‘Climate Change’ Hysteria Fact-Check: Polar Bear Edition

News & Politics

Consumers of pop culture propaganda might recall this tragic, iconic scene from Al Gore’s 2006 treatise on something called “climate change,” “An Inconvenient Truth.”

The animated polar bear finally discovers ice, only to have it crack apart under his paws, leaving him desolate.

It’s very sad. It’s also science fiction.

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The claim that polar bears die because they can’t find ice in the Arctic Circle and have to swim 60 miles, which kills them, is so stupid that it doesn’t deserve rebuttal, but here goes anyway:

For one, there’s this thing called “geography.” There’s been lots of ice in the Arctic region since the dawn of recorded history. That hasn’t changed so far.

Second, polar bears routinely swim hundreds of miles in the quest to locate food. One swam 426 miles in nine days.

Al Gore also claimed more than a decade ago — in his stupid, fake southern accent (he grew up in D.C. and went to Harvard) — that the ice at the poles would be gone in five years.

We were so naïve then — or at least I was. Then again, I was barely eligible to vote when that propaganda film was released to the public. We had no idea that the groundwork was being laid for perhaps the most extensive social control agenda in history — surpassing, potentially, even COVID-19. It was a simpler time.

So how did the predictions of the polar bear’s demise pan out? Inconveniently for Gore, not well.

Via International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) / Species Survival Commission (SSC) (emphasis added):

The PBSG [Polar Bear Specialist Group] recognizes that there is public interest in the abundance of the global polar bear population. The group provided its first global population estimate in 1993 of 21,47028,370 polar bears (PBSG 1995). Although this was based on the best available scientific information, confidence in estimates of subpopulation size varied due to different research methods and sampling intensity. Some estimates were based solely on knowledge of habitat quality or expert judgment. Recognizing that combining subpopulation estimates that differ greatly in quality could lead to a false sense of precision, the PBSG rounded the range of global abundance to 22,000–27,000 in 1997 (PBSG 1998). Reflecting additional discussion and data, the global range was adjusted to 21,500–25,000 in 2001 (PBSG 2002) and 20,000–25,000 in 2005 and 2009 (PBSG 2006, 2010).  Although better information is now available for several subpopulations, some estimates remain missing, outdated, or include large uncertainty. The most recent estimate of global abundance is 26,000 (95% Confidence Interval [CI] = 22,000–31,000; Regehr et al. 2016). Like previous ranges, these numbers must be interpreted with caution because they reflect the status of polar bears as well as the amount and quality of scientific information, both of which can change over time. Adjustments to the reported global estimate will continue as new information becomes available.

Via World Wildlife Fund (emphasis added):

Today, polar bears are among the few large carnivores that are still found in roughly their original habitat and range–and in some places, in roughly their natural numbers.

Although most of the world’s 19 populations have returned to healthy numbers, there are differences between them. Some are stable, some seem to be increasing, and some are decreasing due to various pressures.

Status of the polar bear populations
Updated 2021 with data from the IUCN Polar Bear Specialists Group:

3 populations are in decline
2 populations are increasing
4 populations are stable
10 populations are data-deficient (information missing or outdated).

Somehow, I don’t think we’ll see any of these numbers presented in graphical form for CNN’s audience.

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