Last Updated:July 27 @ 03:16 pm

Charen: Cuddly Symbols Not Cooperating in Climate Panic

By Mona Charen

In a better world, debates about science -- and nearly everything else -- would be conducted without resort to demagoguery, sentimentality, cynical manipulation, or hysteria. In the world we inhabit, those tactics are dismayingly routine. Still, the great weakness of overwrought predictions of doom is that they can be checked.

The past year has not been kind to the most potent symbols of climate change hysteria. Consider the polar bears. Among the most moving images of the warmists' warnings was the solitary polar bear, supposedly marooned on an ice floe. The image became iconic after it was published in Science Magazine. Among the most memorable moments in Al Gore's film, "An Inconvenient Truth," was an animated clip depicting struggling polar bears.

You don't hear stories, as you do with dolphins, of polar bears rescuing drowning humans. But polar bears, especially cubs, have a different claim on our sympathy -- they're adorable. We shudder to see winsome, furry mammals drifting off to sea on ice floes -- all because we couldn't part with our SUVs. A children's book prepared by the United Nations put it just that way.

Well, according to WattsUpWithThat.com, the picture of that "stranded" polar bear has been lampooned as "ursus bogus." Experts on those creatures always found the warmists' interpretation of that photo odd, since polar bears can swim for hundreds of miles at a time. The longest recorded polar bear swim, according to National Geographic, was 426 miles straight (though National Geographic is all in on climate change). Since polar bears swim for a living, they're probably pretty good at gauging where land and ice floes are.

A new study from Canada, based on aerial surveys along the western shore of the Hudson Bay -- a region considered a bellwether for bear numbers in the Arctic generally -- found that the polar bear population was 66 percent higher than expected. Drikus Gissing, director of wildlife management for the Nunavut region, told the Globe and Mail, "the bear population is not in crisis as people believed. There is no doom and gloom." Oh, and the scientist for the Department of the Interior whose 2004 work on drowning polar bears inspired Al Gore and others has been placed on administrative leave for unspecified wrongdoing.

On the other side of the globe, a new survey using satellite technology has found that there are twice as many emperor penguins in Antarctica as previously thought. Science Daily reports, "Using a technique known as pan-sharpening to increase the resolution of the satellite imagery, the science teams were able to differentiate between birds, ice, shadow and penguin poo or guano. They then used ground counts and aerial photography to calibrate the analysis." The results: 595,000 birds dressed in black tie, almost double the previous estimates.

Less beguiling, but no less important for symbolic value, are the melting glaciers. The U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (co-winner of the Nobel Peace Prize with Gore) predicted in 2007 that "Glaciers in the Himalayas are receding faster than in any other part of the world and if the present rate continues, the likelihood of their disappearing by the year 2035 and perhaps sooner is very high if the Earth keeps warming at the current rate." The melting glaciers, we were told, would "devastate" the lives of more than a billion people living in Asia and eventually, swamp Manhattan and other coastal cities.

In 2010, the IPCC admitted that the melting Himalayas prediction was not based on science but on a 1999 media interview given by one scientist. They said they regretted the error.

Now, a study in nature, based on satellite imagery, has shown that some melting of lower altitude glaciers is taking place but that higher glaciers have been adding ice. The range called Karakorum, which includes the K2 peak, has been adding mass over the past decade, while other regions have lost mass. None of the glaciologists knows why.

Nature reports that the loss of ice from the Himalayas, once estimated at 50 gigatons per year, was actually measured at only 4 gigatons per year between 2003 and 2010. That's quite a difference.

That the climate is warming is not, if you ask most scientists, in question, though it hasn't warmed much -- if at all -- in the past decade. But the panic mongering of the global warmists has not just undermined their own cause -- it has diminished the prestige of science generally, and that is a serious loss.

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6 Comments

  1. Marc JericComment by Marc Jeric
    April 24, 2012 @ 3:05 pm

    The global warming conspiracy needs to be put in perspective to be properly understood. This far-left attack by government-paid drones started in the 1970′s with the global cooling scam: we should disarm our nuclear bombers and fill them with soot to be spread over the poles and so prevent those new glaciers from descending south and crushing the New York skyscrapers to dust. When that did not work the same fakers invented the global warming hoax in the 1990′s; we should nationalize all industries and organize a UN-sponsored world socialist government based on “social justice” with the fakers in charge. What with 12 years of substantial cooling the fakers switched to the climate change flimflam in the 2000′s; so whatever happens we should…see above under the global warming hoax. And now we are faced with the cap & trade power grab – but the aim is the same as above. Our socialists, Marxists, communists, Hollywood stars, university professors in social and political “sciences”, and environmentalists are all clamoring for action while spurring President Obama (“Tomorrow the oceans will stop rising and the planet will start healing”) and his 35 czars/commissars to undertake immediate measures to save the planet – with the same aims as described above.
    It is evident from the above quote that our President believes himself to be either Jesus come back to Earth, or at least the 12th Imam so ardently desired by that jihadist terrorist and Obama’s friend Ahmadinejad. Like to the Pinocchio in the fable, Obama’s nose grows longer with every lie he pronounces, while jumping up the steps to his teleprompter like a marionette.
    In the meantime our Main Stream Media are unanimous in spreading this criminal propaganda daily; the ABC, CBS, NBC, MSNBC, CNN, NPR, NY Times, Washington Post, Boston Globe, LA Times, Associated Press, Reuters, Time, Newsweek, USA Today, drive this drivel constantly. What is totally ignored are the detailed descriptions of faked data, skewed computer programs, politically revised conclusions by the UN-sponsored far-left clique of biased non-scientists – all government-paid drones that no private enterprise would hire. Another thing ignored is the “Global Warming Petition” (see Internet) where 31,487 independent US scientists (including 9,029 of them with PhD degrees) dispute decisively the findings of the UN-sponsored panel; also ignored is the “Manhattan Declaration on Climate Change” (see also Internet) where a smaller number of competent world scientists, about 712, including 142 pure climatologists, state the same – i.e., that the man-caused catastrophic global warming is a farce. The books by Christopher Horner, Robert Carter, Patrick Michaels, Lawrence Solomon, John Berlau, Steven Milloy, Ian Murray, Christopher Booker, R. C. Balling, D. Avery, S. F. Singer, Brian Sussman, and AW Montford describing the lies, fakes, phony data, opposite conclusions, redacting by UN political hacks, reverse graphs, etc., have exposed this far-left propaganda in painful detail. In the case of the above mentioned Petition, several “environmentalists” had submitted phony names with phony credentials in order to sabotage that effort. It took several years of painstaking and expensive effort (that effort cost us more private money, no oil money there) to clean up the list from those saboteurs and verify all academic and professional data of the signatories.
    To put this whole conspiracy in terms of numbers, let me say that the projected world-threatening increase of carbon dioxide of 100 ppm (parts per million) by the end of this century would increase thermal absorptivity of the atmosphere by one-eighth of one percent; that is the definition of something totally negligible. On the other hand the sun cycles of cooling and heating are many thousands of times more powerful with regard to the carbon dioxide in the air; when the sun is in its cold cycle the oceans absorb billions of tons of it; and when the sun heats up the oceans release the carbon dioxide in quantities many thousands of times bigger than anything the mankind could produce. To illustrate this point in more accessible terms to somebody who is not a climatologist or a scientist or an engineer; the argument of catastrophic anthropogenic (human-caused) global warming issued by our panic driven socialist/marxist government-paid hacks is like saying that a burp of a lonely wolf in Alaska will transform Florida into a Sahara-like desert – tomorrow! Perhaps an even better example would be to argue that the Pissing Boy in Bruxelles will inundate the continents by the end of the week. As for that bloviating gasbag and “climatologist” Al Gore, Dr. James Hansen with his tirades designed to get him more taxpayers’ money and who started his career by the global cooling scam in the 1970’s, as well as for Dr. Mann who inverted cause and effect in his “studies”, for Phil Jones who destroyed faked data, and for the corrupt Maurice Strong who started the whole affair – they should be brought to the International Court in The Hague on charges of crimes against humanity.
    Marc Jeric (MS, PhD, Engineering, UCLA)”

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    • EuclidComment by Euclid
      April 24, 2012 @ 3:58 pm

      Thank you! Nothing like hard facts to shed light on reality!

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    • Ollie_FanComment by Ollie_Fan
      April 24, 2012 @ 4:48 pm

      Excellant comment Marc and thanks for taking the time to write it.
      Another point that is important in my opinion, is making others aware of credible academic sources that we can use in gaining knowledge of the subject. Sometimes we don’t know where to start, nor who to trust. I have read many of RC Balling’s articles and he’s a great start.

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    • KMcCComment by KMcC
      April 24, 2012 @ 6:42 pm

      I do under stand the earth is warming, glaciers have been melting for 12+ thousand years. Yes, there is more CO2 in the air, how about the volcanos, they put out more that all the cars in the world.
      Now for my real point. We have cut our forest, rain and otherwise, to the point that our plants are Not recycling the CO2 from the air to O2 and Carbon sugars into the plants. We have made deserts out of once productive land. We are killing forest in Indonesia, Brasil, and Russia at an alarming rate with no replanting.
      That in my opinion is were we should address our energy to fix any CO2 buildup.

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  2. middlegroundComment by middleground
    April 24, 2012 @ 4:43 pm

    I thought the concept that carbon dioxide from industrialization caused global warming died out in the 1850s when it was discovered the Ice Age (last 2+ million years) comprised four periods of major glaciation and three intervening periods when the same locations were subjected to tropical weathering conditions. Scientists have a number of tools available today that weren’t available in 1850, so we can now reconstruct details of the ablation of the last great ice sheets that covered much of the higher latitudes 18,000 years ago. We know as the northern ice sheets disappeared, rivers like the Mississippi and Volga ran at flood stage and left behind impressive terraces that are easily dated by carbon14. Oxygen isotopes reveal temperatures as do plant and animal life. We even have barrier bars that mark the position where sea level stabilized and deltas built out into the GOM and Black Sea.

    So where did this “global warming concept” originate? I was totally mystified where an idea seeming dead for a century and a half could suddenly become a government-pushed idea that is still being pushed by those who use computers to model climate. Basically, if you accept humankind-caused climate change, humankind can control it. All you have to do to accept this thought is to believe we know all the parameters in the Sun-Earth system as well as well the possible galactic parameters and can fit them into some type of static computer model. However, before we go too far in this direction look up the Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX) and realize someone is going to make billions brokering the buying and selling of carbon credits. Follow the money and all is revealed. It is merely another wealth-transfer scheme similar to others that are now collapsing.

    We need to gather knowledge of the Earth and its spheres and processes to better adapt to the future, but let us get back to where theories required proof and we had steps between theory, principle and law. At best humankind-caused climate change is a theory that ignores facts and change through time. In addition, it ignores the role of geochemical and biochemical buffers that traditionally modify high concentrations and the also the fact that most of the world’s CO2 is contained in rocks or being added by volcanic action.

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  3. snowhawkComment by snowhawk
    April 24, 2012 @ 4:48 pm

    Are the oceanic garbage patches a major cover up or what? These climate change and global warming morons are always condemning fossil fuels and human produced carbon while we have a much more immediate problem going totally unnoticed with there usage of plastic bottles. Living in Commifornia I find myself constantly butting into some greeny’s conversation on global warming and asking if they’ve ever heard of the pacific garbage patch. I’ve not ran into a one that had any idea of what I was speaking of. For those of you who are unaware, as most seem to be, our west coast patch, the size of Texas runs in a clock wise motion between our coast and the Hawaiian Islands. This twenty foot deep mass is made up of mostly plastics and Styrofoam, how ever it will soon be joined by the massive piles of debris washed out to sea by the tsunamis that hit Japan, that either wash off shore or has been dumped in the ocean. I’m not going to go further with this but will request that you do a little research yourself into what the slow break down of this derby is doing to our food supply and it’s effect on the oxygen producing organisms on the ocean floor. This is a kill all living matter problem caused by humans, sooner then necessary, that no ones talking about.

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