The PJ Tatler

'Polar Bears are Drowning' Scientist Put on Leave, Investigated

It’s been a bad day for AGW scientists. NASA pokes a hole in their climate models and now the scientist behind the article that hyped the plight of the polar bears is under investigation by the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement.

While it wasn’t clear what the exact allegations are, a government watchdog group representing Anchorage-based scientist Charles Monnett said investigators have focused on his 2006 journal article about the bears that garnered worldwide attention.

The group, Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, filed a complaint on Monnett’s behalf Thursday with the agency, the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement.

BOEMRE told Monnett on July 18 that he was being put on leave, pending an investigation into “integrity issues.” The investigator has not yet told him of the specific charges or questions related to the scientific integrity of his work, said Jeff Ruch, the watchdog group’s executive director.

A BOEMRE spokeswoman, Melissa Schwartz, acknowledged there was an “ongoing internal investigation” but declined to get into specifics about it.

Whatever the outcome or the nature of the allegations, the investigation could fuel the ongoing fight between climate change activists and those who are skeptical of scientists’ findings about global warming. The probe also focuses attention on an Obama administration policy intended to protect scientists from political interference.