Thursday, September 27, 2007

How to save 1/10th of a polar bear

Bjorn Lomborg is not skeptical about human-caused global warming. But he’s checked the maths behind many of the warming scares:

Consider a tale that has made the covers of some of the world’s biggest magazines and newspapers: the plight of the polar bear. We are told that global warming will wipe out this majestic creature. We are not told, however, that over the past 40 years - while temperatures have risen - the global polar bear population has increased from 5000 to 25,000.

Campaigners and the media claim that we should cut our carbon dioxide emissions to save the polar bear. Well, then, let’s do the math. Let’s imagine that every country - including the United States and Australia - were to sign the Kyoto Protocol and cut its carbon dioxide emissions for the rest of this century. Looking at the best-studied polar bear population of 1000 bears, in the West Hudson Bay, how many polar bears would we save in a year? Ten? Twenty? A hundred? Actually, we would save less than one-tenth of a polar bear.

If we really do care about saving polar bears, we could do something much simpler and more effective: ban hunting them. Each year, 49 bears are shot in the West Hudson Bay alone. So why don’t we stop killing 49 bears a year before we commit trillions of dollars to do hundreds of times less good?

1 comment:

Chris said...

I agree. All the Australian farmers who have been driven off their natural environment and into the urban areas should be shot. There is no climate change, they are just too lazy to make their farms viable.