Saturday, June 28, 2008

The polar bear disaster

A sidelight on the strange world of climate hysteria and what Official Science has done to us ....

The "endangered polar bear" fiasco is an example of the madness of manufactured ignorance. The new Bush administration position, putting forth polar bears as endangered but attempting to not invoke the full regulatory apparatus of the Endangered Species Act, is an incoherent piece of cynical political maneuvering. The decision should be rescinded immediately.

For one thing, the decision puts us in immediate conflict with Canada and other Arctic-bordering countries. Polar bear numbers are healthy, and there are more than a few decades ago. ("Endangered" means populations so small they risk not being able to reproduce themselves.) Instead, the new policy is based on speculative judgments about the Arctic ice shrinking, in spite of the facts: the polar bear population is growing, most of the Arctic ice is not shrinking, the Antarctic is cooling and icing up, and polar bears range mainly along shorelines. There's no scientific basis for considering them endangered.

Here's another case of the authoritarian mummery of Official Science putting science and scientists into conflict with policy. What do they say? What they know (polar bears aren't in danger)? Or, what they're supposed to say? Climate hysteria has loaded a wide range of scientific subjects, journals, scientists, and professional societies with this dilemma. Go with the politics, be a "player" - or stick to the science? As scientists, what do we traffic in: authority, or knowledge?

The Bushies seem to think this will mollify some people, but without giving the environmentalist wackos a powerful new legal lever to start demolishing industrial civilization in the US. Here again, we see a breakdown of governmental sovereignty, how government's power, especially under a weak president, becomes fragmented, taken over by narrow interest groups, and abused at the expense of society as a whole. The situation is frightening, opening up a limitless dictatorship over everyday life by environmentalist and legal fanatics.

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