This is what I mean …

11 03 2007

chips… when I say that those opposed to doing anything about climate change are not only not serious about the threat, they’re gamblers when it comes right down to it.

A recent study indicates that polar bear numbers have risen dramatically in the last two decades, from about 850 in the mid-’80s to 2,100 today. This is enough for Andrei at to contrast it to an AP article warning of the dangers facing the planet: increased disease and drought, and polar bears no longer able to survive in their natural climate.

The source for the AP article is a leaked version of the IPCC’s AR4. The source for the claim that polar bears are thriving? A single study written up in the UK’s Telegraph. And note that while Andrei mentions the parts of the Telegraph article he likes—the increase in bear numbers in Canada’s Davis Strait—he ignores other parts of the article that go against his denialist sensibilities.

Polar bear experts said that numbers had increased not because of climate change but due to the efforts of conservationists.

The battle to ban the hunting of Harp seal pups has meant the seal population has soared – boosting the bears’ food supply.

At the same time, fewer seal hunters are around to hunt bears.

Moreover, polar bear numbers in other parts of the Arctic aren’t exactly on the rebound.

“I don’t think there is any question polar bears are in danger from global warming,” said Andrew Derocher of the World Conservation Union, and a professor of biological sciences at the University of Alberta in Edmonton. “People who deny that have a clear interest in hunting bears.”

Bear numbers on the west coast of Hudson’s Bay had shrunk by 22 per cent over the past decade, he said.

“They are declining due to global warming and changes in when the ice freezes
and melts in Hudson’s Bay,” he added. He and other scientists in his group are concerned that the retreating ice in the Arctic may pose a danger to future generations of polar bears because of ‘habitat loss’. “The critical problem is the sea ice is changing. “We’re looking ahead three generations, 30 to 50 years.

“To say that bear populations are growing in one area now is irrelevant.”

Which brings me to my point about climate denialists and the right wing. Despite the mountains of evidence supporting the consensus that humans are responsible for dramatically increased levels of CO2 in the atmosphere, and that, unless steps are taken to mitigate it, the future is going to be bleak for many species on the planet—denialists have a remarkable ability to ignore or discount all this evidence.

Conversely, they will fasten onto the tiniest data point that supports their contention that the global warming “scare” is overblown, and that the good old days are just around the corner. They seem not to care that they’re engaging in a form of gambling, with the stakes the survival of the planet.

Delusional. Absolutely delusional.




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