NYT journalist Erica Goode lies about Crockford, Watts and polar bears

Erica Goode, visiting “professor” at Syracuse University

Anthony Watts reports on another smear on Susan Crockford and himself: Climate Change Denialists Say Polar Bears Are Fine. Scientists Are Pushing Back, by Erica Goode of the New York Times. Anthony says

I’m not allowed to give any of the details of it other than a link because I recently got a threat letter from the NYT’s lawyers over some “fair use” excerpts criticizing another junk article of theirs, and was told essentially “that they don’t adhere to the fair use doctrine, and I’m not allowed to use excerpts – ever”.

Here at CliScep we are not under any injunctions from the New York Times, so here is one excerpt from the largely content-free piece of drivel from Erica Goode:

But to hear climate denialists tell it, polar bears are doing just fine. On Watts Up With That, Climate Depot and other websites that dispute climate science, bloggers insist that the Arctic’s receding ice is part of a natural warming cycle unrelated to human activities.

I am not aware of Anthony or Susan insisting that Arctic ice decline is unrelated to human activities, so I’m calling that a lie by Ms Goode. Neither of them is a “climate change denialist”, as she repeatedly implies.

She also writes  that

Of the 19 polar bear subpopulations in the Arctic Circle, three have shown substantial declines, including bears in the South Beaufort Sea off Alaska’s coast and in West Hudson Bay in Canada. One subpopulation has increased in numbers, and scientists know little or nothing about nine of the others, which are either in Russian territory or in locations so remote that resources are not available for surveys.

Even if that were correct, that would hardly justify the hysteria over polar bears. No link is provided to support this claim. It may be based on this page on polar bears.  If so, it doesn’t really support her claim of three areas showing substantial declines. In the text about the South Beaufort sea, for example, it says “it is important to note that here is the potential for un-modeled spatial heterogeneity in mark-recapture sampling, resulting from field crews being unable to sample the entire geographic reach of the population boundaries, which could bias both survival and abundance estimates. A recent Traditional Knowledge study from Canada concluded that the numbers of polar bears in regularly used hunting areas have remained relatively stable within living memory”.  Similarly, in the West Hudson Bay section, it says that the estimate for 1978-1992 was about 1000, before being “adjusted” to 1200, while the current estimate is 1030, with a range of 754-1406 — hardly the ‘substantial decline’ claimed by Goode. Finally, there are three areas on that map showing increases, rather than one as claimed by Goode: Davis Strait,  “likely increased over the last 30 years”, MC, “thought to be increasing from reduced numbers”, and KB, “likely increasing”.

Meanwhile, Susan Crockford has posted her latest round-up of the Harvey et al story.

James Delingpole has an article about the incident today, including an extensive quote from polar bear expert Mitch Taylor.



  1. What is fascinating is how the alarmist culture consistently relies on deception to hide the plain facts about failed climate alarmist predictions.
    The new tactic of suppressing discussion of their articles is a new, ironic low for an organization that claims to be dedicated to freedom of speach.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. This NYT piece is just the well-connected co-authors getting more traction for their pathetic paper to coincide with the publication of the print version.

    They couldn’t issue another press release. So this article was likely well-orchestrated before hand with the NYT: the Times held off doing a story when the online version came out but would do a story when the print version was available.

    Goode’s piece is unoriginal. It contains nothing that wasn’t written four months ago in response to the press releases. It’s just more PR for the authors.

    That’s what “journalism” is these days.

    Liked by 10 people

  3. Thanks for that Paul, I hadn’t seen it. If I’m just a “blogger” why the need for the NYT to discredit me?

    Because I’m so much more than that: I have the credentials, the communication skills, and the knowledge to refute their nonsense. That’s why I’m so dangerous that an all-out assault was deemed necessary.

    They are desperate.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Erica Goode’s hit piece in the NYT is a deliberate and very clumsy attempt to conflate questioning the attribution of late 20th century sea-ice loss to ‘climate change’ (TM) with Susan Crockford’s analysis of polar bear populations which, it turns out, is patently at odds with the dire warnings of climate alarmists and polar bear ‘experts’. Susan C does not dispute the recorded decline in sea-ice over this period (or question its attribution to global warming), she merely points out that the fairly dramatic decline in sea-ice over the modern period has not dramatically affected polar bear populations; indeed they appear to be thriving. Thus, at present, the canary in the coal mine of accelerated Arctic warming is not dead, not ailing even, but in rude health, which is irritating for the alarmist community who wished to capitalise upon the demise of everyone’s favourite white fluffy care bear as a dreadful symptom of the horrifying build up of GHGs. They were so busy lavishing attention upon their global warming icon that they didn’t notice it was doing fine all by itself and then this ‘amateur upstart’ Susan Crockford came along and pulled the rug from beneath their feet by demonstrating that pesky, inconvenient truth and they ended up on their arses, somewhat miffed, it must be said. Hence the ‘world’s stupidest scientific paper’ and smear articles like Goode’s NYT piece which intentionally blurs the issues so that she can justify waving the moronic ‘climate change denialists’ about willy nilly in an attempt to divert attention from the still existing truth – that polar bears are doing fine.

    Liked by 5 people

  5. Polar bears are a prosthetic emotional device for testing the water of loss (Yusoff 2010).


  6. If a serious news source puts the ad hom in the title and at the top, it’s just propaganda.

    A partisan blog is a bit different you will see name calling as a shorthand.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Note that the spelling errors have still not been corrected in the pdf so I expect they are there in the print version as well.

    e.g. “Refereces cited” and “Principle Components”

    Editor Collins: BioScience’s own worst enemy.

    They’ve made this a parody, all by themselves.

    Liked by 4 people

  8. NYT is just confirming how impactful Dr. Crawford has become. Single handedly taken down the whole polar bear meme, both scientifically via papers, GWPF, and blog, and now across the global skeptical community via exposing the warmunist shenanigans. And NYT further damaged its own already very tarnished reputation.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Ristvan, and the irony is that these idiots are just giving Crockford more publicity. For example the Delingpole article today.

    How are your blog stats today Susan?

    Liked by 3 people

  10. Starting to pile on:



    Harvey says I’ve “misunderstood and then mischaracterized” Amstrup’s 2007 prediction.

    So why wasn’t that a focus of the BioScience paper?

    Because it’s easier to disparage another’s work to an uncritical journalist than to put in print a weak argument for the world to see.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Susan Crockford, please keep up the good work!

    Harvey et al just becomes a better reference guide for the US Administration to determine what is worth spending US Taxpayer’s money on. Mann did not have to co-author the “paper”, but his contribution should be recognised.


  12. Erica Goode
    http://newhouse.syr.edu/faculty-staff/erica-goode – Visiting Assistant Professor, Newspaper & Online Journalism

    Erica Goode comes to Newhouse after 18 years as a reporter and editor at the New York Times, where she covered a variety of topics, including human behavior, criminal justice and climate change.


  13. Paul says:

    “I am not aware of Anthony or Susan insisting that Arctic ice decline is unrelated to human activities”

    This implies that there is Arctic ice decline and that it could be related to human activities. Over time, Arctic ice is not in decline, as Tony Heller continues to show.


    Parts of the Arctic this winter were the coldest in living memory:
    “Temperatures are getting to –40 C before the windchill and when the winds are factored in, it feels colder than –60 C.”

    NOAA currently uses only the truncated (at the start) satellite record, yet they have a reliable sea ice record back to 1953: https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/SeaIce/page2.php

    In 1993, Mark Serreze et al used that same period and didn’t find any “greenhouse” warming:
    “Absence of evidence for greenhouse warming over the Arctic Ocean in the past 40 years” (from 1953) Jonathan D. Kahl, Donna J. Charlevoix, Nina A. Zaftseva, Russell C. Schnell, & Mark C. “Screaming Arctic” Serreze

    The message in the NYT is:
    “Arctic sea ice has been in a steep decline since scientists started using satellites to measure it 40 years ago.” (from 1979)

    Voila, there we have it, a direct cause and effect between the use of satellites and perceived sea ice decline, guilty by association and every bit as valid as the claim that anthropogenic CO2 levels are responsible for global temperature rise.

    “It’s just a habitat loss issue,” Dr. Derocher said. “There’s nothing more complicated than that.”

    Yes, the habitat….the story that Arctic ice (the habitat), is disappearing because of fossil fuel use, but the story is falsified by the plethora of historical data that shows the cyclical nature of Arctic ice. Polar bears have survived more ice and less ice.

    “Climate variation in the European Arctic during the last 100 years” Hanssen-Bauer, Inger, Norwegian Meteorological Institute Co-Author, Førland, Eirik J.

    “Analyses of climate series from the European Arctic show major inter-annual and inter-decadal variability, but no statistically significant long-term trend in annual mean temperature during the 20th century in this region. The temperature was generally increasing up to the 1930s, decreasing from the 1930s to the 1960s, and increasing from the 1960s to 2000. The temperature level in the 1990s was still lower than it was during the 1930s.”

    “Observationally based assessment of polar amplification of global warming” Igor V. Polyakov et al

    “Arctic and northern-hemispheric air-temperature trends during the 20th century (when multi-decadal variability had little net effect on computed trends) are similar, and do not support the predicted polar amplification of global warming.” (This is one of the bedrocks of AGW theory).


    “However, an examination of a combination of historical temperature measurements and physical observations from explorers’ logs reveals that observations of climate indicators, such as the distribution and thickness of annual sea ice, monthly surface air temperature, and the onset of melt and freeze, were within the present range of variability for this region.”

    If the basic premise is false, then so are all their other claims.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Susan,

    Barry Brownstein’s recent post (1) puts your question into a larger framework.

    “So why wasn’t that a focus of the BioScience paper?”

    “…The Closing of Society
    We are quickly moving away from Popper’s vision of an “open society” and away from a society where citizenry can consider causal explanations and policy implications. Those who hold a conflict worldview also believe “debate is counterproductive because it dilutes passion and sows confusion.”

    We have transformed ourselves, author David Brooks recently opined in The New York Times, from a society where errors are overcome by “bringing different perspectives and expertise to the table” to a society where “progress is less about understanding and liking each other and more about smashing structures that others defend.”

    The latter worldview is a “conflict theorist worldview” where “most public problems are caused not by errors or complexity, but by malice and oppression.” Brooks continues,
    Importantly, Brooks warns that those who hold a conflict worldview also believe “debate is counterproductive because it dilutes passion and sows confusion. Discordant ideas are not there to inform; they are there to provide cover for oppression.””

    1) http://www.thegwpf.com/44167-2/

    Liked by 2 people

  15. The message in the NYT is:
    “Arctic sea ice has been in a steep decline since scientists started using satellites to measure it 40 years ago.” (from 1979)

    This looks like Arctic sea ice denial. Still plenty there despite the alleged ’40 years of steep decline’.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Wow Susan, It unfortunately no longer surprises when such blatant dishonesty is shown by supposed scientists. Your post on this is very convincing.


  17. Susan, remember that Amstrup lied about you a few months ago as well:

    “You don’t have to read far in her material to see that it is full of unsubstantiated statements and personal attacks on scientists, using names like eco-terrorists, fraudsters, green terrorists and scammers,” Amstrup said. In a follow-up email on Friday, Amstrup clarified that these statements to Motherboard were meant to reflect the climate denier community as a whole, rather than Crockford in particular. In an email to Motherboard, Crockford denied using those terms on her blog.


  18. This continues to flare up.

    I’ve repeatedly asked the authors to release all their data. No response.

    I’ve repeatedly asked defenders of the Harvey paper to name their most convincing argument. No response.

    I’ve repeatedly asked critics of our critique to tell us what we did wrong. No response.

    Liked by 3 people

  19. Richard, I’ve repeatedly asked OUP who the person to complain to about violation of their ethics policy is. No response other than “Oxford University Press and BioScience journal take issues of defamation very seriously.”

    I see that your critique has disappeared – it’s “not found” at the link given in the post where we discussed it.


  20. Susan has tried being reasonable and professional with respect to Steve Amstrup and his Terminological Inexactitudes about her critique of his 2007 model. It would seem time that this blindingly obvious TI needs to exposed and mocked.
    How about- did Steve Amstrup, polar bear guru, gain access to 2016 data back in 2007 to predict polar bear futures? Does he have a Time Machine (and can we use it to predict pork belly futures?) I’m sure you’all can do much better.
    Perhaps exposure, or better still outright calling Amstrup a liar, might get some traction. But Susan please leave it to others.


  21. This is the full message:
    Sorry, but we will have to reject this, as it reads more as a general commentary and not a scientific manuscript. Furthermore, by using language such as “…In their eagerness to discredit a colleague, Harvey et al. got ahead of themselves…”, and it reads as a personal attack. We at EarthArXiv do not accept commentaries or personal attacks; these violate the standards we try to uphold. Despite what the Harvey et al. paper does or doesn’t do, EarthArXiv is not a place to air grievances and seek retribution.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Paul: Agreed. This makes publishing a response very difficult. BioScience protects itself, and other outlets will say that it is not their job to correct an outrage in another journal.

    Liked by 2 people

  23. Paul Matthews, it is worth assuming that EarthArXiv have a better understanding of the purpose of Peer Review, than BioScience and OUP.

    I remember when OUP were considered prestigious, because they had a reputation to protect.


  24. I happened to see the title of this post, and naturally, I was curious since it accused someone of lying. Reading through the post, I saw:

    I am not aware of Anthony or Susan insisting that Arctic ice decline is unrelated to human activities, so I’m calling that a lie by Ms Goode. Neither of them is a “climate change denialist”, as she repeatedly implies.

    Being unaware of evidence supporting a person’s claim seemed an odd reason to label their claim a lie. I wasn’t aware of any such evidence myself, but I didn’t presume that to mean no such evidence exists. Even if it did not, that would hardly prove the author *knew* what she said was false. To see if her statement might be reasonable, I did a quick search on WUWT and one of the first articles I got was this one, which says things like:

    This result supports the hypothesis that cyclical changes in ice cover, over time, average out. As opposed to the hypothesis that ice cover loss is accelerating due to an increasing anthropogenic effect.

    The author linked to a previous article of his in which he had written:

    Lets just say that there is a significant probability that Arctic sea ice will not significantly melt over the next few decades and could even grow. Whether that is positive or negative depends on personal opinion on the importance of Arctic sea ice.

    Another article I quickly found said things like:

    I will be the first to admit that my arithmetic is only approximate. However, historical data would seem to support a cyclic ebb and flow of Arctic ice cover. Based on the suggested cycle period of 70 years, we can expect Arctic ice cover to increase from the present day until about the year 2050.

    After finding a handful of posts which said things like these in a matter of minutes, as well as many comments which explicitly stated arctic sea ice loss was caused by natural cycles, nothing more (or commenters who said there was no ice loss, like seen on this very page), I must say don’t see the supposed lie about what people at WUWT say/do in regard to Arctic sea ice. Perhaps one could argue description on that point is not entirely accurate if they searched WUWT more than I did, but I’d say there is certainly enough that a person might understandably come to believe what was written on this matter.

    [PM: I don’t know what has happened to the Brandon who used to be very precise and careful. None of those examples support the claim that bloggers “insist” that receding ice is “unrelated to human activities”. Talking about evidence supporting a hypothesis is a very long way from insisting.]


  25. Brandon,

    I noticed that Thomas Jefferson was born on April 13th- via a blog post over at Millard Fillmore’s Bathtub. As I have ripened over the years I have spent more and more time away from the details of STEM issues to look at some of the social aspects of things. It sounds a bit like you, and Steve, are both trying to put some context around why things are the way they are (especially when some folks aren’t interested sharing the “rest of the story.”)

    As such I though you too might enjoying seeing how a historian looks at things-

    I loved the graphics in this post today- https://timpanogos.wordpress.com/2018/04/13/how-to-tell-some-troll-is-pulling-your-virtual-leg/

    The seven warning signs of Bogus History is a favorite of mine too.


  26. I am not aware of […] Susan insisting that Arctic ice decline is unrelated to human activities. Susan has no opinion of the cause, she just reports that the polar bear population is not affected by rapidly declining summer sea ice in some years, contrary to Amstrups model.

    Liked by 3 people

  27. That is surely the point. The furore generated by alarmists re. Susan Crockford is entirely related to her observations of the fact that declining sea-ice extent has not – as predicted – adversely affected polar bear populations. Harvey et al was a direct (and extremely dishonest and disreputable) response to Susan’s research in that regard. She does not mention the supposed primary CAUSE of this decline because it is not relevant. The fact that Amstrup’s modeled predictions of polar bear population crashes coincident with declining sea-ice have failed is very relevant – regardless of the hypothesised cause of sea-ice decline. To try and detract from this relevance by conflating Susan’s research with scepticism about the cause of recent sea-ice loss is extremely disingenuous and underhand. I too am not aware that Susan C has questioned the attribution of recent sea-ice loss to human activities. So in this respect, when writing about Susan C and her views on polar bear populations, to say this:

    “But to hear climate denialists tell it, polar bears are doing just fine. On Watts Up With That, Climate Depot and other websites that dispute climate science, bloggers insist that the Arctic’s receding ice is part of a natural warming cycle unrelated to human activities.”

    is, if not technically a lie, still perpetuating the lie that somehow doubt concerning the attribution of late 20th/early 21st century sea-ice loss is intimately connected to Susan’s empirically based work on actual polar bear populations’ response to the observed decline in sea-ice over the modern period. Ruminating on the finer distinction between the two is unhelpful, unproductive, and perhaps even deliberately counter-productive.

    Liked by 2 people

  28. Susan Crockford has a new article incorporating comments from Mitch Taylor, who has published dozens of papers on polar bears. Here are a couple of the less technical comments:

    “I have been active in polar bears since 1978. I didn’t recognize 12 of the 14 names on the paper written criticizing Susan for publishing an article about polar bears because she does not have any direct experience in polar bear research or management. Does anyone need to point out how hypocritical this is?”

    “There are two ways to get a scientific consensus. One is to present the data and the analysis in a manner that is so persuasive that everyone is convinced. The other way is to exclude or marginalize anyone who does not agree.”


  29. The above is all very wll but what we really, really need is poley bear supremo and all round authority on matters climate – especially unreliable renewable energy – Griff’s take on this!

    For some reason he is spurning Anthony’s blogs these days, and the humorousness coefficient has slumped alarmingly.


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