Citizen Action Monitor

Financial Post’s misleading article on the impact of global warming on polar bears’ plight

Three scientists who reviewed the article stated that it “fundamentally misrepresents research on the topic.”

No 2174 Posted by fw, March 5, 2018

“Analysis of Polar bears keep thriving even as global warming alarmists keep pretending they’re dying, published in the Financial Post, by Susan Crockford on 27 Feb 2018. Three scientists analyzed the article and estimate its overall scientific credibility to be ‘very low’. A majority of reviewers tagged the article as: Biased, Cherry-picking, Misleading. … Despite the article’s statements to the contrary, research shows that polar bear populations will struggle as ice-free periods (during which they cannot hunt for food) grow longer.” Climate Feedback

Climate Feedback is a non-partisan, non-profit organization dedicated to science education.

Below is an abridged repost of Climate Feedback’s summary introduction to its rebuttal of the Financial Post’s misleading article by Susan Crockford.

And here’s a surprise – Crockford is identified as a zoologist and adjunct professor at the University of Victoria, and the author of State of the Polar Bear Report 2017.

To read the complete Climate Feedback article, click on the following linked title.

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Financial Post publishes misleading opinion that misrepresents science of polar bears’ plight by Editor, Climate Feedback, March 2, 2018

Analysis of “Polar bears keep thriving even as global warming alarmists keep pretending they’re dying” Published in Financial Post, by Susan Crockford on 27 Feb 2018

Three scientists analyzed the article and estimate its overall scientific credibility to be ‘very low’.  A majority of reviewers tagged the article as: BiasedCherry-pickingMisleading.

SCIENTISTS’ FEEDBACK

This article in the opinion section of Financial Post, written by Susan Crockford, claims that rather than being threatened by declining Arctic sea ice, polar bears are “thriving”.

Three scientists who reviewed the article explained that this article fundamentally misrepresents research on the topic. The author exhibits poor reasoning in arguing that polar bear population loss projected for 2050 should have occurred already if that science was accurate. Researchers do not ignore the evidence Crockford claims they do, but instead incorporate all published research on polar bear populations. Despite the article’s statements to the contrary, research shows that polar bear populations will struggle as ice-free periods (during which they cannot hunt for food) grow longer.

REVIEWERS’ OVERALL FEEDBACK

These comments are the overall opinion of scientists on the article, they are substantiated by their knowledge in the field and by the content of the analysis in the annotations on the article.

Andrew Derocher, Professor, University of Alberta:
The article is nonsense and reflects a profound lack of understanding of polar bear ecology, ringed seal ecology, Arctic marine ecosystem, and sea ice.

Cody Dey, Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Windsor:
The article cherry picks scientific results and does not consider the total weight of scientific evidence which clearly indicate that polar bears are negatively affected by sea ice loss.

Steven Amstrup, Chief Scientist, Polar Bears International, and Adjunct Professor University of Wyoming in Laramie:
The article is composed of misstatements. These are either based upon the author’s apparent lack of understanding of the ecological and geophysical situations, or intent to mislead readers.

Notes:
[1] See the rating guidelines used for article evaluations.
[2] Each evaluation is independent. Scientists’ comments are all published at the same time.

ANNOTATIONS

To read detailed annotations of critical analyses by Andrew Derocher and Steven Amstrup, click on the following linked title to go to the complete article and just scroll down —

Financial Post publishes misleading opinion that misrepresents science of polar bears’ plight

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