Once upon a time, stories of polar bears starving to death were regular features of environmental and science “reporting.” The fuzzy fur-balls of ferocity were the beloved icons for the crusade against global warming.

However, they have been seemingly absent from recent “climate change” discussions.  Could this be due to rapidly increasing number of polar bears, a fact which counters all the doom-and-gloom assertions made by supposed experts?

In a post last summer, I noted that there were indications that the population of Ursus maritimus was rapidly expanding.

The new population estimates from the 2016 Scientific Working Group are somewhere between 22,633 to 32,257 bears, which is a net increase from the 2015 number of 22,000 to 31,000. The current population numbers are a sharp increase from 2005’s, which stated only 20,000 to 25,000 bears remained — those numbers were a major increase from estimates that only 8,000 to 10,000 bears remained in the late 1960s.

A new book The Polar Bear Catastrophe that Never Happened by Dr. Susan Crockford uses the latest data and reviews the questionable values used in official estimates.  Crockford concludes that polar bears are actually thriving.

Anthony Watts of Watts Up with That highlighted the book, which projects that polar bear numbers have quadrupled, writing:

The Polar Bear Catastrophe That Never Happened explains why the catastrophic decline in polar bear numbers we were promised in 2007 failed to materialize. It’s the story of how and why the polar bear came to be considered ‘Threatened’ with extinction, and tracks its rise and fall as an icon of the global warming movement.

The book also tells the story of Crockford’s role in bringing that failure to public attention and the backlash against her that ensued – and why, among all others who have attempted to do so previously, she was uniquely positioned to do so. In general, this is a cautionary tale of scientific hubris and of scientific failure, of researchers staking their careers on untested computer simulations and later obfuscating inconvenient facts.

Atascadero News contributor Al Fonzi recently offered details on another piece of Crockford’s research, which touched upon the fact there has been no significant loss of habitat for these animals.

She notes in “Polar Bear & Sea Ice Basics:” “The area of polar bear habitat equals the approximate extent of Arctic sea ice in March (the yearly maximum), with three…exceptions; the Okhotsk Sea, Baltic Sea and the Gulf of St. Lawrence (no bears since 1900); if all were filled with ice, they would represent 2.4 mkm2 of the total Arctic extent. Remove those areas of sea ice from the Arctic extent totals for the satellite record (1979-2016), total polar bear habitat at the end of March has been virtually constant at about 14.0 mkm2 per year….

There is no evidence that polar bears ever lived in the Okhotsk Sea or the Baltic Sea. Polar bears are currently well distributed throughout their available habitat, despite recent changes in sea ice coverage: there have been no range contractions due to reduced habitat.

Crockford makes the case that the polar bear population in 1975 was around 5,000. It is presently estimated to be around 32,000. Clearly, the decision to continue to list the bears as a threatened species is about politics, not science.

Crockford was recently interviewed by Glenn Beck:

This information might have been useful to the BBC crew that found themselves surrounded by 13 polar bear mothers and cubs while filming late last year. The men seemed shocked when one of the animals began sizing them up for a snack.

The crew seemed surprised, but delighted, that all the bears seemed robust and healthy. Happily, the men made it out safely and will not be part of the more frequent “bear attack” stories that are seen nowadays.

However, it is an object lesson on the dangers of believing politicized science instead of the real kind.