In an age in which emotional narratives often trump facts, the polar bear quickly became the icon of the climate alarmist movement. The frame of a cuddly polar bear clinging on to a swiftly melting tiny ice floe tended to immediately rake up a flurry of emotions all sympathetic for a creature, apparently portrayed as utterly helpless to starve off the danger of its imminent drowning.Al Gore, former US Vice President, used the above frame in his controversial documentary “The Inconvenient Truth”. He even made a PowerPoint presentation using it to the Nobel Prize committee, claiming that the polar bear habitat is threatened by global warming. He explained that since bears cannot find ice floes to rest on, since ice areas are rapidly melting, polar bears were drowning! And as we know Al Gore eventually won the Nobel Prize, sharing it with our own Rajendra Pachauri, head of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). They did so at the cost of a truly deserving candidate, Irena Sendler, who saved hundreds of Jewish children from the Holocaust and who was also a Nobel Prize nominee that year.All these publicity spurred the frame going viral over the internet and succeeding in recruiting tens of thousands to the climate change cause. It however also spawned an ever increasing band of climate critics. Science, the renowned international scientific journal selected the frame in its editorial “Climate Change and the Integrity of Science” to counter this growing worldwide trend of “climate scepticism”:"We are deeply disturbed by the recent escalation of political assaults on scientists in general and on climate scientists in particular. All citizens should understand some basic scientific facts."But they didn’t factor into their calculations, an encounter with my pal, James Delingpole of The Telegraph, a leading newspaper in the UK. James’ brilliant investigative work exposed the frame as a photo-shopped graphic! Instead of helping to refute the allegation, this frame ended up confirming that the integrity of climate alarmist scientists was indeed suspect. Science consequently had to swallow its pride and render the following editorial correction:“Science 7 May 2010:vol. 328 no. 5979 pp. 689-690DOI: 10.1126/science.328.5979.689Climate Change and the Integrity of ScienceP. H. Gleick et al.CorrectionDue to an editorial error, the original image associated with this Letter was not a photograph but a collage. The image was selected by the editors, and it was a mistake to have used it. The original image has been replaced in the online HTML and PDF versions of the article with an unaltered photograph from National Geographic.”But we can still find the original frame in the Penguin iStock-Photo accompanied by the following Photo description:A polar bear managed to get on one of the last ice floes floating in the Arctic sea. Due to global warming the natural environment of the polar bear in the Arctic has changed a lot. The Arctic sea has much less ice than it had some years ago.(This image is a Photoshop design. Polarbear, ice floe, ocean and sky are real, they were just not together in the way they are now)We climate sceptics simply love the Penguin photo description much better because it encapsulates the whole climate scam in a way no sceptic paper could ever hope to succeed in effect. The Penguin narrative suggests that polar bears are fighting a losing war against extinction caused by runaway global warming which was melting away all their ice. And still, the only evidence the narrative could drum up to bolster this claim was a photo-shopped graphic, an artful fictionalization of facts which is so typical of all climate hysteria. Spiegel On-line elaborates:“All of this leads to a spiral of exaggeration. Each individual step in this process may seem harmless, but on the whole, the knowledge imparted to the public about climate, climatic fluctuations, climate shift and climatic effects is dramatically distorted.”'Climate change' it's whatever the alarmist want it to be. There is nothing apparently that 'climate change' can or cannot do. For example there are several "peer researched" studies to support contrary claims that 'climate change' makes sea water more salty while others say it makes them in fact fresher, which enable you sub-choices within the specific climate hysteria you want to employ. However there seems a pattern, bizarre as it is, to this madness. The significance of individual events is turned into material suitable for media presentation and is then cleverly dramatized. The intention is always the same. Evoke fear to make the gullible public to act according to the climate alarmist’s hidden agenda while inducing them to part with their money at the same time!And where exaggeration is not sufficed, they take to manipulating data. Take for example the claim of the UK’s Met Office that temperatures could rise to 4 deg C by 2060. The fact remains that it was never a prediction in the real sense. These are only outputs of computer stimulations of various scenarios based on a set of assumptions, which are similar to “What if” functions that spreadsheets like Microsoft Excel offers. This needs no subject knowledge as any five year old could key in any set of random numbers and get an instant result on the computer screen. In 2007 IPCC proposed several future economic scenarios each with a different CO2 emission profile. Model predictions were then used to lobby governments.The A1 scenario is a case of rapid and successful economic development, in which regional average income per capita converge - current distinctions between "poor" and "rich" countries eventually dissolve.The A2 world has less international cooperation than the A1 or B1 worlds. People, ideas, and capital are less mobile so that technology diffuses more slowly than in the other scenario families. International disparities in productivity, and hence income per capita, are largely maintained or increased in absolute terms.The central elements of the B1 future are a high level of environmental and social consciousness combined with a globally coherent approach to a more sustainable development (favoured by IPCC).The Clive Best Blog undertook a study that concluded that none of these IPCC predicted scenario values tallied with observational data as the black curve in the above graph illustrates. The abstract is as follows:Global temperatures measured since 2005 are incompatible with the IPCC model predictions made in 2007 by WG1 in AR4. All subsequent temperature data from 2006 to 2011 lies between 1 and 6 standard deviations below the model predictions. The data show with > 90% confidence level that the models have over-exaggerated global warming.The total probability that IPCC predictions are correct but the data points are just a fluctuation is vanishingly small ~ 10^-14 ! It is therefore possible to state with over 90% confidence that the IPCC 2007 model predictions are incorrect and exaggerate any warming. Will we have to wait another year for the 2012 data to be published before the IPCC admit that they have simply got it wrong?This is the reason why climate alarmist scientists take to manipulating data to fit their computer modelling predictions by applying what they call “fudge factors”. Climate sceptics have exposed that there is no warming trend with raw surface temperature datasets, country after country and weather station after station. Our claim is consistent with satellite global temperature datasets that show an absence of global warming trend. Only when a “fudge” value gets factored into the raw data of surface temperature measurements, a warming trend conjures up. Despite such blatant data manipulations, the IPCC’s different global warming scenarios are still largely off the mark as compared to observational data as the Clive Best study show.So in order to protect themselves from being exposed for shoddy research and devious data manipulation, a “peer review” system came in very handy. Despots throughout history have always justified their actions by insisting that their opponents deserved to be removed from the debate. This system of “peer research” on one hand facilitated as a “Gatekeeper” to research publication. It ensured that climate sceptic research never saw daylight in terms of objectives of getting their research published. On the other hand, the system conferred academic respectability to even shoddy research and devious data manipulation by those of climate alarmists.So in the context of polar bears, we had a remarkable case of a wildlife biologist called Charles Monnett working with the US federal government’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation, and Enforcement. Based on his “observations” during an aerial survey in 2004, he published a paper in 2006 in the journal, Polar Biology related to mortality in polar bears that had presumably drowned because of global warming. In the peer-reviewed article, they said they were reporting, to the best of their knowledge, the first observations of the bears floating dead and presumed drowned while apparently swimming long distances. The paper could be accessed HERE.
In the article, Monnett and his co-authors speculated that bear drowning could increase if continued climate change resulted in less ice cover in the Arctic. The work was cited in the 2006 Al Gore documentary film, "An Inconvenient Truth". This overnight catapulted Monnett to celebrity status with NGOs like WWF, Greenpeace, Oxfam and the likes who took to liberally quoting from his paper.So what’s the content of his paper that made him an overnight NGO star and which helped to galvanize the global warming movement?It turns out that his entire case was based on that he saw 4 polar bears and a week later saw, 4 drowned ones, 3 of them tagged. He therefore ASSUMED on the basis of his aerial survey that they were 3 of the original 4 he saw, though there was no evidence for it. He then ASSUMED there had been 36 bears in the area, though there was no evidence for it. He then ASSUMED 27 of them must have died. He then ASSUMED the storm that killed them was caused by catastrophic anthropogenic global warming, though there was no evidence for it. He then ASSUMED the same applied to all polar bear populations, though there was no evidence for it. Thereby "proving" that polar bears face extinction because of global warming!
This is research? A paper arriving at a conclusion on the basis of a series of conjectures? And this man reportedly controls a $50 million research budget of his organization? If we thought Indian Civil Service was bad, now we know their US counterparts must be even worse!
And yet, on the basis of the “Monnett’s peer researched study”, the Obama Administration promptly declared the polar bear an endangered species in 2008. But population studies on polar bear the same year established that their count increased from around 5,000 during the 60s to now estimated around -25,000. And this is data pertaining only to the US! A blog observed:“If polar bears had any clue of the scale of speculation about the extinction threat they are facing due to climate change, they would have probably said “you’re kidding, right?”If you think statistics are a pointer towards the growth or decline of a species, it will be interesting to have a look at the estimates published in a report by U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, in 2008.“The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service estimates that the polar bear population is currently at 20,000 to 25,000 bears, up from as low as 5,000-10,000 bears in the 1950s and 1960s. A 2002 U.S. Geological Survey of wildlife in the Arctic Refuge Coastal Plain noted that the polar bear populations ‘may now be near historic highs.”These polar bear count revision studies put Monnett under heavy fire by climate sceptics. If polar bear population demonstrated a 4 to 5 fold increase during the last 50 years then the claim that global warming causes their extinction gets immediately falsified. Either global warming is happening or is it. If global warming is not happening, then it is not relevant to polar bears survival. If on the other hand, if global warming is occurring then there is no need for any hysteria as polar bear population are doing more than fine - having increased 5 fold in the last 50 years! A deeply embarrassed Obama Administration was forced to suspend the NGO celebrity, Monnett, the announcement made by Barack Obama himself!Transcripts of the enquiry obtained suggested that Monnet was accused of scientific misconduct, basically resorting to willfully distortion of numbers and calculations. This brings us to the question just who peer reviewed his study to give the go ahead for its publication? Here we come across another surprise. It turn out that the first reviewer was his wife, a scientist who worked alongside him and another a wildlife biologist, his close friend, who was undertaking a similar study on polar bear mortality linked to global warming! Monnett’s indictment for scientific misconduct applies to these two reviewers as well just as it does to the whole system of peer review!Further the image of a helpless polar bear surviving on melting floes creates a perception that polar bears are unable to swim. This contradicts basic biology as Steven John Hibbs in The Tonka Report observed:"Ursus Maritimus is the scientific name for Polar Bear. Ursus in Latin means “bear”, while “maritimus” in Latin means “of the sea”. In Greek, Ursus maritimus literally translates to “Sea Bear”. Now seriously, does that sound like an animal that can’t swim?..Polar bears roam the Arctic ice sheets and swim in that region’s coastal waters. They are very strong swimmers, and their large front paws, which they use to paddle, are slightly webbed. Some polar bears have been seen swimming hundreds of miles from land—though they probably cover most of that distance by floating on sheets of ice."A new study published just last week by scientists at the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) confirms the fact that polar bears really are amazing swimmers—so good that biologists were able to document 50 swims that coverage an average length of 96 miles. Read here.A related image NGOs tried to create is that of the vulnerability of polar bears to climate change being extremely high. Fossil records show Homo Sapiens, that’s us, evolved around 400,000 years ago. Polar bears are generally believed to be much older than Homo Sapiens - in fact believed to have evolved at least 200,000 years earlier. If so, they should have wider exposure to wilder climate swings and accordingly believed to be much biologically hardier than man in terms of climate adaptive potential.Further, raccons; red, black and brown bears and giant pandas are believed to had a common ancestor. Studies suggest, for example, that polar bears were once brown bears that became isolated in the north and adapted to the cold conditions. Their white fur is just a natural adaptation for living in a cold environment. But under their fur, polar bears still retain their black skin, which is better suited to soak up the sun’s warming rays. The polar bear is at the top of the arctic marine food web so much so that their dense population in places like Alaska and Canada are found as a threat to mankind. This prompted the state of Alaska to desperately petition the Obama Administration to lift the endangered species status to polar bears so that hunting could be permitted to reduce their population!“We are on the verge of a global transformation. All we need is the right major crisis,” said David Rockefeller, the Club of Rome executive member in the 70s. That search for the right major crisis led to the imaginary threat of global warming. Repeating the same lie over and over again does not make it true. However, Paul Watson, the co-founder of Greenpeace revealed”The data does not matter, it does not matter what is true, it only matters what people believe is true.” What Watson was referring was how the environment movement metamorphosed into a fanatical religion where a religious belief cannot be falsified despite hard observational data pointing to the contrary.Here chips in James Lovelock, considered the father of the modern environmental movement, in the 70s by giving them their Bible. According to Wikipedia, the Gaia Hypothesis propounded by him posits that the Earth is a self-regulating complex system involving the biosphere, the atmosphere, the hydrospheres and the pedosphere, tightly coupled as an evolving system. The theory sustains that this system as a whole, called Gaia, seeks a physical and chemical environment optimal for contemporary life.Writing in the British newspaper The Independent in January 2006, Lovelock argues that, as a result of global warming:"Billions of us will die and the few breeding pairs of people that survive will be in the Arctic where the climate remains tolerable" by the end of the 21st century and that 80% of humans will perish by 2100 AD, and this climate change will last 100,000 years...By 2040, the world population of more than six billion will have been culled by floods, drought and famine...It is not the death of people that is the main problem, it is the fact that the plants can't grow – there will be almost no food grown in Europe...We are about to take an evolutionary step and my hope is that the species will emerge stronger. It would be hubris to think humans as they now are God's chosen race."Lovelock now in his nineties and intellectually still active regretted his past climate alarmism last week during an ABC TV News interview:“The problem is we don’t know what the climate is doing. We thought we knew 20 years ago. That led to some alarmist books – mine included – because it looked clear-cut, but it hasn’t happened...The climate is doing its usual tricks. There’s nothing much really happening yet. We were supposed to be halfway toward a frying world now...The world has not warmed up very much since the millennium. Twelve years is a reasonable time… it (the temperature) has stayed almost constant, whereas it should have been rising — carbon dioxide is rising, no question about that"So here was a man considered the Father of the Modern Environmental movement and whose philosophy even today permeates all branches of environmentalism admitting a) he was wrong about his predictions and b) in actuality they really don’t know what is happening although they have this theory which isn’t panning out the way they thought it would. And after worshipping at the altar of Gaia for decades, what’s the reaction of the environmental movement? They distance themselves from Havelock as they find his admissions inconvenient. The Gaia religion by its religious fanaticism by now has its own momentum, with or without its founding father! And decided that they can hold this momentum very well without their founder!Genuine environmentalists have no today little place in the movement which have been taken over by these religious fanatics. The difference is like between tuft (lawn grass) and astro-tuft (the plastic polymer surface used by certain sports like hockey). Both look green at a distance but only the first is natural and other artificial. These astro-turfists as one blog observed:“.. have lied, demonised, propagandised, scared little kids, built careers on fakery, wasted money, rammed through jobs-destroying legislation the majority of the populace doesn't want and diverted attention from real moral issues like children dying for lack of clean water.Will any of the rats jumping from the sinking ship of climate alarm ever admit what damage they did to the environmental cause by their hysterical overreach, their lies, distortions and bullying abuse of those who refused to fall into line?They have created a generation of people who don't care about the environment and don't respect science.”A hoax is a deceptive act intended to hoodwink people through deliberate misinformation, including factual omissions. The polar bear extinction scare fulfils all the criteria of this definition. As Goebbels, Hitler’s communication aide once observed “By means of shrewd lies, unremittingly repeated, it is possible to make people believe that heaven is hell — and hell heaven. The greater the lie, the more readily it will be believed”. This is exactly the communication tactic climate alarmists employ to capitalize on hoaxes. Spiegel On-line offers a caution to such NGOs:“The price for provoking fear is high, because it's a practice that sacrifices the otherwise prized principle of caution. A scarce resource - public attention and confidence in the reliability of science - is being consumed without being renewed by a practice of offering positive examples.”However the complicity of NGOs in the hoax differs and they could be clubbed into the following three categories:3rd Degree ComplicityThis category is constituted by mainstream international developmental NGOs such as Oxfam; ChristianAid; ActionAid, World Vision etc. They strayed into environmental issues primarily due to existential compulsions. The first reason is due to the mushrooming of NGOs, they need to protect their turf (support base) from encroachment by other competitors. Apart from competing with their own kind, environmental NGOs such as Greenpeace or WWF have been increasingly eating into their share (support base). Secondly, as the traditional support base has been declining these NGOs have been forced into increased dependence on governmental funding to the extent that now they constitute their majority source of funding. Government funding for climate change is more liberal than for other programmes. Even in the case of the latter, climate change needs to be incorporated as a cross-cutting issue.Institutionally, this category of NGOs is not renowned for their core competence of a scientific bend of mind. They are happier delivering relief and rehabilitation for disaster victims; constructing community infrastructure such as housing; drinking water and sanitation; enhancing livelihood opportunities; empowering more vulnerable sections in the community such as women; Dalits; tribals etcThey play no direct role in the polar bear extinction hoax, though they may use the symbol of the polar bear to raise larger development issues as they mistakenly consider this is as a politically correct icon. Not many within these NGOs, even their top management, may even suspect that the claim that polar bears getting extinct by climate change is a scientific hoax due to widespread science illiteracy within their organizations. But this might not be typically the case of their environmental staff and consultants; many who not only have a science academic background but often possess additionally previous work experience with environmental NGOs such as Greenpeace or WWF. Instead of forcing the likes of Greenpeace (regarded as a sort of pariah within the NGO because of their stunts and radicalism) to be more like a mainstream NGO such as Oxfam, such staff with radical environmental experience force the likes of an Oxfam to behave more as a Greenpeace, ruining their organizational credibility in the long term.These NGOs do not raise funds specifically to conserve polar bears but NGOs like World Vision hold fundraising events such as The Courage Polar Bear Dip is Canada’s largest polar bear dip for charity. However the proceeds of this fundraising event are meant to support WorldVision’s drinking water programmes around the world.2nd Degree Complicity
This category of NGOs in many ways overlaps those mentioned in the previous category. They generally are not known to directly raise funds on the basis of exploiting this scientific hoax (i.e polar bears are getting extinct) except perhaps as a one-off fundraising event. But they however use this scientific hoax to further the goals of their climate change agenda.The primary difference which puts them into a higher degree of complicity (in perpetuating this scientific hoax) category is that these are so called leading environmental organizations such as Greenpeace. As such we expect them to have a better grasp of science as compared to developmental NGOs like Oxfam. But in terms of organizational behaviour, we find absolutely no difference between these two categories of NGOs. Both show an utter contempt for science by wilfully exploiting scientific hoaxes to further the objects of their larger agendas such as climate change.These NGOs operate on the ends justify means philosophy. This is really evident from the fact that if environmental NGOs like Greenpeace hold any respect for animals as they pretend they do, then they won’t be spreading myths about them such as polar bears cannot swim or that they are so fragile that they are unable to adapt to climate change. But the fact they happily do so suggests that the polar bear then becomes merely a convenient tool they strategically exploit to further the cause of their climate activism.In India, included in this list are NGOs like Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) and environmental activists like Vandana Shiva, who are not known to have a total contempt for science as the likes of Greenpeace does. But they too occasionally perpetuate this scientific hoax on polar bears. Though NGOs talk on behalf of people; their people base is highly suspect. So they network with each other and promote each other causes to create an illusion of a modicum of mass base. This is on the lines of I scratch your back if you scratch mine arrangement. Network compulsions may force the likes of Vandana Shiva to speak the language of Greenpeace in context to polar bears. The CSE being a larger institution, maybe additionally be driven to adopt the Greenpeace language as many of their key staff are those with previous work experiences with more radical environmental organizations such as WWF or Greenpeace.1st Degree ComplicityLike Greenpeace, those in this category are primarily environmental organizations. The key difference being is that this category of environmental organizations uses the scientific hoax to convert their Save Polar Bear from Extinction campaign into virtually a cash machine. If you have been trying to figure out just who got rich, thanks to the global-warming scares, then look no further than this group of NGOs.There are three sub-sets within this category. The first are websites such as Squidoo raising funds for polar bear causes ostensibly on behalf of (the US) National Wildlife Federation (NWF) and Polar Bears International (PBI)! In fact the site also claims it raises funds for Grameen Bank. And yet they claim that royalties from their site are donated 50% to NWF and PBI. If we donate to them there is no way to ensure your donations reached any NGO, leave alone NWF or PBI or into the website’s administrator’s personal pockets.The second sub-set includes NGOs like Polar Bears International (PBI) that were established primarily on the foundation of this scientific hoax. The PBI raises funds through “Adopt a Polar Bear” programmes and Gift Shops.It claims that it partners a range of other environmental NGOs and networks like 350.org - a coalition of climate alarmist NGOs like Greenpeace, Oxfam, ChristianAid etcIt is not clear weather “its partners” fund the Polar Bear International or the other way round - the PBI funds them.The PBI does not publish their Annual Report or Accounts. Transparency standards are non-existent. Yet, they expect the public to donate to them. But since in the world there are all kinds of people, we can be sure there is a large enough segment that would happily part with their money not bothered on whose pockets it will eventually end up.The last subsets are master scamsters such as the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). They not only perpetuate the scientific hoax but use every conceivable trick to induce the public to part with their hard earned money. Money for their self-righteous hysteria is looked as the drug of choice.So leave it to WWF to present a message based on this scientific hoax with the subtlety of a sledgehammer. For example who would associate Coco-Cola with polar bears but only the WWF?Right wing US TV anchor, Rush Limbaugh was quick off the blocks to give a critique:"For years Coca-Cola has given millions of dollars to eco-extreme group World Wildlife Fund, whose alarmism and perpetration of falsehoods are unmatched among its cohorts in climate activism. Now Coke has initiated a new campaign with WWF that features its iconic advertising species in an effort to drive more funding to the international non-profit group to 'protect the polar bears' Arctic home.' The promotion will include new packaging for Coke over the holiday season, changing its familiar red cans to white, and featuring an image of a mother polar bear and her cubs on the side.Coke says it will donate $2 million over five years to WWF for 'polar bear conservation efforts,' and will also match donations made at iCoke.ca. Last year Coke gave WWF $1.64 million for its various activities globally. 'The planet is changing very quickly, and nowhere more quickly than in the Arctic,' says Gerald Butts, president of WWF-Canada. 'It's really important that we all understand that they need our help,' he added. 'Climate change is changing livelihoods, it's changing migration patterns for species, and we want to plan ahead. We want a future for the Arctic where the communities of people who live there are vibrant and sustainable and the iconic species - in particular the polar bear - has a long-term future on the planet."But WWF were due to a shock! Coca-Cola started pulling back on its limited-edition white cans designed for the holidays, reverting back to its traditional red background can amidst consumer confusion and criticism.As announced on Oct. 25 last year, 1.4 billion white cans and caps on bottles of Coke (the first time the brand ever changed from red) were planned to blanket the U.S. and Canadian markets through March, featuring the iconic Coke polar bear in a holiday promo with an environmentally-friendly related cause dubbed Arctic Home.A smart tie-in with Coca-Cola's brand mascot (the polar bear) and the best laid plans for a polar-white cause last Christmas were all foiled by social media. It was through the social web that Coke heard growing rumblings that all was not well. Consumers were unhappy that Coco-Cola associated with a scientific hoax and started boycotting the drink!And hurray to that! NGOs consider dramatization or "emotionalization of issues" (as former boss of Greenpeace Gerd Leopold told the BBC two years ago) as acceptable whereas correcting exaggeration is viewed as dangerous because it is politically inopportune.Well lessons learnt from the White Coke 'protect the polar bears' Arctic home.' campaign flop should prompt environmental NGOs to revisit this doctrine. Will they? Most probably not and accordingly would be inviting greater public backlash for their lack of integrity. And hurray to that too!