Remember when the global warming alarmists used to tell stories of polar bears staving to death? Polar bears were mascots for the crusaders against global warming and were a favorite of so-called environmental scientist everywhere.
When it comes to social-justice-based science, you formulate a narrative and proceed to distort the data to fit the narrative.
Geographic photographer Cristina Mittermeier, who was behind the viral photograph of a starving polar bear, has come forward and admitted that that she couldn’t actually claim the bear was starving due to climate change.
The polar bear was featured in a National Geographic video that received 2.5 billion views and became the most viewed video ever on National Geographic’s website.
“The first line of the National Geographic video said, ‘This is what climate change looks like’ — with ‘climate change’ then highlighted in the brand’s distinctive yellow. In retrospect, National Geographic went too far with the caption,” Mittermeier said.
“Perhaps we made a mistake in not telling the full story — that we were looking for a picture that foretold the future and that we didn’t know what had happened to this particular polar bear,” she said.
Mittermeier says that her image became another example of “environmentalist exaggeration,” but added that her intentions were “clear” that she was only trying to show what climate change could lead too, but the message got misconstrued as fact.
The actual facts are that polar bears are thriving.
The Daily Caller reported:
Polar bear populations are still growing despite global warming, according to new research.
The new population estimates from the 2016 Scientific Working Group are somewhere between 22,633 to 32,257 bears, which is a net increase from the 2015 number of 22,000 to 31,000. The current population numbers are a sharp increase from 2005’s, which stated only 20,000 to 25,000 bears remained — those numbers were a major increase from estimates that only 8,000 to 10,000 bears remained in the late 1960s.
According to Legal Insurrection, A new book The Polar Bear Catastrophe that Never Happened by Dr. Susan Crockford uses the latest data and reviews the questionable values used in official estimates. Crockford concludes that polar bears are actually thriving.
Anthony Watts of Watts Up with That highlighted the book, which projects that polar bear numbers have quadrupled, writing:
The Polar Bear Catastrophe That Never Happened explains why the catastrophic decline in polar bear numbers we were promised in 2007 failed to materialize. It’s the story of how and why the polar bear came to be considered ‘Threatened’ with extinction, and tracks its rise and fall as an icon of the global warming movement.
The book also tells the story of Crockford’s role in bringing that failure to public attention and the backlash against her that ensued – and why, among all others who have attempted to do so previously, she was uniquely positioned to do so. In general, this is a cautionary tale of scientific hubris and of scientific failure, of researchers staking their careers on untested computer simulations and later obfuscating inconvenient facts.
Atascadero News contributor Al Fonzi recently offered details on another piece of Crockford’s research, which touched upon the fact there has been no significant loss of habitat for these animals.
She notes in “Polar Bear & Sea Ice Basics:” “The area of polar bear habitat equals the approximate extent of Arctic sea ice in March (the yearly maximum), with three…exceptions; the Okhotsk Sea, Baltic Sea and the Gulf of St. Lawrence (no bears since 1900); if all were filled with ice, they would represent 2.4 mkm2 of the total Arctic extent. Remove those areas of sea ice from the Arctic extent totals for the satellite record (1979-2016), total polar bear habitat at the end of March has been virtually constant at about 14.0 mkm2 per year….
There is no evidence that polar bears ever lived in the Okhotsk Sea or the Baltic Sea. Polar bears are currently well distributed throughout their available habitat, despite recent changes in sea ice coverage: there have been no range contractions due to reduced habitat.
Crockford makes the case that the polar bear population in 1975 was around 5,000. It is presently estimated to be around 32,000. Clearly, the decision to continue to list the bears as a threatened species is about politics, not science.
No doubt, you won’t be seeing polar bears used in any recent global warming alarmist material.