The Walrus and the New York Times

As part of its cheerleading for the U.N. climate convention in Paris, the New York Times is running a series on What Climate Change Looks Like. First up are the walruses:


This week, we’re featuring images that show how global warming has already impacted the world.

Packed shoulder to shoulder, an estimated 35,000 Pacific walruses congregated on Alaska’s northwest coast near Point Lay last fall. Normally the mammals find ocean ice sheets to rest on, but as waters have warmed the ice sheets have disappeared. In seven of the last nine years swarms of walruses swam ashore for refuge, as shown above, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The first time this happened was in 2007 when summer ice levels were at a record low.

The Times is peddling ignorance here. Actually, the congregation of walruses on land is an age-old phenomenon known as “hauling out.” It has nothing to do with the volume of sea ice at any given time. In fact, the Times is not just peddling ignorance, it is recycling it. Today’s Times piece is paraphrased from a much-derided column by Gail Collins that ran in October 2014.

We responded to that column in a post titled The Walrus and the Climate Hysterics. The best we can do is to quote what we wrote a year ago:

Like the other manifestations of climate hysteria, the walrus crisis is entirely fabricated. First, let’s note what how great it is that you can find 35,000 Pacific walruses in one place. It is a sign of a thriving wildlife population, estimated to have doubled since the 1950s.

Climate Depot has a thorough debunking of the walrus hype, beginning with Dr. Susan Crockford, a zoologist:

The attempts by WWF and others to link this event to global warming is self-serving nonsense that has nothing to do with science…this is blatant nonsense and those who support or encourage this interpretation are misinforming the public.

To be fair, misinforming the public is the Times’s specialty.

Walruses have always swarmed on land during the fall. This is called a “haulout.” In 2007, Wikipedia said, in its entry on walruses:

In the non-reproductive season (late summer and fall) walruses tend to migrate away from the ice and form massive aggregations of tens of thousands of individuals on rocky beaches or outcrops.

That portion of the walrus entry was recently deleted. Hmm, wonder why?

Walrus haulouts have been observed for hundreds of years: “Dating back to at least 1604, there have been reports of large walrus gatherings or haul outs.”

The Times’s claim that “[t]he first time this happened was in 2007” is a hilarious bit of ham-handed ignorance.

Shortly after we published the post quoted above, Steve added another that included this video:

If you want to learn a whole lot more about the walrus behavior in question, go here.

Because its writers are so ill-informed, the New York Times is an especially laughable purveyor of politically-motivated climate hysteria. But in reality, the whole warmist enterprise is one big fraud, as is demonstrated on a daily basis.

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