In Wednesday’s New York Times, Erica Goode latched on to a scientific smear job involving global warming and polar bears, under the online headline, “Climate Change Denialists Say Polar Bears Are Fine. Scientists Are Pushing Back.” The text box was bluntly biased even for the Times: “Researchers chastised a Canadian zoologist’s blog for its falsehoods.”
The pro-global warming scientists have put a lot of eggs in the “cute polar bear” basket, and Goode reliably forwards the cute stereotypes in a news story in the paper of record:
Furry, button-nosed and dependent on sea ice for their survival, polar bears have long been poster animals for climate change.
But at a time when established climate science is being questioned at the highest levels of government, climate denialists are turning the charismatic bears to their own uses, capitalizing on their symbolic heft to spread doubts about the threat of global warming.
But to hear climate denialists tell it, polar bears are doing just fine. On Watts Up With That, Climate Depot and other websites that dispute climate science, bloggers insist that the Arctic’s receding ice is part of a natural warming cycle unrelated to human activities. Predictions about devastating declines in polar bear populations, they say, have failed to materialize.
Is anyone actually a “climate denialist”? She continued:
In effect, many scientists say, the bears have been co-opted by climate denialists, and in an article published Tuesday in the peer-reviewed journal BioScience, 14 prominent researchers argue that denialist blogs with wide followings are using the bears to spread misinformation about the causes and consequences of climate change.
Goode then targeted the newest Climate Enemy #1, who has the gall to have another point of view from alarmist climate scientists:
The researchers also singled out Polar Bear Science, a blog run by Susan J. Crockford, a Canadian zoologist, as a primary source of dubious information about the status of polar bears. About 80 percent of the contrarian websites that the researchers studied referred to Dr. Crockford’s blog as a primary source, they said.
Although many contrarian websites pick up discussion about polar bears from Dr. Crockford’s blog, the article noted that she has no demonstrated expertise in climate science or its effects on polar bears. The credentials of many of the BioScience paper’s authors include long lists of published, peer-reviewed articles and studies on these subjects.
“Peer-reviewed” by the same knee-jerk pro-warming crowd now unprofessional attacking Crockford en masse:
Dr. Crockford declined to be interviewed by phone or answer questions in writing. But she said in an email: “This paper is a smack-talk response to my pointing out that polar bear numbers did not plummet as predicted when mid-century-like sea ice conditions arrived unexpectedly in 2007. The paper is not only devoid of science, it lacks the professional decorum that other science journals demand.”
Journalist James Delingpole cited biologist Mitchell Taylor’s rebuttal: “The response to Susan’s work is politically motivated, not an argument against her conclusions.”
Crockford herself responded long and forcefully on her blog, while her Financial Post column laid out the failed predictions of polar bear alarmists and showing that their numbers are actually growing, not declining.
The Times of all places should be more modest in what it assumes about polar bears and climate change. It was among the many gullible media outlets who used an activist's photo of a starving polar bear circulated by National Geographic to push the dubious assumption the bear’s sad condition was due to consequences of global warming, and not being perhaps sick, injured, or aged.