… the walrus was Paul.
Back in May I transferred an argument I’d made on a long thread on Peaceful Science to The Hump, after being accused of being a “climate denialist.” I had pointed out the misleading story in a David Attenborough documentary about walruses supposedly driven off cliff-tops by climate change, but actually (according to the investigative work of Susan Crockford) chased off by polar bears, and possibly by the drones being used in filming them.
My grievance at the time was that Crockford’s evidence was rubbished on the Peaceful Science thread, by a working scientist no less, on the basis that she was a climate denialist paid by Big Oil to discredit real science. By citing her, I was tarred by the same brush by a number of commenters there.
A few things have happened since then. In the first place I have spent more time looking at the data, and the politicking, on climate change, rather than taking the word of scientists on blogs about what it shows. I have decided that the latter are as uncritical about climate science as they were about the “Walrusgate” evidence, and that there is something rotten in the state of Climate Science.
Secondly, regarding Crockford herself, the “paid by oil money” accusation actually boils down to her having once done some consulting work for the Heartland Institute which, some years before she worked for them, had received a few percent of its funding from companies including oil interests. If that’s a smoking gun, then that time you spent working at a gas station as a teenager implicates you in the plot.
Also, Crockford recently has found herself severed from her university on grounds that neither she, nor anyone else, can pin down exactly from them, but which for all the world looks like pressure from her professional rivals in the “polar bear community.” This expert group, given his co-authorship of a paper dissing her work on bear populations a while ago, appears to include the famous Michael Mann (I bet you didn’t know his expertise included polar bears as well as bristle-cone pines and hockey!).
Incidentally, if you want a rough rule of thumb for judging why academics are summarily dismissed from their jobs, from Brett Weinstein, to Peter Ridd, to Roger Scruton, to Dr David Mackereth (Google them), the common factor is telling the truth, rather than oil money. Odd that, isn’t it?
Be that as it may, the big news today is that David Attenborough has made another blockbuster nature series, and the latest episode shows drone footage of polar bears driving walruses of the same cliffs from which, in his documentary earlier in the year, they fell because of climate change, in the alleged absence of polar bears. Same Siberian cliffs, same film crew, same drones, same walruses. And indeed the same polar bears that appeared, inadvertently, in the out-takes used as a trailer for the old documentary, despite the film-crews’ denials of their presence.
Although nothing Attenborough says in the documentary links the episode to the previous documentary, nor corrects the false impression left by the climate change narrative in that, the new film actually entirely vindicates the version uncovered by Susan Crockford. So I will do her the honour of linking to the full story on her website here. I think you’ll find the “big oil funding” is irrelevant to the truth.
This new development also, of course, vindicates the thrust of my argument about misleading science documentraies on Peaceful Science thread, but I don’t think I will return to it to crow. Years of experience with the same people at BioLogos tells me my critics will never admit they were mistaken. They would probably rather believe that Exxon-Mobil has nobbled Sir David Attenborough.