July 29, 2011

Are polar bears really drowning?

By Are polar bears really drowning?

Author:  Damien M. Schiff

Fox News is reporting that a leading polar bear researcher—Charles Monnett—is under investigation by the US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement.  Apparently the investigation is focusing on a 2006 peer-reviewed report that Monnett authored, which details the supposed drowning deaths of several polar bears owing to global-warming-caused sea ice melt.

No doubt that, if the report is found to contain false or otherwise bad data, Monnett's credibility will be undercut.  But I doubt that such a turn of events would have much if any impact on the polar bear's ESA listing or the ongoing lawsuits (including PLF's) challenging the listing.  That decision was based principally on the US Fish and Wildlife Service's estimates of polar population viability using various climate change models.  Although the Service's methodology and modeling are deeply flawed, those errors have little to do with Monnett's episodic evidence of drowning bears.

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