Breitbart News Senior Editor-at-Large Joel Pollak debated climate change with an activist wearing a polar bear costume ahead of Tuesday’s Democrat debate in Charleston, SC.
The activist warned of polar bear populations in crisis as a result of anthropogenic global warming. Ongoing “intensified climate change” would yield a “dead planet” if fossil fuel consumption is not stopped, she added.
POLLAK: Polar bears are often used as the symbol of climate change because, theoretically, the argument goes, the polar ice cap will melt, there will be less habitat for polar bears, but we’ve actually seen polar bear populations pretty healthy, and the Arctic ice cap is still there. Al Gore said it was going to be gone to be gone in 2013, but we still got it, so…
POLAR BEAR ACTIVIST: Where did you find healthy polar bears?
POLLAK: All over the Arctic there are healthy polar bears.
POLAR BEAR ACTIVIST: So many. Did you see the video of the stranded polar that couldn’t eat because he had no sheet ice to fish from, and he was literally withering away?
POLLAK: I didn’t see that, but I know that polar bears can swim hundreds of miles and they’ve done well in warm periods and cold periods, just the numbers of population in terms of polar bears are pretty healthy right now.
POLAR BEAR ACTIVIST: It’s undeniable that the Arctic sheet ice is reducing. I mean, you’re saying some things that we’ve seen, but I don’t really know what you’re talking about, honestly.
POLLAK: Well there’s some evidence that the Arctic ice sheet is dwindling, but we were told it was going to be gone by 2013, and it’s still there, and it ebbs and flows. Some years you have more ice, some years you have less.
POLAR BEAR ACTIVIST: We have overall less ice that we’ve ever had in human history. We’ve seen the hottest temperatures on record over the past five years. January was the hottest January on record. There are puddles forming on what ice is still remaining. Scientists all agree that the Arctic ice is melting at a rapid rate, which is causing sea levels to rise. we’re in Charleston, which is experiencing sunny-day flooding.
To sit here and debate climate change at this point is completely — lack of — it’s unfactual. So you, I see, have a press pass, which means you are responsible for reporting truth to the American public, and I don’t know what you’re citing when you say polar bears are doing great because they’re not.
POLLAK: Let me ask you the question a different way. So I’ve actually been to the North Slope of Alaska where polar bears live, and I’ve actually seen them in the wild, and there are native villages up there that are situated near areas that are oil-rich, that have lots of mineral deposits — gas and so forth. And they say they believe that you can have oil and gas development up there that is environmentally friendly and safe, and they believe they can live in harmony with the environment and with industry. What would you say to those communities who would be economically devastated if the fossil fuel industry shut down in northern Alaska?
POLAR BEAR ACTIVIST: Are you saying they have not yet explored those oils wells?
POLLAK: No, they have them. That’s the North Slope and, you know, the village of Katktovik, Barrow, and Nuiqsut. I mean, these are native villages that generally approve of oil development and are upset that it might get shut down if the Green New Deal gets passed. I mean, what would you say to the people who lived there who depend on that for a livelihood?
POLAR BEAR ACTIVIST: Yeah, I’d say there are lots of regions in America that are traditionally fossil fuel economics, and we definitely need to transition thoughtfully with those folks in mind in the forefront. Those folks will not be served by a dead planet, and they will not be served by intensified climate change, which is what we’re going to see if we continue to exploit those resources. So I think we do need to think of those people. We need to have plans to transition those people in the best, most economically just way possible.
Those people have lived for thousands — if not millions — of years up there without fossil fuel exploration. They are resilient. They can probably teach us the thing or two about how to manage land and whether fossil fuel executives want to exploit them and use them as the poor people that need these fossil fuel resources, I mean, I’d love to understand better what those first nations really want long term, and how they envision the true health of our planet as they pass it on from generation to generation.
All Democrat presidential candidates have characterized “climate change” as an existential threat to humanity.
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