Chicken Littles vs Adelie Penguins


By Jim Steele

Chicken Littles vs Adelie Penguins

Throughout recorded history dooms day cults attract thousands of gullible people. Charismatic cult leaders of the Order of the Solar Temple or Heaven’s Gate convinced their followers to commit suicide due to a coming “environmental apocalypse”. To prevent environmental collapse, a recent mass shooter justified his killings as reducing over-population, while a Swedish scientist has suggested cannibalism. Thus, it’s worrisome that charismatic congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez similarly warns our world is doomed in 12 years. Equally disturbing is the carefully orchestrated fear-mongering, such that the United Nations gave ill-informed, 16-year old Greta Thunberg center stage to rage that CO2 is causing ecosystem collapse. Terrifying children with ‘the sky is falling’ fears will only bring about dire, unintended consequences.

Who is filling our children’s heads with stories of ecosystem collapse?

For one Al Gore wrote in 2012, “The fate of the Adelie Penguins, A message from Al Gore”: “As temperatures rise along the West Antarctic Peninsula and the winter sea ice blankets the ocean three months fewer per year than 30 years ago, the local ecosystem is in danger. Everything from the base of the food chain – the phytoplankton (microscopic plants and bacteria) and krill (shrimp like creatures), to one of the continent’s most iconic inhabitants, the Adelie penguins, are under threat…There is an important lesson for us in the story of the Adelie penguins.”

Indeed, Adelie penguins provide an “important lesson”. Don’t trust apocalyptic hype!

Adelie penguins may be the best studied bird on earth. In 2009, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) estimated between 4 and 5 million adults, happily listing them as a species of “Least Concern”. However, using dubious IPCC climate models, scientists led by ornithologist David Ainley predicted the most northerly Adelie colonies would soon disappear as ice-melting warmth crept southward. They predicted between the years 2025 and 2052, 70% of the total Adelie population would be lost. Bullied by that virtual death count, the IUCN downgraded Adelies from “Least Concern” to “Near Threatened”.

In real life, by 2016 Adelie abundance had nearly doubled to 7.6 million, and once again Adelies are a species of Least Concern. So how were scientists so misled?

Ice Age glaciers had forced Adelies to abandon most of Antarctica’s coast. With warming, glaciers retreated and Adelies rapidly returned to breed and multiply. However, there was one exception. For over 5400 years Adelies avoided ice free coastlines along Antarctica’s northwestern peninsula. Scientists dubbed this the “northern enigma”. Due to the region’s unfavorable weather, breeding Adelies still avoid much of that region, currently labeled the “Adelie Gap”. As might be expected, breeding colonies adjacent to the “Adelie Gap” are the least stable with some colonies experiencing population declines, and those declining colonies were enough to confirm some scientists’ climate fears.

In the 1990s, the northwestern sector of the Antarctic peninsula coincidently experienced rising temperatures and declining sea ice. Although Antarctica sea ice was not decreasing elsewhere, researchers believed the melting ice and warmer temperatures were just what CO2-driven climate models predicted. But then the peninsula’s winds shifted. The peninsula’s sea ice has now been growing and temperatures have been cooling for over a decade. Furthermore in contrast to Ainley’s models, colonies at the most northerly limits of the Adelies’ range are not disappearing. Those colonies are thriving and increasing such as the Sandwich Island colonies, and northerly colonies on the Antarctic peninsula’s east side.

Media headlines are guided by the maxim ‘if it bleeds it leads.’ Likewise, scientific journals. Good news about thriving colonies, or no change, fail to capture headlines. But the addiction to eye-catching catastrophes misleads the public and scientists alike. Despite no warming trend at an Emperor penguin colony, David Ainley was so inebriated by global warming fears, he fabricated a warming temperature graph to falsely explain the colony’s decline! Similarly, extreme researchers of polar bear populations wrongly argued, “we’re projecting that, by the middle of this century, two-thirds of the polar bears will be gone from their current populations”. Again, in reality polar bear abundance has increased.

By perpetuating bogus claims of a world ending in 12 years, the Chicken Littles are doing far more harm than blinding children to scientific evidence that many species, from polar bears to Adelie penguins, are thriving. Our children miss the “important lesson” that a “climate crisis” is only a theory supported by scary narratives, not facts. So how do we protect our children from Chicken Littles who seek to enroll vulnerable minds into their doomsday cults? How do we motivate our children to be good critical thinkers, and not blind group thinkers mesmerized by fear and ‘end of the earth’ scenarios?


Jim Steele is director emeritus of the Sierra Nevada Field Campus, SFSU and authored Landscapes and Cycles: An Environmentalist’s Journey to Climate Skepticism.

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October 12, 2019 6:03 am

I smell fowl play

Reply to  Dave Burton
October 12, 2019 7:25 am

Maybe you live near Adelie-catessen?

Reply to  leitmotif
October 12, 2019 1:48 pm

Or maybe just Gull-able

Funny how these animals living on the fringe of what is possible do a lot better wit only a slight lessening on the hardships.

Curious George
Reply to  Dave Burton
October 12, 2019 9:03 am

Did Greta learn a lot from Al Gore, or did Al Gore learn a lot from Greta, or did nobody learn anything?

Crispin in Waterloo but really in Beijing
Reply to  Curious George
October 12, 2019 12:45 pm

Curious G

You got that right! When you live in an echo chamber, all you hear are echoes.

The spread of ignorance about global climate changes is very interesting – at least to this international traveller. Everywhere I go, I bump into different understandings of what constitutes “doom”. The climate disaster cult is not nearly as universally believed as Westerners might think. It really is a Western White Male obsession in origin, with their (apparently) easily fooled mates in tow.

All anyone in a cold place wants is more warmth. Hell is a cold place in such cultures. All anyone in a hot place wants is more and cleaner water. Hell is a hot place in such cultures.

All anyone in between wants is earlier Springs and later Autumns. In Indonesia they would appreciate fewer earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. Let’s call them the Exception.

Jordan Peterson’s explanation of the reality and effects of ideological possession is very helpful for understanding what happens when monomaniacal indoctrination is dispensed to the young. The UN-Greta performance was disturbing because it is obvious she really believes that nonsense – that I, Crispin in Waterloo, have stolen her future, personally.

Young children and old farts like Al should learn about how the world works and stop being so credulous. I think Al did it for the carbon trading money that never came. The CCX, for those with good memories – now gone like the prediction that 50m swarthy climate refugees would be milling about looking for your suburban land to squat upon. Talk about racist alarmism.

What Greta is learning is where lie hid the hints of fame and fortune. Wisdom, not so much.

Reply to  Crispin in Waterloo but really in Beijing
October 12, 2019 1:28 pm

Greta is CIA level psyops. I doubt she’ll convince Anthony in the error of his ways (level 7) but think about it; she is continuous sound bites and you can’t disagree or argue because of her “disability” Brilliant!

Reply to  taz1999
October 13, 2019 12:37 pm

Rowan Dean has Greta fun (starts 1:30)

(nb, Liberal down here, means Conservative)

Reply to  Dave Burton
October 12, 2019 6:13 pm

Hmm..self culling?

Dan Sudlik
October 12, 2019 6:20 am

Why trust evidence when fairy tales bring grant money.

Bill Powers
Reply to  Dan Sudlik
October 12, 2019 10:19 am

The answer to the last question is turn out every Politician that claims Man Made Climate change is an evidence based crisis.

Once sane people occupy the state houses clean out Public School Administrations until science teachers bring the scientific method back into the classroom. No Grant money for computer modeling.

Then mandate that we ban all fear (mong)umentaries starting with ALGORE’s “An Inconvenient (hoax)”

Eric Elsam
Reply to  Bill Powers
October 12, 2019 12:07 pm

If we were somehow able to “clean out” all these folks, it would create a public disaster of unemployment and homelessness. for they would have no way of supporting themselves.

Richard Patton
Reply to  Eric Elsam
October 12, 2019 10:30 pm

We could put the current homeless into their homes. Two birds killed with one stone.

Bill Powers
Reply to  Eric Elsam
October 13, 2019 10:49 am

After we kick out the UN we can turn the UN Building in public housing for unemployed public School administrators and if necessary, teachers that resist a return to reading writing and arithmetic. No more tenure and Post-modernist mumbo jumbo feelings based indoctrination. Those people will all be sharing a public unisex bathroom in the UN Building.

You will be surprised at how many teachers will gladly remain at their posts. Nobody will miss the admin gestapo.

Eric Elsam
Reply to  Bill Powers
October 12, 2019 12:45 pm

If we were to somehow “clean them out” we would create a horrible public crisis in unemployment and homelessness since “they” could not support themselves.

October 12, 2019 6:25 am

Eventually the children grow up and realize that they aren’t dead. Quite a shock!

One can only project imminent death and destruction on a mass scale for so long before people eventually realize that you bullshitted them. Of course, by then they’re working on the minds of the next cohort of children, in order to maintain a constant supply of misled children.

By the way, that’s why young children still believe in Santa Claus, despite the fact that their older siblings learned years earlier that it was all a scam.

Reply to  Duane
October 12, 2019 7:17 am

Santa Claus a Scam? How dare you, you evil Satanic denier. /s

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Earthling2
October 12, 2019 9:47 am

Wouldn’t that be “Santanic” denier?

Crispin in Waterloo but really in Beijing
Reply to  Jeff Alberts
October 12, 2019 1:00 pm

Exactly what an Elfinist would say.

Come the revolution and the Old Boy’s execution the Elves will rise and distribute the toys, the product of their hard labour, equally amongst themselves. These ungrateful members of the poletariat will deny Santa his rightful inherited position as leader of the Poles.

Elfinism will spread, promises of unlimited free toys being the bait that will attract the multitudes of children away from their misplaced beliefs in Santa who can’t possibly visit that many homes in a single night. Stewie and Brian from Quahog proved that already.

Scientific Elfinism will solve all the world’s toy supply problems and every day will be Christmas Day, just as it was supposed to be In The Beginning.

What nonsense. You can see why Santa still controls and exploits the elves (a little bit, and it’s for their own good to keep them in line).

This message was brought to you by New Year’s, the holiday that always brings something original to the party, numerically speaking.

Gary Mount
October 12, 2019 6:36 am
Reply to  Gary Mount
October 12, 2019 7:12 am

Darn it Gary you beat me to it. Actually its now 10 years and 361 days before we all perish in A CO2 stew.

Reply to  Marc
October 12, 2019 6:25 pm

I think that’s when the warrantee on all those solar rooftop systems expires just as the inverters fail.

“If this fails it won’t be the end of the world, but it will have many of the same consequences.”
– anon

October 12, 2019 6:41 am

the only way to prevent kids being scared witless and misled is to really monitor what theyre told at school and to pretty much monitor social media browsing/content and to TALK and discuss often.
if theyve been copping this crap since kindy?
good luck, you”ll need it

home schooling is prob the only way to get kids free of mass indoctrination

Reply to  ozspeaksup
October 12, 2019 9:27 am

Apart from homeschooling- teach the kids to be selective as to friends and whom to believe- that the world is full mentally unbalanced people who spout nonsense.
In simple terms, learn to think for yourselves and be aware that 90% of everything is BS coming from someone else who wants to gain an advantage.

David Chappell
October 12, 2019 6:42 am

Weasel words:
“we’re projecting that, by the middle of this century, two-thirds of the polar bears will be gone from their current populations”
In reality 100% of the current population will be gone given that the polar bears lifespan is 20-30 years

Reply to  David Chappell
October 12, 2019 7:16 am

Mark Twain had something to say about scientific projections:

The Mississippi between Cairo and New Orleans was twelve hundred and fifteen miles long one hundred and seventy-six years ago. . . . Its length is only nine hundred and seventy-three miles at present.

Now, if I wanted to be one of those ponderous scientific people, and “let on” to prove what had occurred in the remote past by what had occurred in a given time in the recent past . . . what an opportunity is here! Geology never had such a chance, nor such exact data to argue from! . . .

In the space of one hundred and seventy-six years the Lower Mississippi has shortened itself two hundred and forty-two miles. That is an average of a trifle over one mile and a third per year. Therefore, any calm person, who is not blind or idiotic, can see that in the Old Oolitic Silurian Period, just a million years ago next November, the Lower Mississippi River was upwards of one million three hundred thousand miles long, and stuck out over the Gulf of Mexico like a fishing-rod. And by the same token any person can see that seven hundred and forty-two years from now the lower Mississippi will be only a mile and three-quarters long. . . . There is something fascinating about science. One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact. link

The problem with projecting a decline in polar bears due to warming is that they survived much warmer periods during this interglacial period. In fact the arctic was probably ice free during the summer for most of the Holocene. link

Reply to  commieBob
October 14, 2019 4:19 pm

Probably weren’t any polar bears then. They probably would have all been Grizzlies.

October 12, 2019 6:44 am

An ignorant, attention-seeking NVT reporter recently wrote an article in which he stated that over 3 billion birds had disappeared over the past 50 years. I sent WUWT a link to that article. It was ridiculous, made worse by Cornell’s bird lab posting it on their website.

Birds have short life spans. They come to full adult maturity in ONE single spring to fall seasonal period. That fact escaped him, but it wouldn’t suit his panic attack approach even if you gave him hard evidence.

So how do you battle and fend off the people who only want to publish sensationalism instead of facts? Don’t buy their product – published stuff – unless you plan to refute it with facts, for one thing. Their tiny minds are made up, and even when they are wrong – and they frequently are – they will still try to hammer the round sensationalism peg into a square hole.

Reply to  Sara
October 12, 2019 7:52 am

That is correct.

Indeed, per data collected by Sibley Guides (the world’s leading guide for birders) just in the USA alone the average yearly avian mortality rate due to human-related causes (above natural mortality) exceeds 1.5 billion birds – that’s per year, just in the USA. The vast majority of those avian deaths being due to birds striking windows – a billion a year just due to that! And outdoor domestic cats kill another 500+ million birds PER YEAR. High tension wires are the third largest source of bird mortality at nearly 200 million birds killed per year.

And the good news is, the 1.5 billion birds lost every year due to human related causes has no impact on total bird numbers.

Of course, these data also blow to hell all the arguments of anti-windmill people – for which WUWT is ground zero – who falsely claim that windmills are major threats to bird populations. Wind turbines cause fewer than 2 million bird deaths each year, which doesn’t even come close to rising to the noise level in the avian mortality data.

Roger Knights
Reply to  Duane
October 12, 2019 11:35 am

Wind turbines kill endangered raptors, which rarely get killed by other means. Ditto for bats.

I suspect the killings by cats are over-estimated. I suspect half the dead birds cats deposit on owners’ porches weren’t killed by them, but found dead on the ground.

Reply to  Roger Knights
October 12, 2019 6:52 pm

Myth … proportionally no more raptors killed by windmills than any other bird species. Raptors are all enjoying steady growth in numbers despite huge numbers of windmills erected.

Reply to  Duane
October 12, 2019 1:53 pm

The Birds hitting windows and cat’s studies that I read were half posterior designed and poorly executed by volunteers without verification.

e.g. I have a sun room and large sliding glass windows. For over twenty years, male Virginia Bluebirds take offense at seeing their reflections challenging them to battle.
During Spring, bluebirds ram my windows every day.

During early summer, they’ve begun to tolerate reflected bluebirds. and window crashes taper down to one or two per week.
By late summer, the males have moved to various high lookouts, the top of the martin house is reserved for the top bluebird in the yard.
Window crashes decline significantly

Late autumn is when the goldfinches start hitting the windows.
I suspect they are escaping the various hawks that think out bird feeders are food storage areas.

In twenty years, two birds a goldfinch and a hummingbird hit a window hard enough to injure themselves. Both died shortly afterward; the hummingbird broke his neck.
Every other starling, bluebird, hummingbird and goldfinch flew off.

A few days of amateurs watching tall buildings and counting every window hit as terminal then applying that estimate to all estimated windows for every day of the year develops scary numbers. Any fool can do it.

Cats will eat birds. My cat prefers mice and other young rodents. Nor do ordinary cats learn to properly hunt.
A milk farm we worked with when young attracted cats by the dozens. People dump their cats in what appears to be woods. Most of those cats try to find food sources as the milk farm can attest to.
Except, Bob the farmer didn’t feed non working critters. Cats learned to hunt vermin or they got driven off by those who were willing to hunt and protect their food. Yeah, cats want to catch birds, but it takes a skilled patient cat.

Again, people took what a few cats can do and then multiplied that figure by estimated cats and days of the year… Scary numbers without fact or reason.

If cats were so all fired deadly to birds, then why are pigeons to common in cities?
Pigeons strut, preen and peck anything that looks like food; and they look like they are daring the cats to try for a taste of pigeon!
The same goes for other abundant urban birds like grackles, chickadees, starlings or English sparrows?

Anyone see a lot of dead birds beneath windows? Or cats carrying their latest catch to where they can eat it?
Or, anyone notice their cat bringing them a lot of birds as presents? Mice, yes! Crickets and large grasshoppers, yes! Mouse tails? Yes! Even a large spider every now and then, yes!

Where cats have been dumped and have successfully transitioned to hunters, populations of ground nesting birds, e.g. quail, have been documented to decline.
Proof, however has not been reached, at the slightest.
Relationships and coincidences are not correlation, nor are any of the three proof of causation.

Declines in ground nesting birds have also been documented where feral cats have not been recorded.
Maybe coyotes?

Did any of the alleged researchers document declines in birds then actually prove causation of that decline to windows, buildings or cats? Let alone explain why birds remain in abundance where windowed buildings and cats are plentiful?
Thought not.

Reply to  ATheoK
October 12, 2019 6:56 pm

I’ve personally had dozens of birds collide and die on my little three bedroom home in the last decade. Multiply that by 200 million homes … and then add all the commercial, institutional, and government buildings, and a billion bird deaths a year from window strikes just in the USA is entirely plausible. Also add in bird strikes on vehicle windows.

Reply to  Duane
October 12, 2019 8:49 pm

I’ve never had a bird die from striking a window in my 4 bedroom house over the last 20 something years.

If a billion birds a year were dying just from hitting buildings, there wouldn’t be any birds left.

Richard Patton
Reply to  Duane
October 12, 2019 10:45 pm

I get lots of bird strikes daily on my window, no dead birds tho.

Eamon Butler
Reply to  Duane
October 13, 2019 4:24 am

That’s a daft conclusion, Duane. You assume 200M homes have the same impact on the birds as your ”little three bedroom home” so multiply your ”dozens” of strikes to all 200M.
My home (similar to yours) has never (six decades) had a strike. That’s 0 x as big a number as you like =Zero. Apart from you, I have never heard anyone claim so many bird strikes into their homes. If you take the Billions of dwellings around the world, I think you’ll find it is quite rare and certainly by comparison to the number of raptors, Bats and rare birds slaughtered by Industrial wind farms, Home collisions are not the issue.

Richard Patton
Reply to  Duane
October 12, 2019 10:41 pm

Actually our point is the hypocrisy of the environmentalists, condemning the ‘damage’ non favored energy sources cause to the environment, while ignoring the damage their favored sources cause.

Reply to  Sara
October 12, 2019 9:00 am

I am analyzing that bird paper now but it is not an easy task.

Reply to  Sara
October 12, 2019 9:41 am

Glad to know someone else got it.

I’m in the upper Midwest and there is ZERO shortage of meadowlarks, various finches, plovers, killdeers (I was lucky enough to get photos of some near where I live) and all the common birds in the bird book.

It is not at all amazing that the writer of that NYT article did NOT take natural attrition and short life spans into account when he wrote that.

George Steele
October 12, 2019 6:50 am

When the children believe the sky is falling all the Chickens Little make sense.

October 12, 2019 7:10 am

Former senior German Green Party cofounder and politician Jutta Ditfurth wrote that Extnction Rebellion, XR, is not a “non-violent climate movement,” but a “religiously nonviolent esoteric sect, which believes in the apocalypse of the imminent extinction of mankind, and calls for self-sacrifice,” .
There’s more on Twitter.
XR attracts youngsters.

Now to answer the leading question, how to protect kids, be unflinchingly adult :

London’s {The Guardian} daily proudly revealed late Sep. that it is “the lead partner” in a global media
alliance formed to ensure that media only publish “Chicken Little” stories about “man-made climate crisis” in the run-up and during the United Nations Climate Summit starting on Sept. 23.
This is the same 198-year-old British intelligence operation which earlier this year issued a memo to journalists around the world instructing them to write only about climate “crisis” or “emergency,” not “change,” in order to scare people.
Now, in conjunction with the U.S. publications, {The Nation} and {Columbia Journalism Review}, it has formed a “Covering Climate Now” alliance made up of more than 250 newsrooms from 32 countries, reaching a monthly audience of over a billion people, which have pledged to publish only the approved “end of the
world” message, as they try to increase the volume and visibility” of their climate coverage.”
Included are “the TV networks (CBS News, Al Jazeera), newspapers (El País, the Toronto Star), digital players (BuzzFeed, HuffPost, Vox), wire services (Getty Images, Bloomberg), magazines (Nature, Scientific American), and dozens of podcasts, local publishers, radio and TV stations,” in the countries of “Togo, Nepal, Argentina, India, Japan, Australia, Brazil, the Netherlands and dozens more,” {The Guardian} reports.
At the same time, {The Guardian} “is making a selection of its climate coverage available to partners for free to help publications without dedicated environment desks serve their audiences.”
This is not child’s play.
Next look at Bank of England chief Mark Carney’s GFI. Green Finance Initiative from 2015 going for regime change, that is replace the Dollar with green synthetic credit.
This is also not child’s play.

Heavy stuff indeed, for adults only.

Reply to  bonbon
October 12, 2019 7:36 am

Excellent comment bonbon, thanks. I’m reminded of Lindzen’s quote.

“What historians will definitely wonder about in future centuries is how deeply flawed logic, obscured by shrewd and unrelenting propaganda, actually enabled a coalition of powerful special interests to convince nearly everyone in the world that CO2 from human industry was a dangerous, planet-destroying toxin. It will be remembered as the greatest mass delusion in the history of the world – that CO2, the life of plants, was considered for a time to be a deadly poison.”

Richard Lindzen, Professor Emeritus, Earth Sciences, M.I.T.

Lindzen is right of course, the science will eventually have its way (long after we are all gone) and the man-made global warming scare will find its place on the back shelves alongside all the other man-made hobgoblins that have come and gone.

Reply to  bonbon
October 12, 2019 9:07 am

I understand the gravity of this well-coordinated orchestrated push of a “climate crisis”. If you tell a big lie often enough people will believe it. I mentioned this recently in a “Ask John” interview for a local TV station.

Alastair Brickell
Reply to  Jim Steele
October 12, 2019 4:57 pm

Jim Steele
October 12, 2019 at 9:07 am

Jim, a good article and a good interview…well worth a watch.

Reply to  bonbon
October 12, 2019 9:33 am

What you have described is known as a “Campaign of Propaganda”.

Reply to  bonbon
October 12, 2019 2:19 pm

You are quite right to point out that this is an Intelligence Operation. What we are seeing is psychological warfare unleashed on the populations that these “warriors” claim to be protecting.

The stakes could not be much higher. They will try to take complete control soon, as otherwise the climate cycle will move to a cooling phase and they’ll have a much harder time holding the lie together.

October 12, 2019 7:52 am

Good read Jim

Hope you are not in the dark due to power cuts. The call for teaching critical thinking skills caught my eye. I had a mandatory freshman class in critical thinking at Sonoma State University in the Mid 80s. The professor was agressively and openly Marxist using only course material that supported his thinking. As an upperclassman I enjoyed walking the quad with him at every chance to gloat on the collapse of Communism. He was very depressed but unconvinced.

I would bet anything that he is now plumping the climate scare as loudly as he once did Marxism.

Terry Shipman
Reply to  Troe
October 12, 2019 12:19 pm

In the early 1970’s I took a history course in college called United States Economic History taught by my favorite history professor. One of the books we covered was written by two Marxists. The difference was my professor used their book to demonstrate the weakness and fallacies of Marxism. I still laugh at one statement of these two Marxists where they predicted the economic success of North Korea and Cuba. I gained an enormous appreciation for Capitalism from that course. I was lucky to get my history degree during a time when it was possible to get an honest account of US history. I wonder how US history is treated today at Arkansas State University? I’m so glad I went to college there when I did.

October 12, 2019 7:55 am

Shouldn’t it be “doomsday” not “dooms day?”

October 12, 2019 7:56 am

It occurred to me that Global Warming is another incarnation of the myth of hell. It incorporates some aspects of one Christian version of the myth, e.g., hot, eternal burning. The zealots who are most taken in by the myth are willing to commit all sorts of atrocities to people who don’t react in the desired way to the myth (burning witches, muzzling contrary views, destroying beneficial infrastructure). The myth is most effectively applied to children who don’t have the mental tools to discern fabrication. Those captured young have a very difficult time breaking free later in life. Observational evidence is not in the slightest a requirement for belief. The Spanish Inquisition was perhaps one of the most terrifying examples of a hell cult wielding its power. Is the IPCC a direct descendant of the Spanish Inquisition? Is Al Gore a modern Torquemada?

Reply to  BCBill
October 12, 2019 8:36 am

In Europe there has been three great experiments in authoritarian government. Third Century, Sixteenth, and the latest began at around 1900. And is still running.
And on each, the governing classes granted themselves the privilege of state murder.
Fortunately, the two earlier examples provide some guidance and hope.
Bureaucratic intrusion and state theft ran until it ruined the economy.
And popular uprisings led to considerable reform.
Without money bureaucrats can’t be bureaucrats.
The default position has been government that is tolerable and affordable.

October 12, 2019 8:04 am

Jim Steele
“inebriated by global warming fears”–outstanding word usage.
Your research is clear, as is your brief account, but the establishment won’t go for it.
Because of power and revenues. The state will always chose a theory that enhances those corrupting objectives.
Intrusive central banking has long been THE example of choosing a theory. The state chose Keynes and has promoted the notion that by twiddling the dials of interest rates and currency depreciation financial crises can be prevented. Good times, all of the time.
When the Federal Reserve System was rammed through its promoters believed that the “lender of last resort” would prevent financial setbacks and this would prevent recessions.
According to the NBER, there has been 18 recessions since the Fed opened its doors for business in January 1914.
As Feynman would observe–The theory doesn’t work.
Then, those ambitious to expand government authority chose the CAGW story.
The next US recession has likely started and the public could become critical of this form of nonsense.
And one cool winter could add to the loss of esteem by the CAGW promotion.
I’m cautiously pessimistic on the economy.
And cautiously optimistic on the public’s return to commonsense.

michael hart
October 12, 2019 8:10 am

Fact is, we have already tested the limits of many ecosystems.
General conclusions: Don’t shoot and hunt the larger animals on an industrial scale. Don’t chop down every single tree that you can see as far as the horizon. Don’t dump vast amounts of untreated (but easily treatable) sewage and industrial waste into the rivers.

Follow that rule and, et voilà, the environment and everything in it does OK. With a little bit of effort (such as providing sunken ships or wildlife “corridors”) we can actually improve the environment with small cost.

But that’s not what the enviro-industrial complex wants to hear. Their message is that everything only ever gets worse and we must make ever more laws and, crucially, pay ever more money towards whatever it is that they say is destroying the planet today.

a right-minded lefty
October 12, 2019 8:15 am

I’m an admirer of Jim Steele and his dedication to water systems and the environment and his tenacity in decrying, debating and informing others about the CAGW apocalyptic propaganda and his point about brainwashing children into a panic is extemely well taken here.

It’s just that in these perilous times precision in word choice is of the utmost importance. My quarrel is with the use of the word “theory” in the sentence below:

“…Our children miss the “important lesson” that a “climate crisis” is only a theory supported by scary narratives, not facts. So how do we protect our children from Chicken Littles who seek to enroll vulnerable minds into their doomsday cults?..”

If by “climate crisis” we’re speaking about alleged Human-caused climate change through generation of CO2 then I believe technically we’re speaking about a hypothesis and not a theory. Precisely because a theory requires substantiation to be called a theory and the CAGW hype has not reached that status.

Nit-picking, yes, but unable to reach the general public with facts, we find ourselves in the midst of a communication war where word-precision matters.

Reply to  a right-minded lefty
October 12, 2019 9:32 am

Not only is the CAGW hypothesis not a theory for lack of substantiation it is now falsified by several evidences. See( ) for radiosonde evidence that the atmosphere obeys ideal gas law and no greenhouse effect is present. See Earth Sciences Vol. 8 No.3 2019 by Hermann Harde. See many other works that show multiple errors in the CAGW hypothesis.
These things are good news and would assuage the bitter fear the CAGW pushers are feeding our children. Why won’t any mainstream media cover these? My local paper won’t even publish my letters to the editor discussing them while running a series of interviews with doomsayers that will not even mention the opposing science but contain “science is telling us……” multiple times in each entry.

a right-minded lefty
Reply to  DMA
October 12, 2019 10:12 am

Holy Connolly! Yes! A most inspiring video on several levels (including the highly complementary Father/Son team). They’re nothing short of Pervection!

Reply to  DMA
October 12, 2019 3:40 pm

I met with Dr. Ronan Connolly a few months back. A great admirer of his family’s work.

My article was written for a newspaper and a very general audience. Using the word “theory” was consciously chosen because it translates to many as an “unproven guess” for the general public.

I appreciate that we must carefully choose our words, but the problem remains, “what does a word connote to a scientist versus to a layperson. I purposefully chose theory because the word “hypothesis” more often puts off the lay person.

Damned if I do and damned if I don’t.

a right-minded lefty
Reply to  Jim
October 13, 2019 6:25 am

As you indicate, “what does a word connote to a scientist versus to a layperson” is indeed an extremely important consideration and I understand your indignation and dismay and even find myself challenged to find a better word within the context of your article… perhaps “one view” or “supposition”, “belief”…?

“Theory” is just an especially loaded word that we need to be particularly careful about. It’s at the root and title of the supercherie that is man-made climate change/warming/disruption. It’s common to hear and see in the media “the theory of (Anthropogenic) Climate Change” and it mustn’t be! We mustn’t help give ANY seeming scientific substantiation to this formidable deceit.

Theories are taught in schools as reasonable descriptions of reality.
Weak hypotheses have no place being taught in schools, especially when they’re represented as urgent, terrifying, factual truths.

It’s just that by calling CAGW or Human-Caused Climate Change a theory it’s as if we condone that it’s taught in schools now as fact.

And you are certainly not “damned” by any stretch of the imagination but a veritable blessing in the layman’s semantic battle against the colossal and sinister crusade being carried out by the Church of Climatology in an effort to inextricably and technocratically enslave the world’s population through intellectual bullying, terror, fallacy, guilt and misrepresentation that inscrupulously instrumentalizes ostensibly and clinicially troubled youth while terrorizing the rest.

Thank you again for all that you do.

Richard Patton
Reply to  a right-minded lefty
October 13, 2019 8:53 am

I could mention other “theories” which do not deserve the name. For instance, the Big Bang Theory, and the Theory of Evolution. Neither of these can be proved empirically. They are forensic science based hypotheses, they cannot be tested. Forensic science, which is the science of deducing causes (history) from evidence has a flaw which many will not acknowledge-prior assumptions affect deductions made. (ex: “it is not possible for a woman to commit that crime-women aren’t that strong”)

CAGW **could** be proved or disproved empirically *if* it weren’t for the fact that is isn’t about global warming, climate change, (enter the latest buzz word here), but about fundamentally altering the economic system of the world.

a right-minded lefty
Reply to  a right-minded lefty
October 13, 2019 11:23 am

Yes Richard Patton,

I agree with you. The UN’s openly admitted “Altering the economic system of the world” the engineered redistribution of the world’s wealth. Exactly.

Survival of the fittest and its eugenical derivatives, the devout soulessness of the Big Bang theory and the hysterical baselessness of CAGW all contribute, aided and abetted by approximate, lazy “thinking”, to this campaign of enslaving humanity.

Standing in the shadow of looming biometrically blockchained technocracy, it’s really time we got a firm handle on this word “theory”.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  a right-minded lefty
October 12, 2019 10:35 am

a right-minded lefty

You said, “… we find ourselves in the midst of a communication war where word-precision matters.”
I completely agree. That is why I have argued so strongly against the use of the recently-invented term “ocean acidification” to describe the lowering of pH of an alkaline solution.

a right-minded lefty
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
October 12, 2019 2:57 pm

Yes, Indeed, extremely important – It’s very hard to undo that vision of acidic oceans once it’s anchored into people’s imaginations.
To belabour the obvious; it’s very very hard to counteract the savvy propaganda and brainwashing of very longstanding experts in perception management…

Eamon Butler
Reply to  a right-minded lefty
October 13, 2019 5:42 am

Yes indeed again. A lot of terms have been hijacked to mean or imply something else. Alarmists see a scare of something that hasn’t happened in X number of years, to mean it’s ”unprecedented”

a right-minded lefty
Reply to  Eamon Butler
October 13, 2019 6:32 am

Indeed, Mr. Butler! Thank heavens there are folks like Tony Heller-highwater (as I like to affectionately refer to him) keeping tabs on the historical records and data, painstakingly ‘pulling back the curtain’ and rectifying the Orwellian manipulation of graphs and data in the era of the Adjustocene and its discouragingly effective use of newspeak and doublespeak.

Kristi Silber
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
October 13, 2019 3:22 pm


What would you call the opposite of alkalinization? “De-alkalinization” wouldn’t be appropriate, since the water remains alkaline. Nor would “neutralization.” “ocean lowering of the pH” is cumbersome.

pH is a scale. We call pH below 7 acid and above 7 alkaline, but it all boils down to a continuum. The properties of a liquid with a pH of 12 are different from those of 7.5, though they are both alkaline.

Everyone understands that the ocean is alkaline. There is nothing magical about the word “acid,” nothing inherently scary any more than “alkaline” is scary. I don’t see the problem. Besides, “ocean acidification” is very widely accepted, and fighting against that is fighting a losing battle.

Reply to  Kristi Silber
October 13, 2019 3:58 pm


Climatethe fear mongering Ken Caldeira admits he purposefully chose to use the phrase “ocean acidification” to alarm the public about that theoretical possibility.

Kristi you seem to deny what the alarmists readily admit

Kristi Silber
Reply to  Jim Steele
October 15, 2019 10:03 am


I tried to find support for your assertion. Do you have a link?

Richard Patton
Reply to  Kristi Silber
October 13, 2019 8:54 pm

No, not everyone understands that the ocean is alkaline. By far most people believe it is neutral if they think of it at all. More people understand that acid is dangerous than understand that alkali is also dangerous. Therefore the term acdification is the scare word chosen.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Kristi Silber
October 14, 2019 5:31 pm

Kristi Silber
You asked, “What would you call the opposite of alkalinization?” How about “lowering [pH, alkalinity, hydronium ion concentration]. Take your pick. None of them are ‘loaded’ words like becoming “more acidic.” More importantly, almost any description is more accurate than “ocean acidification.” Eliminating words because they may be awkward is a false economy if the action leads to obfuscation. A goal in writing should be to use as many words as necessary to convey an idea, but no more or no less!

You further said, “The properties of a liquid with a pH of 12 are different from those of 7.5, …” There is less difference between alkaline solutions of pH 12 and 7.5 then there is between solutions of pH 7.5 and 6.5. At a pH below 7.0, the solution becomes a proton donor and can drive reactions that will not take place in an alkaline solution. There is a reason that chemists recognize the class of solutions called “acid,” “neutral,” and “alkaline.” That is because they have qualitatively different physical and chemical properties, not just quantitative differences in the ratio of cations and anions.

People who have a science background may realize that the oceans are alkaline. However, the general public does not. They have heard about people being injured with battery acid, and have read about “acid attacks” on people’s faces. While strong alkalies can be dangerous, particularly in contact with sensitive parts of the body such as eyes, the general public has probably never heard of the word “saponification.” Unfortunately, at least within the climatology and oceanography disciplines, “ocean acidification” has become widely accepted since 1994. It is unfortunate, because most other disciplines still demand a stricter definition and it leads to miscommunication. One will not find OA in technical literature about the oceans prior to the early-’90s, when chemists and geochemists were more concerned about precision in their writing than they were about politically influencing readers.

Kristi Silber
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
October 15, 2019 10:01 am


Can you tell me what is wrong with this chemistry: ? Looks to me like increased aqueous CO2 means the “net result of these shifts in equilibrium concentrations is increased H+(aq), a more acidic ocean, and decreased availability of CaCO3 and CO32–(aq)” – i.e., “the solution becomes a proton donor.”

I thought acidic solutions had more hydronium ions, not less, than alkaline ones. No?

The main problem with OA is a biological one. Lowering the pH, even if the sol’n doesn’t become an acid, disrupts the ability of organisms to make and maintain their shells, etc., and if that becomes a widespread problem, that is a scary prospect indeed. If people associate “ocean acidification” with something potentially problematic, that is legitimate. I don’t know if your argument is simply that the terminology is wrong, or if it’s a matter of people’s perceptions. Because I have trust in the expertise of the scientific community in general, I believe that if “acidification” were so inappropriate, it wouldn’t have been accepted. The fact that the term wasn’t used before could simply be due to its recognition as an issue, and the desirability of using something less cumbersome and awkward than “lowering of the ocean pH,” etc. to describe the phenomenon. I suspect that many people who object to it want to make it sound more benign.

Whether the ocean is normally alkaline or acidic is presumably irrelevant to those who don’t know which it is anyway! The ocean is not pure water; it’s the chemical and biological reactions more than whether the pH is above or below 7 that is significant. The key is that it’s changing, and that change could mean really bad trouble for ocean ecosystems if it is rapid and severe enough – and that, in turn, could have major effects on terrestrial ecosystems and human well-being.

” It is unfortunate, because most other disciplines still demand a stricter definition and it leads to miscommunication.” I doubt there are any miscommunication problems, since OA is in wide usage. (Stricter definitions? You mean like, “black hole”? A hole in what? How about “overpopulation”? “Over” in relation to what? Carrying capacity – but that is not part of the term itself.)

I haven’t found evidence that the researchers who coined “ocean acidification” were aiming to politically influence readers – perhaps you can provide it. Why should the topic have anything at all to do with politics??? It does, there’s no doubt, but it’s not rational, nor was it always the case. Perhaps it stems from the fact that the fossil fuel industry targeted conservatives in their early propaganda campaigns (which included a cartoon of Chicken Little). It ought to be a strictly scientific question, but politics has gotten in the way of seeing the data dispassionately, on both the left and the right. (FWIW, I believe America needs both conservative and liberal voices and ideas for balance. Emotions, radicalism, rhetoric are dividing our nation into battling factions, making it weaker, less rational, and paving the way for corruption at many levels. It’s ridiculous to think that people on only one side or another either have or lack integrity.
Where there is corruption, we should ALL fight it. Likewise, in the absence of solid evidence of corruption, we shouldn’t assume it’s there just because it’s politically expedient or supports our biases. We all have biases, and need to recognize them before we can try to counteract them.)

You might choose your battles more wisely. “Ocean acidification” is here to stay, like it or not.

Kristi Silber
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
October 15, 2019 10:26 am


“At a pH below 7.0, the solution becomes a proton donor and can drive reactions that will not take place in an alkaline solution. … That is because they have qualitatively different physical and chemical properties, not just quantitative differences in the ratio of cations and anions.”

To summarize, the physical, chemical and biological properties of a solution depend on what is in the solution; a neutral pH is not always the defining point of whether reactions go one way or another. Otherwise, why would a pH of 12 have different effects from from a pH of 7.5 if all alkaline solutions behaved qualitatively the same? Why are different minerals absorbed by plants in different ranges of pH, either side of 7? The strength of chemical bonds is variable across molecules. We are talking about complex chemical and biological systems, not pure water at standard temperature and pressure.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Kristi Silber
October 15, 2019 7:47 pm

Kristi Silber
You asked, “Can you tell me what is wrong with this chemistry:…” For starters, the phrase “a more acidic ocean.” Something has to be acidic in order to become “more acidic.” The ocean is a complex, highly buffered solution wherein the main phases are carbon compounds. However, borates contribute to the buffering. The reactions are not simple acid-base reactions, but are complicated by the interactions of the three primary phases. However, the crux of the argument is whether it is appropriate to call a reduction in pH of 0.1 unit of an alkaline solution, acidification. Hydroxyl ions are still the dominant phase and the pH isn’t really even close to neutralization. Sea water does not fit the Merriam-Webster definition of “acid.”

You further opined, “Lowering the pH, even if the sol’n doesn’t become an acid, disrupts the ability of organisms to make and maintain their shells, etc., and if that becomes a widespread problem, that is a scary prospect indeed.” Organisms that manufacture shells generally have a range of alkalinity in which they can prosper. It varies with the various species and I suspect that it reflects the pH of the oceans at the time at which they evolved. In any event, they are able to manipulate the local pH with the expenditure of energy. Once manufactured, they help maintain the calcareous shell with coatings of mucous and chitin. This is an adaptation to upwelling that causes pH changes much greater than the supposed decline of 0.1 unit in the last 100 years. Also, pH can vary with salinity and temperature, creating diurnal and seasonal changes also much greater than 0.1 unit. So, when looked at in the context of how the real world works, it isn’t really so scary. Therefore, your rationalization of the end justifying the means is less convincing.

How is “pH reduction” so much more awkward than the incorrect “ocean acidification?” It is, after all, the measurable pH that is critical, not the binary acid/base classes.

You said, “The key is that it’s changing, …” Supposedly! The historical measurements have been ignored, and the ‘change’ is based on a computer model predicting what the past supposedly was. As usual, there are no error bars reported on the modeling. The famous Stanford geochemist, Krauskopff, opined that it was rare for sea water to even get to a pH of 7, and when it did so, it was usually in dead zones where nothing could live anyway. So, it is only “scary” if one is easily frightened and has difficulty with logic.

You said “I haven’t found evidence that the researchers who coined ‘ocean acidification’ were aiming to politically influence readers – perhaps you can provide it.” Sure, see the remark by Jim Steele. Why else would anyone introduce a new terminology, which at least initially, would have been unfamiliar and ambiguous.

You said, “It ought to be a strictly scientific question, ..” If that were the case, then no one would have introduced the phrase “ocean acidification,” and all would have stayed with what had been in the chemical, geochemical, and oceanography literature for 200 years.

You confidently said, “’Ocean acidification’ is here to stay, like it or not.” That’s what I like about alarmists — their self-confidence in how the future will play out.” I guess all the liberals got perfect crystal balls. The rest of us have to peer around the cracks and veils inside our crystal balls and hedge our bets. It must be comforting to be so absolutely certain of how the world is going to turn out.

Mark Pawelek
Reply to  a right-minded lefty
October 12, 2019 12:24 pm

Strictly speaking, CAGW is not even a scientific hypothesis. To be a hypothesis, it must state real world tests against which it can be validated. Only hypotheses which can be shown to be valid or wrong, can be called scientific. Because, for example, it’s been theorised there are 10e500 possible variants of string theory, or rather string vacuum solutions. But there are only between 10e78 to 10e82 atoms in the universe! Once we accept untestable hypotheses in science, it becomes an infinite task to deal with them. Science is, after all, a practical subject.

Reply to  Mark Pawelek
October 12, 2019 2:13 pm

See( ) as I mentioned above.
In it Michael Connolly states that the radiosonde data show categorically that there is no greenhouse effect in the atmosphere, that the atmosphere is in thermodynamic equilibrium so obeys the ideal gas laws including Einstinen’s postulate that increased radiative gasses will increase absorption and emission equally for no thermal change.
The CAGW “hypothesis” relies on a greenhouse effect that is shown to be nonexistent in our atmosphere. Even if it is not a valid hypothesis, whatever else it is, it is now falsified.

Kristi Silber
Reply to  Mark Pawelek
October 15, 2019 10:31 am


You are right. CAGW is not a hypothesis. It’s a theory. It is made up of many individual hypotheses, the underlying one being that elevated CO2 in the atmosphere will tend to absorb more radiation and keep the Earth warmer. This has been tested and validated, both in the lab and in situ.

Gunga Din
October 12, 2019 8:20 am

Sadly, if the Green-bots ever admit that the Adelie Penguin numbers are increasing, you can tell them that it’s because polar bear numbers are decreasing and they’d believe you.
(And Al Gore would claim another of his predictions has come true.)

Reply to  Gunga Din
October 12, 2019 9:58 am

Yah, but there are no polar bears in Antarctica, are there?

Clarky of Oz
Reply to  Sara
October 12, 2019 1:27 pm

Oh no! The beats are functionally extinct in Antarctica! /sarc

Gunga Din
Reply to  Sara
October 12, 2019 1:40 pm

Global Warming caused them to go “extinct” down there.
Now the only ones that aren’t “extinct” are the ones that hitched a ride on a north bound iceberg.
(Do I really need a “/sarc” tag?)

Reply to  Gunga Din
October 12, 2019 11:19 am

Like it.

October 12, 2019 9:00 am

Canada has a lot of problems with big polar bears scavenging in dumps.
Proposed solution – airlift them not to the Arctic, but to Antarctica. Plenty of succulent penguins there.

Curiously it seems there never was a land-bridge from Chile. Otherwise this kind of thing would surely have happened. I wonder if anyone has checked the likelihood bears would quickly adapt.

Reply to  bonbon
October 12, 2019 10:23 am

“Curiously it seems there never was a land-bridge from Chile”

Sure was. Up till about 60 million years ago. However there were no modern carnivores in South America then, and the local equivalents, carnivorous marsupials and carnivorous flightless birds couldn’t adapt to a completely ice-covered continent. Very little could. There are no land vertebrates, not even landbirds, in Antarctica (well, possibly sheathbills, if you count them as landbirds, but they are completely dependent on seabird colonies).

Reply to  bonbon
October 12, 2019 2:43 pm

The Antarctic peninsula is geologically an extension of the Andes which temporarily connected South America to Antarctica. About 30-35 million years ago, plate tectonics caused South America, (along with Tasmania) to shift northward, away from Antartica. That geological change allowed the formation of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC) to move unimpeded around Antarctica. The ACC blocked warmer tropical waters from reaching Antarctica, causing its sub-tropical vegetation to die-off, and initiate Antarctica’s ice sheet formation and polar climate. Coincidentally by limiting tropical warm water from reaching Antarctica, sea ice formed and the cold brine expulsion began cooling the ocean deep waters. Greenland’s glaciers did not begin to form 30 million years later when about 2 million years ago, the upwelling of deep cool waters replaced upwelling of warmer waters created during the Mesozoic.

Reply to  Jim Steele
October 13, 2019 5:09 am

There was ice in Antarctica long before that, but only inland. Once Antarctica was isolated the ice spread to cover nearly the whole continent.

Stephen Rasey
October 12, 2019 9:01 am

So how do we protect our children from Chicken Littles who seek to enroll vulnerable minds into their doomsday cults? How do we motivate our children to be good critical thinkers, and not blind group thinkers mesmerized by fear and ‘end of the earth’ scenarios?

A good start will be to remind them who is Foxy Loxy. To protect Chicken Littles and friends from a falling sky Foxy Loxy Offered the protection of his DEN. They were never seen again.

So to all the children out there: BEWARE of Foxy Loxy offering solutions and safety.

Roger Bournival
October 12, 2019 9:30 am

“Thus, it’s worrisome that charismatic congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez similarly warns our world is doomed in 12 years.”

I believe you spelled ‘blithering idiot’ wrong.

October 12, 2019 10:04 am

There are several aspects to this narrative.
Now with near instantaneous communications an unusual event can be represented as a sign of an apocalyptic process. The images of Amazon rainforests burning, huskies crossing a water covered glacier are potent. But never put in context. Amazonian rainforest burnings are down from a peak of 2012. The husky event was recorded in the 1980’s.
So the media push for all it’s worth as bad news always sells. And the ignorant cosy up to each other and people become indoctrinated. Humans tend to be social pack animals. Most don’t want to be isolated by offering a view against the orthodoxy, most want something to believe in. But I hope in the naivety of children , as it was a child who said the Emperor was wearing no clothes.
I don’t believe in ACC, but I do believe that plastic pollution is a major concern.
As an aside, there were photographs comparing the Mont Blanc glacier now as to 100 years ago showing significant retreat. Thank goodness we live in an interglacial, because an advancing glacier might be rather inconvenient

October 12, 2019 10:28 am

The sky is falling!
As any practical traders would say:
“So, short SKY!”

Reply to  Bob Hoye
October 13, 2019 2:17 am

Bloomberg is the UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy for Climate Action. He is also in the forefront of climate “risk disclosure.” He is Mark Carney’s founding chairman for Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures, a hit squad established in 2015 by the Financial Stability Board when Carney was FSB chairman, aimed against targeted corporations.
Looks to me Bloomberg is shorting big time!

Mark Pawelek
October 12, 2019 11:19 am

The reason why people make doom stories up and promote them is they think they’re doing good by forewarning us. By explaining how the end is coming about they hope to galvanise people into action to stop it: “climate action“. We are, presumably, too enraptured by consumer society to make a better world. We must be scared into thinking it’s going to end soon. In reality – the opposite will likely happen: doom-mongering begets nihilism, cynicism and despair. Those negative states engender despondency, and gloom; not action, of any kind to make a better world. In a nutshell: fear-mongering leads to inaction, not action.

October 12, 2019 11:40 am

Would it be premature to conclude the penguins and polar bears know more about their local environment than the “scientists” studying them?

David Chappell
Reply to  MeMyselfAndI
October 12, 2019 5:20 pm

Nor do they need feeding with grants

October 12, 2019 12:07 pm

We have to eat the chickens because of Climate Change…especially all the Little Chickens.

October 12, 2019 12:13 pm

Jim ==> You are going to confuse people with the facts . . . they WANT scary stories to fight off the boredom of shopping on Amazon — besides, Halloween has the second largest sales of home holiday decorating items of any holiday in the United states — that should tell us something (nothing good, however).

Nicely done on the penguins….

Rhys Jaggar
October 12, 2019 12:33 pm

I think the answer to your final question, Mr/Dr/Professor Steele, is either to set up your own schools which teach children how to gather evidence, analyse data and draw conclusions; or simply to home school them.

To change public education radically will induce huge inertia and resistance unless 67%+ of parents are clamouring loudly, insistently and publicly for it to happen.

Sorry to say it, but your country is too much dominated by your MSM for that number of parents to be free of the brainwashing.

October 12, 2019 4:01 pm

And the madness begins with believing in a theory before and despite the lack of verified observations, or in ignorance of verified evidence that run counter to the theory.

As with most things in the science realm today, all to often observed evidence gets reinterpreted by some scientists to some hypothetical form, and then all of it is trotted out by MSM as facts.
The observed evidence is real when verified by others. The theory gets closer to reality when all the conditions of the observations (and any changes) match the theory.

Kristi Silber
October 13, 2019 2:44 pm

‘Indeed, Adelie penguins provide an “important lesson”. Don’t trust apocalyptic hype!’

I agree that one shouldn’t trust apocalyptic hype. That doesn’t mean one shouldn’t trust science in general. One should always distinguish between what the media say, what shows up on websites (like Ainley’s penguin/temperature graph), and what is published by partisan think tanks vs. what is generally held to be true by most scientists.

Of course, there will always be scientific studies that are disproved. That is part of science. Sometimes a “wrong” study even leads to a line of thinking that is also wrong – also part of science. But another part of science is that eventually these faults are found and replaced by better understanding; by highlighting predictions that don’t come true, even science that draws the wrong conclusions can further the scientific enterprise as a whole.

Focusing on predictions made decades ago regarding a single Antarctic species doesn’t prove anything about climate science as a whole. (I don’t care what Al Gore says or when he said it. He is a politician, not a scientist or a good spokesman for climate science.)

It seems odd to scoff at population predictions made about the years 2025-2052 (penguins) or mid-century (polar bears) are wrong, given that we have not entered that time frame. I think such decreases seem unlikely, but why should I then dismiss all the research, or accept the idea that polar bear numbers are actually increasing (no link provided!)? Polar bears are difficult to count, and a quarter of the subpopulations have no reliable estimates. Using catch-and-release methods, there is evidence that at least one group has declined; some say four have. Not all bear subpopulations are subject to the same climatic or human influences. Where populations were severely depressed due to hunting which was subsequently curtailed, the rebound could last for many years since it takes time for animals with a low reproductive rate to achieve the carrying capacity of the habitat. On the flip side, even if adult polar bears can survive climate change, it may impact their ability to have cubs and raise them to adulthood, so there could be a lag time between climate change and bear populations. For such reasons, studying things like energetic balances, prey taken, prey abundance, body condition and cub production are at least as important as trying to estimate change in overall numbers of bears. I mention all this to point out that it’s simplistic to draw conclusions based solely on numbers and sea ice extent; similar complexity could apply to penguins.

I don’t know enough about the research into penguins or polar bears to draw my own conclusions. Like others here, I am dependent on what I read. Posts on WUWT serve as a stimulus to read further, rather than taking the word of someone who is not a penguin or polar bear researcher, and is clearly biased. That is simply healthy skepticism. Nor will I take the word of Susan Crockford (whose c.v. includes no original peer reviewed polar bear research that I can see) rather than that of dozens of polar bear researchers. Why should I? Why should you? Rebelling against the majority is not adequate reason, and the fact that she is associated with the Global Warming Policy Foundation, a climate change skepticism think tank, does nothing to assure me of her lack of bias.

Arguments may sound plausible, but unless one knows the arguments, methods and reasoning on all sides, it’s not rational to trust contrarians just because they support one’s own biases. And expertise – years of experience doing original research in a particular field – counts. It should count, anyway.

October 13, 2019 3:52 pm

Kristi says “I don’t know enough about the research into penguins or polar bears to draw my own conclusions”. Clearly that is true LOL

Kristi you are simply arguing to defend your own bias that apparently favors doomsday predictions that supports end of the world cults.

“By highlighting predictions that don’t come true,” we show where models and theory have failed. i.e. catastrophic climate change!

You suggest it is “odd” to scoff at “predictions made about the years 2025-2052”. Seriously???

How can we take you seriously when predictions of a 70% loss of Adelie by 2025 is shown to be an ultimate example of climate hysteria failure when reality reveals populations have nearly doubled??

Kristi are you predicting Adelies will now experience devastating population losses in the next 5 years? Based on what? Your blind belief in catastrophic climate change?

Kristi Silber
Reply to  JIm Steele
October 15, 2019 12:53 am


There is no shame in saying I’m not an expert, and that I have to depend on the expertise of others. It’s arrogance that makes people think they know more than they do, and wind up believing falsehoods, half-truths and misleading facts. Look at Al Gore, for instance, and all the BS he made people believe. People are uncomfortable with uncertainty, and don’t take the time to look beyond the surface of what’s presented to them..

You don’t know my views at all. I don’t deal in “doomsday predictions,” and the idea that the world will end is ridiculous. Associating concern about AGW with cults is propaganda.

If you only highlight the predictions that don’t come true, without discussing those that have or the observations made that weren’t necessarily predicted, you are misrepresenting the whole body of knowledge.

The point is, you can’t call the predictions “wrong” if the time frame hasn’t occurred. I’m not suggesting they are right – I think it seems unlikely. But who knows what will happen in Antarctica in the next 31 years? Do you ? I don’t.

My belief in climate change is not blind. There is wide range of evidence that it is happening, from bird migrations to flowering phenology to changes in the ranges of oceanic animals to record-setting temperatures to regional increases in high-precipitation events…on and on. Considering the theoretical basis of the greenhouse effect and the fact that many of the changes we are seeing were predicted over 100 years ago, it’s hard to understand why so many people are he11-bent on denying it. I guess it’s political, partly, and fear of having to sacrifice anything for the sake of mitigation. And lots of prop’ganda.

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