Letter to the Editor

Skeptics should look at evidence

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

To the editor:It is a measure of desperation that climate-change skeptics are becoming ever shriller as they promote ever more absurd falsehoods.

They seem -- at last -- to acknowledge that the planet is warming, but now they are resorting to simple lies about consequences. One of the more popular concerns the status of polar bears.

The annual polar bear cycle involves winters feeding on seals from the frozen ice packs where they fatten up for the summers. During summers -- as ice annually recedes -- many often migrate to land where females give birth. If the mothers don't reach critical weight during winter, they may be unsuccessful at giving birth to and raising cubs. Hungry bears are more likely to be seen scavenging for food around the towns of the north, hence the mistaken anecdotal stories of increasing bear numbers.

Can anyone doubt that the ice packs have suffered record thawing this summer? Can anyone doubt that such must have a profoundly negative impact on polar bears? Not surprisingly, this is exactly what is happening.

Contrary to the stories being told about polar bear populations increasing, the Polar Bear Specialists Group unanimously agreed that Canadian populations are either declining or stable. The only hint of a population increasing comes from an extrapolation, not actual survey data.

When will the skeptics stop forcing their committed beliefs onto data and actually start looking around at what the evidence so clearly is telling us? Would any evidence convince them or have they totally vacated reality?

ALAN JOURNET, Cape Girardeau