Alaskan gov’t wants to find scientists who will study polar bears to prove they’re not threatened by global warming. UPI

Would these scientists be paid no compensation if they didn’t find what the Republican legislators want?

That is not how real science is conducted — EVER.

avatar
About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University with specialties in natural resource politics, public opinion, interest groups, political parties, voting and elections. Aside from academic publications, he is author or co-author of three hiking/backpacking guides, and he is President of the Western Watersheds Project.

31 Responses to Alaskan gov't wants to find scientists who will study polar bears to prove they're not threatened by global warming

  1. avatar Nathan Hobbs says:

    Sounds like unethical bad science to me. Reminds me somewhat of how the cigarette companies used to hire doctors to say there were no negative effects from there products.

  2. avatar Jay says:

    Man Nathan, you read my mind. When I read that article, the movie “Thank you for smoking” immediately came to mind.

  3. avatar Maska says:

    The interesting question: Which “biostitutes” will take them up on their offer?

  4. avatar Jay says:

    Kid #3: My Mommy says smoking kills.
    Nick Naylor: Oh, is your Mommy a doctor?
    Kid #3: No.
    Nick Naylor: A scientific researcher of some kind?
    Kid #3: No.
    Nick Naylor: Well then she’s hardly a credible expert, is she?

  5. avatar Catbestland says:

    Upton Sinclair wrote, “It’s hard to make someone understand something when his livelihood depends on not understanding it.”

  6. avatar JEFF E says:

    And they hope to accomplish this by 15 May 2008 I assume?

  7. avatar Robert Hoskins says:

    It’s the frontier mentality. During my time studying wolves up North, one thing that struck me was how similar the politics and politicians of Alaska and Wyoming were and are.

    It seems odd that the Alaska Legislature can’t browbeat the ADFG to bend the science in the desired direction. Things must be pretty bad for polar bears.

    I can’t imagine any credible scientist taking this on.

    RH

  8. avatar vicki says:

    No scientist who took it on is expected to be credible. They are expected to be paid to say what they are told to say.
    It is a mentality.
    Too bad though. Alaska could really reap the rewards of eco-tourism. Somehow I don’t think going to a state that pays scientists to help further endanger an already struggling animal will fly with that crowd.
    Oh, well maybe Wyoming and YNP will teach them how to swing the propaganda b.s. in the right direction.

  9. avatar dave smith says:

    I’m mentioned this article a few days ago at the thread on “Judge orders Bush administration to decide polar bear’s status.” I also mentioned that several members of the Alaska state legislature were recently jailed by the Feds for taking bribes from the a business that’s been a big player in Alaska’s oil industry. If any of the prisoners has a degree in anything that would qualify s/he as a scientist, maybe they could earn a few more bucks from the oil industry while they’re doing time.

  10. avatar Dave Ausband says:

    Last time I looked conclusions were the final stage of the scientific method. Not the first. Unbelievable. I suppose if you fish long enough and do a shoddy enough analysis you can “disprove” anything.

  11. avatar Brian Ertz says:

    i’ll do it… i’ve got my master gardener’s certificate.

  12. avatar Jay says:

    Can I be your research associate Brian? I’ve seen polar bears at the zoo, so clearly I have all the credentials.

  13. avatar Brian Ertz says:

    you’ve seen a polar bear Jay !? Jeez, as far as I’m concerned, you’ll be the team leader ! i’ve also got a good lead on a grant from a sportsman group looking to explore the relationship between polar bear and the declining caribou population. gall darn polar bears are wipin’ out the herds up there. if we can fit in some language about culling polar bears increasing caribou opportunity, i think we may make retirement.

  14. avatar JB says:

    “It seems odd that the Alaska Legislature can’t browbeat the ADFG to bend the science in the desired direction. Things must be pretty bad for polar bears.”

    My thoughts exactly!

    “I can’t imagine any credible scientist taking this on.”

    I can; I know a few who would be happy to take their money, design an unbiased study, and likely piss off a whole lot of Alaskan Republicans! 😉

  15. avatar dave smith says:

    On the one hand, Alaska is willing to pay $2 million to buy scientists willing to say there ain’t no such thing as global warming. On the other hand, you can bet there’s no funding available from the state or feds for polar bear research, or any kind of research that would lend credence to that thar global warming theory.

  16. avatar jimbob says:

    More proof that the Republican party is the oil company’s shill and representative. Now they are blatantly throwing the oil companies’ interests in our face and using tax dollars to do it! Outstanding work, Alaska!

  17. avatar Rick Hammel says:

    Truely amazing!! Not much that I can say that hasen’t been said already. so I think I will go ride my bike.

    Rick

  18. avatar Linda Hunter says:

    I can’t believe they said this so blatantly, however, I believe that scientists who study animals have long been hostages of having a job. I had one scientist tell me about 10 years ago that he had plaster tracks, hair and sightings of grizzly bears in Washington State when he was transfered outta here to go study something else. . THEY (his agency which will remain unnamed to protect the guilty) didn’t want those bears here because they would have to manage them and restrict some forest activities. He had a family, house and mortgage. They threw his stuff in the trash can. When I want to know something real about what is going on I ask an amateur naturalist or a scientist doing an independant study whose living doesn’t depend on the answer . . or I go look myself.

  19. avatar Jay says:

    Brian,

    I have another lead on a grant for you: my lead hypothesis is that it’s actually polar bear excrement in the environment that is the cause of lung cancer, so I think the cigarette companies would be interested in funding this research.

  20. avatar jjordan says:

    The Global Cooling Scenario

    Let me start by saying that I am totally for saving Polar Bears, wolves, Bison and any other creatures in danger of extinction. However contrary to all the Global Warming propaganda we receive each day, we may be soon joining our animal brethren on the endangered species list for another reason altogether, Global Cooling. Scientific evidence is accumulating that we may be entering a period of prolonged Cooling caused by a dip in solar activity. According to some recent scientist studies in as little as 50 years we could be in the throws of a mini ice age or worse. Besides the Human suffering and death that would occur from crop and live stock failures, starvation and disease. Artic adapted species like the Polar Bear may actually thrive in a cooling climate. However this could be a disaster for Yellowstone Bison, Bears and Wolves but not for the reason you might think. As more and more snow accumulates year after year the animals will have no choice but to migrate to lower elevations where Ranchers and Government employees will be waiting. Just look at what is happening to Wolves, Bears and Bison this year in Idaho, Wyoming and Montana after a heavy snow fall and late spring thaw pushed animals to lower elevations.

    Read more here

    http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,23583376-7583,00.html

    http://www.lavoisier.com.au/papers/articles/Archibald.pdf

    – – – – – –
    This article in the The Australian got a lot of media, but it has been debunked in many places.
    Tim Lambert spends a lot of time going after it on his blog, Deltoid.

    The Australian’s War on Science XI
    No, global warming has not stopped.
    The Australian’s War on Science XII. This is specifically about the link to the article you posted, jjordan.
    The Australian’s War on Science XII part 2
    The Australian’s War on Science XII part 3

    Ralph Maughan

  21. avatar Jay says:

    Someobody should tell all those melted glaciers around the world that they should stop melting, it’s actually cooler out there than they think. Stupid glaciers.

  22. avatar Ryan says:

    Jay,
    Glaciers have been growing and receding since the start of time.

  23. avatar jjordan says:

    Yes Jay the earth has been warming and cooling over thousands of years and glaciers have grown and melted in the process, this is a scientific fact and has nothing to do with Human caused Global warming. The point is the climate maybe reversing to a cooling trend which will over ride any Human caused effects.

  24. To carry it further, events have been taking place since the start of time.

  25. avatar Jay says:

    So a year’s data point is all that it takes to refute what virtually every climatologist accepts as happening? One article? this is a perfect example of yet another example of confusing weather with climate. Now go stick your head back in the sand Mr. Ostrich.

  26. avatar JB says:

    Ralph said: “To carry it further, events have been taking place since the start of time.”

    🙂 Okay, that tickled my funnybone!

  27. avatar Jay says:

    And thanks for pointing out that glaciers grow and recede Ryan. However, I’m sure you’re also aware that ice ages and warming occurred over thousands of years. Can you point out any specific examples in recorded history of glaciers and icecaps disappearing in a matter of a few years, practically before your eyes?

  28. avatar JEFF E says:

    The theory I like is that as the arctic ice cap melts at the rate it now is due to global warming that the ensuing cold water moving south will drastically change or maybe even stop the Gulf stream in the Atlantic and Japan current in the Pacific which will result in a North American Ice age. After all those two ocean “rivers” have more to do with our climate than about anything else.

  29. avatar Dan Stebbins says:

    Regardless of whether you take global warming as a real or imagined threat…
    What if we as humans are causing reversible damage to our planet that our ancestors will have to live with. When they look back at how many warning signs we have been given and we did little or nothing because of political or economical reasons.
    What will they say about us?

  30. avatar Ryan says:

    “Regardless of whether you take global warming as a real or imagined threat…
    What if we as humans are causing reversible damage to our planet that our ancestors will have to live with. When they look back at how many warning signs we have been given and we did little or nothing because of political or economical reasons.
    What will they say about us?”

    Probably the same things we say about the army which anihailated the buffalo herds, the acient societies in europe that massacred wolf populations, and the romans that salted the land of there enemies to make them un plantable.

  31. avatar jimbob says:

    Thanks, Alaska politicians. I actually have to teach my science classes about refuting the results of invalid studies. Your folly has helped me greatly! If I begin to teach social studies I could probably do a lot with your ridiculous example of corporate greed mixing with state government! Awesome job, folks!

Calendar

Quote

‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey

%d bloggers like this: