Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Pass the alert, nae, sound the disaster klaxon far and wide.

One of the things a smart bunny learns is to listen to those who know better about an issue.  So following White Beard's advice Eli went and looked at the link to the IG Report on the matter of Charles Monnett.  Frankly it was auditing at the best, and, yes at one point the ears fell over the eyes, but something did seem a bit funny about the estimate of white bears in the Arctic, but Eli and his ilk were not employed in the polar bear census, still EEGO, 

This was not cool, as White Beard notes in the comments

At the bottom of MS page 37, Division Chief, Anchorage office of FWS’ [Fish and Wildlife Service] Marine Mammals Management’s “Meehan said that the polar bear was designated as a threatened, rather than endangered, species because at the time of MMM’s evaluation, the polar bear population was estimated to be around 200,000...” This eight (oh dear, mustn’t ever UNDERSTATE these things) ten fold OVERSTATED quantity by the IG has the worlds entire economy attremble on the edge of the abyss.
Given that the population of Alaska is about 722,000 that is less than 1 bear per 4 people and at that rate even including the north of Canada,  there would be considerably fewer people as the bears munched through the population.  But wait, there is more.  Look at the next paragraph
Meehan said that informal interviews conducted with scientists and subject experts on modeling revealed that the evidence pointed mainly to the change in the ecosystem and its correlation to the polar bears losing prey, losing weight, and other issues.
Eli would bet that those changes in the ecosystem are dominated by the loss of summer ice.  After all, it is the position of the USGS that
The main threat to polar bears now is thought to be the unidirectional decline of habit as a result of climate warming. Other impacts are human-caused mortality, contaminants and development in the Arctic.
Eli plans to get around to writing to the IG on the matter.  Send the dear a postcard.


67 comments:

Russell said...

In centuries of field work, this university has lost only one reltively small graduate student to hungry polar bears.

Alrnough it was just an anthroplogist, there was no end to the Canadian paperwork, despite the fact that she was tasked with surveying lithic depotage rather than bears.

david lewis said...

The Polar Bear Specialist Group (PBSG) 15th meeting in Copenhagen 2009 in this press release noted that they thought the "total number of polar bears is still thought to be between 20,000 and 25,000", one assumes, on Earth.

The caution was "there is much room for error in establishing that range". They admitted that in at least one area, Baffin Bay, "interpretations by scientists and local hunters disagree". The PBSG was calling for a reassessment.

Inuit hunters reporting via the film Inuit and Climate Change say there is disagreement between what hunters believe and what the scientists say all over the Canadian Arctic. The Inuit hunters report the scientists don't talk to them.

I wrote the filmmakers and asked them if they got a response from the polar bear scientists to the claims aired in the film, i.e. that the bear population in the Canadian north is healthy, and the scientists are not understanding this in part because they are ignoring a prime source of data i.e. Inuit elders.

The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species page which says about itself that it is "widely recognized as the most comprehensive, objective global approach for evaluating the conservation status of plant and animal species" duh, has an "Ursus maritimus" page, which says the assessment of "vulnerable A3c ver 3.1" (done by the previously mentioned Polar Bear Specialist Group) is based " on a suspected population reduction of >30% within three generations (45 years) due to decline in area of occupancy (AOO), extent of occurrence (EOO) and habitat quality".

John Doe said...

PBSG has an interactive graphical webpage up with their latest data on where the bears are....

John Doe said...

"Ignoring public opinion regarding wildlife status and its conservation can result in failure of on-the-ground conservation efforts. As an example, the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada re-assessed the polar bear in 2008 as a species of special concern (COSEWIC 2008). Some scientific experts believe that this assessment failed in recognizing the more vulnerable predicament of polar bears, as a result of habitat decline in the face of climate warming (PBSG 2010a; Vongraven 2009). In contrast, the plurality of local people who live in polar bear habitat vigorously rejected COSEWIC’s assessment as too extreme on the basis that they viewed polar bear populations to be healthy (Government of Nunavut 2010; PBSG 2010b). The result is that 4 years after the assessment, the federal government of Canada has yet to make a decision on how to officially classify the status of the polar bear; conservation action has been stalled. How do scientists and local people come to diametrically opposite conclusions? The issue may be a result of different observation platforms, geographic and temporal perspectives and ways of interpreting observations. The problems may also stem from the difficulty for government managers to communicate (presently or historically), failure to address local concerns of safety and property damage from polar bears, and failure to demonstrate the incorporation of TEK and local values in decision-making (Henri et al. 2010, Peacock et al. 2010). Further, the communication of results of scientific studies to local communities often does not occur (at least in an effective way). One clear step towards facilitating conservation efforts is to re-double efforts to engage local people in decision-making, but moreover, as stakeholders in the research and monitoring of polar bears (e.g., see Kindberg et al. 2009)." - from a background paper available at the website of the 2011 Meeting of the Parties to the 1973 Agreement on the Conservation of Polar Bears held in Iqaluit. username polarbears pass Canada2011

Steve Bloom said...

Canadian politics vis-a-vis First Nations being what it is (the latter being not entirely averse to putting on a Noble Savage act when it suits them), it's apparently indelicate to mention in official documents or even the scientific literature that Inuit views on this matter might be somewhat skewed (well, in the opinion of some, perhaps not mine but quite possibly Eli's and I'm pretty sure that of the scientists involved, severely so to the point of rendering any data input useless) by the economic benefits of polar bear hunting tourism. I forget the details, but there's a considerable history to this involving among other things the Inuit purchase of an expert and a "paper" by Soon et al.

Anonymous said...

Keep your klaxon to yourself.

David B. Benson said...

Polar bears survived throughout the Eemian interglacial so I suspect that adaptions will occur.

Lotharsson said...

"Polar bears survived throughout the Eemian interglacial so I suspect that adaptions will occur."

I'm not overly familiar with that interglacial, but I assume it came on with ferocious speed (relative to ecosystem adaptation rates, and more specifically relative to polar bear lifecycles), just like the current climate change is doing?

Or did I miss some intended irony?

dbostrom said...

Eemian stratigraphic horizons in the Arctic are well known for middens of crudely formed brass cartridges employed in the primitive weapons of the day. Bears survived the combined onslaught of hunters equipped with firearms and rapidly shrinking habitat without any problems. Indeed polar bears easily adapted to their unstable climate; by rapidly evolving opposable digits they were able to construct crude balloons made of seal skins and float across expanses of ocean too large to swim. Unfortunately this branch of the ursine family ultimately succumbed to Eemian surface-air missile technology developed by resentful seals.

David B. Benson said...

Lotharsson --- Polar bears ain't stupid. Already there are behavior changes noticed at least around Hudson Bay.

The Eemian interglacial was the one previous to this one. You might care to check for any polar bear DNA studies which might indicate a genetic narrowing of the population around that time. AFAIK there is none but it seems that there was some successful mating with brown bears. That suggests strongly overlapping ranges. Probably that will happen again.

I'm much more concerned that the big cats will go extinct.

Steve Bloom said...

Re the Eemian, IIRC there were recent results finding that during it the high Arctic didn't warm up anything like the present is, at least in some areas. It's not especially surprising that the pattern of Milankovitch-driven warming might be different from the GHG/BC sort.

The bears also have a degree of resilience relating to their ability to interbreed with ancestral brown bears, but somehow a relict population of grolars that might someday be able to re-evolve polar bears seems lacking relative to an intact population of the latter.

Steve Bloom said...

And yeah, as David points out most other species lack such a genetic escape hatch. Big cats and other denizens of warmer climates aside, plenty of major Arctic species, e.g. belugas and walrus, appear to be headed for serious trouble.

Lotharsson said...

" Polar bears ain't stupid. Already there are behavior changes noticed at least around Hudson Bay."

I'm not sure I follow. When you used the word "adaptation", were you referring to behavioural changes or evolutionary adaptation?

Sure, behavioural changes have been observed - and that's entirely unsurprising. One could certainly argue about how much leeway behavioural changes give for adapting to climatic changes.

But my point was that the viability of evolutionary adaptation as a mitigation strategy depends heavily on the rate of change of the environment (and further, not just on the viability for a single species but for a functioning subset of the current ecosystem that includes said species). The current rate of environmental change is pretty astonishing, so I'd be very skeptical of assertions of viability of said changes unless there was strong evidence to back it up.

Bernard J. said...

"Given that the population of Alaska is about 722,000 that is less than 1 bear per 4 people and at that rate even including the north of Canada, there would be considerably fewer people as the bears munched through the population."

Erm, that should be:

"Given that the population of Alaska is about 722,000 that is more than 1 bear per 4 people..."

On the matter of Inuit- vs scientifically-determined numbers, John Doe has it nailed at 2/10/12 1:45 PM:

"How do scientists and local people come to diametrically opposite conclusions? The issue may be a result of different observation platforms, geographic and temporal perspectives and ways of interpreting observations."

Given the loss of ice it is entirely feasiblefor bear numbers to be declining, and for the Inuit to still be seeing increasing numbers of the animals.

I've previously related the anecdote of spending a few weeks in the field with a visiting North American carnivore biologist who related - from first-hand experience - extreme concern for the decline in bear numbers. That biologist also had contact with Inuit, so the notion of no conversation between scientists and Indigenous peoples is certainly not generally applicable, even if there are local groups of Inuit who have not spoken with scientists.


Bernard J. Hyphen-Anonymous XVII, Esq.

Bernard J. said...

Steve Bloom points out the dangers of focussing on one aspect only of a more general problem. It's worth repeating:

"And yeah, as David points out most other species lack such a genetic escape hatch. Big cats and other denizens of warmer climates aside, plenty of major Arctic species, e.g. belugas and walrus, appear to be headed for serious trouble."

Russell said...

informs us that :

By the late Eyoorian, most Eemian bear guns had been rebored to accomodate Mammoth Nitro Express cartridges, to stem the population explosion of the cloned pachyderms, which in turned fueled the growth of Ursus maritimus numbers to levels exceeding those of boreal humans.

The burgeoning bear population was soon enfranchised by Canadian liberals, and extended the right of return by the revived California Bear Republic, where the varmints soon took over the Sacramento State House and, with an eye on the Presidency, began to intermarry with Mormons and residents of American Samoa, whence their offspring emigrated to Japan to become the founders of a respected dynasty of Sumo professionals.

Bernard J. said...

I'm inclined to concur with Lotharsson's comment at 2/10/12 9:24 PM .

The nacent bear behaviours are not necessarily a sign of adaptation as much as they are likely indicators of environmental stressors. The behaviours being evidenced are not genetic adaptations - there is simply not enough elapsed time for that to be a feasible explanation. Rather, it is simply an indication of the plasticity of the species, but it's a plasticity where the mean has necessarily been abandoned and replaced by an undesirable tail. Ask your local GP how well one can live under constant environmental stress...

The notion of easy polar bear adaptation also ignores the inevitable conflict that will arise from humans (and human-carried exotics) moving in from warmer areas. If the bears themselves had any say in the matter, I'm sure that they wouldn't be nearly so blithe.

Steve Bloom said...

Topical.

Lars Karlsson said...

Grizzly bears are a major obstacle to polar bears adapting to a warmer climate. Being already adapted to a temperate climate, hey will simply outcompete the polar bears as the cilmate zones moves northwards.

Anonymous said...

Going off-topic for a moment, check out the ads on Lars' link and see if you can spot the irony...

Bernard J. Hyphen-Anonymous XVII, Esq.

J Bowers said...

ThingsBreak has a good read on polar bears, including in context of the Eemian.

The age of polar bears

Russell said...

It's only a matter of time before Chilean Argentine and French ecoentrepreneurs stock the penguin and elephant seal infested coasts of Patagonia, Tierra Del Fuego and Kergulen with U. maratimus breeding pairs.

The former have already installed salmon in the streams, so with plenty of pinnapeds about , only a modest addition of graduate students and the odd specimen of Lumpus spookytoothys would be needed to afford the bears a balaced diet.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Lumpus Spookytooth, phd.

Link to the position of the USGS is broken. Please fix kind sir.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Lumpus Spookytooth, phd.

@Russell


sir, I would not be food for the polar bears. If I were in an area where they are known to lounge, I would have an extremely large firearm to protect myself.

here is a picture of some happy bears!

http://www.pawnation.com/2012/10/03/80-polar-bears-congregate-for-whale-feast-in-alaska/

mmmm yummm!

dhogaza said...

Lumpus:

"sir, I would not be food for the polar bears. If I were in an area where they are known to lounge, I would have an extremely large firearm to protect myself."

They're white. And sneaky.

And given the number of times we've seen you shoot yourself in the foot here at Eli's, the bears might not be the biggest risk to your health in this scenario ...

Russell said...

If the bears seem happy , it is because you are what you eat eats, and there's nothing to set a whale a-burping like a spookytoothys smorgastbord

Russell said...

If Spooky even comes down with elephantiasis, I will gladly loan him my elephant gun, provided i can get it back from the anthropologists.

David B. Benson said...

Steve Bloom's Topical link is worth following and signing.

David B. Benson said...

Lars Karlsson provided a link to a pr in which the author(s) of the study failed to take into account what happened during previous interglacials.

David B. Benson said...

J Bowers's Thingsbreak link provids a good read.

WhiteBeard said...

Strange, there’s no disclaimer reassuring those who might object if such a thing had actually occurred, that no animals were injured in the production of Major Inspector General this farce. A barrage of FOI requests is absolutely required. The IG must prove that no blood is on their hands.

I did find the bottom 2 para’s, pg 56 (after a rerun in ~20 pages, of the story that was available to even leek eating bunnies in comments last summer) most interesting.

“Regarding Monnett’s assertion that his COR training was frequently ‘a poor fit’ based on the unique circumstances of many BOEM contracts, we asked [BOEM’s Bureau Procurement Chief, Mark] Eckl if contracting for scientific studies in a seasonally driven environment such as Alaska warrants separate, different training for CORs versus the Governmentwide program. He responded that while some training could be tailored to fit an agency’s needs, the overall rules of procurement applied across the Government.

We then asked Eckl if it were a valid excuse to not follow the structure process of a procurement because Alaska is in a unique situation with seasonal issues and scientific, sole-source contracts. Eckl responded, “In my opinion, no, that does not. You know, there may be unique circumstances. But that’s the type of thing that you’ve got to work with in the processes that you’re given.”

The unsigned report’s last words (before background justification for unlimited IG “star chamber” authority to burn witches anytime that someone complains that another someone looked at them funny) are a ringing endorsement of bureaucratic form over gitt ’er done paganism.

David B. Benson said...

Another species is danger of extinction:
Why Is It Illegal To Ride a Manatee?
http://www.livescience.com/23682-florida-woman-manatee-ride.html

David B. Benson said...

In the Land of the Pizzly
As Arctic Melts, Polar and Grizzly Bears Mate

http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/polar-bears-and-grizzlies-producing-hybrid-offspring-as-arctic-melts-a-859218.html

Well, well, well.
Note the last paragraph.

Anonymous said...

The instances of putative hybridisation give no reassurance that the polar bear will survive.

Rather, it's an indication of their habitat being intruded upon by expanding warmer southern climate. If the process continues as it has thus far, soon polar bears will be confined to narrow coastal strips for many months of the year, either dealing with the challenge of living in an environment to which they are not effectively adapted, losing their genetic integrity through ever-diluting hybridisation (assuming that hybrids can effectively reproduce at all), or deselection from direct competition with southern bears.

Or all of the above.

Oh, and this is to say nothing of the difficulties of living with increased influxes of humans who think that it's fine to move into the animals' range and shoot them just because the bears are trying to make the best of a bad situation...


Bernard J. Hyphen-Anonymous XVII, Esq.

Brian said...

The Things Break info on bear speciation is already dated, it happened even longer ago:

http://sandwalk.blogspot.com/2012/07/speciation-in-bears.html

Mitochondrial separation happened much later.

So polar bears survived several warming periods - still doesn't tell you if they'll make it through this artificial one under artificial conditions.

I disagree with my link's argument that brown bear mitochondrial DNA took over polar bears through random drift. I'll bet it was selected, and that suggests more hybridization might breed into polar bears in an artificially-warmed Arctic.

Loss of biodiversity through interbreeding under artificial conditions is a significant problem of the modern world, and of climate change. Especially for birds, I think.

Anonymous said...

"So polar bears survived several warming periods - still doesn't tell you if they'll make it through this artificial one under artificial conditions.

And there's the rub.

And a salient lesson for humans... our evolutionary adaptability/survival is essentially as much at the mercy of rapid environmental change as many others species, once our transient ability to rely on the energy density of fossil carbon passes. Of course, this presupposes that we won't effectively replace fossil energy with another source, but then there would be so many additional limits against which to butt our heads that profoundly rapid and significant change is likely to come a-visiting anyway.

The question is whether we can keep our societies together, or just our local communities, or merely our presence on the planet.


Bernard J. Hyphen-Anonymous XVII, Esq.

Anonymous said...

The comment on the Thing's Break link is salient:

"Though the polar bear lineage split from the ancestral line 130-150 kya that does not mean they were polar bears then as we know them now.
Did the bears survive the Eemian, or did they adapt to fill the new niche created by the expanding ice fields that signalled the end of the interglacial period?"

dhogaza said...

"Though the polar bear lineage split from the ancestral line 130-150 kya that does not mean they were polar bears then as we know them now."

Indeed the split would almost certainly have been subtle in the beginning, much as we see with (say) townsend's and hermit warblers today, that still hybridize in the habitat zones where they still overlap.

Evolution in action.

It's not like a pair of griz woke up to a white cub some morning asking "WTF are you? You're not one of us ..."

Russell said...

If any real bear biologists should read this, could they please tell us if the grizzly shares the polar bear's famously hollow hairs , putatively evolved to channel light down into its follicles to allow vitamin D photosynthesis?

Anonymous said...

Here's a real Polar Bear zoologist...

http://polarbearscience.com/

BPW

Andy S said...

The genetic study cited by Things Break doesn't answer the question the authors think it does.

Other studies have shown an older genesis of genetic material unique to today's polar bears. Other studies have shown similar genetic patterns in diverging species of organisms when that divergence is being caused by cyclical climactic changes.

That is that organisms, be they bear or pine tree, diverge and come back together (interbreed) as the climate switches from cold to hot or wet to dry through the glacial, interglacial swings and that genetic material selected for during periods of population isolation is preserved in organisms that have interbred only to be sorted out again as the climate changes and populations are once again separated. Separated by habitat type, not necessarily by a physical boundary.

The important point here is that none of this argument matters since the climate we're heading for hasn't existed for 3 million plus years if we're lucky; way before polar bears.

EliRabett said...

Surely you joke BP? Has this person ever done any Arctic zoology or it just a bad NigelSteve impersonation?

Anonymous said...

I put no stock into her site either way Eli, but her Bio says this...

Dr. Susan J. Crockford is a zoologist with more than 35 years experience, including work on the Holocene history of Arctic animals. Like Ian Stirling, Susan Crockford earned her undergraduate degree in zoology at the University of British Columbia. She is currently an adjunct professor at the University of Victoria, B.C. Polar bear evolution is one of Dr. Crockford’s professional interests, which she discusses in her book, Rhythms of Life: Thyroid Hormone and the Origin of Species. She blogs at PolarBearScience.com

Why do you discount her qualifications or did you not read them? Some, not BPW to be sure, would say she seems to have more experience on the subject than, say, a chemistry professor. Someone above asked about a Polar Bear biologist and their thoughts. Is a zoologist not close enough?

Holly Stick said...

She seems to have studied thyroid hormone's effects of evolution eg wolf to dog (and see link about polar bears):

http://www.rhythmsoflife.ca/pages-added/about-rhythms.php

She does seem to be a darling of the deniers:

http://hro001.wordpress.com/tag/susan-crockford/

Holly Stick said...

Here's a bunch of polar bear scientists, including Ian Stirling whom Crockett criticizes although he seems to have studied polar bears a lot more than she probably has:

http://www.polarbearsinternational.org/research/scientists/meet-the-scientists

Holly Stick said...

Oops, Crockford not Crockett. Mixed her up, sort of, with a local politician I don't think much of either.

Anonymous said...

BPW-
Didn't anything strike you as being a bit hokey on that site? Massive reduction of polar ice does not affect polar bears adversely?

Sorry, but this physicist has to exercise some caution in the information he is fed, even if it is from an otherwise bona-fide zoologist. I know the Rabett takes a dim view of us going outside our area of expertise, but I have to draw the line somewhere.

Danger Mouse

EliRabett said...

Upon reading the posts up there, the denial that reducing the bears habitat was having much of an effect was pretty strong. See the post Eli Writes above for the general view that the loss of ice is the most dangerous thing for the survival of white bears.

J Bowers said...

CBC News: Pricey ads signed by scientists slam Obama's climate change talk

"More than 100 scientists — including a number of Canadian government scientists and university professors — have signed a full-page newspaper ad denouncing U.S. President Barack Obama's remarks about climate change last November as "untrue."
[...]
New York Times ad would cost $150,000
[...]
Among the Canadians who signed the ad were:

Ian Clark, professor of Earth Sciences, University of Ottawa.
Paul Copper, Laurentian University (Emeritus).
Susan Crockford, University of Victoria.
Christopher Essex, University of Western Ontario.
Neil Hutton, past president, Canadian Society of Petroleum Geologists.
Wayne Goodfellow, University of Ottawa.
David Nowell, former chairman, NATO Meteorology Canada.
Peter Salonius, Canadian Forest Service.
Ross McKitrick, University of Guelph."


McKitrick and Crockford. So predictable. Doubly predictable, her blog's About page states...

"Here you’ll find polar bear science without advocacy"

She's right. She does the advocacy in $150,000 ads in national newspapers instead.

Anonymous said...

FWIW, a friend pointed me to her site. And since I don't automatically try to fit everyone into the same box, I chose not to evaluate her site based on anything more than what was there and I m not putting it out there as gospel. As for being hokey, only because it defies the "consensus" could it be defined as such. There is the very real possibility that she is correct, but since we are discussing future events, we really don't know now do we? But it does seem to be her area of expertise. And only the fact that she seems to not want to make dire predictions seems to separate her from "consensus" science in the issue.

As I said, I do not endorse nor put down the information there. Someone mentioned a question to be asked to someone in the know. Since this was recently sent to me, I offered it up.

Do with it what you wish. But don't shoot the messenger.

Oh, and Danger Mouse, I exercise caution about ALL the information I am fed. Not just what goes against what I believe to be "the truth". Even if it is from a bona-fide expert on the subject. I am a bona-fide expert on some subjects--some scientific in fact--but even I am wrong sometimes.

BPW

Russell said...

Nobody here is going to get elected to Chekov's club.

WhiteBeard said...

Bears are generally rather good figuring out how to get fat when the gittin’s good and stretching that out during leaner seasons.

In area of Brown and Polar Bear overlapping habitat near the Arctic Ocean shore, the Brownies are much smaller and scarcer than are the ones occupying locations draining to the Pacific. By a bunch. The southern brownies have access to salmon. Polar Bears have access to seals. There is a pronounced polewards gradient of fewer species. Habitat niches are far scarcer and biological productivity of the land is much lower.

65% of Polar Bear cubs survived to 12 months circa 1980 while 42% did so in the era of Monnett and Gleason’s whale survey flights over the Southern Beaufort Sea. As FWS’s Meehan noted, principally due to habitat change.

The mechanism linking reproductive impact and reduced ice from associate professor and wildlife biologist at Brigham Young’s Department of Plant and Wildlife Science’s Dr. Tom Smith is explained in this 2 and a half min video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KvejeTChraY

Despite what I’ve written and linked above as what I see as the core science issue (and the irony of the red herring contracting issue that the IG’s Agent May stumbled on while mucking about in Monnett’s email history seeking Richelieu’s (source disputed) “six lines written by the hand of the most honest man”, dealt with pigging backing on the Canadian Polar Bear recruitment study in the southern Beaufort, then either being conducted or about to start, it’s really about An Inconvenient Truth. In Gore’s film, arguably, the greatest emotional impact came from the animated clip of a polar bear on a disintegrating pan of ice. That’s a reprise of the hunters getting Bambi’s mom. Rather hard not to see that everything centers on that.

Rattus Norvegicus said...

BPW,

35 years and an adjunct? I think that says a lot about what her colleagues think about her work. (Of course this is modulo gender discrimination, but if she hasn't been able to land a tenure track position...).

David B. Benson said...

Rattus Norvegicus --- On the contrary, one can only conclude her main job is elsewhere. Perhaps she's uninterested in tenure track.

Holly Stick said...

In other Canadian scientist news, Harper Conservatives are playing divide and conquer with scientists at ELA.

http://www.ipolitics.ca/2012/10/04/michael-harris-the-death-of-innocence/

This seems to be one case of many where the Harper government wants to take a government-run group serving the public interest and privatize it so some business can make money and keep the research results secret.

Much like letting businesses regulate themselves. Don't eat Alberta beef for a while, folks

J Bowers said...

@ Holly Stick, this week's seeing similar in Blighty for health care. Monbiot's calling it a neoliberal insurrection from the top down.

Anonymous said...

Crockford works at the BC provincial museum as a bone specialist, not as an academic researcher on polar bear ecology. I think I'd downgrade her compared to actual specialists in the field. The folks at PBI's advisory.board seem to have more standing.
Stewart

Holly Stick said...

@ J Bowers, they all think alike, if you can call it thinking. Our bunch sucks up to corporations (not having any business sense or experience of their own) and are busy corporatizing things like our national Library & Archives, various scientific research, the prison system and God knows what else.

Anonymous said...

If you follow species endangerment in general, you'll know that although there are a bunch of possible causes it is typically loss or degradation of habitat that does it. When habitat loss occurs, it would require a very unusual compensating factor to counter its effect.

Pete Dunkelberg

EliRabett said...

FWIW Crockford may have a two body issue.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Lumpus Spookytooth, phd.

@Eli and Pete Dinkleberg

I've noticed you both keep alleging habitat loss as the big problem for the polar bears.

What is the percentage of land mass that the arctic ice cap takes up globally? What is the total percentage of habitable land that the polar bears are living on? Surely they don't live all over the ice cap and are instead concentrated in certain areas? What is the ice loss percentage of the land they live on?

Russell said...

Sri Jaywardene Lumpenberry DDS (Failed), Bangalore asks

"What is the percentage of land mass that the arctic ice cap takes up globally?"

Same as the icebergs.

EliRabett said...

You ask what is the percentage of land mass that the arctic ice cap takes up globally?

Precisely zero. It floats. Thank you for playing

Anonymous said...

Bubkes Rottentooth.

I think what you meant to ask is how important to polar bears is land compared with ice, and at what point in a changing ratio of availability of the two does the species become endangered.

At least that's what you should have meant to ask. What actually came out of your mouth is baser silliness than usual - but then, expecting sense from a troll is more futile than making a silk purse from a bore's ear (or from its sweaty, smegmatic scrotum)...


Bernard J. Hyphen-Anonymous XVII, Esq.

EliRabett said...

Bernard, could you drop Eli a line?

Anonymous said...

I know, I know - my alliterative confabulation was anatomically dubious...

;-)

However, if you tell me in which puddle to fish, I'll get my tackle out. I know that you put up the location recently, but it's lost in the overgrowth.


Bernard J. Hyphen-Anonymous XVII, Esq.

EliRabett said...

EliRabett2003 and the server is yahoo.