Sunday, June 28, 2009

Crushing of dissent watch: Only right-thinking polar bear experts need apply 

Many more of these stories, and people are going to wonder whether climate science has been entirely captured by people with political objectives:

Dr Mitchell Taylor has been researching the status and management of polar bears in Canada and around the Arctic Circle for 30 years, as both an academic and a government employee. More than once since 2006 he has made headlines by insisting that polar bear numbers, far from decreasing, are much higher than they were 30 years ago. Of the 19 different bear populations, almost all are increasing or at optimum levels, only two have for local reasons modestly declined.

Dr Taylor agrees that the Arctic has been warming over the last 30 years. But he ascribes this not to rising levels of CO2 – as is dictated by the computer models of the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and believed by his PBSG colleagues – but to currents bringing warm water into the Arctic from the Pacific and the effect of winds blowing in from the Bering Sea.

He has also observed, however, how the melting of Arctic ice, supposedly threatening the survival of the bears, has rocketed to the top of the warmists' agenda as their most iconic single cause. The famous photograph of two bears standing forlornly on a melting iceberg was produced thousands of times by Al Gore, the WWF and others as an emblem of how the bears faced extinction – until last year the photographer, Amanda Byrd, revealed that the bears, just off the Alaska coast, were in no danger. Her picture had nothing to do with global warming and was only taken because the wind-sculpted ice they were standing on made such a striking image.

Dr Taylor had obtained funding to attend this week's meeting of the PBSG, but this was voted down by its members because of his views on global warming. The chairman, Dr Andy Derocher, a former university pupil of Dr Taylor's, frankly explained in an email (which I was not sent by Dr Taylor) that his rejection had nothing to do with his undoubted expertise on polar bears: "it was the position you've taken on global warming that brought opposition".

Dr Taylor was told that his views running "counter to human-induced climate change are extremely unhelpful". His signing of the Manhattan Declaration – a statement by 500 scientists that the causes of climate change are not CO2 but natural, such as changes in the radiation of the sun and ocean currents – was "inconsistent with the position taken by the PBSG".

They told me that if I voted for John McCain science would be politicized beyond all recognition, and they were right!


By Blogger indavao, at Sun Jun 28, 10:47:00 PM:

hi.. just dropping by here... have a nice day! http://kantahanan.blogspot.com  

By Blogger Assistant Village Idiot, at Sun Jun 28, 10:58:00 PM:

So, he's been uninvited not because he's wrong, but because too many anonymous people think he's wrong. And they're worried that young-earthers, a group with little actual power, are unscientific?  

By Anonymous tyree, at Sun Jun 28, 11:04:00 PM:

Classic case of projection. The left thinks the right was politicizing science the way the left was politicizing science.  

By Blogger TOF, at Sun Jun 28, 11:56:00 PM:

Kinda sorta makes me disbelieve scientists. Used to be the rule was you go where the data takes you, not you take data that supports your priors.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Mon Jun 29, 02:36:00 AM:

I had this feeling for a long time:

AFAIK, politics lost its "innocence" thanks to Nixon who so badly abused trust.

Let me make a prediction. Science will lose its "innocence" due to global warming. This whole thing is sooo much overpoliticized that's not even funny.

I do agree that global warming is science. Political science. It will be taught later in schools how to fool people to grab power. It will be called "Dishonest Politics 101".


By Anonymous Anonymous, at Mon Jun 29, 09:13:00 AM:

So they only want people around them that agree with them. Just like Michael Jackson, and we all see what happened there.  

By Anonymous alanstorm, at Mon Jun 29, 09:47:00 AM:

"...people are going to wonder whether climate science has been entirely captured by people with political objectives:"

I think you have the wrong tense there. It's been apparent for several years now.  

By Blogger Brian, at Mon Jun 29, 10:40:00 AM:

Single-sourced to Dr. Taylor. No attempt to contact the other side to see if any of it was accurate.

No mention that polar bear populations were heavily overhunted 30 years ago and hunting is much more tightly controlled.

Finally, no mention of the geographic location of the two declining populations. Where would you expect them to be if climate change were harming them? Did he not know, or did he deliberately omit this information?  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Mon Jun 29, 10:55:00 AM:

Regarding voting for McCain...

I was told by a democrat friend of mine before the election, that if I voted for McCain, we'd end up with an idiot as VP.

I did and we do...  

By Anonymous Brian Schmidt, at Mon Jun 29, 08:19:00 PM:

Well, hopefully the mistakes are from the idiot who writes at the Telegraph and not from Taylor himself.

Of the 19 populations, one (Arctic Basin) has no information at all. Six have insufficient information to establish trends. Five, not two, are declining. Five are stable, two are increasing (and both of those are classified as "severely reduced" sizes, which I'm guessing means recovering from overhunting).


By Blogger Kinuachdrach, at Mon Jun 29, 08:37:00 PM:

Just in case anyone is not aware -- President Eisenhower warned against this very politicization of science in his famous farewell address, in the paragraph immediately after he warned about the military-industrial complex.

If science depends on politicians for funding, then you can bet your bottom dollar that researchers who follow the facts will lose out to those who follow the political line. The scientific travesty that is alleged Anthropogenic Global Warming makes Eisenhower's point more eloquently than he probably ever imagined.  

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