Thursday, November 15, 2018

GWPF Newsletter: 'Too Many Polar Bears' 'Numbers Exceed Co-Existence Threshold'

It Has Come To This: Academic Samizdat

In this newsletter:

1) ‘Too Many Polar Bears:’ Govt Draft Plan Says Polar Bear Numbers ‘Exceed Co-Existence Threshold’
Bob Weber, The Canadian Press, 12 November 2018
2) Back To The Dark Ages: Pseudonyms To Protect Scientists Of Controversial Research Papers
Martin Rosenbaum, BBC News, 12 November 2018

3) It Has Come To This: Academic Samizdat
PowerLine, 13 November 2018 
4) Climate Forecasts: Collect Them All!
Larry Kummer, Fabius Maximus, 12 November 2018 
5) Top Climate Scientist: “Reprieve Extended 10 Years – Climate Models Were Too Sensitive”
P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, 10 November 2018 
6) Britain’s Green Car Fiasco: Subsidised Plug-In Cars May Never Have Been Charged
BBC News, 9 November 2018 

Full details:

1) ‘Too Many Polar Bears:’ Govt Draft Plan Says Polar Bear Numbers ‘Exceed Co-Existence Threshold’
Bob Weber, The Canadian Press, 12 November 2018

There are too many polar bears in parts of Nunavut and climate change hasn’t yet affected any of them, says a draft management plan from the territorial government that contradicts much of conventional scientific thinking.

The proposed plan — which is to go to public hearings in Iqaluit on Tuesday — says that growing bear numbers are increasingly jeopardizing public safety and it’s time Inuit knowledge drove management policy.

“Inuit believe there are now so many bears that public safety has become a major concern,” says the document, the result of four years of study and public consultation.

“Public safety concerns, combined with the effects of polar bears on other species, suggest that in many Nunavut communities, the polar bear may have exceeded the co-existence threshold.”

Polar bears killed two Inuit last summer.

The plan leans heavily on Inuit knowledge, which yields population estimates higher than those suggested by western science for almost all of the 13 included bear populations.

Scientists say only one population of bears is growing; Inuit say there are nine. Environment Canada says four populations are shrinking; Inuit say none are.

The proposed plan downplays one of the scientific community’s main concerns.

“Although there is growing scientific evidence linking the impacts of climate change to reduced body condition of bears and projections of population declines, no declines have currently been attributed to climate change,” it says.

“(Inuit knowledge) acknowledges that polar bears are exposed to the effects of climate change, but suggests that they are adaptable.”

Environment Canada’s response says that’s “not in alignment with scientific evidence.” It cites two studies suggesting the opposite.

Andrew Derocher, a University of Alberta polar bear expert, is blunter.

“That’s just plain wrong,” he said. “That’s been documented in many places now — not just linked to body condition but reproductive rates and survival.”

The government of Nunavut declined an interview request.

Its position is strongly supported by the 11 Inuit groups and hunters' organizations that made submissions.

"(Inuit knowledge) has not always been sufficiently incorporated by decision-makers," says a document submitted by Nunavut Tunngavik Inc., the Inuit land-claim organization. "The disconnect between the sentiment in certain scientific communities and (Inuit knowledge) has been pronounced."

Pond Inlet wants to be able to kill any bear within a kilometre of the community without the animal being considered part of the town's quota. Rankin Inlet simply wants to lower bear populations.

In its submission, the Kitikmeot Regional Wildlife Board expresses frustration with how polar bears are used as an icon in the fight against climate change.

"This is very frustrating for Inuit to watch ... We do not have resources to touch bases with movie actors, singers and songwriters who often narrate and provide these messages," it says.

"We know what we are doing and western science and modelling has become too dominant."

The management plan doesn't propose to increase hunting quotas immediately. It contains provisions for increased education and programs on bear safety for hunters and communities.

Full post

see also Susan Crockford: State of the Polar Bear Report 2017


2) Back To The Dark Ages: Pseudonyms To Protect Scientists Of Controversial Research Papers
Martin Rosenbaum, BBC News, 12 November 2018

Academics who are frightened to explore controversial topics, in case it provokes a backlash, will soon have a safer route to publish such work.

An international group of university researchers is planning a new journal which will allow articles on sensitive debates to be written under pseudonyms.

They feel free intellectual discussion on tough issues is being hampered by a culture of fear and self-censorship.

The Journal of Controversial Ideas will be launched early next year.

Jeff McMahan, professor of moral philosophy at University of Oxford, and one of the organisers, said:

“It would enable people whose ideas might get them in trouble either with the left or with the right or with their own university administration, to publish under a pseudonym.”

He revealed plans for the publication on University Unchallenged, a BBC Radio 4 documentary about viewpoint diversity in academia.

Speaking on the programme, he explained the motive:

“The need for more open discussion is really very acute. There’s greater inhibition on university campuses about taking certain positions for fear of what will happen.

“The fear comes from opposition both on the left and the right. The threats from outside the university tend to be more from the right. The threats to free speech and academic freedom that come from within the university tend to be more from the left.”


Prof McMahan stressed that the new cross-disciplinary publication will be fully peer-reviewed in line with normal academic standards.

“The screening procedure will be as rigorous as those for other academic journals. The level of quality will be maintained,” he said.

He and his colleagues are establishing an intellectually diverse international editorial board with representation from the left and the right, as well as religious and secular thinkers, to ensure the journal is not identified with a specific viewpoint. They will soon issue a call for papers.

Full story

3) It Has Come To This: Academic Samizdat
PowerLine, 13 November 2018

Steve Hayward

We have come to the point where even liberal academics in good standing will feel the wrath of leftist orthodoxy if they depart from the party line. So what to do? Imitate the late Soviet Union, and start a samizdat literature.

I heard several months ago that this new initiative was in the works, but now it is official. A group of scholars from across the political spectrum is launching the Journal of Controversial Ideas, which will publish pseudonymous peer-reviewed articles in a wide range of disciplines, so that authors can write candidly.

It is significant, I think, that one of the prime movers behind this is philosopher Peter Singer. Let this sink in a moment—a tenured professor who has advocated the most extreme positions in favor of animal rights and even infanticide thinks academic discourse is stifled by a leftist orthodoxy. When you’ve lost Peter Singer...  (Many of the other editors identified so far are left-leaning, though Princeton’s Robert P. George will be on the editorial board.)

Naturally the campus left is not pleased. From the Chronicle of Higher Education today:

Here Comes ‘The Journal of Controversial Ideas.’ Cue the Outcry 

These days, a paper that’s deemed offensive can unleash an online mob and turn an academic’s career and life upside down. It can also cause a journal editor to tiptoe away from a potentially important paper or a scholar not to put fingers to keyboard in the first place.

That’s why a group of scholars is creating The Journal of Controversial Ideas. . .

One of the proposed journal’s editors, Peter Singer, is certainly no stranger to controversy. Singer’s views on disability and abortion have led to protests and calls for his ouster from Princeton, where he is a professor of bioethics.

“I favor the ability to put new ideas out there for discussion, and I see an atmosphere in which some people may be intimidated from doing that,” Singer says. “The idea is to establish a journal where it’s clear from the name and object that controversial ideas are welcome.”

I might actually have a paper idea to send them.

4) Climate Forecasts: Collect Them All!
Larry Kummer, Fabius Maximus, 12 November 2018 

Climate science is done by experts, often using equipment of the high kind of tech. But we can crowd-source valuable information for the policy debate. Forecasts are the tool used to shape public. Here are some. Post in the comments those that you have found. We can list them and track their accuracy. The answer will reveal much.

“Men will seem to see new destructions in the sky. …O! marvel of the human race! What madness has led you thus!” — From The Notebooks of Leonardo Da Vinci.

The Project

The advocates for massive public policy action to fight climate change have chosen fear as their primary tool to convince the public to follow them. Hence they are “alarmists.” They are almost always Leftists, seeing climate change as the path to gaining power to implement their ideology. Using their control of the news media, academia, and climate science institutions, they have bombarded America with terrifying forecasts of climate doom.

And they have terrified people. Scared, they believe all sorts of stories. They are immune to facts and logic. They believe with passionate intensity claims that are easily and immediately proven false, such as The North Pole is now a lake! – Are you afraid yet?

It is vital that we learn about the accuracy of climate forecasts. Not by chain emails and websites listing unsourced anecdotes.

We need a comprehensive list of documented forecasts. A forecast is an event and a date (or narrow range of dates). Documented means an easily checked authoritative source describing the prediction.

Post in the comments those that you have found.

Full post

5) Top Climate Scientist: “Reprieve Extended 10 Years – Climate Models Were Too Sensitive”
P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, 10 November 2018 

Germany’s top climate scientist Jochem Marotzke admids: climate models were too sensitive

On October 5, 2018, German national weekly Spiegel presented a noteworthy interview with Germany’s top climate modeler, Jochem Marotzke, director of the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology in Hamburg.

Top German climate modeler, Jochem Marotzke, Director of the Hamburg-based Max Planck Institute for Meteorology. Image: Max Planck Institute for Meteorology.

Spiegel wrote in its sub headline:

Unexpected extra time in the climate scenario: ‘Our reprieve has been extended by about ten years’ Physicist and climate researcher Jochem Marotzke explains why humanity has more time to stop global warming than previously thought.”

Or in other words, German skeptics Dr. Sebastian Lüning and Prof. Fritz Vahrenholt write at their Die kalte Sonne blog, “the sensitivity of CO2 was obviously overestimated.”

Yes, the climate goalposts just got moved back once again.

Earlier skeptic claims of overly sensitive models now spot on

More than 6 years ago in 2012, Lüning and Vahrenholt had already pointed out the problem of over-sensitive models in their book “Die kalte Sonne” – a claim that Marotzke back then said was “completely outlandish”.
Naturally today Lüning and Vahrenholt find themselves somewhat vindicated, and are confident more vindication is on the way as the reality of climate change becomes increasingly known.

We can emit “at least twice as much”

In the Spiegel interview, conducted editor Olaf Stamp, Marotzke was asked about how much CO2 we could still add to the atmosphere:

MAROTZKE: […] According to the latest climate scenarios, the amount of CO2 that we may emit is far greater than previously assumed – a fundamental point.

SPIEGEL: So we’ve been given more time to reduce CO2 emissions?

MAROTZKE: Exactly. That’s what today’s improved models show. Our remaining CO2 budget for the 1.5°C target is in fact at least twice as much as previously thought: almost 1 trillion tonnes. Thus our reprieve has been extended about 10 years. Of course, it makes a huge difference if we have to bring the emissions of greenhouse gases down to zero in 15 years or 25 years. I assume that this will be the key message in the special report.”

And, according to Marotzke:

Our earlier models are too sensitive in one crucial place […]”

Full post

6) Britain’s Green Car Fiasco: Subsidised Plug-In Cars May Never Have Been Charged
BBC News, 9 November 2018

Tens of thousands of plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) bought with generous government grants may be burning as much fuel as combustion-engine cars.

Data compiled for the BBC suggests that such vehicles in corporate fleets averaged just 40 miles per gallon (mpg), when they could have done 130.

Many drivers may never have unwrapped their charging cables, The Miles Consultancy said.

Subsidies for new PHEVs were recently scrapped, after seven years.

The plug-in grant was introduced in 2011, gifting buyers up to £4,500 off new cars.

The incentive helped the UK become the biggest market for PHEVs in Europe.

The majority of the tens of thousands of eligible vehicles sold were bought by company fleets, including more than 70% of the 37,000 plug-in hybrids sold so far in 2018.

But data from The Miles Consultancy, a Cheshire firm which advises 300 blue-chip companies on fuel management, reveals that many businesses simply used the grant to save on buying regular cars.

Mileage records from 1,500 models, including Audi, BMW, Mercedes and Volvo vehicles, showed an average real-world mpg of 39.27, against an average manufacturer advertised mpg of 129.68.

Figures for 2,432 hybrids – including non plug-in varieties – showed an average real-world mpg of 49.06, still vastly lower than the potential range.

Full post

The London-based Global Warming Policy Forum is a world leading think tank on global warming policy issues. The GWPF newsletter is prepared by Director Dr Benny Peiser - for more information, please visit the website at

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