Media and USGS biologist sensationalize recent report of a polar bear encounter in Alaska

From Polar Bear Science

Posted on August 12, 2019 |

It’s been a slow summer for polar bear news to hype, so we shouldn’t be surprised that a local report that polar bears this summer have descended on the town of Kaktovik, Alaska one week earlier than 2017 has morphed into an international story that makes a 2016 research report sound like this year’s news, with headlines trumpeting: “polar bear encounters are increasing” due to a longer open water period. Nevertheless, it was reported just two weeks ago that Alaska has not had a polar bear attack since 1993.

polar_bear-us-fws_young-bear-alaska-maybe-kaktovik-no-date

This is a particularly blatant example of how the media skew polar bear ‘news’ for public consumption, aided by scientists with a particular message to sell. Not surprisingly, a number of essential facts have been left out of this sensationized account, in part because the polar bear specialist the media consulted left those facts out of his statement.  This is the sort of bias displayed by polar bear specialists that I discuss in my new book, The Polar Bear Catastrophe That Never Happened.

The impetus for the original ‘polar bears onshore’ story out of Anchorage (ADN, Saturday, 10 August 2019) was the report that a resident of Kaktovik had a close call with a bear on Monday 5 August: “Polar bear encounters in Kaktovik aren’t new. But they’re happening a bit earlier than last year.

“She [Annie Tikluk] was about 6 feet away from the bear, she said, and it had two paws on her deck. Then a neighbor ran across the street and chased the animal off.”

A USGS polar bear expert who lives in Anchorage was asked to weigh in (my bold):

But this year, reports of polar bears in Kaktovik are starting “a little bit ahead of schedule,” said Todd Atwood, a research wildlife biologist who leads the U.S. Geological Survey’s polar bear research program.

“We tend to see aggregations starting around the middle or third week of August,” said Atwood, who is based in Anchorage.

The bears make their way to land from the Beaufort Sea around this time of year and await the return of sea ice. There’s a lot of variation from one year to the next in terms of when the bears come ashore, Atwood said. Compared to 2017, for instance, this year is only about a week ahead of schedule.”

The ADN story went on to explain (my bold, links in original):

“More significant is the change over a longer period of time. The length of the southern Beaufort Sea’s ice melt season — the time between sea ice breakup in summer and freeze-up in the fall — “has increased substantially since the late 1990s,” according to a 2016 research paper that Atwood co-authored and that the Anchorage Daily News reported about when it came out.

As the Arctic warms, changes in sea ice habitat have coincided with evidence that polar bears’ use of land habitat is increasing, the research found.”

So despite the original story clearly stating that Atwood’s work was three years old, the next day (11 August 2019) the Associated Press out of Anchorage re-jigged the story – “Alaska scientists say polar bear encounters to increase” – to make it sound like Atwood’s study had just come out and that these were new results that had just been made public.

Although there was a link in the AP story to the previous day’s story about the Kaktovik polar bear encounter, there was no link to the three year old study or to any of the three year old stories about it. The sensationalized piece also added the ‘information’ that Kaktovik “residents have reported [polar bear] sightings as early as May“.

Atwood’s study from three years ago (more on that below) found that the few Southern Beaufort Sea polar bears that chose to come to land in summer between 2010 and 2013 had spent, on average, 36 days longer onshore than they had in the 1990s. The authors reported no negative effects from this longer time ashore (in fact, Atwood admitted it may be advantageous) but you wouldn’t know that from yesterday’s AP story, which has been picked up by mainstream news outlets across North America and around the world.

Facts left out of these stories

Here is what I wrote on the Atwood study back in 2016:

Two recent studies showed that while more polar bears came to land during the ice-free period in the Southern Beaufort between 2010 and 2013 (and stayed longer than they did in the late 1990s), there were no negative effects on polar bear health or survival from spending ~ 2.5 months onshore vs. 1.5 months even though the bears lost weight (Atwood et al. 2016; Whiteman et al. 2015). A similar result came from work in the Chukchi Sea – less summer ice meant more time on shore for a larger number of bears but without negative effects on health or survival (Rode and Regehr 2010; Rode et al. 2013, 2014).

An earlier paper on polar bears attracted to whale bone piles in Barrow (Heereman and Peacock 2013) found that bears visited all through the fall (starting in November 2010) and continued into the dead of winter (February 2011).

polarbears-arcticnatlwildliferefuge-suzannemiller-usfws_labeled_sm

Kaktovik, Alaska (on Barter Island) has been attracting significant numbers of polar bears ashore in summer since the early 2000s (Miller et al. 2006, 2015), as have a few other locations. Most whaling at Kaktovik is now done in the late summer (September) rather than the spring or fall (October), in part due to sea ice changes but also because bowhead whale numbers are higher than they have been in a century.

Kaktovik residents are adapting to those changes by shifting the primary season of the hunt earlier in the summer – and unfortunately, that has had consequences for polar bears as well as the people. Bears have learned by experience in recent years that it may be worth their while to stay ashore over the summer rather than stay on the ice as it retreats.

Here is what Miller and colleagues (2006: 1) had to say about those changes (my bold):

In 1999, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) began flying aerial surveys along the Beaufort Sea coastline between Cape Halkett and Jago Spit near Barter Island (Figure 1) during the fall open water period (September-October) to determine the distribution and abundance of polar bears in the central Beaufort Sea coastal area. Results indicate that the majority (73%) of polar bears observed in 2000-2004 were located within 12 km of Barter Island, where unused portions of bowhead whales (Balaena mysticetus) were deposited by Kaktovik residents during fall whaling.

The population of Kaktovik was 293 residents in 2000, most of whom are Native (U.S. Census Bureau 2000). Bowhead whale hunting has been and continues to be an important part of the local culture and lifestyle (Jacobson and Wentworth 1982). Recent fall bowhead whale harvests were first recorded at Kaktovik in 1964; since 1989, two to four whales have been harvested annually (Koski et al. 2005). The majority (64%) of whales are taken between September 1 and 20 (Koski et al. 2005). In recent years, a significant trend towards earlier harvest has occurred, probably because of improved hunting techniques and equipment, and perhaps also because the size of the bowhead population is increasing, and whales may be more numerous near Kaktovik early in the hunting season (Koski et al. 2005).

More on Kaktovik bears here (and here), with quotes from past stories and links to more pictures, and on the status of SB bears here.

I’ll add that polar bears are known to visit Kaktovik and other small communities across the coast of Alaska at all times of year, not just in summer, and virtually all of the bears photographed on shore in Alaska in recent years have been fat and healthy. The photo below shows a fat adult female and her two fat cubs checking out the whale bone pile at Kaktovik in April 2016, a time of year when bears are usually on the sea ice hunting seals:

polar_bear_family_at_bone_pile Kaktovik 20 April 2016

References

Atwood, T.C., Peacock, E., McKinney, M.A., Lillie, K., Wilson, R., Douglas, D.C., and others. 2016. Rapid Environmental Change Drives Increased Land Use by an Arctic Marine Predator. PLoS ONE 11(6): e0155932. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0155932 pdf here.

Herreman, J. and Peacock, E. 2013. Polar bear use of a persistent food subsidy: Insights from non-invasive genetic sampling in Alaska. Ursus 24(2):148–163. Pdf here.

Miller, S., Schliebe, S. and Proffitt, K. 2006. Demographics and Behavior of Polar Bears Feeding on Bowhead Whale Carcasses at Barter and Cross Islands, Alaska, 2002-2004. Alaska Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Study MMS 2006-14, US Dept. of the Interior, Minerals Management Service, Anchorage. Pdf here.

Miller, S., Wilder, J. and Wilson, R.R. 2015. Polar bear–grizzly bear interactions during the autumn open-water period in Alaska. Journal of Mammalogy http://jmammal.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2015/09/10/jmammal.gyv140
DOI 10.1093/jmammal/gyv140

Rode, K.D., Douglas, D., Durner, G., Derocher, A.E., Thiemann, G.W., and Budge, S. 2013. Variation in the response of an Arctic top predator experiencing habitat loss: feeding and reproductive ecology of two polar bear populations. Oral presentation by Karyn Rode, 28th Lowell Wakefield Fisheries Symposium, March 26-29. Anchorage, AK. Abstract below, pdf here.

Rode, K.D., Regehr, E.V., Douglas, D., Durner, G., Derocher, A.E., Thiemann, G.W., and Budge, S. 2014. Variation in the response of an Arctic top predator experiencing habitat loss: feeding and reproductive ecology of two polar bear populations. Global Change Biology 20(1):76-88. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/gcb.12339/abstract

Rode, K. and Regehr, E.V. 2010. Polar bear research in the Chukchi and Bering Seas: A synopsis of 2010 field work. Unpublished report to the US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior, Anchorage. pdf here.

Whiteman, J.P., Harlow, H.J., Durner, G.M., Anderson-Sprecher, Albeke, S.E., Regehr, E.V., Amstrup, S.C., and Ben-David, M. 2015. Summer declines in activity and body temperature offer polar bears limited energy savings. Science 349 (6245):295-298. Supplemental Material here. Abstract here.

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67 thoughts on “Media and USGS biologist sensationalize recent report of a polar bear encounter in Alaska

  1. A bear walks into a bar and says,’I’d like a beer and……….. a packet of peanuts.”The barman says,”Why the big pause?”

      • The author of this text is Dr. Susan J. Crockford. Moderator, please include that name somewhere.

    • Dan, I know you’ve been criticised by at least one other on this site, but I like your corny jokes. They take up little space, and raise a smile. Please continue.

      • Thank you Disp.It’s nice to here from someone with a nice attitude,very refreshing indeed among all the attacks and naysayers who go after me, putting me in the position of defending myself from others who just want to try to turn off people and fail to enjoy the moment and who fail to see the good intentions of others.In their bitterness and resentment,all they want to do is criticize,which ends up making themselves miserable and looking foolish by not having a little light hearted fun.They’e so constrained by their insecurity and preoccupied with their closed minded perception of the so called ‘rules of the game’.To enjoy life’s little moments as something as trivial as making a few jokes on a website,you have to be open minded and think outside of the box a little and not overreact in a negative,emotionally charged mindset.Life is too short to be too serious.All these naysayers,especially TonyL,Paul Penrose and a few others should carefully read and understand what i’m trying to convey here.Believe me guys, I only have good intentions to make people smile and laugh a little.If the critics understood this,they wouldn’t attack me with the mean spirited attitude that they have.There’s been some that actually like my humor.But for the ones who don’t,ignore it and move on instead of foolishly dwelling and wasting your time on criticizing me.Move on to bigger and better things.It’s amazing how these naysayers make a big deal out of some of my light hearted jokes. They try to spoil a little fun and they end up failing to do so because the decent ones could see right thru their nasty,obnoxious,mean spirited disposition.When you try to talk to them,they keep coming back at you with their relentless rotten,stubborn attitude.They’re obstinate(a nice way of saying thick headed.) If they can only open their minds and their hearts a little,I think they would be relieved and feel a little better.Thanks again Disp.for your positive input. – Dan

          • TonyL,You’re already dried up because your a stiff. You’re nothing but a deadbeat with no enthusiasm for life,drowning in your arrogance,resentment of others and failure to see the good in others.You pout and you pout like an 8 year old kid.If you don’t know how to talk nice to others,then i suggest you put a big soppressata in your mouth and STFU. TonyL,Grow up and act like an adult and try to look at the bright side of life instead of looking at the dark side.The light shines in the darkness because the darkness cannot overcome it.Try to see the light of life, TonyL,and brighten up for your sake as well as for the sake of others around you.

        • Yeah thank you Dan, you have also cracked me up in the comments before with Irish jokes if I recall well or “a big hole appeared in the main street, the policemen are looking into it” if that one was yours. Paradoxically it seems easier to spend energy fighting than to show appreciation, especially that there is no like function in this comment thread to show appreciation for comments without polluting the thread with “useless” comments. Keep on joking, we all need to take ourselves lightly, isn’t that why angels fly ?

          • Thanks Fran.It’s nice to hear from someone like yourself with a nice attitude in life.God bless you always.

        • A joke here, a joke there is fine, but this is just too weird. Normal people don’t act like this. Something else is going on. Someone trying to discredit WUWT with this inane trolling?

          • I’m wondering if disputin and Frantxi are tag teaming with Dan, or maybe “they” are Dan. If I were a mod I’d be checking their IPs. I’ve never seen this kind of strange behavior on WUWT. It seems contrived. Way out of character for this place.

          • It is the middle ground between light and shadow,between Science and superstition,and it lies between the pit of man’s fears and the summit of his knowledge.This is the dimension of imagination.It is an area which we call The Twilight Zone.

        • Dan Cody
          I think that you should ask yourself the question “What would happen to this blog if everyone acted as you do?” While some of us slip a joke or a pun in occasionally, you are the opposite. You occasionally slip in something of value. Surely you would find it more rewarding to attend a Joke-Off at a Mensa regional gathering. The people attend that expecting to be entertained. That’s not why people come here.

          • Clyde,you don’t know why people are here and what they really want.Only God knows the true intentions of man.Most of my feedback has been positive.I think you and the others who question my comments are taking all this too seriously and letting it get to you.You’re your own worst enemy.Stop the belly aching and just roll with it.Move on.If you don’t like it,ignore it and focus what you really want to focus on.I think that’s good common sense advice for you and the ‘resistance’.

          • Dan Cody
            While it is literally true that I don’t know with certainty why people are here, it really is evident from reading years of comments that nobody has been complaining about a lack of jokes. So, you really aren’t filling an expressed need. Most of those who do comment here seem to be here to discuss the political and science issues related to climate. You aren’t making substantive contributions to that demonstrated need. You are basically hijacking the serious side of the threads for your own amusement or self-aggrandizement. That is, your behavior is as inappropriate as someone inserting an inane and off topic joke in a learned journal article because you thought you might impress some readers with your cuteness.

            I’m not letting it get to me. I’m telling you to think about what you are doing and why. I suppose you consider Socrates to be too serious. However, he did say that “The unexamined life is not worth living. I think it arrogant of you to tell me to “roll with it” and to “move on.” You are basically cluttering up the comments, which can be time consuming to wade through. You are not helping. Maybe that is your real intent.

            I wouldn’t be upset if Charles or Anthony cut you off because I don’t think that you are contributing to what I personally come here for. And, I’m pretty sure that there are lots of others who come here for reasons unrelated cutesy jokes. As icisil has suggested, it seems that you have motives unrelated to the website policy guide that explains that”The idea of the blog is to learn, discuss, and enjoy the interaction.” You are not learning by providing jokes, nor are readers. You are not discussing the topic by providing jokes. While you may be enjoying the interaction, it should be subservient to the first two points.

            (Due to numerous complaints, Dan Cody has been placed in Moderation, which mean all of his future comments require Moderator approval to be published) SUNMOD

          • There you go again Spencer sounding like a boring lawyer who just wrote the most boring short story in recorded history.I’m going to put this straight and simple to you.Knock off your bull shit and stop trying to impress others with your phony,lame short compositions in your tiresome, display of yada,yada,yada,I don’t give 2 shits whether you like my humor or not.I don’t give 2 shits about your over analytical ranting on and on bullshit.Either you have a sense of humor or not.Since you don’t, then spare everybody your Pseudo intellectual bullshit.Stop trying to impress others with your arrogance,ignorance and narrow minded comments.They’re nothing but an empty shell coming from a narrow minded jerk who has no sense of humor and who doesn’t know how to enjoy life.Grow up an act like an adult instead of your mindless,tiresome complaining and learn to see the good in others which your are so blind to because you live in the darkness.It’s time for you to pull your head out of your ass and wake up! Stop with your negativity and stop being a walking Hemorrhoid making you nothing but a royal pain in the ass toward others.You’re such a drag and a deadbeat who doesn’t know the meaning of the joy of life. I’ve been trying to tell you this in past comments,but you seem to forget because you have a condition known as CRS – Can’t Remember Shit.It’s time you deflate your over bloated ego.It’s past your bed time Clyde Spencer,so go to bed and sleep off all your negativity and get a fresh start tomorrow with which I hope will be a brighter and better attitude in life instead of being a bug up people’s asses. Rest well and feel better. – Dan

          • So I am not Dan, the mods can check. I don’t know why we need to make a big deal out of one joke (and yet I’m indulging).
            Jokes are actually good in our argumentative arsenal. In debates jokes can be a great tool to diffuse tension, deflect attacks or conquer an audience to your side. If skeptics learnt a bit more about charisma, we would have many more people on our side.

            (I don’t have any problem with his short jokes, it is HIS nasty insulting overreaction to unneeded criticism of his little jokes is the problem. I wish people would drop the off topic snarling, get back on topic. His jokes are not worth getting upset over) SUNMOD

          • Well said Fran.Great to hear from someone with such a refreshing,nice attitude with a good head on their shoulders.

        • Dan Cody, take heart, I think you’ll find most of us enjoy your comments & humour, but as you say, there are some neysayers, who are merely “critics” who have little or no worth in my book, after all it was Theodore Roosavelt who started a great speech with the words, “It’s not the critic who counts,”. Slightly O/T, Reminds me of the late great British “camp” (efeminate) commedian, Kenneth Williams, who in an interview when asked how he felt about critics replied, “Critics? Critics? Don’t talk to me about Critics, they’re like Eunuchs in a Harem, they’re there every night, they see how it’s done every night, but they can’t do it themselves!” 😉

          • I think you’re missing the point and inadvertently contributing to the problem. Humor is fine. These uncalled for, 100+word, abusive, derogatory, judgmental, vulgar diatribes are disruptive and need to be discouraged, and ended. He does this frequently. Something is seriously wrong when somebody compliments Dan, and he responds with 300+ words imbued with the above qualities (which is at happened here). Dan needs to take his own advice when people tell him he’s not funny and a bore, and ignore it and move on.

          • Thanks Alan for your Input.BTW,my sister in law is from Britain(New Castle upon Tyne).I’ve been to England 3 times.Great country; nice,good, fun people.I like their pubs!

    • bear: “I’d like a beer and……….. a packet of peanuts.”
      barman: ”Why the big pause?”
      bear: “I like them Inuit”

      • bear: “I’d like a beer and……….. a packet of peanuts.”
        barman: ”Why the big pause?”
        The bear looked down, and replied, sheepishly, ‘Well, I was born with them . . .’

        Auto

        • Did you hear about the frog who wanted to get out of the construction business,but sadly,all he could do was rivet,rivet,rivet…

        • bear: “I’d like a beer and……….. a packet of peanuts.”
          barman: ”Why the big pause?”
          bear: “My father was Bigfoot”

          • What’s the difference between beer nuts and deer nuts?
            beer nuts are $1.69 and deer nuts are under a buck.

  2. “This is a particularly blatant example of how the media skew polar bear ‘news’ for public consumption, aided by scientists with a particular message to sell.”

    STOP being nice ! They LIE…period !

    • The scientists screw it up themselves, to wit:

      Excerpt from ADN story:

      As the Arctic warms, changes in sea ice habitat have coincided with evidence that polar bears’ use of land habitat is increasing, the research found.”

      Now that was a brilliant statement, fer sure.

  3. I find nothing at all surprising about this revelation.

    The ‘establishment’ media today is addicted to publishing ooga-booga stories about the imminent demise of the world as we know it, and laying the blame squarely at the feet of all you wicked Western consumers.

    Quite a few of the media players (eg The Guardian) have staked their very existence on running the most alarmist editorial lines possible about CAGW.
    They know who to call in the academic directory for stories / quotes that feed their obsession.

    And this unholy alliance between alarmist media and carpetbagger academics is not about to break down any time soon.

    • The unholy alliance is being quarterbacked by deeply funded outfits like CERES.org and ClimateAction Network with money from billionaires, their hedgefunds, and underfunded state employee retirement funds looking for fat ROI’s. So the resulting editorial directives tell the reporters/writers to put a climate change spin on every story they can.

    • The internet is just the latest in long linen of progressive reduction in information cost, starting with the invention of writing and continuing through the invention of the printing press. Each step that has reduced the cost of information has effectively lowered the value of that information as it is increasingly diluted by poorer quality information.
      We have arrived at the point where all information is suspect. Interestingly, the purveyors of much of the worst information are the most intent on convincing us that it is legitimate. It’s sales. The harder the sell-the less likely that it is actually true and valuable.
      Again Mods. Not posting.

  4. Thanks Susan.

    We** don’t throw our garbage out in the backyard. Through a multi-path process the stuff gets compacted, taken to a site, and buried. Nothing for critters to find and eat.

    Perhaps folks in the north could fully process their catches, and the visits from the bears would end.

    We live 10 miles from the nearest “transfer station” (aka ‘dump’).
    Rumor is that the folks in LA are not careful, and have a rat problem.

    • Forgive me for being critical, but it’s easy to suggest they “fully process their catches”. But it you live on an island with few roadways, no heavy machinery, and no large-scale burial trash dumps, it’s just easier to leave the huge whale bones and other remains for the creatures of the air and land to clean up. Even if that includes polar bears. You learn to live with them the way LaLaLanders live with the rats.

  5. I recently completed reading the book: “The Polar Bear Catastrophe That Never Happened”, 2019, by Dr. Susan Crockford. I do not know the author and have never talked to her or met her and have no connection to the book, but, I do highly recommend it if you want to look fully and deeply into the Polar Bear vs global warming topic.

    After reading this book, I have great respect for this honorable and skilled scientist. She should be accepted as a hero; certainly is brave and professional. 467 foot notes, 33 pages of references, about 15 refs per page.

    • Thanks Bill, I appreciate the recommendation.

      It’s always nice to hear that the book made a positive impression, because I wrote it for readers like you.

      regards,

      Susan

  6. Then a neighbor ran across the street and chased the animal off.

    That must have been a well fed under motivated polar bear. (and a stupid, over confident neighbor)

    The rule in the arctic is to burn all your garbage thoroughly because, if a polar bear gets a taste of something good, you’re not getting rid of it very easily. Back in the 1970s, some surveyors had to crease a bear’s bum with a bullet before it would leave.

  7. maybe the problem is….just to many bears and they are looking for more room…thus spread out more….but I digress from the narrative….

  8. That is a really neat photo at the end of the article where the bears are around the whale bones. It’s in stark contrast to any photo of a poodle on the patio playing around the chairs.

    Those bones and bears are huge!

  9. Nice story about more fake news, but here’s my question: where in the Mission Statement of the USGS (United States Geological Survey) does it say a USGS Field Office should include a polar bear expert? What in fracking hell is the geological aspect of polar bears? That’s it, I wonder if they have a Fracking Expert?

    • Ron,
      Years ago, I wondered myself about that.

      The criteria is that USGS, for reasons unknown, is responsible for any species that is considered migratory.

      As a consequence, they also have experts in geese.

      Go figure.

    • It is my understanding that when he was VP, Al Gore materially changed the USGS. That is when the biologist employ began to increase relative to geology. This was told to me by someone who was there at that time and he said that the agency was significantly changed.

      It is true that one of the more recent big changes in geology is the awareness that more than previously understood, biological processes are involved in the formation and alteration of rocks and minerals at the surface and shallow subsurface of the earth.

      Anyone please correct me if this is not true. I worked there briefly, long time ago.

  10. At many seaside resorts in the UK we have a problem with seagulls swooping down to steal folk’s chips. I blame climate change.

  11. This is OT but might be of interest to those interested in:
    – trans Atlantic sailing
    – ocean racing Yachts
    – N. Atlantic hurricane season dangers
    – climate change activists
    – eliminate CO2 nutters
    – followers of ‘Greta the great’ heading for the New York, Washington and Los Angeles, with California’s year or two series of climate change high level engagements.

    Go to website: https://www.marinetraffic.com/en/ais/home/
    On the top horizontal menu bar next to loudhailer click on: Vessel, Port, etc
    Enter: Malizia2, and click on drop-down info
    Scrawl to the bottom left of the page and click on : Show on live map
    Below the photo click on light blue ‘Past Track’ button, or cancel the photo ‘pop-up’ and search for a small pink boat symbol.

  12. So Annie meets one timid bear on her deck.
    Atwood says bear aggregations don’t usually arrive till a week or two later. Does one bear with two paws count as an aggregation?

  13. Polar bears are smart animals. If they learn that there is food to be had for free in a particular site on land, they are going to go there rather than gallivanting around out on the ice after the good seal hunting season has ended on the outside chance of catching an adult seal.

    • That’s why you don’t feed wild animals. They tend to forego self reliance for waiting around for handouts.
      Hmmm….sounds eerily familiar to other beings.

  14. According to some, the Media are giving climate deniers too much credit by including their opinions in a “climate science consensus” survey.

    https://www.upi.com/Science_News/2019/08/14/American-media-promotes-false-balance-on-climate-science-research-shows/5231565804578/?ts_sn=20

    American media promotes false balance on climate science, research shows

    Aug. 14 (UPI) — Studies measuring the consensus on human-caused climate change suggest roughly 95 percent of climate scientists agree that human-caused greenhouse gas emissions are causing the planet to warm at an accelerated rate.

    But according to a new study, the overwhelming consensus among climate researchers is obscured by media coverage in the United States, which lends too much weight to those who are skeptical of climate change.

    “It’s not just false balance; the numbers show that the media are ‘balancing’ experts — who represent the overwhelming majority of reputable scientists — with the views of a relative handful of non-experts,” LeRoy Westerling, a climate scientists and professor at the University of California, Merced, said in a news release. “Most of the contrarians are not scientists, and the ones who are have very thin credentials. They are not in the same league with top scientists. They aren’t even in the league of the average career climate scientist.”

    Westerling and his colleagues analyzed thousands of print and digital articles on climate change and found climate-change deniers are given the same level of exposure as prominent climate scientists. Researchers found that even reputable newspapers with strict editorial standards create a false balance with their climate science coverage.”

    end excerpt

    • “They aren’t even in the league of the average career climate scientist.”
      I don’t think I would want to bein the same league.

      • I was thinking the same thing, you really want rubber gloves and a full body suit to go anywhere near climate science.

    • That is an interesting view from the climate alarm media watchers.
      They complain about the lack of scientific credentials of those who challenge the climate crisis narrative.
      Consider their go to hero contributors.
      1. Greta Thunberg no qualifications at all.
      2. Al Gore no scientific qualifications at all.
      3.Prince Charles no science qualifications at all.
      4. David Attenborough no science qualifications at all.
      I could go on with the list, but you get the picture.
      The BBC and the Guardian, found an easy way to avoid their favourite climate alarmists getting into difficult debate areas with actual scientists who know their subjects. The BBC and the Guardian have banned anyone from their premises or portals, that dares to question man made climate change. That simple instruction has ensured, no serious scientist now appears on the BBC or in the Guardian questioning the science of climate change.

  15. They used the polar bear mascot until the truth about them was revealed by a credible scientist ,
    Susan Crockford .
    This is the problem when the media refuses to provide balanced reporting until someone with impeccable credentials speaks up . if a doom story was being told it would be front page LA Times NYT , Guardian etc .
    Polar bears biggest threat is who you see in the mirror every morning .
    Changes in climate are inevitable and polar bears stand a pretty good chance given their climate hostile hood .
    It’s the cowards behind rifles that are the real threat . I wonder if Al Gore has a polar bear rug ?

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