Thursday, July 05, 2007

NOAA The Fish and Wildlife Service muzzles the polar bears

Michael Tobis has spotted (Michael also points out that it was not NOAA) another case in which NOAA the Fish and Wildlife Service is muzzling its scientists, restricting travel by and limiting what they can say to the administration position. Michael is quite subtle about it.

Scientists representing the Soviet Union traveling overseas were enjoined from mentioning certain technical topics that might reflect negatively on soviet socialism, and were required to refer any questions about those polar bears to their accompanying commisar.
Go read the underlying documents, which among other things say
The Service traveler, Mrs. Hohn, will be participating in an Arctic Council's Senior Arctic Official meeting as a member of the U.S. Delegation, and as the U.S. National Representativte to the Conservation Arctic Flora and Fauna Working Group. This trip will include Mrs. Hohn stopping in Trondheim on the way to Tromso, to confer with the Norwegian CAFF National Representative on the narrower questions of which chapter or chapters of the Circumpolar Biodiversity Monitoring Plan Norway may be able to provide lead or co-lead authors for. There will be no discussion of polar bears, sea ice, or climate change at this meeting. Mrs. Hohn understands the administration's position on climate change, polar bears, and sea ice and will not be speaking on or responding to these issues.


Michael Tobis said...

Thanks for the link. However, to be precise it was the Fish and Wildlife Service, not NOAA, that was so agitated about polar bears.

This would all be far more terrifying if it were not so ludicrous. The instruction to defer to an "official spokesman" regarding "these issues, particularly polar bears" is so absurdly shallow that I find myself chuckling whenever I contemplate it.

EliRabett said...

Changed the agency to which laughter should be directed.

You are right, this was incredible. However, it provides a wonderful opening to ask what IS the administrations position on polar bears, sea ice and climate change.

Anonymous said...

The polar bears must be wondering what they've done to deserve this 'cold-shouldering'


Anonymous said...

Polar bears are losing hairs,
While Bushies hairs are splitting,
On what amounts to censorship?
You really must be kidding.

llewelly said...

... what IS the administrations position on polar bears, sea ice and climate change.

The opening of the Northwest passage will provide new opportunities for commerce. With commerce, as always, will come prosperity, tourism, gambling, and palm trees. The polar bears will greatly appreciate all these things, particularly the palm trees.

Anonymous said...

So I am imagining a scene in the bar at the Hotel Tromso. The Canadian representative in the CAFF Working Group bets the Danish guy that she can buy Mrs.Hohn enough rounds of carrot juice to get her to stammer out a few words on...."sea ice". Tune in next week for an exciting new episode of As the Arctic Melts.