Polar bear researcher fired for being a global warming skeptic

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They’re coming for you next: The academic whose ground-breaking research on the surging population of polar bears disproved the hysterical claims of global warming activists has been fired by her university.

After 15 years as an adjunct assistant professor, Ms. Crockford said the University of Victoria rejected without explanation in May her renewal application, despite her high profile as a speaker and author stemming from her widely cited research on polar bears and dog domestication.

Ms. Crockford accused officials at the Canadian university of bowing to “outside pressure,” the result of her research showing that polar bear populations are stable and even thriving, not plummeting as a result of shrinking Arctic sea ice, defying claims of the climate change movement.

Her dismissal, which she announced Wednesday in a post on her Polar Bear Science blog, has spurred alarm over the implications for academic freedom and the rise of the “cancel culture” for professors and scientists who challenge climate catastrophe predictions. “When push came to shove, UVic threw me under the bus rather than stand up for my academic freedom,” said Ms. Crockford, who earned a Ph.D. in interdisciplinary studies, specifically biology and anthropology, in 2004.

I have cited her work a number of times previously, as have many others. This article by her on her own website is most pertinent: Baffin Bay and Kane Basin polar bears not ‘declining’ concludes new report.

The 2016 Scientific Working Group report on Baffin Bay and Kane Basin polar bears was released online without fanfare last week, confirming what local Inuit have been saying for years: contrary to the assertions of Polar Bear Specialist Group scientists, Baffin Bay and Kane Basin subpopulations have not been declining but are stable.

It seems the university got a complaint that her work had “a lack of balance” and was therefore not spouting the proper political agenda. She was also attacked by a group of global warming scientists, including Michael Mann, for her work, an attack that former Georgia Tech climate scientist Judith Curry called “absolutely the stupidest paper I have ever seen published.”

Crockford is not the first scientist pushed out of our modern fascist academia for refusing to toe the line. Nor will she be the last. Today’s universities are anything but an intellectual community, and anyone there who tries to express a dissenting view from today’s leftist orthodoxy is almost guaranteed to have his or her head cut off.


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  • Gato

    Who runs that university, Joseph Goebbels?

  • Robert,

    “. . . tow the line.” My understanding is that it is ‘toe the line’ as in, ‘stay within the boundary’. Your rendition also works, as in ‘work with the team’. But I do not think that is the term. Thoughts?

  • commodude

    It’s toe, as in step up and put your toes on the line.

    Sending this to my daughter as a warning, as she’s in her first year in marine sciences, and she’s been raised to be a skeptic.

  • wayne

    Buffalo Springfield –
    “For What It’s Worth”

    “Paranoia strikes deep, into your life it will creep.
    It starts when you’re always afraid,
    You step out of line, the Man come and take you away…”

  • Thanks Blair. This is a mistake I make repeatedly, and my readers have repeatedly corrected me. I have fixed the post.

  • Phill O

    Today, we see if the Canadian public has bought into this stance or reject it outright. If Trudeau gets the boot big time, the public has not been convinced of AGW but have been convinced of lying by the universities, and the Trudeau-Obama government.

  • wodun

    The history of science is filled with stories like this. The dastardly way those in the fields of science treat one another is exceptional when compared with other industries. That these people are held up as paragons of virtue and more enlightened than other humans is an insult to humanity.

  • Lee Se

    My politics are to the left of most of the readers of this blog ( one day I won’t have to preface my comments with this line!) , But I am a through and through skeptic, and while I feel that it wouldn’t hurt to take more care of our planet… I also consider the putting down of dissenting opinions as abhorrent.
    Science is a method, reliant upon falsification, and replication. If falsification is removed, so is one of the two pillars of science.
    For once I am in total agreement here…. If Crockford is wrong, it is the job of fellow scientists to prove her wrong… Not to hound her out of a job to silence her.

  • Col Beausabre

    Lee, We’ll gladly welcome you to the ranks of the Conservatives.

  • Tom Billings

    I am not surprised. This has gone on for 35 years in academia’s progressive excuse factories, in regards climate change. It has been happening in grad school and, more recently, in undergrad studies. It is the predominant theme that has shaped climate science.

    When Climate Science has been supporting its anti-industrial theme, progressive politicians have been effulgent in praise and monetary support for the academics and administrators and institutions involved. Climate Science is presently the primary source of reactionary memes used to justify the reversal of the industrial revolution, competently defined as:

    “When a society moves from allocating resources by custom and tradition (moderns read here, by politics) to allocating resources by markets, they may be said to have undergone an industrial revolution” Arnold Toynbee-1884

    Dr. Crockford is not the first, and certainly won’t be the last at her staffing level. The real question is how long it will take to be able to stand in the public square and be heard when denouncing the self-interested behaviors of academic institutions over the last 100 years. The progressive/academic alliance has begun to lose ground, finally, with the recent drops in college level enrollment. They are no longer expanding their influence through academic institutions being gatekeepers of certification for jobs nearly as fast as in the last 100 years. What replaces them may do better at meeting the needs of industrial society. They could hardly do worse.

  • John

    My first thought was “what about tenure”? The article says she was an unpaid adjunct professor, so maybe fired is a bit strong.

    They did effectively shut her up by stopping her ability to apply for funding to continue research. But just maybe they can’t stop the signal and the truth will still get out, little by little.

  • mike shupp

    Oh, man. “An adjust assistant professor” with 15 years. Do you have any idea of how far down the totem pole that is at a typical university? Janitors get more respect — newly hired janitors. Dr, Crockford wasn’t even getting paid — quoting a story at NationalPost.com, at the University of Victoria “the position of Adjunct Professor is unpaid. In exchange for mentoring students, sitting on thesis committees, and delivering occasional lectures, adjuncts gain official academic standing and full access to library research services.”

    I’ve got no doubt she was fired unfairly for her views — or rather for stating them in public while citing her UVic affiliation, But you’re not likely to get the university to admit this openly, and the sad fact is, she could have been dropped from her post just as easily for having sniffles at a faculty meeting or unsubstantiated rumors about her sexual history. Adjuncts are really at the bottom rung, so getting rid of Crockford wouldn’t have struck anyone in authority as a big deal.

    There ought to be an #AdjunctLivesMatter hash tag.

  • Phill O

    Well, it looks like Canadians have voted for man made global warming, re-electing Trudeau. The commentators are saying climate change is the #1 issue.

    This is not good for the world or western Canada. Look for a strong upsurge in western separatism. .

  • pzatchok

    I can not wait for when the academic Torquemada comes to the forefront and offers to verify any educator and professor he is asked to. To approve any written material and verify the data in any and all research projects.
    He would only need a few hundred investigators and he could make sure the new religion of GW is the only belief system being spoken about.

    The dark ages are upon us.

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