97% Consensus: Scientists Admit Guessing Size of Polar Bear Population

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam. He is completing a book on the international challenges America faces in the 21st century.


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Science isn’t magic. It’s not the product of a higher power or some absolute truth machine. It’s trained professionals who occasionally put the data together correctly, but sometimes are responding to various pressures, from the financial to the political.

Researchers are people. They’re better qualified to put together a picture of what is going on in their particular neck of the woods. It doesn’t mean that they always get it right. Like everyone else, sometimes they’re just giving their bosses what they want.

Researchers with the IUCN Polar Bear Specialist Group (PBSG) recently admitted to experienced zoologist and polar bear specialist Susan Crockford that the estimate given for the total number of polar bars in the Arctic was “simply a qualified guess given to satisfy public demand.”

Crockford has been critical of official polar bear population estimates because they fail to include five large subpopulations of polar bears. Due to the uncertainty of the populations in these areas, PBSG did not include them in their official estimate — but the polar bear group did include other subpopulation estimates.

PBSG has for years said that global polar bear populations were between 20,000 and 25,000, but these estimates are likely much lower than how many polar bears are actually living in the world.

“As part of past status reports, the PBSG has traditionally estimated a range for the total number of polar bears in the circumpolar Arctic,” PBSG says in its proposed footnote. “Since 2005, this range has been 20-25,000. It is important to realize that this range never has been an estimate of total abundance in a scientific sense, but simply a qualified guess given to satisfy public demand.”

“It is also important to note that even though we have scientifically valid estimates for a majority of the subpopulations, some are dated,” PBSG continues. “Furthermore, there are no abundance estimates for the Arctic Basin, East Greenland, and the Russian subpopulations.”

All this is a complicated way of saying that there is no true assessment of the current number of polar bears and that any discussion about population numbers is more pseudoscience than science.

Now the number of polar bears is a lot easier to quantify than some of the claims that Global Warmists make. If we can’t get a good read on the number of polar bears, how good is our understanding of the overall climate?

Not very good. The last winter was supposed to be warm. It wasn’t. Now revisionism is explaining why Global Warming was responsible for a cold winter, but that kind of revisionism isn’t science, it’s an attempt to fit incompatible data in to support a discredited theory.

When the numbers for Warmists don’t add up, they manipulate them so more. They’re so certain that their overall idea is right that they massage every piece of data until it fits. But that’s not good enough for impoverishing a billion people, for making it harder for families to afford to buy food or heat their homes. It’s not a consensus. It’s a bunch of politically correct guesses.

  • DogmaelJones1

    I have it on unimpeachable authority from a source I am not at liberty to reveal that there are only twelve polar bears left in the Arctic.

    • Daniel Greenfield

      and they’re all independent voters

  • Judahlevi

    The worst part about the global warming, global cooling, climate change, whatever crowd is not that they manipulate their numbers – and I agree they do.

    It is their insistence that anyone who disagrees with them is some kind of fringe lunatic. Since when did science become as dogmatic as some factions of Islam? Since when is science only for the ‘believers?’

    When it became dominated by university leftists who are more interested in power, research funding, and grant dollars than discovering the truth.

    • truebearing

      Science became dogmatic when Environmentalism became a religion. The Left mocks deniers as “flat earthers,” but it isn’t conservatives who have made faith an essential aspect of global warming “science.” Faith has no role in scientific method, but they insist we have to believe even when the data doesn’t work.
      Small wonder then that Global Warming was cooked up by Marxists. It is a perfect parallel to their belief, against mountains of evidence to the contrary, that Marxism works, but just hasn’t been implemented properly.

      What great faith it must take to believe in things that have already been proven to be lies.

      • hiernonymous

        Just out of curiosity, what do you do for a living?

        • truebearing

          None of your business.

          • Douglas J. Bender

            How can you say that, unless you know what hiernonymous’ business is?

          • Daniel Greenfield

            Hiero’s business is online stalking. It’s a booming trade.

          • VL123

            that’s called trolling.

          • hiernonymous

            He can’t decide.

          • Gee

            I did a quick online check and hiernonymous is all over dozens of sites – making stupid comments.

            Guess we can figure out what it does for a living

          • hiernonymous

            “Guess we can figure out what it does for a living”

            Okay, go ahead.

          • Gee

            Be an annoying moron

          • hiernonymous

            How does one make a living at that?

          • J.B.

            Ask anybody in Hollywood, the rap industry, academia or government, you paid trolltard.

          • hiernonymous

            “…you paid trolltard”

            If I can get paid for posting, where do I sign up?

          • Daniel Greenfield

            ask the 50 cent party

          • hiernonymous

            Could you be a bit more specific? So far, this sounds more than a bit tinfoilish.

          • truebearing

            You tell us. You’re the expert, for once.

          • hiernonymous

            I think that even you are bright enough to understand the actual meaning of the whole “paid troll” trope. Whether you have the integrity to acknowledge it is a whole different question.

          • truebearing

            “I think that even you are bright enough to understand…”

            Even me? Gosh, that’s nice of you to say! I can see you’ve be studying your dog-eared copy of Dale Carnegie’s “How to Win Friends and Influence People.”

            Actually, at the horrible, unthinkable risk of you thinking I’m dumb (say it ain’t so!) there is no way to know if you are paid or not, but you do have troll-like qualities, so J.B. does have reasonable justification in suspecting that you are.

            Of course, you set that up so that I had to choose being dumb and lacking integrity or agree with you. Clever devil. I was really snookered there for awhile, what with that heartfelt compliment and all. By the way, how’s the wife? Are you still beating her?

          • hiernonymous

            There’s no way to know if you are a child molester or not, etc etc. Most adults understand that one finds support for an accusation before leveling public accusations. The technique you are employing is called “innuendo,” which does indeed indicate a lack of integrity.

            “By the way, how’s the wife?”

            Wait… What you do for a living is “none of my business,” and you turn around and start asking questions about my family?. Seems a bit hypocritical.

          • truebearing

            Molesting children has nothing do with you being a paid troll (or is there something you want to get off your chest?) No, that was your signature vindictive nature rearing it’s ugly head in yet another attempt at “getting even.” Bizarre as your retaliation was, it proved you the hypocrite and the one with zero integrity. Well played.

            I didn’t level any accusations, for your befuddled information. I merely suggested you had expertise in trolling. You’re a self-proclaimed expert on everything else.The record will show that I didn’t initiate anything.

            The question about your wife was simply an example of what you tried to do with your comment, which I exposed in the previous paragraph. You’re either getting slow or more dishonest. Which is it?

          • hiernonymous

            “By saying “There’s no way to know if you are a child molester or not,” you are suggesting I might be.”

            Very good, grasshopper – you’re learning how innuendo works. You’re also learning that it’s an ugly game. I recommend that you abandon it for more honest pursuits.

            “The record will show that I didn’t initiate any accusations on your job as a paid troll.”

            TB: “there is no way to know if you are paid or not”
            H: “There’s no way to know if you’re a child molester or not…”

            Grasshopper, you can’t have it both ways. My wording wasn’t accidental: it was yours, with a different accusation substituted to make the nature of what you were doing perfectly clear. Your indignant response indicates that you received the message. (And “he did it first” is a child’s refuge. Try to be man enough to own your words.)

            “The question about your wife…”

            Was a question about my wife. You claimed that discussing professions was too personal, then upped the ante. Can’t seem to decide what you want, can you?

          • truebearing

            Yes, Dung Beetle, I know how innuendo works, and I know how condescension works, too. Your umbrage at being called a “paid trolltard” is directed at me instead of the person who wrote it. I admit, I found it amusing, and still do, but to say that my response is equivalent to “he did it first” is pure toro caca. I was simply correcting your misplaced animus.

            You don’t handle criticism well, which is as diplomatic as I can state it. You didn’t like my suggestion that you are always the expert, so you’re on yet another mission of retaliation. My initial comment about your expertise on trolls was really an oblique criticism of your overweening, supercilious approach to any and all topics. I really don’t care if you are a troll. You should care if people think you’re a troll but aren’t, but that is your problem, not mine.

            In your attempt to force me to recant on what you imagined was me calling you a paid troll, you gave me the choice of admitting I was dumb and lacked integrity, or agreeing that you aren’t a troll. I have no evidence that you aren’t a troll, but plenty that you may be a troll. Whether you are paid is a secondary issue. You, on the other hand, have absolutely no reason to insinuate that I might be a child molestor other than your pathological need to win at all costs and hurt people worse than they hurt you, even if what they said was true, or at least quite plausible.

            The question about beating your wife had nothing to do with prying into your personal life. I really don’t want to know anything about it. It was simply limiting you to undesirable options like you did me. I was trying to teach you what it looks like from the opposite point of view, but in a somewhat humorous way. The humor eluded you, as always. Obviously the lesson failed and I will have to look for some simpler examples.

            Your wording is never accidental, which is why I gave you a dose of your own medicine, and predictably, you couldn’t handle it. Why don’t you take your own advice and try handling the criticism you deserve like a man?

            You really need some work on objectivity. Regardless of how many insults or innuendos you try to slip in, you get your pantyhose in a bundle if what you do to others is done unto you. That is textbook hypocrisy and a telltale sign of narcissism.

          • J.B.

            Only a paid trolltard would try as hard as you have to convince others that he isn’t on a payroll.

          • truebearing

            I think you meant that for hiernonymous, but it is a good point. Being called a troll or trolltard is relatively minor in the scope of insults. If it isn’t true, a person of a reasonably balanced nature should be able to shrug it off, or at most, reply to the comment without nastily attacking others who found it amusing.

            Hiero gets cathected on certain people, especially those who zing him or refute one of his attacks. It’s some kind of superiority/inferiority complex.

          • hiernonymous

            You have the wrong guy. Truebearing’s the one trying to convince others that he isn’t a child molester. I’m the one arguing about paid trolls. Let’s see if TB really understands the implications of your post.

          • hiernonymous

            TB: “there is no way to know if you are paid or not”

            TB: ” I have no evidence that you aren’t a troll, but plenty that you
            may be a troll. Whether you are paid is a secondary issue.”

            Keep squirming.

          • truebearing

            When a person purposely targets certain people, it deserves to be called stalking, but if the stalker is also a troll, maybe we need a new category called Stalktrolling.

            Funny thing is, he is as irritating as a hungry mosquito and like the pernicious little pest, seems to be somehow attracted to the Co2 of warm blooded humans — especially those who like to discuss world events truthfully. Maybe we should try holding our breath while commenting.

            Speaking of mosquitos, I’m wondering when the Environmentalist High Priests will incorporate mosquitos into their blame game. The question is: is the alleged excess Co2 hurting or helping the little harpies?

            I don’t mind hiero’s noisome stalking as much as you might think, however. He unwittingly provides a great opportunity for venting whatever negative emotions a person may be experiencing on any given day.

          • Douglas J. Bender

            Ah, that explains it. I just thought that maybe hiernonymous worked in sawdust, and truebearing perhaps in a lumber-mill.

          • truebearing

            My lumber mill only works with high grades of fiber and avoids the woods that produce toxic sawdust.

          • hiernonymous

            Apparently so. Welcome to the conversation!

          • truebearing

            I already know what his “business” is.

          • hiernonymous

            I understand.

          • truebearing

            I doubt it.

          • hiernonymous

            A little doubt is a healthy thing. Selective doubt, not so much.

      • Odin2

        The climate hysterics have turned their view of climate science into a religion. Interestingly, many climate hysterics are against GMOs despite the evidence that they are safe.

      • Lightbringer

        Perhaps the dogmatic faith element entered into the picture earlier, with evolution. Right or wrong, and a lot of the early theories were wrong from the word “go”, Evolution Was Fact. Anyone questioning it, including questioning some of the earlier specious “scientific” factoids, was exiled from polite society.

    • VL123

      Marginalize, demonize….typical Alinsky tactics. They do it on every from global warming to racism. That’s what leftists do.

  • truebearing

    Yes, last winter was supposed to be warm, but instead it was the coldest winter in 102 years. We have brown bushes and trees all over the state of Wisconisn from the relentless cold, and these are not just cultivars that have to be coddled. We’re seeing Yews and Junipers burned brown that no one has ever seen even sustain damage. If we had seals, we could have had polar bears here. Deer died in big numbers. Ducks and other waterfowl were hit hard. The ice on Northern Wisconsin and Minnesota lakes still had 15 inches of ice in the beginning of May.

    There was a human toll as well. Propane prices went through the roof — $7.00 per gallon — and supplies were so short that Governor Walker had to spend several million dollars to bring in enough to make sure people in northern and western Wisconsin didn’t freeze to death. At least one person in Minnesota did freeze to death because she ran out of fuel.

    How did the “experts” explain this mini-Ice Age? I heard one moron on TV trying to explain that warm air rising to the North forced the cold air down to the US. If that was true, and North means up and South means down, the cold air, being heavier, would always head south and the warm air north. Then why isn’t the Arctic always warm? Needless to say, this individual is an idiot without the slightest understanding of science of any kind, yet he is a proud believer in Global Warming.

    • Chavi Beck

      what a story. Just wow.

  • Douglas J. Bender

    Obviously, vile conservatives are messing with the weather, causing it to act inconsistently with Global Warming. Thus, we need to elect liberals everywhere, to save the world, and bring truth back into the Climate..

  • kilfincelt

    I heard a climatologist who is a trained meteorologists, as most of them are, say that over 50% of his fellow climatologists are fully aware that global warming was based on bogus science. The fact is that the temperature didn’t change in the past 15 to 17 years which is the reason that warmists decided to stop referring to man’s influence on the weather as global warming and use the words climate change. The fact is that the climate is always changing. Humans may contribute somewhat to that change but not necessarily all that much. Furthermore, there are scientists leaving scientific societies because they don’t believe in warmists theories, and the subject is no longer open for discussion within these societies which is a very dangerous trend.

    • Daniel Greenfield

      crushing dissent is the price of manufactured consensus

      • tagalog

        I’d go further and say it’s a function of manufactured consensus.

  • http://jocuri-barbie.me/ Moldoveanu Nicolae

    Very interestting and nice information about polar bear !
    ___________
    barbie

  • tagalog

    “A qualified guess given to satisfy public demand.” What public? What demand?

    Some of the population data are dated? How dated? How many populations?

    I thought this was one of those scientific issues that is settled.

    • Daniel Greenfield

      swap media for public

  • Reality check

    Not politically correct guesses, that gives them credit as if it’s simply a mistake. If that was the case, sometimes the guesses wouldn’t support their goals. Since all the faux data always supports their worldview….