Pity the poor polar bears, not: Professor loses job after research caused offense

by WorldTribune Staff, October 21, 2019

A zoologist who debunked the claim by climate alarmists that global warming is leading to the extinction of polar bears is the latest victim of “cancel culture.”

Susan Crockford, whose research shows that the polar bear population is not only stable but thriving, was fired for her not-so-woke findings, a report noted.

Susan Crockford’s research on polar bears ‘almost single-handedly blew up the climate change movement’s promotion of the bears as iconic victims of anthropogenic global warming.’ / YouTube

Crockford’s dismissal, which she announced last week 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,” Valerie Richardson wrote in an Oct. 20 report for The Washington Times.

Crockford said that, after 15 years as an adjunct assistant professor, the University of Victoria in May rejected without explanation her renewal application.

“When push came to shove, UVic threw me under the bus rather than stand up for my academic freedom,” said Crockford, who accused officials at the Canadian university of bowing to “outside pressure.”

Crockford’s research on polar bears “almost single-handedly blew up the climate change movement’s promotion of the bears as iconic victims of anthropogenic global warming,” Richardson wrote.

Her books include “The Polar Bear Catastrophe That Never Happened”, published in February, in which she said the bears are not threatened. She noted that the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s 2015 Red List of Threatened Species puts polar bear numbers at 22,000 to 31,000 despite a widespread belief that the population has dropped to a few thousand.

Crockford said her dismissal will not stop her “from investigating and commenting on the failures and inconsistencies of science that I see in published polar bear research papers and reflected in public statements made by polar bear specialists. I am still a former adjunct professor and I will not be silenced.”

Marc Morano, author of “The Politically Incorrect Guide to Climate Change”, said situations like Crockford’s have become “all too common in the climate debate.”

“Professor after professor has been hounded, silenced, censured or fired for speaking out against the approved man-made climate crisis narrative,” Morano said. “The message to any climate dissenters in academia is once again reinforced: Stay silent with your skepticism or risk endangering your career.”

University of Victoria economics professor Cornelis van Kooten warned of the threat to free speech on campus. “I think the climate change movement has done extreme harm to academic freedom,” he said, and the movement isn’t alone.

“Put it this way: religion, race, evolution, gender, indigenous peoples, nuclear power, polar bears, deforestation. … Any views on these topics that don’t fall in line with the ‘consensus’ are taboo,” van Kooten said. “Think of the extent to which free speech has been banned from campuses across much of the West in the name of political correctness.”

Prior to her dismissal, Crockford had drawn the ire of environmental activists and scientists with whose views she disagrees, based in part on her associations with climate skeptical organizations such as The Heartland Institute and the Global Warming Policy Foundation.

Heartland spokesman Jim Lakely slammed Crockford’s dismissal as “outrageous, an affront to academic freedom, and a new, troubling step in modern #cancelculture,” adding that “all honest scientists should take up her cause.”

“The people who oppose her, and those who dismissed her, are not interested in science, but pushing political dogma,” Lakely said. “This is a sad day for academic freedom and science, not dogma, ruling our public discourse.”

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