Scientist who lied about polar bears drowning to push global warming forced to take early retirement
The debate about climate change and its impact on polar bears has intensified with the release of a survey that shows the bear population in a key part of northern Canada is far larger than many scientists thought, and might be growing.
The number of bears along the western shore of Hudson Bay, believed to be among the most threatened bear subpopulations, stands at 1,013 and could be even higher, according to the results of an aerial survey released Wednesday by the Government of Nunavut. That’s 66 per cent higher than estimates by other researchers who forecasted the numbers would fall to as low as 610 because of warming temperatures that melt ice faster and ruin bears’ ability to hunt. The Hudson Bay region, which straddles Nunavut and Manitoba, is critical because it’s considered a bellwether for how polar bears are doing elsewhere in the Arctic. . . .In my opinion, the Obama administration and their investigation has let him off easy by only making him retire early. Note that he had been removed from doing further research in the same area. I am also skeptical that the Obama administration was willing to properly investigate without political bias the charges here.
An Alaska scientist whose observations of drowned polar bears helped galvanize the global warming movement has retired as part of a settlement with a federal agency.
Charles Monnett was briefly suspended in 2011 from his work with the US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement — now known as the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management —during an inspector general's investigation into a polar bear research contract he managed. Investigators in their report released last year said the probe was prompted by a complaint from an Interior Department employee who alleged that Monnett had wrongfully released government records and he and another scientist intentionally omitted or used false data in an article on polar bears.
The agency, BOEM, ultimately found no evidence of scientific misconduct but reprimanded Monnett for improper release of emails that an Interior Department official said were cited by a federal appeals court in decisions to vacate agency approval of an oil and gas company's Arctic exploration plan.
While Monnett returned to work, his prior research portfolio, which was focused on Arctic issues, had been reassigned, said Jeff Ruch, executive director of the watchdog group Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, which helped Monnett with his case. Monnett filed a complaint, seeking to have the reprimand rescinded, to have his name restored to an award for a bowhead whale tracking project and the ability to transfer jobs, a request that the complaint said had not been granted.
Under the settlement, signed in October but released by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility on Wednesday, Monnett will receive $100,000 but cannot seek Interior Department work for five years. His retirement was effective November 15, at which point the agency agreed to withdraw the letter of reprimand and issue Monnett a certificate for his work on the tracking project. . . .