Recently, the Nunavut government sponsored an aerial survey of the Hudson Bay polar population in which they concluded that:
“[T]he bear population is not in crisis as people believed,” said Drikus Gissing, Nunavut’s director of wildlife management. “There is no doom and gloom.”
Mr. Gissing added that the government isn’t dismissing concerns about climate change, but he said Nunavut wants to base bear-management practices on current information “and not predictions about what might happen.”
This was hailed in all the usual quarters as definitive prove that the global warming alarmists etc. etc. Now two of Canada's most prominent researchers on the topic have shot back, essentially accusing the Nunavut government of engaging in "science by press conference" in order to get their bear-hunt quota bumped up:
"The Nunavut aerial survey estimated the population to be between 717 and 1,430. This aerial survey-based estimate is not significantly different from the 2004 estimate of 934 bears we did, which was based on more reliable mark-recapture studies in Manitoba."
Progress in polar bear conservation can only occur if everyone works together, using information from all possible sources, scientific and traditional, says Stirling."Making such inaccurate, incomplete, and misleading statements in a news release, ahead of the completion of a final report that is based on all the information available, is harmful to the collaboration required for successful polar bear conservation and reflects poorly on Canada in the international arena."
Unfortunately for everyone involved, Margaret Wente wrote a column on the topic. I was just going to assume it was crap, but the gal at Media Culpa decided to go ahead and prove it.