Obama Administration to Polar Bear Scientist/Truth Teller – Shut up, and you are suspended!

The President is proving once again that he is much better than his predecessor George Bush as a President – When it comes to getting to more oil in pristine environments and silencing critics and whistleblowers.


It was seen as one of the most distressing effects of climate change ever recorded: polar bears dying of exhaustion after being stranded between melting patches of Arctic sea ice.

But now the government scientist who first warned of the threat to polar bears in a warming Arctic has been suspended and his work put under official investigation for possible scientific misconduct.

Charles Monnett, a wildlife biologist, oversaw much of the scientific work for the government agency that has been examining drilling in the Arctic. He managed about $50m (£30.5m) in research projects.

Some question why Monnett, employed by the US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement, has been suspended at this moment. The Obama administration has been accused of hounding the scientist so it can open up the fragile region to drilling by Shell and other big oil companies.

“You have to wonder: this is the guy in charge of all the science in the Arctic and he is being suspended just now as an arm of the interior department is getting ready to make its decision on offshore drilling in the Arctic seas,” said Jeff Ruch, president of the group Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility. “This is a cautionary tale with a deeply chilling message for any federal scientist who dares to publish groundbreaking research on conditions in the Arctic.” The group filed an official complaint on Monnett’s behalf on Thursday, accusing the government of persecuting the (PDF) scientist and interfering with his work. It seeks his reinstatement and a public apology.

Monnett was on a research flight tracking bowhead whales, in 2004, when he and his colleagues spotted four dead polar bears floating in the water after a storm. The scientists concluded the bears, though typically strong swimmers, had grown exhausted and drowned due to the long distances between patches of solid sea ice. It was the first time scientists had drawn a link between melting Arctic sea ice and a threat to the bears’ survival. Two years later, Monnett and a colleague published an article in the science journal Polar Biology, writing: “Drowning-related deaths of polar bears may increase in the future if the observed trend of regression of pack ice and/or longer open water periods continues.”

The paper quickly heightened public concern for the polar bear. Al Gore, citing the paper, used polar bear footage in his film Inconvenient Truth. Campaigners focused on the bears to push George Bush to act on climate change, and in 2008, the government designated the animal a threatened species.

It was the first animal to be classed as a victim of climate change.


In 2010 the Obama administration began an investigation into his work. The scientist was suspended with pay on 18 July. He is said to be under a gagging order and forbidden from communicating with his colleagues. The employee group’s complaint alleges that the investigation is a thinly veiled attempt to disrupt scientific work on the Arctic.

Oil firms, which want to drill in the pristine environment of the Chukchi and Beaufort seas, have been complaining of delays caused by environmental reviews. This month Obama issued an order to speed up Arctic drilling permits.

(From the Guardian UK’s

Suzanne Goldenberg)

read more:

http://www.praer.org/2011/07/a…

Also of importance:

For the first time ever, our Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, and Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, attended the Arctic Nations summit this year – publicly stating a concern over global warming and indigenous populations, while actually bolstering the United States’ claims on Oil under the Arctic Seabed – Oil that is only accessible, ironically, because burning fossil fuels for so long has melted enough of the Arctic ice that getting to the seabed will soon be an ‘easy’ get for Oil companies – who will continue burning fossil fuels.

As reported by Greenpeace and Wikileaks:

As Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrives in the Arctic ostensibly to discuss preserving its unique environment, a disturbing series of communications revealed today by wikileaks tell another story.  

These cables confirm what we have long been saying: several nations – including the US – appear ready to go to war over Arctic oil.

For years now, the military forces of Arctic nations like Russia, the US, Norway, and even Canada and Denmark have been watching the ice melt in the far north and getting ready to assert claims to the oil and gas resources that have previously been covered by ice.

Saber rattling and high level posturing has steadily increased over the past five years, exemplified by Russia using a nuclear submarine to plant their flag on the seafloor near the North Pole.

Arctic countries have increased military exercises in these remote waters, with territorial disputes persisting between the US and Canada, between Canada and Denmark, and between Russia and pretty much everybody else.  Not wanting to be left out, Norway, already an oil giant, is in the mix as well

.

http://www.greenpeace.org/usa/…

Ok, not all bad news, Boulder has a ballot initiative this fall to allow voters to decide to create Boulder’s own energy Utility – going independent from Xcel and from its main base use of coal, to a green energy grid.

If Boulder does this, as Winter Park Florida has already done, it will set the dominoes in place for the large utilities to lose their monopolistic hold over citizens who need electricity, and have no choice about what form of fuel that electricity comes from – such as coal. Can you say ‘very scary boogeyman Xcel commercials coming soon to your TV?’

http://www.bizjournals.com/den…

TTFN

15 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. cdsmith says:

    I don’t think anyone seriously believes Barack Obama or leading members of his cabinet are climate change deniers.  If they made the decision to suspend this person and investigate misconduct, it’s just possible they might have seen… you know… evidence of misconduct.

    Let’s let the facts of this one come out before blindly jumping to the defense of someone who might have been committing fraud.

  2. ajb says:

    Regarding the second part of your post:

    The first step to regulating activities in the Arctic is to establish an EEZ. To do that, you need to establish territories and boundaries. These boundaries are based on the edge of the continental shelf. The U.S. and every other Arctic nation is racing to survey the seafloor to advance their respective claims.

    This is as much about protecting and regulating resources as it is about developing or exploiting them.

    Here’s a reference:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T

    • wade norris says:

      to support your claims – a site that anyone with enough staff can influence and dictate the conversation.

      Don’t get me wrong – if you want to look up entertainment or information on non-political items, it’s  a great site – but don’t ask the difficult political questions –

      such as this difficult, and under-reported near coup of the United States – in times similar to these…

      those answers have been filtered – and with millions in tax subsidies and billions in profits, oil companies can hire a league of wiki editors…

      • ajb says:

        I cited wikipedia because it was first to come up, but the general notion of why Arctic countries are scurrying to secure their respective EEZs is completely accurate. If it’s about oil, then the US and Canada lost long ago. Almost all the continental shelf (where there’s oil) lies north of Russia.

        But don’t take my word for it, go ahead and google terms like Arctic, territory, claims, and  “Law of the Sea”.  

        • nancycronk says:

          against traditional encyclopedias. They found Wikipedia to be as accurate as the encyclopedias, in terms of having material consistent with each. Wikipedia has millions of contributers and hundreds of editors who have earned that status through reliable posting. Any outlying posts are quickly identified and pulled.

          Wikipedia is not considered a valid sources for scholarly purposes, but for all other intents and purposes, it is very reliable.  

  3. nancycronk says:

    I applaud your passion for the environment, and your commitment to educating people on the real threat of Global Warming. I agree with you that ignoring the problem puts the future of our planet in peril.

    I don’t think it is fair to anyone — the President or someone else, to assume they suspended a scientist because they didn’t like what the scientist was saying. That is a powerful charge. Do you have any evidence for it?

    • DaftPunk says:

      the scientist in question supported Bennet.

    • wade norris says:

      that wikileaks exposed that Clinton and Salazar were attending the Arctic Nations Council to lay claim to oil reserves in the arctic while publicly saying they were there for environmental reasons – and the key scientist that help to prevent this type of Arctic drilling under George Bush through his Polar Bear research – which did result in getting the Polar Bear placed on the Endangered Species list –

      maybe the Obama administration found sudden evidence that his science findings were wrong, maybe it is a coincidence that this is occurring just as the Obama administration is caving to the Oil companies wanting to drill in the Arctic – Maybe Obama really wanted the Public Option, or did not really know that Social Security had nothing to do with raising our debt ceiling… Maybe Obama did not know that establishing a ‘super congress’ to slash programs to the most vulnerable was not only unconstitutional, but downright mean.

      Yeah, maybe, it’s all just a coincidence.

      • RedGreen says:

        that Arrested Development went off the air during the season when Democrats had full control of the House and Senate but Bush was still president, despite a rabid fan base and lots of love for the program within the “industry.” Maybe.

        (If I practiced Wade’s habit of random capitalization, would my Conspiracy Theory make more Sense?)

  4. raymond1 says:

    … once you started with typical SquareHead hyperbole like saying Obama is “much better than his predecessor George Bush . . . When it comes to getting to more oil in pristine environments and silencing critics and whistleblowers.”

    I skimmed just enough to get that you don’t like that this one guy got fired, but c’mon — this alone makes Obama “MUCH” worse than Bush? Ok, sure.

    • wade norris says:

      Bush – just that Obama as a democrat, is passing legislation that George Bush could have never passed.

      We just had a week where the President, a democrat, created a commission that has the authority to cut ‘entitlements’.

      Yes, he is a hell of a lot better than Bush, but when it comes to his promises – closing Guantanamo, closing secret blacksite prisons, EFCA, the Public Option, and now this environmental flip flop – its disheartening – maybe he thought as a candidate he could have done those things, but once he got in was told by others that ‘this is the way it is’ or maybe he knew all along.  

      • raymond1 says:

        Compare Wade’s comment immediately above:

        I’d never say Obama is worse than

        Bush – just that Obama as a democrat, is passing legislation that George Bush could have never passed.

        with the very first sentence of Wade’s diary, exactly recounting a way in which he declared Obama worse than Bush:

        The President is proving once again that he is much better than his predecessor George Bush as a President – When it comes to getting to more oil in pristine environments and silencing critics and whistleblowers.

        Seriously, feel free to levy ridiculous Obama-worse-than-Bush attacks — but don’t wimp out and then deny you said it as soon as someone calls you on that ridiculousness.

        Better yet, when all you have to offer is bald-faced lies denying your own ridiculous words, why not stick to SquareState, where none of the eight of you call each other out on everything, because you’re too busy patting yourselves on the back for declaring every Democrat a sellout?

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