“Here’s to the polar bears, who are doing great!”

Some of the more adaptable bears are even taking kayaking lessons, so they can continue hunting seals when the ice is gone
Coming next Tuesday to Toronto’s swanky Yorkville district, it’s the 2018 Polar Bear Showdown…. At one corner…Polar Bears International (PBI)  will stage [a] $15,000-a-table gala to raise funds to protect the allegedly threatened Arctic species from the ravages of our addiction to fossil fuels…. At another corner…the Global Warming Policy Foundation of London, England will launch a new report on the state of polar bears by Susan Crockford, adjunct professor at the University of Victoria. There will be no entertainment…but the science will be far superior….
—“Corky” Corcoran, National Post, Feb. 22, 2018.

About 80 per cent of denier blogs cited the work of University of Victoria zoologist Susan Crockford, even though she has published almost no peer-reviewed research on polar bears and hasn’t done any field studies. Crockford, who writes the Polar Bear Science blog, has been associated with think-tank the Heartland Institute, which denies climate change…. Crockford says polar bear numbers remain strong and suggests the bears will be able to adapt to changes in sea ice.
—Canadian Press, Nov. 29, 2017.

Others are simply kicking back with a mai tai
With rising temperatures in the Arctic and less ice “the polar bear population should have crashed. It hasn’t. If anything, numbers are up compared with 10 years ago….” Surely the attendees, corporate sponsors and organizers of that big Yorkville gala will find it instructive if they were to download Crockford’s paper…. They will no doubt be thrilled by the good news. Maybe one of them will grab the mic that night and propose a toast: “Here’s to the polar bears, who are doing great!”
—Corcoran, op. cit.

By 2040, scientists predict that only a fringe of ice will remain in Northeast Canada and Northern Greenland when all other large areas of summer ice are gone….Gobal polar bear numbers are projected to decline by 30% by 2050.
—Source: World Wildlife Fund.

The Gunterocentric theory of climate change
On Saturday, and then again on Sunday…I shovelled off the latest 20 cm of global warming that fell on our driveway and sidewalks…. On Saturday, we recorded the most snowfall on any March 3 in the past 25 years. …Monday morning…our temperature was just four degrees off our record low for the past quarter century. Indeed, we were closer to the coldest temperature recorded here on any March 5 since 1996 (four degrees difference) than we were to our normal low, which is -9 (11 degrees off)…. Two years ago at this same time, our daytime highs were nearly 20 degrees different from where they are this year. They were 10 or more degrees above normal rather than 10 degrees below normal. This kind of fluctuation is nothing new for this part of the world at this time of year.
Lorne “Two-gun” Gunter, Edmonton Sun, Mar. 5, 2018.

Of course, we’ll never know that, if I have my way
And just as the sun’s influence on weather ebbs and flows with the seasons, it’s influence on climate raises and lowers with solar activity. For decades now, the sun’s activity has been on the increase. Solar scientists predict it will now lessen for a couple (or three) decades. And as it lessens, global temperatures should fall, too. We can shut every coal plant on earth, ban SUVs and force everyone to ride transit, convert whole neighbourhoods to geothermal heating, subsidize wind and solar farms, and spend hundreds of billions of tax dollars going “carbon free…”and it will have negligible impact on climate.

Changes in the brightness of the Sun can influence the climate from decade to decade, but an increase in solar output falls short as an explanation for recent warming…. Scientists theorize that there may be a multi-decadal trend in solar output, though if one exists, it has not been observed as yet. Even if the Sun were getting brighter, however, the pattern of warming observed on Earth since 1950 does not match the type of warming the Sun alone would cause.
—Source: NASA

Those who can, do; those who Kant, can’t
But, my reader asks, what good is a university education? In the best sense, it makes students aware of the vast expanse of their own ignorance, a lack of knowledge that could fill the ocean beds. I remember the despair of this moment but it does spur a young person on. Chastened, you spend the rest of your life open to learning, staying current and wondering endlessly about Kant’s “unsynthesized manifold,” a.k.a. everything.
—Heather Mallick, Toronto Star, Mar. 5, 2018.

Yeah, yeah, what else you got?
There are many, so many, jarring moments to be found in Alex Garland’s bizarre and beguiling new film, Annihilation. [T]he entire final 20 minutes of the movie…is like the closing moments of Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey remade by a very well funded David Cronenberg.
—Barry Hertz, Globe and Mail, Feb. 21, 2018.

[W]riter-director Garland builds to a final 20 minutes that contain some of the most audacious and unconventional images to ever be produced in a big-budget film. It is as if someone gave a height-of-his-powers David Cronenberg $55-million and told him to really go for it this time.
—Barry Hertz, Globe and Mail, Feb. 24, 2018.

Alexa, I’ve got 15 minutes to deadline!
And so they put their lives and careers on hold to chase these dreams, and to be either the ones whose hearts filled with joy when they won these games, or the ones who had to keep from breaking when they lost.
—Bruce Arthur, Toronto Star, Feb. 21, 2018.

Yes, I farted on the bus! It was me!
The Olympics is about a lot of things: sport, patriotism, television, regrettable infrastructure spending, insufficient doping penalties, airport efficiency, bus schedules, corruption, fatigue so deep you can barely think, and reporters eating potato chips for lunch. And at the heart of it all, the human spirit that transports all these people here, to give everything. It’s awesome. Some things require an apology. Being human, without malice or ill intent, isn’t one of them.—Bruce Arthur, Toronto Star Feb. 23, 2018.


Some days, that’s about as much as you can hope for
Present day Canadian TV: Squeezing out a few good ones
—Globe and Mail, Mar. 7, 2018.

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5 comments on ““Here’s to the polar bears, who are doing great!”
  1. Papadoc says:

    Reporters eating chips on the bus…..now there is a terrific Olympic event in the offing!

  2. OJM says:

    Heather Mallick became aware of her boundless ignorance in university, and decided to put that quality to good use as a newspaper columnist.

  3. Patrick60 says:

    I dunno, Corky-farce is always entertaining, and no one is more farcical than “The Crock”.

  4. Patrick60 says:

    Lorne-the solar cycle shtick was big in the early 90’s (Thanks, McGovern Foundation!) but, it’s like, so last millennium. Even you can do better. Maybe.

  5. Forbes Kennedy says:

    Heather, “F – Kant”.

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