Because the New York Times keeps lying about them.
The New York Times — one of the grand dames of print newspapers, whose slogan is “All the News That’s Fit to Print” — has fallen on hard times. It is not rare to see reports about the paper’s falling readership, cuts to the paper’s newsroom and editorial staff, or factual errors or outright false stories appearing in the paper. (Some of these errors never get corrected. See, for example, its error-filled coverage of the 2006 Duke Lacrosse scandal.)
Of all the Times’ numerous errors, perhaps none have been as consistently egregious as its coverage of climate change. Among major newspapers, the Times has long banged the climate alarmist drum the loudest, unquestioningly reporting the latest environmental lobbyists’ apocalyptic proclamations as if they were gospel truth. Most recently, the Times hyped a BioScience paper on the impending doom of polar bears, which the paper alleged is the result of human-caused climate change.
TheTimes couldn’t be bothered to accurately describe the dispute in its headline. According to the Times, the argument is between “scientists” and “denialists” — an ad hominem slur aimed at researchers who dispute any portion of the claim “scientists agree we know with certainty humans are causing climate change and it is dangerous.” Both sides in the debate have engaged in research on polar bears and anthropogenic climate change, so why call one side denialists? It can only be to instigate a smear campaign, by associating them with truly heinous Holocaust deniers in the public’s mind.
Concerning the BioScience paper, it doesn’t actually examine the effects of climate change on polar bears; it presents mostly opinions and few actual facts. For instance, the authors amazingly provide no real data on polar bear populations or population trends, although it does cite the number of blogs and research papers discussing polar bears.
This is an exercise in sophistry, not science.
Instead of presenting proof of the fate of polar bears, the authors commit the Fallacy of Appeal to Authority and the Fallacy of Appeal to Numbers to support their assertion human-caused climate change threatens polar bears’ continued existence.
“Increasing surface temperatures, Arctic sea-ice loss, and other evidence of anthropogenic global warming (AGW) are acknowledged by every major scientific organization in the world,” say the BioScience authors, who later tout the existence of “a broad scientific consensus.”
Evidence and proof are the hallmarks of science, and if one claims humans are harming polar bears, one must provide supporting evidence. Scientifically, it is illegitimate to say, “X, Y, Z, and others are experts on climate, and they say humans are harming polar bears, so you should believe us when we tell you polar bears are in danger and other people are lying about it.” […]
The Times claimed data for nine other populations is too sparse to estimate. One might ask what about the other six subpopulations? While it’s hard to question the Times since it doesn’t say where it got its numbers, a recent survey of the literature by Crockford (published by the Global Warming Policy Foundation) examining each of the subpopulations in detail tells a different story.
Crockford — whose survey relies on peer-reviewed, publicly available data — notes only one subpopulation of bears has declined and two others may or may not have declined.