June 18, 2009

The $134 Billion dollar suitcase

This is an absolutely amazing story. Two Japanese men were found in Italy with a briefcase holding $134 Billion American dollars in bond certificates! That’s 134,000 Millions!
This is enough money to buy the entire GDP of New Zealand! Farmland in the US is around $5000 an acre. These men could have bought 27 million acres, a plot of land the size of Ohio!

I have not seen a follow-up story yet as to whether these are fake or real. If real, there is a lot of explaining to do!

UPDATE: It seems these are fakes... which makes sense considering the huge amount.
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June 16, 2009

Seasons from Space

This is timelapse of the north pole from 1978 until 2009:

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June 15, 2009

The sky is falling

Boy hit by meteorite:

If you stand outside right now and a meteorite is plummeting toward earth, it has a 1 in 2,745,184,657,040,000 (that’s 2.7 quadrillion) chance of hitting you (assuming you take up 2 square feet of area). With maybe 20,000 meteorites hitting earth each year, and 6 billion people on the planet, someone has a 1 in 9 Billion chance of getting hit each year (if we all stand outside all day).
Maybe this kid should buy a lottery ticket or something.

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June 11, 2009

Ballooning Money

Lets say you own a business. You bring in $24,000 profit from your business each year as income for your family. The entire business has $140,000 a year in sales. But, if you add up the debts you owe your suppliers, the building, your mortgage, and your credit cards, and your car payments, you owe over a Million dollars. Liabilities of over a million dollars with a 24 thousand dollar income, NOT GOOD! That is the position our federal government is in right now... only each of those numbers has 8 more zero's on the end! The profit is tax revenue (2.4 trillion), the sales are total GDP (14 trillion), and the debts are Social Security, pensions, Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation, Medicare, Medicaid, etc. (100+ trillion).

US budget deficits:

As crazy as this is, the monetary base is even crazier. Monetary base is the sum of all the coins and bills in circulation, the vault cash at the banks, and the reserves held at the Fed. Normally 95% of the monetary base is in circulation, and 5% is in bank reserves. But back in September the Fed began pumping the market full of cash, almost $1 Trillion. This was all dumped into the bank reserves to promote lending. Bank reserves have jumped almost 20-fold, now the currency portion of the monetary base is less than 50%!

This is enabling the banks to make many new loans and increase the cash that is in circulation. Without actual GDP increase to back up this new money in circulation, the money becomes diluted, and inflation and rising interest rates are what follows.

A final disturbing aspect is that it seems the Fed doesn't even know where the money is going. They are just blindly pumping into the banking systems.

Question: Well, I understand that, but we’re talking about events that started unfolding eight months ago. Have you reached any conclusions about the Fed expanding its balance sheet by over a trillion dollars since last September?

Elizabeth A. Coleman: We have not yet reached any conclusions.

Question: you’re the Inspector General. My question specifically is do you know who received that $1 trillion-plus that the Fed extended and put on its balance sheet since last September. Do you know the identity of the recipients?

Elizabeth A. Coleman: I do not know. We have not looked at that specific area at this particular point on those reviews.

Question: So I’m asking you if your agency has in fact, according to Bloomberg, extended $9 trillion in credit, which by the way works out to $30,000 for every single men, women, and child in this country. I’d like to know if you’re not responsible for investigating that, who is?

Elizabeth A. Coleman: We, actually… we have responsibility for the Federal Reserve’s programs and operations, to conduct audits and investigations in that area.

Question: What have you done to investigate the off-balance sheet transactions conducted by the Federal Reserve, which according to Bloomberg now total $9 trillion in the last eight months.

Elizabeth A. Coleman: At this point, we’re conducting our lending facility project at a fairly high level and have not gotten to a specific level of detail to really be in a position to respond to your question.

Question: Have you conducted any investigation or auditing of the losses that the Federal Reserve has experienced on its lending since last September?

Elizabeth A. Coleman: We are still in the process of conducting that review. Until we actually, you know, go out and gather the information, I’m not in a position to really respond to this specific question.

Question: So are you telling me that nobody at the Federal Reserve is keeping track on a regular basis of the losses that it incurs on what is now a $2 trillion portfolio?

Elizabeth A. Coleman: I don’t know if… you’re telling me that there’s… you’re… missing… that there are losses. I’m just saying that we’re not… until we actually look at the program and have the information, we are not in a position to say whether there are losses or to respond in any other way to that question.

Alan Grayson: Mr. Chairman, my time is up, but I have to tell you honestly, I am shocked to find out that nobody at the Federal Reserve including the Inspector General is keeping track of this.
The months and years ahead will be interesting indeed! Someday economists will write books about what we are experiencing. Somehow I doubt it is going to be a happy ending.
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June 10, 2009

Detroit: how did we let this happen?

This is an incredible story. I have never lived in Detroit, so I don't know this stuff first hand. I don't understand how we let a city get this bad. With the current automotive bankruptcies, I am sure it isn't getting any better.

The City Where the Sirens Never Sleep

One interesting thing I have seen in the news. Immigrants (legal), are buying some of these extremely dilapidated, cheap houses and starting new small communities. Despite how terrible the conditions seem to us, they are far better than where these people came from. Maybe this is how Detroit will be re-made.
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June 8, 2009

What Stimulus

Back in February I sent the following e-mail to my friends and family about the then proposed “Stimulus Bill”:

I think we can agree the economy is having a tough time. All have been hurt by savings accounts (retirement, college, etc.) that have dropped, many have been touched by lower salaries/hours at work, some have even lost their jobs or are unsure of the future of their employment. These concerns are real. We must all look to help those who we can help, and pray for those who we can not help. It is OUR responsibility to help our family and neighbors, not Washington's!

The stock market (DOW) has dropped from 12200 last February to 8200 today! That is a 33% drop in your savings or wealth you had invested in one year!
Unemployment has risen to over 7%. A number we have not seen in 15 years.

Currently, our elected officials are in Washington trying to solve this problem. They have put their collective abilities together and have come up with a 1550 page, $900,000,000,000 plan they call the "Stimulus Bill". You can see the bill here: http://readthestimulus.org/
My friends, I don't care if you are a Republican, Democrat, Independent or other...
these 1550 pages and $900 Billion dollars WILL NOT make America's future brighter and pull us out of a recession! Our new President, Barack Obama has declared that unless congress passes this bill NOW, the recession could be "catastrophic" and "irreversible" http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090205/ap_on_go_pr_wh/congress_stimulus_126
Let us examine this bill... tell me if NOT doing the following will cause a PERMANENT IRREVERSIBLE CATASTROPHIC RECESSION!!

$50 million for the National Endowment for the Arts
$380 million in the Senate bill for the Women, Infants and Children program
$300 million for grants to combat violence against women
$2 billion for federal child-care block grants
$6 billion for university building projects
$15 billion for boosting Pell Grant college scholarships
$4 billion for job-training programs, including $1.2 billion for “youths” up to the age of 24
$1 billion for community-development block grants
$4.2 billion for “neighborhood stabilization activities”
$650 million for digital-TV coupons;
$90 million to educate “vulnerable populations”

See more! http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=YjcyODIyZGM2MGU1ZDdkNDgxZDc3OTNjYjM4ZDY1ODI=

This is a terrible abuse by our government to use a crisis in the county and our collective desire to "Do something about it" to enlarge their own power. The government does not have the money for this Bill, it does not exist. It will simply be printed, be "borrowed" by increasing the national debt to unheard of levels. We will pay for it in future years by higher interest rates as inflation goes up and higher taxes that will be "necessary" to "balance the budget".

I am fortunate that my two Senators and my House representative are voting NO on this Bill. If yours is not, I strongly suggest you call them and let them know what you think. Contact them here: http://www.usa.gov/Contact/Elected.shtml

If you think that this bill will save America and is necessary, may I point you to the companies that have been "bailed out" with the last $800 Billion that was "spent" to "save the economy"

AIG received $40 Billion see stock performance http://finance.google.com/finance?q=NYSE%3AAIG
Bank of America received $45 Billion see stock performance http://finance.google.com/finance?q=bac
Wells Fargo received $25 Billion see stock performance http://finance.google.com/finance?q=NYSE:WFC
Citigroup received $25 Billion see stock performance http://finance.google.com/finance?q=NYSE:C
GM&GMAC received $10 Billion see stock performance http://finance.google.com/finance?q=NYSE:GM

Unfortunately, this bill became law, and the politicians were given almost a trillion dollars they didn’t have to spend. Well, it is now 4 months later. I thought I would check in to see where the money has gone and what it has done.

I will start with unemployment. Barack Obama claimed that unless his stimulus bill was passed, unemployment would reach 9.1% in 2010. With his stimulus plan, unemployment would top out this year at about 8% and quickly go back down. So what is the result? The below graph is from Obama’s original stimulus estimate, I have overlaid, in red, the actual numbers.

Either the stimulus bill had the opposite effect and increased unemployment, or it did nothing at all and the government underestimated how high it would go. Either way the stimulus has so far failed at its most significant measure and its main purpose, to keep people working.

In my e-mail I predicted that the result of this bill would be record debts, higher taxes and higher inflation/interest rates. Unfortunately, this is starting to come true. 10-yr treasury notes (the rate in which mortgages and other loans are measured against) has jumped almost 50% from March to 3.7%. 30-yr mortgages have increased 3/4 of a point. The 1.8 Trillion dollar budget deficit this year is 4 times larger than the previous record high deficit under Bush. And what about higher taxes? They are coming. Fed chief Ben Bernanke testified to congress last week:

BERNANKE: Relative to that CBO baseline, I mean, it's evident that either cuts in spending or increases in taxes, will be necessary to stabilize the fiscal condition.

QUESTION: Recently, as I believe you know, S&P downgraded U.K.'s debt on May 21st from stable to negative. So what's going to happen if the U.S. loses its AAA rating? Or what happens if we have a 60 percent tax increase over the next 10 years to deal with this massive infusion of debt?

BERNANKE: at some point, you'll hit a point where you'll have to have both very draconian cuts and very large tax increases, which is not something we want. So in order to avoid that outcome down the road, we need to begin now to plan how we're going to get the fiscal situation into a better balance in the medium term.

QUESTION: If I look at the bills we've had here on the floor the last couple of weeks we were in session and this week, virtually everything we're doing either authorizes or appropriates more money -- spending -- even, in many cases, than what is anticipated in the charts that we have talked about today. What are the economic consequences of continuing that sort of trend?

BERNANKE: we need to make a plan, some decisions, about how we're going to bring the budget closer to balance over the medium term. And that means that as you discuss various programs that include spending, you need to think about the revenue sources that would be related to that. If you don't do that, then, again, you'll see interest rates rise and you'll see reluctance of lenders to provide credit to the U.S. government. That would be a very bad outcome.
Does anyone think the government is going to drastically cut spending?! Ha… excuse me while I stop laughing. Tax increases are on the way. But I know, I know… I am not being fair. Only a small percent of the stimulus money has been spent (printed). So we just need to give it more time. Eventually, the economy will rebound on its own, like in every other recession, at that point we can say it was because of the stimulus bill.

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June 5, 2009

Macro Climate Change

During times of universal deceit,
telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.
~ George Orwell

Our new administration, in an effort to curb global warming, is introducing a comprehensive "New Energy for America Plan". You can see the plan here:
Part of this plan is to "Implement an economy-wide cap-and-trade program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent by 2050."
“Greenhouse gas emissions” is Carbon Dioxide. CO2

President Obama was talking about this all throughout his campaign. In a speech in St. Paul on June 3, 2008 he said the following:
OBAMA: "If we are willing to work for it and fight for it and believe in it, then I am absolutely certain that generations from now we will be able to look back and tell our children that ... This was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal."

The argument is that carbon dioxide, released into the atmosphere by the burning of fossil fuels, is the principle driving force of climate change. And, by limiting our human output of CO2, we can reverse the warming trend planet wide. This theory was started in 1958 by Oceanographer Roger Revelle and Geochemist David Keeling. You can read the history of the Global Warming theory, how the IPCC was started and how Al Gore got involved as told by the founder of The Weather Channel, John Coleman (highly suggested reading):
As the article mentions, Roger Revelle later urged caution not too arouse too much alarm until more facts are known if the greenhouse effect is important.

Many promoting this theory will show slides such as the one below as proof that as carbon dioxide goes up it leads to higher temperatures:

Such data is highly suspect in my opinion. The first problem is cause and effect. The above graph gives no information as to what caused what. Temperature and ice cream sales go up every summer and down every winter. However, it is not ice cream sales that cause temperature; it is, of course, the temperature that causes the sale of ice cream. So, is a warming planet causing CO2 to go up, or is CO2 causing the planet to warm?

Another problem is correlation vs causation. Just because there is a correlation does not mean there is causation. I will illustrate with the graph below of the stock price of Apple Computers.

Obviously, there is a correlation between temperature and stock price over this 2 year period. Every winter it is high, then falls every summer. But that does not mean there is causation. It would be silly to assume that the temperature drives the sales of Apple computers... and thinking that way would make you lose lots of money because after 06 the correlation falls apart.
The final problem is reliability. Scientists are smart. But I put very, VERY little faith in the ability of us to measure to the exact Parts Per Million of CO2 in our atmosphere thousands and millions of years ago. The number of assumptions and errors are very large. See here: http://www.jennifermarohasy.com/blog/archives/002176.html
A simple Google search will give hundreds of pages of people arguing passionately for and against various aspects of this data. I am not qualified to judge, but clearly there is plenty of controversy, suggesting this is more of a political thing than a scientific thing.

We do, however, have some pretty decent data suggesting that our climate has been going through periods of heating and cooling throughout its history. We have good evidence that sometime around 12,000 years ago America was covered by huge glacier ice. This ice sheet formed the great lakes and calculations estimate it needed to be 2.5 miles thick to do the damage that is seen today. Also, it was not a singular event, but estimates are that 8 or 10 times North America was covered by glaciers and then they receded. The History Channel has a great episode on this, but unfortunately is no longer available on their website. A more cartoonish version is here: http://www.on.ec.gc.ca/greatlakeskids/GreatLakesMovie5.html
Since that time there has been numerous warming and cooling, none of which were as extreme as the ice age: Author Matt Patterson summarizes:

Around the 3rd century B.C., the planet emerged from a long cold spell. The warm period which followed lasted about 700 years, and since it coincided with the rise of Pax Romana, it is known as the Roman Warming.

In the 5th century A.D., the earth's climate became cooler. Cold and drought pushed he tribes of northern Europe south against the Roman frontier. Rome was sacked, and the Dark Ages commenced. And it was a dark age, both metaphorically and literally -- the sun's light dimmed and gave little warmth; harvest seasons grew shorter and yielded less. Life expectancy and literacy plummeted. The plague appeared and decimated whole populations.

Then, inexplicably, about 900 A.D. things began to warm. This warming trend would last almost 400 years, a well documented era known as the Medieval Warm Period. Once again, as temperatures rose harvests and populations grew. Vineyards made their way into Northern Europe, including Britain. Art and science flourished in what we now know as the Renaissance.

Then around 1300 A.D. things cooled drastically. This cold spell would last almost 500 years, a severe climate event known as the Little Ice Age. Millions died in famine as glaciers advanced all over the world. The plague returned. In Greenland, the Norse colony that had been established during the Medieval Warming froze and starved. Arctic pack ice descended south, pushing Inuit peoples to the shores of Scotland. People ice skated on the Thames; they walked from Staten Island to Manhattan over a frozen New York Harbor. The year 1816 was remembered as the year without a summer, with some portions of the Northern Hemisphere seeing nowfall in June.

(Additional info about 1816; Volcanic eruptions added to the already cold weather: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Year_Without_a_Summer)
But around 1850 the planet began to warm up yet again. Glaciers retreated. Temperatures rose. This is the warming period which we are still enjoying today. And once again, the warmth brought bounty: The last 150 years have seen an explosion in life expectancy, population, and scientific progress like never before.

The below chart is a reconstruction (again I put little faith in the exact numbers… but general trends I think have validity)

So my first questions jump out at this point. If the earth has been going through oscillations of hotter and colder periods for all known time, then why is the current hotter period anything special? And why, all the sudden, is it caused by humans, and why do we think we can stop it?

Environmentalists and Politicians are using the current warming spell to their benefit. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) uses the last 20 years of data to project a doomsday scenario where oceans rise wiping out island nations and coastal populations, vast extinctions occur, weather is changed, famines occur, etc, etc. (Reminder to read the kusi.com link above to see how the IPCC was started and funded)

As recently as Sunday April 19, 2009, our current Energy Secretary Steven Chu, was giving dire warnings of how island nations may be underwater this century as well as vast amounts of Florida and other coastal states.

The below chart shows the IPCC predictions based on their computer models:

But, unfortunately for the doomsdayers… the earth has been COOLING over the past 5 years or so.

We are also seeing a major decrease in solar activity:

In fact, the Sun has reached its “quietest time” in 50-100 years:

The Sun is the original and only source of heat and energy for this planet (with the exception of the molten earth core). Even fossil fuels are stored solar energy from the past. So as the Sun goes, so do we.

If the sun is decreasing in output, and the weather is cooling, why are the ice caps melting?
Well, recent research is starting to show that they may not be at all. Australia Antarctic Division glaciology program head Ian Allison said sea ice losses in west Antarctica over the past 30 years had been more than offset by increases in the Ross Sea region, just one sector of east Antarctica. "Sea ice conditions have remained stable in Antarctica generally," Allison said.
Keep in mind, melting on a land mass (like Antartica or Greenland) is the only melting that can contribute to ocean rise. The entire Artic and other ice sheets and ice burgs are floating, so if they melt the sea levels will not be affected at all (90% of floating ice is already underwater, when ice cubes melt in a cup, the cup does not get fuller).

In conclusion, macro climate change is nothing new. And certainly there are many more inputs and variables vastly outside our ability to control than burning of fossil fuels. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t curb our use of fossil fuels or that they don’t affect anything at all, but simply reducing our usage of coal and oil is not going to “heal the planet” as our President and others want us to believe. In order to heal you must be sick, the planet warming 0.8 oC on average over the last 100 years does not point to it being sick, it shows that it is perfectly normal.
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June 4, 2009

More spending is not the answer

Most politicians, when encountering a budget surplus, quickly find ways to spend the extra money. They begin new programs, or increase existing programs, growing the size of the government. Then, when (not if) revenues fall, they run around claiming they have no money and must raise taxes to balance the budget. Then when revenues go up again, they take the extra money and grow government. It is a never ending cycle of always needing more money and needing to raise taxes. The results are devastating. Just look at California. This is the model California has used for years and has resulted in the complete bankruptcy of the state.

Texas, with the leadership of a true fiscal conservative Rick Perry, is doing it different. When Texas encounters a budget surplus, they save some of the money in a “rainy day” account. They then return some of the money back to the people in the form of tax cuts. Finally, they allocate extra funds to programs they know are increasing (education) because of a growing population. When Texas hits hard times they don’t have to increase taxes, they just use the “rainy day” account.
Don’t think this method is realistic? How about these results:
- Despite the “worst recession since the Great Depression”, Texas will have a 10.7 Billion dollar budget surplus! They are saving 5.7 Billion for emergencies, and returning 3 billion back to the tax payers in tax cuts.
- Business is moving from high tax places like California to Texas. Texas created approximately 70 percent of the jobs created nationwide from Nov ’07 to Nov ’08.
- Unemployment is a full percent lower than the national average
- The states annual growth rate was 2.1% in 2008, the national average was -1.4% (negative growth)

But don’t think you will hear about any of this on the news. We are told everything is hopeless and we must put all our trust in the Federal Government to save us. The answer? More spending and more taxes of course!

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Quiet Please

I attended my second Hillcrest High School graduation ceremony last night at the Bi-Lo Center in Greenville. Congratulations to my little sister Cassie Jo who graduated with above a 4.0 GPA and an academic and athletic scholarship to Converse College! Way to go Cassie, we are all so proud of your hard work!

Hillcrest graduated over 500 students. To make it go as fast as they could, they give a speech beforehand asking/pleading/begging for the parents not to clap or yell when their child’s name is called. This way they can run down the list of names quickly without waiting for the noise to stop or risking someone not being able to hear their child’s name called. This is an OK idea on the face. But in reality, there are many parents who ARE going to cheer when their son/daughter gets their diploma, it WILL happen. Hillcrest knows this, so to “solve” this problem they post police officers at each isle. When the renegade family makes noise by clapping or cheering the police kick them out of the ceremony. This of course causes a huge distraction for everyone else. And as the ceremony proceeds, more and more parents rebel against the rules and simply get up and leave after cheering. This causes laughter and more distractions. The whole thing turns into a kind of circus with cheering parents and police and laughing and pointing. Unfortunately, the students suffer as much attention is taken away from them and their big night.

I thought Hillcrest would learn their lesson after the first time this happened, but sadly they have not and continue to insist on trying to quiet the crowd. We are in the Bi-Lo center for goodness sake! Just turn up the sound system! If you would just ask the parents to be brief and respectful when they cheer, than each family would give a quick cheer and no one would be distracted. Everyone’s attention would stay focused on the kids and not on the “disruptions” and the police officers. You can’t even hear someone cheering on the other side, the place is too huge. Hillcrest should stop this asinine policy immediately.

E-mail the Principle at “schamnes@greenville.k12.sc.us”

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June 2, 2009

Is Jay Cutler the man?

I must admit, I am more exited about watching the Chicago Bears this next NFL season than I have been for a while. Even more exited than the year after the Bears were in the Super Bowl against the Colts. The defense has always been solid and a joy to watch, special teams is outstanding and always a game changer, decent receivers and running backs usually... the Achilles' heal of the Bears has been the quarter back. Rex Grossman had a good arm, but missed the mark in the accuracy and was terrible at decision making. I would end up with ulcers and a nervous twitch if I had to watch Rex QB every year. When he unloaded a deep pass you held your breath, you never knew if a bears uniform or the opponent would show up on the camera when the ball came back down. Kyle Orton had good solid play, but he could not threaten deep which made it too easy on the opponents defense to crowd the line.

Jay Cutler is this years promise to change all that. Jay brings the whole package and has proven he can deliver. I hope this gives the offense the confidence they need. I would love to see Hester grab a couple 30 yard passes as they drop right over his shoulder in full stride.... paydirt!
But I recognize the odds are against us. Brett Favre started for Greenbay from 1992 to 2007.
In that time the Chicago Bears started the following quarterbacks:
1992: Harbaugh, Peter Tom Willis, Will Furrer
1993: Harbaugh, Willis
1994: Erik Kramer, Steve Walsh
1995: Kramer
1996: Kramer, Dave Kreig
1997: Kramer, Rick Mirer
1998: Kramer, Steve Stenstrom, Moses Moreno
1999: Shane Matthews, Cade McNown, Jim Miller
2000: McNown, Matthews, Miller
2001: Miller, Matthews
2002: Miller, Chris Chandler, Henry Burris
2003: Kordell Stewart, Chandler, Rex Grossman
2004: Grossman, Jonathan Quinn, Craig Krenzel, Chad Hutchinson
2005: Kyle Orton, Grossman
2006: Grossman
2007: Grossman, Brian Griese, Orton

So, while I am exited, I think one can understand why my expectations are not that high.

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June 1, 2009

Polar Bears

As follow-up to this post, I have done further investigation into the plight of the polar bear. As the picture on the right suggests, we are told polar bears are dying due to their habitat being destroyed (melting) from global warming. This has always struck me as odd.

Polar bear population data has always been a “best guess” by scientists. Because of the remote locations, solitary life, large roaming areas, and constantly moving sea ice, counting polar bears is aggravating to say the least.

In 1965, scientist gathered for their first international meeting. Chief of wildlife research at the US Dep. of Interior opened the meeting by quoting Sen. Bob Bartlett, “I am informed that at the present time there are no accurate or reliable figures available on the total world polar bear population or on the size of the annual kill". At the time, polar bears were hunted from aircraft, icebreaker boats, as well as from indigenous people. Hunting was not regulated and it wasn’t known how many were killed each year. Killing a polar bear was a status symbol for the rich and they would show the stuffed bear as a trophy.

In the 1960’s world polar bear populations were estimated anywhere from 5000 on the low end to 19,000 on the high end. To stop the polar bear from being hunted to extinction, the International Agreement on the Conservation of Polar Bears was signed on November 15, 1973 in Oslo by the five nations with polar bear populations: Canada, Denmark (Greenland), Norway, the U.S., and the former U.S.S.R. This agreement outlawed the unregulated sport hunting of polar bears and required each nation to protect the denning areas and share research on the bears. The polar bear seems to have bounced back quickly once hunting was stopped, if it was ever struggling to begin with. Today, it seems, scientists are comfortable with an estimation of 20,000 – 25,000 bears living in the wild worldwide. Of the 19 recognized polar bear subpopulations, 5 are declining, 5 are stable, 2 are increasing, and 7 have insufficient data.

So it seems there is exactly zero data to support the claims that polar bears are being driven to extinction due to global warming due to too much carbon dioxide in the air due to humans burning fossil fuels. It is all based on assumptions that IF lots of sea ice melts, and IF the bears get stuck on the mainland or away from the seal populations, then they will start dying due to starvation. This seems like quite the odd correlation. Polar bears eat mainly ringed seals. Ringed seals eat small fish like arctic cod and herring. Herring and cod eat plankton. And plankton “eats” carbon dioxide and sunlight. So the base of the food chain is actually carbon dioxide!
It has been shown that plants will grow up to twice as fast in 2000ppm carbon dioxide (we are at 350 now). So isn’t it logical to assume that higher levels of carbon dioxide would result in larger plankton blooms, more arctic cod and herring, more seals, and thus more polar bears? I don’t know, but it seems like less of a stretch then arguing there would be less polar bears (given the fact that ringed seals also use sea ice to rest on and will routinely move farther north to find denser ice). So even if the ice melts further north the seals and bears will go up north with the ice.
Unless someone shows me some data that large numbers of bears are dying because of higher carbon dioxide levels, I remain a skeptic.
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