by Miles Grant, from Wildlife Promise, August 3, 2011
Photo via Norbert Rossing
- Take a complicated story most people don’t fully understand yet and make wild, completely unsubstantiated claims about what it means.
- Target individual scientists with personal attacks, leaving other advocates of scientific truth fearful of speaking out and being the next victim.
- Urge journalists to report to the controversy, leaving the public confused.
[These BOEMRE people are lying through their teeth! They interrogated Jeffrey Gleason and Charles Monnett at length, and the only questions asked were about that 2006 paper. I know because I read both complete transcripts, and you should, too. It is just awful what they are doing! They thought they had caught Monnett with fraudulent numbers, but they found out that they themselves can't even do fifth-grade math! So, they kept on looking for something to save their butts with and came up with the single bid contract study on polar bears -- just try getting more people to bid on that type of study -- you know, there are so many people willing to live in the Arctic. Maybe they should be looking at the no-bid contract awarded to Cheney's Halliburton in Iraq, instead! BOEMRE's investigators and its head Michael Bromwich should be investigated. Why is Bromwich giving orders to suppress any research that talks about the bears or climate change? Our tax dollars pay his salary to protect the environment up there, and instead he is trying to fast track the permitting process and give it away to the Shell Oil Co., a foreign firm, with no oil spill clean up plan and no oil spill equipment or technology for cleaning up spills in the Arctic. I am not kidding!]Some new details have emerged in the mysterious case of Charles Monnett, the government wildlife biologist under investigation by the Department of Interior’s Inspector General. When Monnett, who works for the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation, and Enforcement (BOEMRE) in Alaska, was placed on adminstrative leave last month pending an investigation into unspecified “integrity issues,” there was speculation that the probe was linked to the biologist’s 2006 paper on polar bear deaths in the Arctic. But a spokeswoman for BOEMRE insisted last week that the investigation has “nothing to do with scientific integrity, his 2006 journal article, or issues related to permitting, as has been alleged.”
On Tuesday, Monnett’s legal representatives at Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) released a memorandum that the IG’s office issued to the biologist last Friday indicating that its investigation centers on the procurement process for a research project on “Populations and Sources of Recruitment in Polar Bears.” The University of Alberta in Canada is the lead organization on the ongoing study, but BOEMRE provided a substantial portion of the funding. The agency ordered to the university to “cease and desist” all work on the study five days before Monnett was suspended in mid-July. [NWF Update: Suspension has since been lifted.]The IG’s memo to Monnett requests an August 9 meeting to discuss “compliance with Federal Acquisition Regulations, disclosure of personal relationships, and preparation of the scope of work.”