Pushing back against "The stupidest scientific paper ever published"

Yesterday, there was yet another  hit piece in the New York Times:

Climate Change Denialists Say Polar Bears Are Fine. Scientists Are Pushing Back. – by Erica Goode

I’m not allowed to give any of the details of it other than a link because I recently got a threat letter from the NYT’s lawyers over some “fair use” excerpts criticizing another junk article of theirs, and was told essentially “that they don’t adhere to the fair use doctrine, and I’m not allowed to use excerpts – ever”. But of course, links promoting their article are certainly OK. [insert eyeroll here] I’d rather not give these media dinosaurs any traffic, but it’s a necessity in this case. So follow the link above, and then read the response below by Dr. Susan Crockford.

Climate mauling, polar bears, and the self-inflicted wounds of the self-righteous

By Dr. Susan Crockford

The BioScience paper “Internet blogs, polar bears, and climate-change denial by proxy” (Harvey et al. 2018) 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 (Crockford 2017). Here is why this shoddy piece of work will go down in history as a self-inflicted wound for the polar bear community (and biologist co-authors Ian Stirling and Steven Amstrup) and an own-goal for their wanna-be climate-hero friends, Stephan Lewandowsky, Jeff Harvey, and Michael Mann.

idea 1 final…absolutely the stupidest paper I have ever seen published” tweeted climate scientist Judith Curry, Emeritus Professor of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at Georgia Institute of Technology (“Georgia Tech”).

Dr. Curry is a favourite target of colleague Michael Mann’s penchant for derogatory name-calling. Ironically, Mann often promotes something he calls the “Serengeti Strategy,” which he described to US Congress in 2017 in presenting himself as a victim of abused by others [my bold]:

“I coined the term “Serengeti Strategy” back in 2012 in “The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars” to describe how industry special interests who feel threatened by scientific findings—be it tobacco and lung cancer, or fossil fuel burning and climate change—single out individual scientists to attack in much the same way lions of the Serengeti single out an individual zebra from the herd. In numbers there is strength, but individuals are far more vulnerable. Science critics will therefore often select a single scientist to ridicule, hector, and intimidate. The presumed purpose is to set an example for other scientists who might consider sticking their neck outby participating in the public discourse over certain matters of policy-relevant science.” Michael Mann, 2017 Congressional testimony.

Mann thinks others are using this strategy against him but if he had half an ounce of self-awareness he’d see it’s exactly what he and his long list of colleagues are doing with the Harvey et al. BioScience attack on me. Intimidation by numbers is the only rational explanation for a roster of 14 when two incompetent researchers could have produced a similar result.

Polar bear specialists Ian Stirling and Steven Amstrup knew they didn’t have a valid argument to refute my paper (Crockford 2017; Crockford and Geist 2018) on their failed polar bear survival model (Amstrup et al. 2007), which their responses to my International Polar Bear Day (27 February 2018) Financial Post op-ed revealed to the world (see hereand here with references).

So when ignoring me didn’t work – or, more accurately, when the world started paying too much attention to me, by their own admission (Harvey et al. 2018:3) – they teamed up with Michael MannJeff Harvey, and Stephan Lewandowsky (all with previous form attacking colleagues who don’t share their views) to publish an academic paper attacking my scientific integrity. In the words of Terence Corcoran, I was “climate mauled.”

Judith Curry stated recently (14 February 2018), regarding the Mann lawsuit against Rand Simberg, Mark Steyn and the National Review vs. the attacks on her integrity:

“Mann’s libelous statements about me (because he is a scientist with many awards) are far more serious than say Rand Simberg’s statements about Mann.”

In other words, like the attack on me in the Harvey paper (used to libel other internet bloggers by association), when senior scientists like Mann, Stirling, and Amstrup use derogatory and defamatory language against a colleague it’s a serious breach of professional ethics that impacts careers. Harvey et al.’s attack against me may be worse than those against Curry at a Congressional Hearing because it has been entered into the scientific literature in my own field.1

However, I expect BioScience (read mostly by teachers, students, and the general public, and therefore widely subscribed to by public libraries) was the only outlet willing to publish such unprofessional tripe. The editor’s refusal to retract the paper after numerous complaints about the language and the quality of the scientific content, tells you all you need to know about the journal’s low, sectarian standards. For example, the notice showing the two corrections they were willing to make at the end of March 2018 had to be pulled because such an egregious error occurred (it was posted to the wrong journal) it got the attention of online watchdog Retraction Watch! [Still not fixed as of 8 April]

Polar bear paper correction retraction_5 April 2018

It also tells us quite a lot about the bias of its publishers, the American Institute of Biological Sciences.

Did you know, for example, that this organization has an “actionbioscience” program that provides free idealogically biased content aimed at kids and teachers that’s not particularly different from the biased content produced (without references) for kids and teachers by activist conservation outfit Polar Bears International (employer of Harvey et al. co-author Steve Amstrup)? The AIBS actionbioscienceprogram currently includes an out-of date, alarmist essay by litigious Center for Biological Diversity employee Shaye Wolf on the plight of penguins (from 2009) as well as one by pessimistic polar bear specialist Andrew Derocher (from 2008) .

If you are able, please support the work I do here at PolarBearScience, some of which will go to Josh for these fabulous cartoons:

Here is a list of issues regarding the Harvey et al. paper as well as responses to it: some of these you won’t have heard before. Because this is a long summary post, for convenience I offer it here also in pdf form: “Climate mauling, polar bears, and self-inflicted wounds of the self-righteous.” 

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April 11, 2018 2:35 am

“All the News That’s Fit to Print,” just don’t quote them or they’ll sue you…

Reply to  David Middleton
April 11, 2018 6:59 am

Rather, “All the news that fits”

Reply to  Richard
April 11, 2018 7:33 am

. . . or “All the news that fits we print.” (courtesy Mad Magazine c. 1965)

Reply to  Richard
April 11, 2018 7:41 am

Here’s an excerpt from my post that no one should miss:
“Stirling warned off my Range co-author in an ugly display of unscientific petulance”
“Consensus polar bear expert Ian Stirling is incensed that I have criticized certain aspects of his recent work on this blog and in my various essays and papers (e.g. Crockford 2017), which his co-authorship of the Harvey et al. paper demonstrates.
But Stirling recently stooped to a disturbing move for an Order of Canada recipient. Around New Years this year (only four weeks or so after the Harvey et al. paper was published), Stirling phoned my colleague Val Geist at home, chastised him for having co-authored the Winter 2017/2018 RANGE Magazine article with me (Crockford and Geist 2018), told him what an awful person I was, and warned him against any further co-authorship with me, lest the association destroy his [Geist’s] professional reputation.
Dr. Geist called me a few days afterward to tell me about the incident, which clearly left him astonished and somewhat amused, mostly at the level of desperation it must have taken for Stirling to to pull such an unscientific and unprofessional stunt. These men are peers in the true sense of the word: in 1999, Stirling won the William Rowan Distinguished Service Award bestowed by Alberta Chapter of the Wildlife Society, and the next year (2000), the same award was won by Geist.
Stirling later emailed Geist a copy of the Bioscience Harvey et al. article to bolster the points he’d made on the phone. Under slightly different circumstances, this would be called tortious interference.
And people wonder why I don’t have papers about polar bears and sea ice published in the peer-reviewed literature! If this is what the most respected senior consensus polar bear scientist in the world will do to protect an idea he has allowed to define his life’s work, imagine what an anonymous reviewer from Stirling’s loyal group of less senior reseachers would do to keep any polar bear paper of mine out of the scientific literature?
I admire Stirling immensely for his field research and reports from the early decades of his career and have nothing against him personally. But warning off a colleague from professional interactions with me was an underhanded abuse of power. It may also be sexist: don’t forget that until relatively recently, polar bear research was very much a male-dominated field and Stirling has been the alpha-male of the field since the 1980s. He may well be happy to work with women but not to be criticized by them.
Stirling, Amstrup, and I have a dispute about interpretation of a few pertinent facts: it happens all the time in science. But what Stirling has done is not how such issues are resolved. It’s simply not how science is done.”

Paul Johnson
Reply to  Richard
April 11, 2018 9:02 am

More like, “All the news that fits our agenda”.

Caligula Jones
Reply to  David Middleton
April 11, 2018 8:57 am

Most journalism now is clickbait anyway, mostly written by un- and under-paid interns who know almost nothing and basically re-write press releases. (Although Rukmini Callimachi at the NYT is amazing, so one has to poke through the fly dirt to get the pepper sometimes).
The True Believers remind me so much of steroid users in sports: not only do they deny it, they go full-on battle with anyone who dares besmirched their “good name”.

Reply to  David Middleton
April 11, 2018 9:28 am

“All the news that gives me fits…”

Reply to  David Middleton
April 11, 2018 12:59 pm

It’s time to stop ‘admiring’ this miserable excuse for a human being and start slapping him down. Stop the simpering and get angry. Stop the polite rebuttals and start tearing strips off him. Make him regret EVER crossing your path. Get your damn claws out and make this personal because these ***holes won’t stop until your are buried 6 feet under.

John harmsworth
Reply to  Craig
April 11, 2018 2:25 pm

I agree with this but all over the dismal field of climate science and whatever it touches (polar bears?), we have repeated instances of this kind of reputational protection racket wherein it appears ton be acceptable for people to attack their fellow researchers on a personal basis when their pet scientific boondoggle is under attack on a factual basis. The worst of it is that the rest of the scientific community refuses to step up and speak for good practise and intellectual honesty and freedom. I have always been a big fan and supporter of science and I find myself very disappointed by the cowardice of its practitioners.

Alan Tomalty
Reply to  Craig
April 11, 2018 8:03 pm

I have a sister who has a 2 year post doctoral degree in biochemistry and I told her that I have lost all faith in science. If 50% of the biological medical studies cannot be replicated because of depending on a 2 sigma statistical pyramid of references to previous studies which are the basis for the latest findings in each unreplicated study AND knowing that in astronomy, the scientists dreamed up 2 pink elephants in Dark Energy and Dark matter to explain why they couldnt explain the acceleration of the galaxies ( which may based on recent studies not be true after all) and that 97% of climate studies are fraudulent, CAN science ever recover? Because science is in a mess the world is in a mess. You cannot divorce the two.

Steve Keppel-Jones
Reply to  Craig
April 12, 2018 8:33 am

Alan, I suspect that science and the world are both in a mess for the same underlying reason – the global push to socialism/communism that has been ongoing for the past century or more. Science got in the way, so it got trampled underfoot. Cheap energy got in the way too, so that also had to go. Next up will be what’s left of your liberty and prosperity.

Doug Huffman
April 11, 2018 2:40 am

In re fair use at NYT; which articles are paywalled and which are not is an interesting consideration and reveals the level of push given their #FakeNews.

Reply to  Doug Huffman
April 11, 2018 2:57 am

The NYT allows free access to a limited number of articles per month. I usually hit that limit early in the month because Real Clear Politics, Science & Energy doesn’t always identify the sources of articles in the catchy links. Same thing happens with the Washington Compost.
NYT used to feature decent journalism as recently as the 1990’s. Now it’s just leftwing trash.

Reply to  David Middleton
April 11, 2018 3:59 am

You didn’t hear this from me. (A wink is as good as nod to a blind bat).
Depending on the browser used, privacy components will allow for more than six views, i.e. Chrome is, File > New Incognito Window. Browse as usual and when six monthly articles are exceeded, close the window and open File > New Incognito Window for six more. The process also works for other publications like WaPo with similar paywalls.

Reply to  David Middleton
April 11, 2018 6:52 am

On my windows 10, I simply can right click on the link and open in an incognito window. Allows me unlimited articles to the NYT.

Reply to  David Middleton
April 11, 2018 10:28 am

Brian: Why would I want to read more tripe from the NYT?

Reply to  texasjimbrock
April 11, 2018 10:42 am

Yep. 99% of my clicks on NYT links would be avoided if RCP, RCE, RCS identified the links as NYT articles.

Phil R
Reply to  David Middleton
April 11, 2018 7:25 pm

Heh, I thought I knew most of the “disparaging” references for MSM (like the Grauniad for their apparent penchant for typographical errors), but I like the Washington Compost. Need to keep that one in mind.

Reply to  David Middleton
April 12, 2018 8:03 am

And if the “File > New Incognito Window” trick doesn’t work . . and on some sites, it doesn’t . .
Go to Settings > Advanced > Content Settings > Cookies > All cookies and site data.
Search for “nytimes.com”
I just checked mine and 13 categories containing 20 odd cookies.
Delete them all.
The article count is in there somewhere but I don’t know where . . and it doesn’t matter.
Next time you visit NYT, they’ll think you’re a new visitor and greet you with a new article count.
They’ll also congratulate themselves on the increase in traffic. Ha . .

Reply to  David Middleton
April 14, 2018 2:57 pm

Phil R – credit Mark Levin with ‘The Washington Compost’ – and ‘The New York Slimes’…

michael hart
April 11, 2018 2:46 am

No clicks from me for the NYT. They increasingly rely on other web sources feeding them traffic to keep their sinking business model afloat. I honestly doubt that I am missing much, anyway.
Also, while I don’t doubt their ability to make other people’s lives more difficult, I was under the impression that “fair use” was decided by a judge, not by NYT lawyers.

Reply to  michael hart
April 11, 2018 3:49 am

The problem is it is $%*$## expensive to get the claim in front of the judge to decide. They use the process as the punishment.

Reply to  michael hart
April 11, 2018 5:45 am

“No clicks from me for the NYT.”
None from me, either. I haven’t read the New York Times in years, and haven’t missed a thing. Same for the Washington Post. I can’t see any reason to subject myself voluntarily to blatant Leftwing propaganda anymore than necessary.
I think the New York Times is walking on thin ice when they try to stop WUWT’s fair use of their propaganda. I think WUWT ought to continue publishing excerpts of NYT articles, and if the NYT doesn’t like it, let the judge decide who is right. I would be happy to contribute to a legal fund to fight the NYT attacks on fair use, and a lawsuit would definitely get the WUWT website more publicity. WUWT would win the lawsuit.
We shouldn’t let the NYT bully us by threatening lawsuits.
You would think the NYT would want their propaganda spread far and wide. I guess that doesn’t count when the people at WUWT make fun of what the NYT says.
I have half a mind to go read the New York Times article and then post excerpts from it here. I wonder if the New York Times will sue me over it?

Reply to  TA
April 11, 2018 6:49 am

They would sue Anthony for failing to delete the posts.

Reply to  TA
April 11, 2018 7:01 am

The court system is simply a modern day version of trial by combat. Both have the same odds of delivering justice.

Ernest Bush
Reply to  TA
April 11, 2018 7:22 am

Are you going to support Anthony with hard cash when the matter goes to the lawyers. It could cost millions.

Reply to  TA
April 11, 2018 7:53 am

Those on the Left and our government use the threat of law suits as a weapon. The NYT’s attorneys are on retainer and the government’s lawyers are paid by the taxpayer and like most federal employees not fireable. Someone like you, me or Anthony cannot afford to pay the thousands if not millions and they know it. So even when their attorneys are obviously wrong based on a plain reading of statute and precedent it would still cost you money to fight them. Sadly depending on which court one might be before even the plain reading and precedent don’t seem to matter any longer.

Reply to  michael hart
April 11, 2018 6:48 am

It wouldn’t surprise me in the slightest to find out that this suspension of “fair use”, is nothing more than a last ditch effort to force more views for their site.

joe - the non climate scientist
Reply to  michael hart
April 12, 2018 5:20 pm

I used to read Paul Krugman in the NYT just to see how many factual errors he would make in his column, at least when he discussed economics. Krugman now confines his columns to pure republican/trump bashing, so his columns are now completely devoid of facts, so it to the fun away.

April 11, 2018 3:00 am

Will get around to reading this article soon, but dear Mr Watts and other realistic blog owners some times make me despair.
When you link to the the crazed opposition publications it makes me mad!
I can see you are of the same opinion, but many link to the Guardian for God sake.
The old adage of “do not give the buggers the oxygen of publicity” comes to mind.
Sorry Anthony, end of rant.

Reply to  waterside4
April 11, 2018 3:30 am

“do not give the buggers the oxygen of publicity”
Not so;…
oxygen is a highly reactive gas & destroys almost everything it is in contact with,
publicity of lies & stupidity will eventually destroy them, leaving only the nobel elements (truth).

Reply to  waterside4
April 11, 2018 4:49 am

The problem with the internet is that its denizens tend to sequester themselves into echo chambers.
It’s really important that we keep an eye on the alarmists and their propaganda so we can refute the garbage. It’s also important that we know when they say something that’s true. We don’t want to look like idiots arguing against reality.
There was a time when I would have sworn that Ian Stirling was on a first name basis with every polar bear in the Canadian Arctic. He is a genuine expert. We have to respect that. His problem is that he has extrapolated into territory well beyond his expertise. He apparently doesn’t realize that.
Every expert should read and absorb Expert Political Judgment … by Philip Tetlock. Experts, in all fields, are no better at predicting the outcome of complex events than are dart-throwing chimps.

The accuracy of an expert’s predictions actually has an inverse relationship to his or her self-confidence, renown, and, beyond a certain point, depth of knowledge.

Dr. Stirling’s expertise blinds him to the fact that he is actually out of his depth. Dr. Crockford has raised legitimate concerns. Stirling’s response is really sad.

Reply to  commieBob
April 11, 2018 7:58 am

During my career in science I have known more than one expert to lose their way and stray into realms far beyond their knowledge and expertise. In some cases they had allowed the science to move beyond them. In other cases they were so enthralled with their own work, after all they had received award for it, that they refuse to accept when they had been proven wrong.

Max Dupilka
Reply to  commieBob
April 11, 2018 9:22 am

The stock market gives a great indication of the accuracy of expert’s predictions. You can find just about any prediction you want depending on which “expert” you follow.
Weather forecasting uses Probability of Detection (POD) and False Alarm Ratio (FAR) as one measure of forecast usefulness. You can forecast a tornado every day of the year and your POD will be 100% because you will always hit on the occurrence of one. But the FAR is way off the map, and the forecast is pretty much useless.
The people who get the most press and subsequent publicity are often the ones that make the wild predictions. Most of the time they are wrong but no one remembers. The one time they are right gets lots of publicity.

Reply to  waterside4
April 11, 2018 6:31 am

….know thy enemy….

Peter Langlee
April 11, 2018 3:13 am
Reply to  Peter Langlee
April 11, 2018 12:02 pm

Peter, thanks!!! very useful link,

April 11, 2018 3:15 am

I came across this the other day . It is the result of a survey on polar bears in NW Greenland conducted with Unuit hunters.
Born, Erik W., Anna Heilmann, Lene Kielsen Holm & Kristin L. Laidre
Polar Bears in Northwest Greenland
An Interview Survey about the Catch and the Climate
2011, 232 pp., hb
ISBN 978-87-635-3168-9
Series: Monographs on Greenland | Meddelelser om Grønland, vol. 351
ISSN 0025-6676
Series: Man & Society, vol. 41
This volume presents the results of an interview survey on the catch of polar bears in Northwest Greenland between 1952 and 2005. The results are based on detailed descriptions of 588 subsistence catches by Inuit polar bear hunters. The rationale for this study was the indication from hunting statistics suggesting that the catch of polar bears in Northwest Greenland had increased since the early 1990s. This change occurred simultaneously with marked changes in weather conditions and sea ice cover in Northwest Greenland. The information provided by seventy-two experienced polar bear hunters living in the Qaanaaq and Upernavik areas offers a detailed and unique account of polar bear catch, polar bear biology, climate change, and the effect of these changes on both the species and the subsistence hunt.
Erik W. Born: Senior Scientist at the Greenland Institute of Natural Resources, Nuuk.
Anna Heilmann: Independent Consultant for the Greenland Institute of Natural Resources, Nuuk.
Lene Kielsen Holm: Director for Research and Sustainable Development, Inuit Circumpolar Council, Nuuk.
Kristin L. Laidre: Scientist at the Polar Science Center, University of Washington, Seattle, and at the Greenland Institute of Natural Resources, Nuuk.
Anna Heilmann is consultant for the Greenland Institute of Natural Resources, Nuuk.
Lene Kielsen Holm is scientist and project leader at the Greenland Institute of Natural Resources, Nuuk.
Kristin L. Laidre is senior scientist at the Greenland Institute of Natural Resources, Nuuk.
I do not have any more than the abstract unfortunately but it seemed apposite to current debates and Alarmist hysteria.

Non Nomen
April 11, 2018 3:16 am

…I recently got a threat letter from the NYT’s lawyers over some “fair use” excerpts criticizing another junk article of theirs, and was told essentially “that they don’t adhere to the fair use doctrine, and I’m not allowed to use excerpts – ever”. …

What a midden heap of condensed bigotry is that “press organ”? Free press and free speech is NOT a one-way road, and these press gang -sters- try to silence critical voices that just have a opinion not following their “Press Gang Party Line” [at all]. Disgusting and shameful.

Reply to  Non Nomen
April 11, 2018 9:15 am

I would simply refer their lawyers to 17 U.S. Code § 107 – Limitations on exclusive rights: Fair use
Fair use as used on online blogs, etc. has been upheld by the SCOTUS for decades. Failure to allow fair use is grounds for you suing them.

Reply to  AZ1971
April 11, 2018 9:35 am

The problem is that the NYT has deeper pockets than Anthony does.
Yes, he will easily win, however it will cost him 10’s of thousands of dollars to do so.

Reply to  AZ1971
April 11, 2018 4:38 pm

Yes, he will easily win, however it will
The other side wiil draw the matter out endlessly until they exhaust your funds and sap your will to continue. You will mortgage the house to pay you legal bills and the other side will threaten to come after you personally to recover their millions spent on lawyers. You will lose sleep and years of your life.
Other than that it will be easy.

Reply to  AZ1971
April 12, 2018 3:23 am

MarkW and Ferdberple,
You seem to be suggesting that the law provides no protection for the individual against large organisations in the USA and, on the contrary, even punishes the individual financially for contesting the offending organisation’s right to oppress him at its arbitrary discretion.
If that is so, it sounds to me as if the rule of law is already lost in the USA and what exists in its place there is naked fascism.

Reply to  AZ1971
April 12, 2018 9:22 am

Unfortunately, that’s about how it is. “The Law” is far more about lawyers and their manipulations than it is about justice. Has been for decades.

April 11, 2018 3:45 am

Polar bears bonk … and adapt … … that can’t be right.

April 11, 2018 3:48 am

The author Erica Goode is clearly labelling Anthony as a “Climate Denialist”. I have asked her via twitter what exactly it is that she claims he is denying.

DC Cowboy
Reply to  Paul Matthews
April 11, 2018 4:25 am

Actually she is not. The wording is hyper careful as she calls ‘bloggers’ on Anthony’s site ‘deniers’, not Anthony.

Reply to  DC Cowboy
April 11, 2018 5:32 am

OK, that’s why I asked her to clarify who she was calling a denialist. I’m not expecting a genuine reply.

Reply to  DC Cowboy
April 11, 2018 6:09 am

Can Anthony not also be considered a “blogger”, since he sometimes posts comments?

Paul Penrose
Reply to  DC Cowboy
April 11, 2018 10:26 am

Actually, the people like Anthony that write the main “articles” are the bloggers. We here in this comment section are “commenters”.

April 11, 2018 3:52 am

The NYT obviously doesn’t want anyone to know that fair-use is the law of the land. Oh, they can sue, but they’ll lose.

Mark B.
Reply to  John
April 11, 2018 5:50 am

The cost of litigation is the threat. Just ask Mark Steyn about that.

Reply to  Mark B.
April 11, 2018 9:37 am

Perhaps Anthony could counter sue for restraint of trade or something like that.

April 11, 2018 3:58 am

Mann thinks others are using this strategy against him but if he had half an ounce of self-awareness, sorry but even with the highest-powered microscope on the planet you cannot find that which is not there.
And it is fair to once again, why there is a need to apply industrial scale levels of smoke, mirrors and BS in what is claimed to be ‘settled science ‘

Reply to  knr
April 11, 2018 11:13 am

I do not think he has ever considered that he is living proof of the saying, “Every time you point your finger, three more point back at you.”
He is projecting. Like a lot of not-so-nice people, he assumes that everyone else has the same nasty thoughts and motivations that he does.

April 11, 2018 4:00 am

Donation sent Dr Crockford.

Reply to  RexAlan
April 11, 2018 7:58 am

And thanks to you and others who have done so! Much appreciated.

Bruce Ploetz
April 11, 2018 4:18 am

Just saw the BBC film “Earth’s Oceans 3D: Our Blue Planet” at the local Imax. It has a long section about the walrus haul-outs. I am linking a trailer, hope it works, at 1:25 you can see a poor lonely walrus on an ice floe.
In the film they show the walrus hauled out on land and show a polar bear hunting for the poor walrus pups that can’t get away because they are on land. I felt like shouting at the screen “Ursus Maritimus can swim!” but refrained and just laughed loudly instead.
Many very nicely photographed shots were included that show walrus on tiny ice floes, barely able to balance, falling off the floes with their pups. While huge ice floes and bergs drift by in the background. Truly a blind tribute to advocacy replacing science.
Most of the film was very well done with little advocacy. They even skipped the “reefs bleaching” easy target, perhaps they couldn’t find any to shoot. But there was the one long sequence about the walrus near the end to be sure the propaganda purpose of the BBC was well served.

Reply to  Bruce Ploetz
April 11, 2018 6:15 am

Watch any of the “Blue Planet” episodes & there will always be the obligatory virtue-signaling about CAGW at least in the last 5 minutes & often at other times too.

Caligula Jones
Reply to  beng135
April 11, 2018 9:04 am

I do watch it because the photography is amazing (and the making of episodes show how hard they work).
But, yeah, the preaching is as dreary as it is expected. I can’t go see any folk music anymore because while I enjoy the songs, I can’t handle that 97% of the stage banter is extremely political.
Of course, Attenborough isn’t above, um, juicing things:

April 11, 2018 4:24 am

Susan Crockford’s experience is a good example of the pernicious GroupThink methods of the AGW proponents and I understand there are many others who have had similar experience. It is to be hoped that at some stage, someone will initiate a movement similar to the “metoo” one, where those who have been afflicted come forward and tell the world. I reckon there are few in the general public that have any idea of this malicious practice which now infests the scientific and media communities. It is time this was put right.

Ronald Braud
April 11, 2018 4:42 am

“that they don’t adhere to the fair use doctrine, and I’m not allowed to use excerpts – ever”.
It appears the New York Times openly admits it violates provisions of United States copyright law.

Carbon Bigfoot
Reply to  Ronald Braud
April 11, 2018 5:18 am

Anthony why don’t you consider submitting your evidence to Judicial Watch for scrutiny. I’m not sure with every thing they have on their plate they can handle it now but they can start a file of this nonsense and ultimately challenge it in court. My favorite charity.

kokoda - AZEK (Deck Boards) doesn't stand behind its product
Reply to  Carbon Bigfoot
April 11, 2018 5:28 am

Carbon………….same here; JW is one of 2 that I support.

Reply to  Ronald Braud
April 11, 2018 3:32 pm

And seems unaware that the fair use doctrine is not an opt-in program.

Reg Nelson
April 11, 2018 5:03 am

From the article:
“She (Dr. Crockford) has published some peer-reviewed articles that touch on polar bears.”
What does that even mean?

Reply to  Reg Nelson
April 11, 2018 9:48 am

I wouldn’t touch a polar bear unless it was heavily sedated.

Harry Passfield
Reply to  Reg Nelson
April 11, 2018 9:53 am

Re Nelson: I refer you to King Lear: ‘A man damned with faint praise’

April 11, 2018 5:34 am

At CliScep we are not under any injunctions about quoting excerpts from the NYT and saying what we think of them.

Reply to  Paul Matthews
April 11, 2018 12:11 pm

Thanks Paul–clever push back!

John harmsworth
Reply to  Paul Matthews
April 11, 2018 3:37 pm

Go get’en ,tiger! Or BEAR down on them!

Joel O’Bryan
April 11, 2018 5:47 am

You should post the cease and desist NYT letter for others to see.

Mark Whitney
April 11, 2018 7:14 am

Mann chose a curious analogy to describe himself. When predators single out a particular animal of a herd, they tend to choose the slowest, weakest most, unhealthy one since they are easier pickings. Sounds about right.

Nigel S
Reply to  Mark Whitney
April 11, 2018 9:13 am

He’s right about the dazzle camouflage though.

Reply to  Mark Whitney
April 11, 2018 11:37 am

His analogy largely applies to himself and his “teammates”, but there is one crucial difference. Lions generally go for a quick kill. Mann and his buddies are more like hyenas, who will rip the animal to shreds, and even start eating it alive.
True story. Saw it in Kenya in January. (Disney was right. Hyenas are evil.) I love carnivores and have no problem eating meat, but it was horrifying. Definitely reinforced my preference for felids. But hyenas have something of an excuse in that they have to kill to eat.
Mann and his cronies, on the other hand, do not have to attack and malign people to survive. The survival of their careers would not be in jeopardy if they had been honest and ethical from the start. I generally do not wish people ill, but these guys clearly WANT to abuse other people and ruin careers/lives. So I do not feel very badly for hoping that they crash and burn. Horribly.

Reply to  AllyKat
April 11, 2018 3:49 pm

Lions want to kill quickly and eat quickly. Scavengers start gathering within minutes of the predation, and they don’t want to use up energy guarding a kill that they could use to hunt up another one. So they primarily eat the fat — the most energy-rich part and the easiest to get to — and move on, leaving most of the lean meat and offal for the scavengers to clean up.
Hyenas are chiefly scavengers, but they don’t hesitate to attack live prey if the odds are with them. Like coyotes but ten times as dangerous.

April 11, 2018 7:23 am

I clicked and read the NYT article. It contained a lot of words, but said nothing of substance. Instead, it was yet another in a seemingly infinite number of articles based on ad hominem attacks and argumentum ad verecundiam (appeal to authority).
I am not sure why I have the expectation that supporters of the AGW crisis theory will ever provide something more than an appeal to authority or name-calling. Logically, I understand that their science is so inconclusive and weak, that they must avoid using it, least they fall prey to an actual scientific debate, but there is still some naive part of me that wishes for the return of the noble scientist.

Reply to  jclarke341
April 11, 2018 7:57 am

Goode’s piece is unoriginal. It contains nothing that wasn’t written four months ago in response to the press releases. It’s just more PR for the authors.
Journalism it is not.

Curious George
Reply to  jclarke341
April 11, 2018 8:00 am

I don’t intend to increase NYT visitors number, so I can only comment on Erica Goode: Ms. Goode came to the Times in 1998 as the human behavior writer for the Science Department, covering psychology and psychiatry. With these two sciences you are an expert about anything.

Curious George
Reply to  jclarke341
April 11, 2018 8:31 am

She mastered the art of making ten words to do the work of one. (Good if you get paid by a word.)

Reply to  Curious George
April 11, 2018 3:57 pm

As needlessly loquacious as (American) football coaches. But at least coaches help get tickets sold.

Tom Schaefer
April 11, 2018 8:02 am

The issue made it on to Breitbart today. Dr. Crockford is becoming a celeb: http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2018/04/11/delingpole-climate-alarmists-maul-inconvenient-polar-bear-expert/

Roger Knights
Reply to  Tom Schaefer
April 11, 2018 9:04 am

Good read.

Reply to  Tom Schaefer
April 11, 2018 4:37 pm

The comment quoted in that article from Mitchell “Mitch” Taylor puts the whole sordid fiasco in perspective.

April 11, 2018 8:07 am

I read as far as them calling polar bears “charismatic” and then decided that this was on a level of stupid that is beyond ridicule.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  RWturner
April 11, 2018 8:48 am

Whenever I’m at a cocktail party, I immediately seek out the polar bears in the room (I ignore the elephants) because I know that I will receive entertaining banter from the charismatic polar bears. I even bring along extra ice cubes to reward them for their unparalleled charisma.

Reply to  Clyde Spencer
April 11, 2018 12:14 pm

Made me laugh! Expeciall the ice cube rewards!

Reply to  Clyde Spencer
April 11, 2018 4:09 pm

For their Coca-Colas?

April 11, 2018 8:14 am

That’s not the “Serengeti Strategy”, that’s SJW 101: pick an individual target and attack it in a pack. If the target shows weakness, double-down on the attack.

Reply to  MarkG
April 11, 2018 4:11 pm

If the target shows no weakness, double-down anyway.

April 11, 2018 8:19 am

Must admit, as a student journalist (based in the UK) I’m more interested in the NYT fair use issue than the main article which I flicked past to get to the comments (may come back to your article later).
My understanding of copyright law is that copyrighted material can be used for the purpose of criticism or review where it has previously been made to the public – but that ‘fair dealing’ (or fair use) and sufficient acknowledgement requirements apply.
Naturally the fair dealing position is largely subjective and is open to a judge to determine.
Hyperlinks are not part of copyright – you’re ok there.
What more can you / are you willing to say about the correspondence received?

Clyde Spencer
April 11, 2018 8:41 am

Any time a writer uses a term such as “climate denialists” without even providing their definition, it is obvious that it is used for its pejorative value rather than its informational value. As has been pointed out elsewhere, the term almost certainly was chosen to smear those it is applied to through the similarity to those who deny that The Holocaust took place. Unlike Creationists who deny the existence of evolution, so-called climate ‘de-Nyers’ do not deny that climate exists. Those who are skeptical of claims of supporters of CAGW do not deny that climate exists nor that climate changes over time. Instead, they are calling into question the magnitude of the climate changes and the quantitative role that humans play. Therefore, to use the inaccurate and misleading term ‘de-Nyer’ illustrates the desperation of those using what is basically an ad hominem attack on those engaged in the essence of science — peer review of published results. Trying to suppress differences of opinion sheds light on just which side is actually denying the principles of science! Support of a consensus position is resorting to authority rather than science. There is that old saw about when you point a finger at someone, there are three fingers pointing back at yourself. Goode and those of her ilk should keep that in mind when they get on their High Horse and lead the attack against the ‘barbarians.’

Reply to  Clyde Spencer
April 11, 2018 11:19 pm

“Any time a writer uses a term such as “climate denialists” without even providing their definition, it is obvious that it is used for its pejorative value rather than its informational value. As has been pointed out elsewhere, the term almost certainly was chosen to smear those it is applied to through the similarity to those who deny that The Holocaust took place.”
I think anyone who uses name calling on either side of the debate deserves to lose respect. When people here use the term with warmist…. I stop reading.

April 11, 2018 9:15 am

Mann, was always a pinched little man and now, he’s clutching at non existent straws desperately pinched little man.

Nigel S
April 11, 2018 9:17 am

Re Josh’s second cartoon it’s a pity the polar bear didn’t eat the homies rather than the homework.

Roger Knights
April 11, 2018 9:28 am

I just read the NY Times piece, which is rather short. It mostly quotes Oppenheimer of Princeton decrying non-specialists for criticizing experts in their specialty. By that logic, no one could call out the emperor but another emperor.

John M
Reply to  Roger Knights
April 11, 2018 9:47 am

And no one can describe a plane crash except a pilot.

Reply to  Roger Knights
April 11, 2018 2:37 pm

When it comes to climate science, the vast majority of the so called experts aren’t in their specialty in the first place.

April 11, 2018 9:29 am

I think that polar bears may have a problem in Iceland and the Scandinavian Peninsula.

Reply to  ren
April 11, 2018 8:32 pm

What makes this polar bear business so funny is that they are a good proxy for arctic temperatures, at least in the North Atlantic

Reply to  Robert B
April 11, 2018 8:33 pm

Excuse me – the number of sightings in Iceland.

J Mac
April 11, 2018 9:49 am

Delingpole has an interesting article on this very topic:
Interestingly enough, it includes NYT article excerpts….

April 11, 2018 10:26 am

The Goode article states that Steven Armstrup is the “chief scientist for Polar Bears International, a conservation group.” So since I’d never done that before, I went to their web site to learn more about this “conservation group.”
You have to see this site to believe it, so if you’ve never looked at their site, I recommend you do so. Here’s the link:
A more rabid band of believers would be hard to find. Here’s how they describe themselves:
“Our Story
Made up of a small group of passionate conservationists, scientists, and volunteers­­, PBI exists to help secure a future for polar bears across the Arctic.
Our commitment to innovation, science, and technology fuels our day-to-day, but our hope sustains our vision. We persevere through our inherent optimism. Collaborative by trait, we push to move beyond borders, silos, and bottom lines to prove the phenomenal impact we can have together as a global community.
We share what we know and leave our doors wide open, unifying with a broad cross-section of people who help us in our mission.
Our partners range in size and strength, but they all value the two things we know for certain: knowledge is a catalyst for change and inspiration is more powerful than fear.”
So I guess if you’re a scientist, but you’re not “passionate,” you’ll never make the cut to get hired by PBI. And the passion-screener-in-chief would undoubtedly be none other than chief scientist Armstrup. And this organization works closely with the Polar Bear Specialist Group formerly Chaired by Ian Stirling, so PBSG are equally focused on amping up the concern.
What I find remarkable is how this site says, over and over, statements like:
“The studies we conduct or help support are run by passionate teams of experts who have dedicated their careers to polar-bear and sea-ice conservation.
Made up of professionals from various fields, our teams work with our regular contributors and researchers from around to world to provide new science that informs conservation.”
Science in the service of hype. Couldn’t be stated more clearly.

Reply to  tw2017
April 11, 2018 11:35 am

Look on page four at the solar panels, especially at the angle. Never been to the arctic but used one of similar size (in the summer) at a latitude of ~42 degrees N on a RV. The long sun day is very helpful, but the production does not amount to much. I could see the utility at a permanent place, but maybe not when flown in on a helicopter. They generally tell you to conserve weight and space. We had a student that worked one summer at 72 degrees at the edge of the Beaufort Sea. Their problem was bears, so they issued shotguns. This would be funny if it was not so tragic.

Reply to  tw2017
April 11, 2018 2:39 pm

When “passion” is more important than “science”, the last thing you are is scientific.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  MarkW
April 11, 2018 3:35 pm

What has happened to the ideal of a dispassionate observer to insure that observations are objective?

Reply to  MarkW
April 11, 2018 5:40 pm

He wasn’t passionate enough to get funding.

Reply to  MarkW
April 11, 2018 11:09 pm

Passionate enough to do the hard work, especially when others tell you that you were wrong. Not so passionate so as to ignore that the others were right.

Reply to  tw2017
April 12, 2018 6:28 pm
Roger Knights
Reply to  susanjcrockford
April 13, 2018 8:39 am

It is good response, and provides more depth. But she should have accused Amstrad of “moving the goalposts,” because that would be aptly pin the tail on the donkey.

Roger Knights
Reply to  Sun Spot
April 14, 2018 7:03 am

In the National Post article, one of the main polar bear scientists says that the average September ice extent from 2007 to 2017 was far above the level he’d forecast would be catastrophic for bears. IIRC it was over 4 million square something, vs. 1 million for catastrophe.
But that dodges the gravamen of Crockford’s critique, which was that in 2007 the level did fall to a supposedly catastrophic level and no catastrophe ensued. IOW, if the bears couldn’t eat with such a low ice level that month, as hypothesized, half of them should have starved—but none of them did, apparently.

April 11, 2018 11:29 am

Speaking of stupidity and corrections…..would someone please get BioScience to correct “Principle component analysis” in the description of Figure 2.

Reply to  007
April 11, 2018 11:34 am

They don’t care about spelling. They don’t have time for such trivialities, the world needs to be saved!
“Refereces cited” still there as well, so I expect it is in the print version.
Editor Collins: BioScience’s own worst enemy.
They’ve made this a parody, all by themselves.

Reply to  susanjcrockford
April 11, 2018 1:52 pm


Reply to  susanjcrockford
April 11, 2018 9:08 pm

“Refereces Cited” ain’t too bad. Could have been “Ref Feces Sighted.”

Joel Snider
April 11, 2018 12:16 pm

‘they don’t adhere to the fair use doctrine’
Heh. Now THAT’s a set-up line if I ever heard one.

Stephen Skinner
April 11, 2018 1:44 pm

“Scientists need to more effectively use Internet-based social media to their full advantage in
order to turn the tide in the battle for public opinion.”
Then they cease to be scientists. Does it need explaining why?

April 11, 2018 2:31 pm

Ya figure the “Eskimo’s” might have figured out how to defeat a close range charge from a polar bear.
Yet, you never hear those “close encounter” stories, wonder why ?
No survivors ?

Reply to  u.k.(us)
April 11, 2018 4:24 pm

Rule 1: Don’t get close to the polar bears.
Rule 2: Why did you get close to the polar bears?

Ray in SC
April 11, 2018 2:46 pm

Courtesy of Dr. Crockford’s excellent rebuttal, here is a classic from the “science only requires a keyword search” department.
“29 November 2017. Blair: “…let’s pick up on Barry’s idea: how many articles were looked at on the York blog (a blog for a local newspaper). [considered a “science-based blog” by Harvey et al.]
Since it is the blog for a community newspaper I wonder how they found a definitive case on that site. I ask seriously because the York Blog happen to have a number of stories about the “York Polar Bears” who are, not a genera of Ursus but rather are a hockey team in the York region for special needs kids. (http://www.yorkpolarbears.org/). Any search of the York Blog will get lots of hits for “ice” (from ice hockey) and polar bears (from the team name) but few if any for Dr. Crockford (who does not write research papers on special needs hockey teams).””
I recommend to all that they click the link to ‘continue reading’ Dr. Crockford’s article. The media as well as critics have characterized Harvey et al. as ‘mauling’ Crockford, an analogy to a polar bear attack.
I’ve read the Harvey paper and, beyond the sound and fury from the green crowd and the sycophant media, my opinion is that the better analogy is that they hit her with a nerfball attack. I avoided the paintball analogy because that would leave a mark. The nerf just bounces away harmlessly.
On the othe hand, Dr. Crockford’s response…well, I would say that left a mark. If I were to offer a characterization and were to follow the artic analogy; picture Crockford as an artic hunter with a club and Harvey et al. as the baby seal…
My apologies to Dr. Crockford for the analogy.

April 11, 2018 2:59 pm

“In numbers there is strength, but individuals are far more vulnerable” Isn’t Mikey saying he has no friends? The others deserted him and left him to the lions? Wouldn’t that be Mikey’s problem, not the lion’s?

Christopher Paino
April 11, 2018 3:20 pm

I did not know that adhering to the fair use doctrine was a choice.

Brian R
April 11, 2018 3:25 pm

I find Mann’s “Serengeti Strategy” pretty funny. Does he not relise that lions, cheetas or hyenas usually go after the weakest or sickest individual in the herd?
So what does that say about Michael Mann?

April 11, 2018 4:38 pm

Dear New York Times lawyers:
So much drama, so little science !

Reply to  Robert Kernodle
April 11, 2018 5:02 pm

New York Times writer, Erica Goode, recently wrote the article titled, Climate Change Denialists Say Polar Bears Are Fine. Scientists Are Pushing Back., published online on 04/10/2018.
A bio of Ms. Goode can be found at the following link:
No doubt, she is an accomplished and effective writer. Unfortunately, where the actual science of polar bears is concerned, it could be argued that she appears to be little more than a blank page, choosing to fill in this blank page with name calling, issue conflating, and general accusations that lack any fiber of substance.
Her overall tone is one of condemnation without any factual grounds to support it, thus making her a political parrot of popular views rather than a true reporter of facts.

Lewis p Buckingham
Reply to  Robert Kernodle
April 11, 2018 6:22 pm

Its always open to the NYT to publish Dr Crockford’s reply.
It is a way of allowing debate as well as preventing the rise of blog sites that erode the credibility of MSM papers, such as the NYT.

J Cuttance
April 11, 2018 5:17 pm

If it’s in the public domain, you can quote anything no matter how flush with self importance the writer is.

April 11, 2018 5:36 pm

“The Polar Bear ate my homework” version
from the Nansen North Pole expedition; 1893:
“I must now give the story of the others who made the bear’s acquaintance first. Hansen had to-day begun to set up his observatory tent a little ahead of the ship, on the starboard bow. In the afternoon he got Blessing and Johansen to help him. While they were hard at work they caught sight of the bear not far from them, just off the bow of the Fram.
“‘Hush! Keep quiet, in case we frighten him,’ says Hansen.
“‘Yes, yes!’ And they crouch together and look at him.
“‘I think I’d better try to slip on board and announce him,’ says Blessing.
“‘I think you should,’ says Hansen.
“And off steals Blessing on tiptoe, so as not to frighten the bear. By this time Bruin has seen and scented them, and comes jogging along, following his nose, towards them.
“Hansen now began to get over his fear of startling him. The bear caught sight of Blessing slinking off to the ship and set after him. Blessing also was now much less concerned than he had been as to the bear’s nerves. He stopped, uncertain what to do; but a moment’s reflection brought him to the conclusion that it was pleasanter to be three than one just then, and he went back to the others faster than he had gone from them. The bear followed at a good rate. Hansen did not like the look of things, and thought the time had come to try a dodge he had seen recommended in a book. He raised himself to his full height, flung his arms about, and yelled with all the power of his lungs, ably assisted by the others. But the bear came on quite undisturbed. The situation was becoming critical. Each snatched up his weapon—Hansen an ice-staff, Johansen an axe, and Blessing nothing. They screamed with all their strength, ‘Bear! bear!’ and set off for the ship as hard as they could tear. But the bear held on his steady course to the tent, and examined everything there before (as we have seen) he went after them.
“It was a lean he-bear. The only thing that was found in its stomach when it was opened was a piece of paper, with the names ‘Lütken and Mohn.’ This was the wrapping-paper of a ‘ski’ light, and had been left by one of us somewhere on the ice. After this day some of the members of the expedition would hardly leave the ship without being armed to the teeth.

April 11, 2018 8:56 pm

Can anyone point me to a legitimate recent census of polar bears?

Reply to  bernie1815
April 11, 2018 10:27 pm

Actually even the WWF reports the numbers correctly

1 population was in decline
2 populations were increasing
7 populations were stable
9 populations were data-deficient (information missing or outdated)
Some populations are still hunted quite heavily, and their status is uncertain.

Then comes the big scare story and how you make the Polar Bear endangered read the next section which is all based on models and projections on those models.
It’s the same as with sea level rise the current data isn’t scary at all but you apply the right model and we are all doomed.

April 12, 2018 12:58 am

I believe that the biggest problem that polar bear populations have had is people shooting them. Restrictions on hunting have allowed their numbers to increase. What littel climate change we have been experiencing has not really been a problem for them.

April 12, 2018 6:58 pm

The Corrigendum appears to include Harvey’s email address. I am tempted to use it!

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