Lomborg Responds to Polar Bear Abundance Challenge

From polar bear science

Susan Crockford

Quoting money from Bjorn Lomborg’s response to being ‘fact-checked’ on polar bear numbers, The Wall Street JournalJanuary 26, 2023:

It would be better for polar bears and the rest of us, if those trying to help them use the correct information..”

Lomborg self-answer afterward I challenged the ‘fact checker’ last week:

Relying on the data I reference was not controversial. When a CNN science journalist does a investigation similar to that of AFP in 2008, he spoke to many scientists and they agreed that “the polar bear population has, most likely, increased over the past few decades.” When polar bears in 2008 has been listed as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act, the decision noted that the population “has grown from a low of around 12,000 in the late 1960s to current worldwide estimates of 20,000-25,000”. The data here has not changed, only the media’s willingness to ignore unpleasant facts.

As a result, the public is denied access to accurate data and public debate on these very important topics. The ridiculous points of one side are preserved while the so-called fact-checking censorship hides inconvenient truths. If we are to make good climate policy, voters need a big picture of the facts. Lomborghini 2023, backup link

I would like to add this fact: in 1982 polar bears were listed as ‘vulnerable’ by the IUCN but by 1996 that had changed to ‘lower risk/conservation dependent’–now now called ‘least care’‘ (see screenshot below) as populations have rebounded after more than 20 years of international protection from over-hunting. The transition to ‘vulnerable’ in 2006 was based on purely based on guesswork that population numbers will decline in the future due to ice loss, which has so far not occurred (Crockford 2017, 2019; Crockford and Geist 2018).


.Crockford, SJ 2017. Test the hypothesis that a typical sea ice cover of 3-5 million square kilometers leads to a decline of more than 30% in the population size of polar bears (Ursus maritimus). PeerJ Preprint January 19, 2017. Doi: 10.7287/peerj.preprints.2737v1 Open access.

Crockford, SJ 2019. The polar bear disaster never happened. Global Warming Policy Foundation, London. Available in paperback and eBooks Format.

Crockford, SJ and Geist, V. 2018. Conservation failure. range magazine, Winter 2017/2018, p. 26-27. Pdf here.


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