Wednesday, 3 September 2008

When Will There be Polar Bears in Great Yarmouth?

Those scientific people who scoff at the idea of a god while simulatenously predicting the end of the world are enjoying themselves enormously at the moment.

Some of them are messing about in boats up in the Arctic, directing BBC cameras at chunks of drifting ice and declaring that this is hard evidence of ecological Armageddon, global warming - unless, of course, we change our wicked ways.

The self-righteous evangelical zeal with which they issue their Jeremiads is easy enough to understand: we all like to be right and sound important in public.

However, I would be grateful if they could answer one little question: Why hasn't Great Yarmouth got Polar bears swimming down its High Street on their way to Iceland (the supermarket)?

If, as they suggest, the ice cap at the North Pole is dissolving faster than jelly in a bonfire, where has all the water gone, where is it going?

For years eco-warriors have been prophesying that if the ice melted the seas would rise by a couple of feet at least and the East Coast of England, and much of London, would be covered with water.

Well chaps, the only type of H2O covering the fair isle of Ralph Vaughn Williams is rainwater, not salty seawater. So put away the old boy's First Symphony. Ice, being less dense a mass than water, floats. When it melts it does not, I am assured by one who knows, displace much seawater at all.

That's why all the PB's, the Polar bears, are happily sloshing their way about up near Iceland (the country) and beyond. So it doesn't look as though they will be visiting East Anglia yet awhile.

On the subject of Polar bears, someone has suggested on record that these glacier mint beasts are dying out. Upon inquiry I was told that, on the contrary, they are multiplying.

Or perhaps I was confusing Polar bears with black bears. There was a claim made in Bradford's Telegraph & Argus newspaper on August 28, that half a million black bears are slaughtered annually (including cubs) to supply the Coldstream, Welsh and other British Guards units with black bearskin hats.

Half a million? There can't be that many bears in the world, and the entire British Army totals less than half that. However, unlike Oscar Wilde, I have only my ignorance to declare. If too many black bears are being turned into soliders hats, I have a solution: why not cull a few Polar bears and instead of supplying the Coldstream Guards with black bearskins give them white ones.

The next time two Guards units parade through London, one could wear white bearskins, the other black. They could play chess, or chequers, marching and counter-marching along Whitehall, wherever Guardsmen are allowed to congregate these days without causing a security alert.

It would also be in keeping with the Government's policy of multi-cultural diversity, having white AND black bearskins.

But then, someone is bound to say rhetorically: "Why have soldiers at all!"


TDK said...

If, as they suggest, the ice cap at the North Pole is dissolving faster than jelly in a bonfire, where has all the water gone, where is it going?

If you have ice in your gin and tonic which melts the glass doesn't overflow.

In other words the Arctic ice cap (in general) floats and if it melts will have no significant effect on the ocean sea levels. Now on the other hand there is much ice on Greenland and Antarctica which does not float and if that melts it will raise the sea level.

I would suggest that a better angle would be to note that the IPCC, supposedly the bible of "sensible science" predicts a sea level rise over the next hundred years of only 19inches max. That contrasts a bit with Al Gore's talk of 20 feet even allowing for his ambiguity over time scales.

TDK said...

Before I leave this, look at this graph showing the annual change in ice extent in the Arctic. You can see the summer min is about 3Mkm² compare to the max 13Mkm². Quite a difference which most people don't appreciate.

Sometimes the so called experts don't get it right!

Jim Greenhalf said...

Being a bear(neither Polar nor black but a shambling mongrel sort of beast)of astonishingly little brain, I am grateful for the gin and tonic analogy and for the information about Greenland and the Antarctic.

Had the man who taught science at my secondary modern not been a sadistic bastard, I might have remembered some of the basics of physics.

Thanks for bothering.