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IMAGES of polar bears drifting on isolated chunks of ice made the species a poster child for the perils of climate change. Now the US-government scientist who raised the alarm about the animals' plight has been suspended from his post and is accused of scientific misconduct.
The news set competing narratives loose in the blogosphere. Environmentalists claim that Charles Monnett of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) is the victim of a "witch hunt" aimed at opening up more of Alaska to oil and gas drilling. Meanwhile, climate sceptics have dubbed the affair "polarbeargate" and claim Monnett's work is discredited.
In 2004, during an aerial survey of bowhead whales in the Beaufort Sea north of Alaska, Monnett and his colleague Jeffrey Gleason observed four dead polar bears. In 2006, they noted in Polar Biology that these were the first drowned bears seen since the survey began in 1987 - and speculated that such drownings may increase as pack ice retreats.
Monnett oversees projects studying Arctic wildlife that could be affected by oil exploration. His suspension comes as BOEMRE is considering permits to expand drilling in Alaska. "If someone wanted to remove him from the scene in a way that left no fingerprints, this would be the way to do it," says Jeff Ruch of Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, which is defending Monnett.
Originally posted by Chrisfishenstein
reply to post by Blackmarketeer
I guess I will throw it out there.....Global warming and the polar ice caps melting has been going on long before 2006.....But I am sure you still want to blame big oil?? Right.....
Big oil finds the ice caps with polar bears attached to them and cuts them apart to send them out into the ocean, leaving their families behind so they can die because big oil is just sooooo nasty to wildlife.....
Originally posted by Carseller4
Scientists being held accountable for their actions?
Blame Big Oil!
Outlandish claims to propagate fraud doesn't get the grants anymore.