Exxon attacked by polar bears!

Thu, 2007-10-18 15:55Ross Gelbspan
Ross Gelbspan's picture

Exxon attacked by polar bears!

U.S. House Committee on Science and Technology Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight Chairman Brad Miller (D-NC) has sent a letter (pdf) to the ExxonMobil Corporation requesting all records since 2002 related to their support for scientists working on polar bears and other Arctic animals.

This request comes in the wake of an “opinion” piece appearing in the journal Ecological Complexity by seven scientists claiming that there is no evidence of decline in the polar bear population of West Hudson Bay as a result of global warming.

In an acknowledgement at the end of the article, one of the lead authors, Dr. Willie Soon, thanked ExxonMobil (along with the Charles G. Koch Foundation and the American Petroleum Institute) for their support of his work on polar bears.


Previous Comments

An interesting aside is that in the ‘article’ in Ecological Complexity, there is a link to Willie Soon’s website,


in which we find a rejection letter from the editor of Oikos, a leading and long-standing journal of ecology. Afterwards, this ‘article’ found a home as an opinion piece in a journal still in its infancy, having started publication only 4 years ago.

Well, is there any evidence that the decline in the West Hudson Bay population is a result of GW?

Populations do not constantly go up … they fluctuate.

According to Dr. Mitchell Taylor who is a polar bear expert working for the Government of Nunavut, he sees no cause for alarm regarding the bear population in West Hudson Bay.

question desmogblog’s opinions! You are clearly bribed by Exxon.

Paul S., give a citation and provide a link.

Taylor has been the lone voice explaining why polar bears never had it better. He is the one they always quote. Google it and you will find the same report and news item 100 times.


Consider this case:


Uh, Dr. Mitchell Taylor is one of the world’s best polar bear experts Dan. Nice attempt at a gratuitous slur though.

Paul, explain why he is the only one the deniers quote. Do all the other best experts disagree with him?

I don’t attempt to explain the “why” of other peoples actions VJ. I do note, however, that many of the other so-called “experts” have no expertise on polar bears.

To whom, exactly, are you referring? And are you trying to imply that you have any expertise whatsoever on polar bears?

I am referring to Dr. Mitchell Taylor. What polar bear expert are you referring to VJ?

Please don’t quote the Goreacle on us or regurgitate the drowning polar bear myth.

You claimed “…many of the other so-called “experts” have no expertise on polar bears.” To whom were you referring?

There are many polar bear scientists who have come to the conclusion that AGW is affecting polar bear population numbers. Of 18 distinct populations, there is a lack of data on 8, 5 are decreasing, 5 are stable and 2 are increasing.


I suggest that you refer to Drs Ian Stirling (Canadian Wildlife Service) and Andrew Derocher (University of Alberta) if you want expert Canadian information. Mitch Taylor has spent the last few years arguing for increased hunting quotas in Nunavut, hardly an un-biased “expert” on populations. Incidentally, he lost, since the Nunavut Government recently cut quotas significantly for Western Hudson Bay.


Ian Forrester

Polar bear scientists are not climate scientists and are outside of their area of expertise when commenting on AGW.

They can pronounce on whether AGW is killing off polar bears because that is their area of expertise. They study polar bears and the environment in which the bears live; and of course they are observing the drastic change in the polar bears’ environment that is being caused by AGW, and that is killing the bears.

Anyone and everyone appears to believe they can make pronouncements on AGW. That does not make it true.

At present, Canada’s polar bear population is healthy. Since our polar bears are not being “killed off”, you can not make the claim you and other non-polar bear experts are claiming to make.

Prove that Canada’s polar bear population is healthy.

Then prove that you have the knowledge to make any of the claims you have made about polar bears or climate science.

The so-called scientists who wrote the report that this thread is all about are neither climate scientists nor polar bear scientists (they are neither honest nor nice people but that is some thing else).

Paul S/G(???), I guess your idea of an “expert” is some one who will give you the answer you are looking for. That is very common in business but not in science (thankfully).

The polar bear scientists are not writing reports on climate science. They are making observations that the lack of ice is causing problems with polar bears and polar bear populations. It does not take someone with a Ph D degree (but obviously there are a number of non-scientists such as you who do not understand simple science) to understand that as you warm ice it melts. Heck, Grade One students understand that simple piece of science. Did you miss out on Grade One when being schooled?

Ian Forrester

And you’re idea of an “expert” Ian is someone who parrots constant doom and gloom and looming apocalypse on the environment. The fact remains, Canada’s polar bear population is healthy.

Paul S/G you saying that the polar bear populations (note there is not just one population but a number of isolated ones, that does make a difference) in Canada are healthy will not make them so. Read the reports by the polar bear experts (Stirling, Derocher and others), not the biased report by Taylor who is working to an agenda.

Can you understand basic English, the reports are not too hard to understand since they use simple terms like “population increasing” (very few) “population decreasing”(50%). In my books, when 50% of something is decreasing that is not a good sign.

Ian Forrester

So are 99.9% of those who signed the ludicrous “Oregon Petition” and who are a part of OISM. So, if you were consistent, your conclusion would have you declare that those signees refrain from commenting on AGW.

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