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Obama’s Alaska trip: where were the polar bears?

Am I the only one who finds it incongruous that President Obama, when on a carefully choreographed trip to Alaska, even manning his own Instagram account to engage young people, to spotlight the effects of global warming—which he says is happening “right now”—announced the accelerated acquisition of ice breakers? During his trip, he told Alaskans that by the end of this century, Alaska will see “warming of between 6 and 12 degrees,” which he explained: “means more melting.” Six to 12 degrees is a lot of warming, therefore, a lot of melting—which would seem to require fewer ice breakers not more.

I applaud the attempt to catch up, as I’ve written previously, I think America is woefully behind in the Arctic—where Russia is increasingly aggressive. But you have to wonder what his speech writers were thinking to have him asking Congress to spend more on ice breakers on the same trip where he’s predicting more warming.

Perhaps he really knows, what many scientists are claiming: Arctic ice is growing—with updated NASA data showing polar sea ice is approximately 5 percent above the post-1979 (the year satellite instruments began measuring the ice caps) average. This, despite former Vice President Al Gore’s claim that the Arctic ice cap could be completely gone by now. In fact, according to the April 1896 edition of National Geographic, Alaska, glaciers have been retreating there since George Washington was president.

In a September 4 Wall Street Journal op-ed, Patrick Moore, one of the co-founders of Greenpeace, said: “It is a historical fact that the glacier in Glacier Bay began its retreat around 1750. By the time Capt. George Vancouver arrived there in 1794 the glacier still filled most of the bay but had already retreated some miles. When John Muir, founder of the Sierra Club, visited in 1879, he found that the glacier had retreated more than 30 miles from the mouth of the bay, according to the National Park Service, and by 1900 Glacier Bay was mostly ice-free.”

Another thing surprised me about his trip. An AP report of Obama’s Alaska visit states: “every stop was elaborately staged to showcase the president in front of picture-perfect natural wonders. …the White House arranged for photographers and reporters to pull up alongside him in a separate boat, capturing stirring images of the president gazing wistfully from the deck at serene waters and lush mountain vistas.” Yet, with all this planning for dramatic effect, there were no polar bears—not even mentioned.

Well, one polar bear might have been spotted: Frostpaw. The Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) has a polar bear costume (“made entirely out of synthetic materials,” according to the Vineyard Gazzette—which means made from petroleum products) that it drags out and a staffer dons to follow Obama, and remind him, as the press release says:

  • Rescind proposals to drill for oil in the Arctic and along the Atlantic coast;
  • Halt all new fossil fuel development on public land;
  • Cut greenhouse pollution from airplanes and other unregulated sources;
  • Reject, once and for all, the Keystone XL pipeline; and
  • Be an international climate leader.

CBD claims Frostpaw was dispatched to Alaska, but there are no reports that Obama got to see it.

Now, I understand that his three-day journey didn’t take him to locales where the real white bears frolic, but since they’ve become the symbol of Al Gore’s global warming scare, you’d think he’d at least mention them while he was in there—after all when people think of Alaska, they think of polar bears. What better imagery to evoke?

Once again, perhaps his speech-writers were aware of claims of falsified records and the besmirched Charles Monnett (whose observations of drowned polar bears helped galvanize the global warming movement), and reports of rebounding polar bear populations. While they don’t get much mainstream press coverage, several scientists are reporting an unprecedented increase in the world’s polar bear population.

One of the foremost authorities on polar bears, Canadian biologist, Dr. Mitchell Taylor, testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. He said: “Of the 13 populations of polar bears in Canada, 11 are stable or increasing in number. They are not going extinct, or even appear to be affected at present.”

Then there is Dr. Susan J. Crockford, an evolutionary biologist in British Columbia, who has studied polar bears for most of her 35-year career. She claims polar bears are threatened by too much ice. She’s released a new, in-depth report on the relationship between sea ice and polar bears, entitled Arctic Fallacy—but you don’t see her conclusions touted in the New York Times.

In his book, Landscapes & Cycles: An Environmentalist’s Journey to Climate Skepticism, biologist and ecologist Jim Steele argues: “glaciers have retreated and expanded numerous times since the end of the last ice age. Polar bear numbers are at record highs with approximately 25,000 bears. And Arctic sea ice, which had precipitously declined from the mid-2000s to 2013, has had a reversal since then, now equaling historic levels considered normal.”

But, if they don’t fit the accepted propaganda, we don’t hear about these reports.

Filmmaker J.D. King is trying to change that through a new film: Icebear. Following the success of his two previous films—Blue and Crying Wolf, King is in the midst of a Kickstart campaign (ending September 24) to fund the film. He explains: “It is very important to raise the money for the movie through crowdfunding. This needs to be a film by the people’s demand and support—so that it cannot be accused of being a product of a special interest group or organization.”

On the crowd-funding site, King offers a variety of facts about polar bears—with links to the source data. He explains: “The power of the media is great, as evident by how they’ve chosen to present only one side of polar bear story. They’ve used polar bears, misused science, and preyed upon people’s emotions all the while ignoring any facts that contradict the narrative they want to make reality. But if we’re not getting the whole truth about polar bears, why should we accept the larger narrative about man-made, catastrophic climate change?” This is why he wants to produce Icebear—but he needs our help. Will you kick in?

The polar bears are there—which is maybe why President Obama didn’t even mention them on his Alaska trip. He wanted to “spotlight the effects of global warming” and a rebounding polar bear population doesn’t fit the narrative.

The author of Energy Freedom, Marita Noon serves as the executive director for Energy Makes America Great Inc. and the companion educational organization, the Citizens’ Alliance for Responsible Energy (CARE). She hosts a weekly radio program: America’s Voice for Energy—which expands on the content of her weekly column. Follow her @EnergyRabbit.

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