent survey that reports increasing bear populations in the Hudson Bay area.

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The recent assessment submitted to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature argued a “reduction in mean global population size greater than 30%” by mid‑century. In contrast all polar bear populations have increased after imposing hunting regulation in the late 60s and 70s. Despite a decadal trend of declining sea ice only 3 of 19 populations are now reported to be declining and uniquely only the Southern Beaufort Sea population is attributed to climate change. The Baffin Bay population has declined due to increased hunting by Greenlanders, and declines in the Kane Basin are attributed to low seal populations due to thick multiyear ice. Of the 7 sub‑populations for which there was comparative data presented in the IUCN’s report, four sub‑populations (Foxe Basin, Gulf of Boothia, Davis Strait, Northern Beaufort) have shown increasing populations. Two subpopulations (Western and Southern Hudson Bay) have shown no significant population change (Stapelton 2014).

Only the Southern Beaufort Sea population suggests a dramatic loss of polar bears, yet before the heavy springtime ice in 2005 there was little sign of reduced body condition. A 2007 USGS study reported that between 1982 and 2006, 95% of the bears in the Beaufort Sea region, exhibited body conditions that were stable or improving. Adult female bears that represented about 34% of all captures exhibited improved body condition. All other categories of bears showed no trend in body condition except for sub-adult males that comprised a mere 5% of the individuals examined. Stable and/or improving body condition again is evidence that the lack of summer sea ice has no detrimental effect on the body condition of polar bears. Nonetheless a co-author of that 2007 study, USGS’ Eric Regehr, used the same data to proclaim in a 2010 paper, “evidence suggests that polar bears in the southern Beaufort Sea are under increasing nutritional stress. From 1982 to 2006, body size and body condition for most sex and age classes were positively correlated with the availability of sea ice habitat, and exhibited a statistically significant decline during this period.”

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It is well documented that the Arctic undergoes periodic events producing heavy springtime sea ice that reduces local ringed seal populations in various locations. Ian Stirling co-authored a paper reporting,

“…heavy ice reduces the availability of low consolidated ridges and refrozen leads with accompanying snowdrifts typically used by ringed seals for birth and haul-out lairs.” He observed in 2005 and 2006, “Hunting success of polar bears (Ursus maritimus) seeking seals was low despite extensive searching for prey.”

The most recent paper by USGS researchers Bromaghin 2014 (and discussed here) acknowledges the decline in seal reproduction, yet they never acknowledge that it was a result of a cyclic increase in thick spring ice. As spring ice conditions have now returned to normal, seal ovulation rates also returned to normal, approaching 100%, and the Southern Beaufort bear population is now increasing. Yet because the USGS researchers continue to assert population declines are due to less summer ice and CO2 climate change, they conclude,

“For reasons that are not clear, survival of adults and cubs began to improve in 2007.”

But the reasons are not unknown! The USGS simply refuses to acknowledge global warming and lost summer sea ice has not produced any catastrophic change for polar in the recent past. And the prediction of a 30% decline is a myth that they choose to perpetuate.

Sign Petition Here:

Jim Steele is author of Landscapes & Cycles: An Environmentalist’s Journey to Climate Skepticism

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84 thoughts on “Petition Congress to Investigate USGS Polar Bear Research Methods

  1. According to IUCN/SSC Polar bear specialist group there are 19 distinct polar bear populations: 3 are in decline due to lousy neighbors, 1 is increasing, 6 are stable, and 9 covering over half the area lack useful data. The 9 unknown populations are mostly in Russia which hasn’t bought into the CAGW/disappearing sea ice cap clap trap. So the glib observation that when Gore was born there were 7,000 polar bears and only 30,000 are left now might not be exact, but the idea is close enough. I guess “saving” the polar bears beats having real jobs.

    http://wwf.panda.org/what_we_do/where_we_work/arctic/wildlife/polar_bear/population/

    http://pbsg.npolar.no/en/status/status-table.html

    • “when Gore was born there were 7,000 polar bears and only 30,000 are left now….”
      Nice one!
      Chris

  2. You are such strange people in that not a single one of you care enough to know the mechanism behind sea ice evolution across an orbital period.

    All planets possess a climate within a spectrum designated by the degree of inclination –

    A planet with 0° inclination has an Equatorial climate like Jupiter while a planet with a 90° inclination has a polar climate, something like Uranus. The Earth, with its 23 1/2° inclination has a largely Equatorial climate with a sizable Polar component however this scheme requires a series of modifications away from a ’tilting’ Earth .

    The Earth has two distinct surface rotations to the central Sun corresponding to the two day/night cycles, the familiar diurnal day/night cycle due to rotation and the polar day/night cycle where the Earth has a single rotation to the central Sun as a function of its orbital motion. All planets do –

    • gkell1

      You are such strange people in that not a single one of you care enough to know the mechanism behind sea ice evolution across an orbital period.

      Why do you claim none of us know, can explain, can follow the arguments and the math and heat transfer chronology of this evolution? Many of us know those subjects very well, and can spot not only the benefits (validations) and also its limitations and tribulations and the exaggerations of the theory.

      • It isn’t a claim but an unfortunate fact. As the Earth travels through space and around the Sun it turns once as a function of its orbital motion hence the polar day/nigh cycle at the North/South poles and the seasons where it combines with daily rotation at lower latitudes.

        All planets have a climate and that is the founding principle behind research into climate. What gives each planet its specific climate is its degree of inclination with a 0° to 90° spectrum representing an Equatorial climate at one end of the spectrum and a polar climate at the 90° end.

        The evolution of sea ice and its extent is dependent on the surface area where solar radiation becomes absent after the September equinox and right up to the December Solstice when the circumference of the surface area where solar radiation is absent reaches its maximum at the Arctic circle. The dynamics of this expanding area is a consequence of the surface rotation as a product of the orbital motion of the Earth rather than the old ’tilting’ Earth to the Sun explanation.

        Go ahead with academic citation warfare with the global warming modelers but effectively neither side acknowledges the dynamics behind the seasonal fluctuations in temperatures across latitudes and the limits of those variations in extent due to te specific 23 1/2° inclination of the Earth.

    • Even more strangely, it resembles the instant after a bad break on the pool table, when you’ve doubled the bet.

      • Teach not your parent’s mother to extract
        The embryo juices of the bird by suction.
        The good old lady can this feat enact
        Quite irrespective of thy kind instruction.

        (Sorry Mods, couldn’t resist.)

      • He turned up last Advent as well, and the Christmas before that.
        He doesn’t engage and seems a trifle monomaniacal.
        I think he may be a snowman.

        Makes as much sense as anything else he brings

      • About 20 years ago I analysed Newton’s conceptions which he termed absolute/relative time,space and motion. Of the three terms I immediately recognized that he was not defining time but rather ‘timekeeping’ using a facility known as the Equation of Time – a facility which converts the variations in each noon cycle to a 24 hour average.

        “Absolute time, in astronomy, is distinguished from relative, by the
        equation or correlation of the vulgar time. For the natural days are
        truly unequal, though they are commonly considered as equal and used
        for a measure of time; astronomers correct this inequality for their
        more accurate deducing of the celestial motions…The necessity of
        which equation, for determining the times of a phænomenon, is evinced
        as well from the experiments of the pendulum clock, as by eclipses of
        the satellites of Jupiter.” Principia

        The two references are simply referring to Huygen’s treatise on Pendulum clocks and Roemer’s use of the EoT for Jupiter’s satellite Io.

        The point is that even though Newton’s idiosyncratic description of the EoT is as plain as day, neither the proponents nor more importantly the opponents of early 20th century relativity acknowledged that it is the Equation of Time and therefore relativity which relies heavily on Newton’s absolute/relative jargon exposed how little theorists knew nor cared for Newton’s original agenda. The greatest horror was that Newton’s voodoo and bluffing was totally explicable when the early 20th century guys thought it was a meaningless jumble of words.

        The cautionary lesson is that when both sides of the argument become comfortable in each other’s company they detest fresh approaches which would break through rut ideologies. From my seat, the proponents of global warming are delighted with the type of opposition presented to them as they both speak the same language and it is all kept within academic ranks from where the fuss emerged.

    • The issue here is not why the Arctic ice comes and goes, but rather is there some downward trend to the sea ice such that as the future comes there will be less and less sea ice each year, making it more and more difficult for the Polar Bears to hunt and survive? Are Polar Bears truly threatened by diminishing sea ice as claimed by the Green Blob and used as a poster child for their lobbying, or is this claim false based upon shoddy science. After all, we know that the Polar bears survived the other warm periods in the Holocene, including the Holocene Optimum which was considerably warmer than today and wherein summer sea ice would have been minimal.

      As I see matters, before one can take the Green Blob’s claim seriously, they need to explain how Polar Bears survived the Holocene Optimum.

      I am sure that most readers on this site are well aware of how the seasons operate and why we have seasons on planet Earth.

      That said, I liked your plot showing the comparisons with the other planets (and dwarf planet), and I liked the video..

      • Richard, the issue is the mechanism for annual sea ice evolution as a means to draw observers into determining climate by making planetary comparisons and the common traits which make such comparisons possible. It is an entirely different top down approach which makes climate research an enjoyable exercise rather than a vehicle for a social/political agenda based on human lifestyles and therefore the proper approach would only attract reasonable people who value their intelligence.

        I truly believe that withdrawing from contention with the global warming crowd and the blanket media coverage is probably the most important step as it means returning to the topic with a clearer perspective on the matter as opposed to the citation warfare going on presently.

        There are dozens of different modifications necessary to put climate on a stable narrative foundation and it literally begins from scratch with special attention to the motions of the Earth which produce the daily and annual cyclical temperature fluctuations. The historical legacy of reckless speculation based on predictive astronomy is such that even the cause behind the daily temperature fluctuations is challenged in order to justify a specific RA/Dec framework .

      • Rick, yours is the best reply.

        Your post reminds me of the response by conservative pundit Russell Kirk when [she] was informed that Robert Welch of the John Birch Society had just “outed” president Dwight Eisenhower as a COMMUNIST.

        Kirk replied: Eisenhower is not a Communist, he is a Golfer.

    • gkell1, yes I am well aware of why we have seasons. There is no need to be smug about it. I’m sorry, but what I do not grasp is the relevance to the topic at hand.

  3. “—–there were 7,000 polar bears and only 30,000 are left now—”

    Shameless. They will try every trick they can think of.

    • That resembles my 2015 New Year’s resolution. I resolved to lose 10 pounds this year, and with a month left, I only have 25 pounds to go.

  4. polar bears in danger – more research needed
    no problems for polar bears – no research needed

    now you decide which way polar bears ‘researchers’ are going to go

  5. Tried to sign the petition but it required my street address.
    Without knowing the distribution of the petitioners data I am reluctant.

    • Oldseadog,

      I designed the petition to go to Lamar Smith from Texas because he chairs the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology Committee.

      According to Change.org “Petitions that get sent to U.S. federal elected officials (the President, U.S. Senators and U.S. Representatives) will include your address. This is simply to confirm that you are one of their constituents. Your address is never made public.”

      • Thanks.
        Now signed. There may be a problem, though, because I am not a constituent of anyone in USA.
        Always supposing anyone in authority looks at the address anyway.
        But if I get any spam from this I’ll come over there and leave seal guts and walrus manure all over your back yard.

      • I have not signed.
        Not because I disagree with you…
        But because I do not agree with foreign nationals trying to influence Government policies.
        (I’m a UK subject).

      • The Science Committee is focused on NOAA at the moment [why can’t I embed links in this comment?] (http://www.govexec.com/oversight/2015/11/noaa-chief-spars-lawmaker-over-climate-change-da), but the polar bear papers are the third ongoing USGS science integrity issue coming from outside the Survey that’s come to light. The other two are the greater sage grouse in CO and WY and pavement coatings (that’s mine) – see http://www.usgs.gov/info_qual/ . Then there is Drakes Bay where the politics have been “resolved” (http://www.ptreyeslight.com/article/seal-expert-says-agency-ignored-his-findings). Suzette Kimball is up for confirmation as USGS director (she’s now the Dept. of Interior’s chief Science Quality & Integrity Officer). Call your Senator. Committee Chair is Sen. Lisa Murkowski (Alaska).

      • Ms LeHuray

        I checked out your coatings filing. I’ve been disappointed with the speed and tenacity of the investigative committees concerning CAGW. If you don’t mind, I’d like to know your opinion of their effort and progress.

        Thanks

    • I recently tried to fund an account thru PayPal.
      It is a long story……but my attempt failed.
      The security at PayPal called me within 10 minutes, many emails followed.

      They made me change my password, and just to make sure it was me, they dug into “public records” that knew what model car I’ve owned and the year, they also knew my hair color (think FOID ).

      All I wanted to do was lose more money at the racetrack !!

      • Here in Illinois FOID is Firearm Owner’s Identification.
        We are broke but by golly we have enough State Police to do background checks and issue FOID cards in three or four months. Also, no FOID card, no concealed carry even with the Court ordering the State to permit carrying firearms.
        But folks! We have “renewable energy” mandates. We were the State with the most nuke plants but needed to kill some birds since we nearly banned guns. Or something.

  6. Save the seals!!
    kill the polar bears.
    I’m old enough to remember when environmentalists were concerned about the seals. They didn’t really care about polar bears.

  7. With no direct evidence, I could see less sea ice being beneficial to Polar Bears. Less ice causes seal populations to concentrate allowing less energy expenditure between meals. This is my experience fishing in small lakes vs. big ones, much easier to find the fish.

  8. And of course, polar bears thrived during the much warmer Minoan Warm Period, the Roman Warm Period and the Medieval Warm Period. Moose and seals and whales and other Ice Age creatures did so, too.

  9. In the Warmist religion, the polar bear is (or was) an important icon for propaganda purposes. They needed for it to be “endangered” to help whip up emotions and garner support for the Cause. Truth, facts, and actual science are expendable for them.

  10. Please share the link to this petition with as many websites as possible. The goal is to get as many petition supporters (1,390,000) as the petition Justice for Cecil the Lion. The more supporters the easier it will be for Smith to investigate!

    • signed and promoted – I’ll send this link to my lists tomorrow (Black Friday) when my friends and family have recovered from post-turkey lethargy and before they might raid the leftovers …

      Thanks for the piece, Jim.

      Occasionally a piece from Eric Worrall can elevate my blood pressure, but this work really fries me. I’ll have to conjure a while why that is, but in meantime, I see a real opportunity here

      I think that most of my family and friends, regardless of their political leanings and in light of current world wackiness including the climate crescendo in the media lead-up to COP 21, are savvy enough to recognize this “agenda based science”. The selective hypothesizing and especially reporting on the status and near future of this global warming/climate change icon may well anger them with the intended manipulation.

      They may not have the natural and physical science backgrounds to wonder about atmospheric thermodynamics, but here we have polar bears, arctic sea ice, global warming, climate change and damning futuristic claims all wrapped up in a single scene where “scientists”, whom they tend not to distrust, have bent to message and money and abandoned truth.

      And then, they might be more inclined to listen to us about CO2 benefits, real global greening, and the wonders of reliable baseload power providing modern civilization.

      This is a potential keystone piece that includes something we can do about it.

  11. I hate to use the “f” word but academic malfeasance seems to weak. This appears to be intentional and likely a coordinated attempt to hide the truth.

  12. It sounds like it’s time to stop worrying about the polar bears ad to start worrying about the seals getting eaten by polar bears. Moreover there could be grants available for that.

    • Actually, it’s just more evidence exposing blatantly fraudulent “studies” intended to deceive the pubilc at its own expense.

      Climate cranks aren’t the only source of such useless drivel, of course, but they are perhaps most prominent for asserting exaggerated claims plainly unsupported by credible contrary evidence.

      That this happy band of brothers manages to get their work product past “peer review” cronies says more about the entire community of mutual enablers than about individual perps.

  13. I remember a few years ago now (a decade?) it was made public that the USGS was to undergo severe Government budget cuts – to the point where it would almost cease to be a viable and value-adding organisation. Within the geology world (of which I am a part), there were discussions held about what they could do to retain their funding and continue to conduct scientific studies, provide valuable pre-competitive information to the domestic resource industry and educational material for schools, etc. Since the initial noise around the issue, it faded from view quite quickly.
    To see this kind of tripe come from them now not only smacks of ‘this is what they’ve been reduced to, to maintain their politically-tainted funding’ but is just damn disappointing from this previously widely respected organisation. Very sad indeed.
    While our own local (Australian) geological and earth science bodies have not released any recent ‘Statements on the Environment’ that I’m aware of (one early typically pandering effort was withdrawn http://joannenova.com.au/2014/06/climate-science-hopelessly-politicized-geological-society-of-australia-gives-up-on-making-any-statement/ ), I hold hope that they are standing (as) firm (as they can without becoming political), as any statement will inevitably be held up as authority for the hype – or the body will be smeared if the statement refutes ‘the narrative’. To do nothing is cowardly but in this political environment (no pun intended) it’s better than having their head cut off…

  14. I thought that after the polar bear climate meme was thoroughly debunked, the Warmists had moved on to Walruses.
    And then there is The Problem With Puffins.

    • It isn’t about whether it has been debunked, since all Warmist crap gets debunked. It’s about how useful it is to them, since people get tired of it, so they nove on. But that doesn’t stop them from recycling old, debunked memes, and putting fresh lipstick on them. Polar bears will be back. Just wait.

  15. Great article. Thanks
    Polar bears were NEVER in danger.
    Scientists associated with this drivel should have to pet them.

    Meanwhile back at the sellout parade, the Pope was in Kenya laying it on thick about how people in special interest groups who are thwarting the world’s efforts to blah blah climate change are a “threat” to the poor.
    Whooooooa nellie. I don’t want to be traveling in some foreign country where freedom of speech is not protected and being grilled as to whether I’m a CAGW believer. If he takes this too far it could get a tad ugly.

    http://www.nbcnews.com/news/pope-francis/pope-kenya-gods-name-cant-be-used-justify-hatred-n469931

    Sorry that the link has miss piggy popping up in one of those premie videos. Mute the annoyance.

  16. Here are some posts I’ve made previously on this issue:
    —————
    Here’s a thought. Let’s say there was a 90% (or thereabouts) consensus in the official international polar bears experts group that polar bear numbers were declining and the threat to them was severe. (I think I’ve read material to that effect.) Since that position has been shown be be a considerable exaggeration and the result of an environmentalist bedwetting mentality, isn’t it reasonable to extrapolate that the same mentality underlies the IPCC’s alarmism?

    The whole field–and especially those most active in it–has differentially attracted tree-hugger types who have swallowed the environmental dogma of “two legs bad.” And it has attracted the world-saver type, like Hansen–victims of “the messianic delusion.”

    This point is most clearly seen in the simple science of polar bear ecology, in which the acrobatics and underhandedness of the polar bear specialists group stand out, and which serves as a case study of what’s wrong with the more complex science of climatology.

    And, of course, it’s hard for contrarians to get published in that field–their articles must pass a higher bar.

    The exlusion of skeptical polar bear experts from the in-group’s meetings is a case study of a conspiracy. In a microcosm, this is what is going on in the larger field of climatology.

    • JK

      “The exlusion of skeptical polar bear experts from the in-group’s meetings is a case study of a conspiracy. In a microcosm, this is what is going on in the larger field of climatology.”

      Yeah well, your onto somethin there Mr JK. I spent a couple of hours last night watching Dr Tim Ball’s youtube video on the corruption of climate science. He did a mighty fine job. Big balls, genuine integrity.
      I’d let him date my sister, but she’s a handful so on second thought I won’t offer the distraction.

      Dr Ball does a lovely job giving the history of the characters involved in the evolution of CAGW and does a fine job in the Q and A describing how peer review has become “fixed”.

      [trimmed, by writer’s request]

      Anyway, zipping thru Dr Ball’s video is well worth it if you haven’t had a chance.
      Could use some editing, like anything and would be ideal if it was reduced to 10 minutes and maybe some spiffier graphics but I know some of that is time consuming. Good stuff.

      Maurice Strong .. key fella .. not a fan of individual freedom.

  17. Oh, I reread my post to JK. Dr Ball had nothing to say about the Pope. That was a random synaptic interference. My thoughts, my words. I try to be tighter in better the ears when writing.

  18. The bear in that first photo has been eating way too many carbohydrate seals. He should stick to the protein ones.

  19. This raises two scientific issues. First is there a long term trend of diminishing Arctic Sea Ice and if so why? The basis of this claim is made against a comparison with 1979 data, but 1979 reflects a high in the extent of Arctic Ice. Arctic ice was throughout the 1970s gaining in size, and this was one reason behind the ice age scare of that time. I have seen a satellite photo dated around 1975 which shows considerably less Arctic ice to that of 1979 and an extent much more similar to today. Also we know that in the 1950s the two nuclear subs surfaced at or near the North Pole which could not be done today suggesting less ice in the 1950s. So what we are observing may simply be part of a natural cycle and there may be a recovery in area of Arctic Ice over the next 10 years. Anyway, we know the shrill claims made by the likes of Wadham have proved to be false alarmism.

    Second, are Polar Bears truly threatened by diminishing sea ice as claimed by the Green Blob and used as a poster child for their lobbying, or is this claim false based upon shoddy science. After all, we know that the Polar bears survived the other warm periods in the Holocene, including the Holocene Optimum which was considerably warmer than today and wherein summer sea ice would have been minimal.

    As I see matters, before one can take the Green Blob’s claim seriously, they need to explain how Polar Bears survived the Holocene Optimum.

    I am all for Congress being petitioned on this since I firmly consider the science behind this to be shoddy on several different fronts. It well illustrates the politicization of the scientific method and the unnecessary alarmism that cAGW has attracted.

    • “First is there a long term trend of diminishing Arctic Sea Ice and if so why?”
      This is a question regarding the earth’s climate. And such things are very poorly understood.
      Especially since the subject area has been hijacked by fraudsters and fakers for at least the last 30 years.
      Wouldn’t it be great if all this money and time was actually being spent on genuine scientific enquiry?
      We may potentially have learned a great deal.
      Instead we just have heaps and heaps of copycat alarmist junk.
      I, for one, want to know the answers to these important questions and others.
      Call me old fashioned!!

  20. “They suggest bears “require sea ice to hunt” and thus predict less sea ice will prevent access to their preferred prey.”

    If Polar Bears can’t hunt the Seals then over time there will be more Seals, or if the Seals cannot have pups without ice then they will move to where there is ice?
    Out of all the animals where loss of habitat is an issue IMHO I don’t think Polar Bears or Seals are them, compared to Lions, Tigers (or all big cats) Elephants, River Dolphins etc.

  21. Polar Bears, Adelie Penguins and Snow Leopards are the poster-children for a huge money-earning scam from the WWF (among others); by saying that they are endangered and that they (the WWF) are actively helping these animals, they are extorting millions each year from an uninformed public. Most of that money is then spent on political lobbying and activist groups – it is about time this scam was exposed and stopped.

  22. Whoa Nellie! That is one fat@$$ bear in the first picture. Don’t let Michelle Obama see that one or she’ll mandate that all of the polar bears be put on a vegetarian diet.
    .
    .
    .
    Worse yet, she may have them all forced to eat US school lunches and then then the polar bears really will be endangered.

  23. There is a typo in the first paragraph of the petition. Please fix it and any others before delivering this useful petition.

  24. Knute –
    You asked “I checked out your coatings filing. I’ve been disappointed with the speed and tenacity of the investigative committees concerning CAGW. If you don’t mind, I’d like to know your opinion of their effort and progress.” My view is that few politicians are scientists, and they are afraid of what they don’t understand. The concept of having experts in the Executive Branch was intended to create cadres of people who do understand the complexities, but, except in cases of frank misconduct, Congressional committees are as poorly equipped to investigate & oversee the work of experts as they are to delve into complex scientific issues on their own in the first place. So Congressional committees look for experts to help inform their view of the work of Executive Agency experts. Congress appropriates funds for EPA to hire the National Academy to convene a panel to look into this or that. EPA provides the money, NAS gives them a voice in who sits on the panel. The USGS is one of those internal consulting agencies – EPA and others hire the USGS to look into this or that. In the case of the coatings issue, the City of Austin, TX first asked the opinions of the TX Commission on Environmental Quality, the TX Department of Health (which brought in the US Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry) and EPA Region 6. All of those issued written opinions (some very strongly written) that the City of Austin did not have a problem. Then the City hired the USGS, through the Survey’s matching funds program, and the USGS came through to give the City what it wanted.

    Sorry that this turned into a rant.

    • Thanks Anne

      I don’t think you have to be a scientist to understand CAGW. Commttees can easily hire those educated in the subject. Many of the politicians are also attorneys so they have some degree of ability to dissect fallacy.

      I appreciate you providing your opinion. I guess I was looking for some evidence of corrupted integrity. I can’t nail down evidence that they are, but the behavoir doesn’t make sense.

      Thanks again.
      Sometimes rants are the creative process towards more concrete thought.

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