Fat Polar Bears Are Killing The Polar Bears

Last July, we reported that Fat People Are Killing the Polar Bears.

In November we reported that Fat Swedish Men Are Killing the Polar Bears.

In April we reported that Fat Polar Bears are Killing the Penguins.

In May we reported that Fat People are Killing the Butterflies and the polar bears again.

According to CNN:

Polar bears resort to cannibalism as Arctic ice shrinks

The article isn’t about polar bears at all, but about 2008’s Arctic sea ice extent – which failed to be worse than last year’s. But who gives a toss about ice cubes when there are charismatic mega fauna to write news bulletins about?

“The Arctic sea ice melt is a disaster for the polar bears,” according to Kassie Siegel, staff attorney for the Center for Biological Diversity. “They are dependent on the Arctic sea ice for all of their essential behaviors, and as the ice melts and global warming transforms the Arctic, polar bears are starving, drowning, even resorting to cannibalism because they don’t have access to their usual food sources.”

Scientists have noticed increasing reports of starving Arctic polar bears attacking and feeding on one another in recent years. In one documented 2004 incident in northern Alaska, a male bear broke into a female’s den and killed her.

This is Disney for grown-ups. Evil fat people in SUVs force cuddly, friendly, vegetarian, and not at all vicious, nasty creature to perform a sadistic act of murder, just for dinner.

It’s telling that a story about Arctic ice extent has to feature fluffy bears. It’s a sure sign that the storyteller doesn’t credit the audience with the brains to be able to work out that it’s a bad thing for themselves. If you don’t care about finer points of cryospheric crisis, won’t you please, please, please think of the cutesy animals?

More animal-related madness….

What is the future for Arctic sea ice? Some scientists believe that in just five years, the Arctic may be ice-free during the summer.

“The Arctic is kind of the early warning system of the climate,” Meier said. “It is the canary in the coal mine, and the canary is definitely in trouble.”

Meier isn’t one of the scientists who believe that Arctic summer ice will be gone in just five years, as we revealed earlier this month. However, he doesn’t seem to be doing much to correct such transparently ridiculous reporting. And as we said last week, when everything… penguins, migratory birds, the Antarctic, the Arctic, Tuvalu, sea turtles, Kenyan pastoralists, islands, polar bears, Australian ski resorts, US ski resorts, Australian vineyards, Napa Valley vineyards, Canada’s Inuit, Alaska, mountain ecosystems, tropical ice-caps, Greenland, pika, naturists, the Bering Sea, intertidal zones, coral reefs, to name but a few… are all cited as ‘canaries’, then the whole wide world becomes a cage.

All the World's a Cage

According to World Water Council‘s director-general Ger Bergkamp, Australia is ‘the metaphorical canary down the coalmine when it comes to climate change‘:

In Australia, what was projected to be here in 20 years from now, in terms of the drought, is already here as we speak.

Now where have we heard that one before? It’s not just Australia that is still clinging to its perch only because somebody has nailed it there. If climate alarmists are to be believed, there are as many ‘climate change canaries’ out there as there are canaries in the Canary Isles: penguins, migratory birds, the Antarctic, the Arctic, Tuvalu, sea turtles, Kenyan pastoralists, islands, polar bears, Australian ski resorts, US ski resorts, Australian vineyards, Napa Valley vineyards, Canada’s Inuit, Alaska, mountain ecosystems, tropical ice-caps, Greenland, pika, naturists, the Bering Sea, intertidal zones, coral reefs, to name but a few.

‘Climate canary’ is the perfect metaphor in the age of the precautionary principle. Especially when it can apply to anything you want it to. Because, when you’re watching everything for signs of catastrophe, it follows that you can’t do anything without at least one of your canaries karking it.

Trouble is, it doesn’t quite work. While actual canaries were once very useful for alerting miners to the presence of deadly gases – first they stopped singing, then they keeled over – there is little reason to believe that any of our climate canaries serve their putative purpose. Despite the ‘fact’ that ‘climate change is real and is happening’, none of them seem to have actually popped their clogs yet, or even to have stopped singing. All a climate canary has to do to justify an alarmist newspaper headline is hop metaphorically from one side of its cage to the other, or look at us in a funny way. Like that other favourite metaphor of the risk-averse, the ‘ticking time-bomb’, the climate canary is predicated on the idea that nothing terrible has happened yet, but you can’t rule it out.

The metaphor also fails on the basis that while canaries were used to make mining safer, the climate variety are deployed to encourage us to stop mining completely – and stop doing everything else for that matter – because it might possibly be harmful to canaries.

Its ubiquity means that even the likes of Gristmill have recognised that the climate canary is a dead parrot – that we need something bigger and scarier. We suggest that, next time, Ger Bergkamp might consider ‘Australia more like a climate change canary than previously thought‘.