The Canadian zoologist who led the way in debunking the claim that climate change is endangering polar bears says the University of Victoria bowed to “outside pressure” and fired her.
Susan Crockford, an adjunct assistant professor at the University of Victoria in Canada for 15 years, said her renewal application was rejected without explanation in May, despite her high profile as a speaker and author due to her polar bear research and expertise in mammal bone identification, the Washington Times reported.
Her research showed polar bear populations are stable and even thriving, contrary to the claims of climate activists that their numbers are plummeting due to shrinking Arctic sea ice.
Crockford, who earned a Ph.D. in biology and anthropology in 2004, described her expulsion as “an academic hanging without a trial, conducted behind closed doors.
In a post on her popular Polar Bear Science blog on Wednesday, she wrote: “When push came to shove, UVic threw me under the bus rather than stand up for my academic freedom.”
On Monday, she noted on her blog that she was in London preparing for lecture on her 2019 book “The Polar Bear Catastrophe That Never Happened.”
She said the university was supportive of her, promoting her interviews and work, until two years ago.
In May 2017, her lectures were shut down after the university’s speakers bureau received a complaint of a “lack of balance,” which, she said “poisoned support I might have expected from colleagues in the department.”
In an email to the Times, Crockford said the speakers’ bureau incident “made it clear the administration had no intention of protecting my academic freedom against complaints from outside the university.”
University of Victoria Associate Vice President Michele Parkin responded with a letter insisting there is “no evidence to suggest that Dr. Crockford’s adjunct appointment was not renewed for ‘telling school kids politically incorrect facts about polar bears.'”
The University of Victoria, in both word and deed, supports academic freedom and free debate on academic issues,” she said.
The Times noted that the university did not deny in the statement that Crockford’s dismissal was linked to her polar bear scholarship.
Crockford has pointed out 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 the common belief that the population has dwindled to a few thousand.
‘Cancel culture’ and academic freedom
Marc Morano, editor of the Climate Depot website and author of “The Politically Incorrect Guide to Climate Change,” told the times that Crockford is one of many professors who have been “hounded, silenced, censured or fired for speaking out against the approved man-made climate crisis narrative.”
“The message to any climate dissenters in academia is once again reinforced: Stay silent with your skepticism or risk endangering your career.”
Crockford’s website was denounced as a “denier blog” in a 2017 study in the journal BioScience by 14 academics, including Penn State climatologist Michael E. Mann.
Mann is known for producing the “hockey stick graph” popularized by Al Gore claiming world temperatures were flat or slightly declining for more than 900 years before rising sharply in the 20th century era of human carbon dioxide emissions. Critics pointed out, however, that Mann’s graph doesn’t show the Medieval Warm period between about 1000 and 1300 in which temperatures were warmer than the present.
Georgia Tech professor emeritus Judith Curry, the Times noted, called the Mann paper slamming Crockford “absolutely the stupidest paper I have ever seen published.”