January 4, 2007

polar How do I know when some person, place, or thing has worn out their obligatory 15 minutes of fame? Whenever I see it discussed on FOX News Network’s “On The Record with Greta van Susteren”. Look, if it’s subject matter involving legal or criminal actions (like with poor Natalee Holloway or the Duke lacrossers), sure, you can say she’s on terra firma, but put her outside that arena and that’s a whole ‘nuther kettle of fish altogether.

Take last night’s show, for instance. I didn’t even have to have the sound on (I was trying to troubleshoot a Dish Network issue with my guest-room TV), but I could tell she was speaking with some wildlife, zoo, or conservation “expert” about the Bush administration’s typical weak-kneed and ill-informed reaction reaction last week to the hysterical bleatings of environmentalists concerned about polar bears drowning because of global warming and the lack of ice.

Never mind the fact that the study the administration was responding to (well covered, BTW, both at National Review Online’s Corner blog and the good folks at Polipundit) is not only highly questionable in its research, but (and never say environmentalists ever allow facts to get in the way of their agenda) blatantly wrong as well. As the Corner’s Jonah Goldberg, quoting from today’s Wall Street Journal, writes (my boldings):

It also turns out that most of the alarm over the polar bear’s future stems from a single, peer-reviewed study, which found that the bear population had declined by some 250, or 25%, in Western Hudson Bay in the last decade. But the polar bear’s range is far more extensive than Hudson Bay. A 2002 U.S. Geological Survey of wildlife in the Arctic Refuge Coastal Plain concluded that the ice bear populations “may now be near historic highs.” One of the leading experts on the polar bear, Mitchell Taylor, the manager of wildlife resources for the Nunavut territory in Canada, has found that the Canadian polar bear population has actually increased by 25% — to 15,000 from 12,000 over the past decade.

Look, I’m not saying global warming is, or is not, a major concern facing the world today. I don’t know if it is, and frankly, I don’t think a lot of others (including those who consider themselves “experts” in the matter) do as well. Such issues require extensive, long-term, and (sorry, Greta) serious study and research. Any scientist will tell you that anecdotal evidence (such as the polar bear story), no matter how “serious” it appears to be, has little place next to extensive, long-term research.

The problem with the polar bear story – as with just about every global warning alert that crawls across Fox News’ and CNN’s picture – is that putting it in the hands of today’s drive-by media (not to mention our media-saturated culture), where everything, be it Britney Spears’ maternal talents to Iran’s nuclear ambitions, is treated with the same freakin’ breathless big deal broad brush, is like putting The Great White Shank in charge of geometric physics at Stanford University.

The fact is, nature goes through cycles, and just because parts of the U.S. have experienced warm winters the past few years, or ice shelves break apart, or, yes, cute and not-so-cuddly polar bears have the misfortune of losing the security of ice beneath their feet in some faraway corner of the globe is simply not sufficient reason for the media, wacko environmentalists, or – heaven forbid, the Bush administration – to start screaming “Kyoto Treaty!” and demand we all return to some pastoral, environmentally-friendly 18th century lifestyle.

It’s sad and it’s pathetic, but welcome to the new 21st century world of junk science.

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 01:24 | Comments (4)
  1. Here’s some common-sense science for you.

    The sun is burning HOTTER in it’s current cycle right now, which it has apparently done before.

    Sun burning hotter = warmer Earth.

    No “greenhouse gasses”. No pollution from cars. No man-made problems. Just more heat from the Sun.

    Anyone doubting that this cannot occur in nature is free to experiment at home right now. Simply turn your thermostat up one degree higher and see if you get any warmer.

    Junk science de-bunked again!

    Comment by Dave Richard — January 4, 2007 @ 9:09 am

  2. Thanks for the comment, bro. I’m glad to see there’s at least someone in this house with a firm grasp on science!

    Comment by The Great White Shank — January 4, 2007 @ 6:39 pm

  3. WSJ reported 5,000 polar bears worldwide in the 1950s

    20,000 to 25,000 today

    Comment by Don Surber — January 4, 2007 @ 7:31 pm

  4. Thanks for the comment, Don. That WSJ article has gotten a lot of play all over the blogsphere, but I doubt we’ll see much play in the mainstream dino-media. But never let facts get in the way of media bias!

    Comment by The Great White Shank — January 5, 2007 @ 11:40 pm

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