Polar bear alarmist returns to science job
ANCHORAGE — A scientist whose observations of drowned polar bears spurred national publicity on climate change returned to work Friday at the federal agency that oversees offshore petroleum drilling.
Charles Monnett was suspended from his job at the Anchorage office of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement after federal inspectors said he helped a polar bear researcher prepare a proposal even though he was the government official responsible for determining whether the proposal met minimum qualifications. He was away from his job for the past six weeks.
Advocacy group Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility said Mr. Monnett was targeted for his 2006 paper in a scientific journal on the drowned polar bears. The account made national news, helped to galvanize the movement against climate change and was cited in former Vice President Al Gore’s book and movie “An Inconvenient Truth.”
Michael Bromwich, the bureau’s director, has said that Mr. Monnett’s suspension was unrelated to the paper or to his scientific work.
Republican presidential hopeful Ron Paul said Sunday that the apparent overthrow of Col. Moammar Gadhafi’s regime in Libya does not justify U.S. involvement there and may end up delivering al Qaeda what he called “another prize.”
The congressman from Texas has made his mark in the presidential race as a strict libertarian who would scale back the role of the federal government in domestic and foreign affairs. A Gallup poll shows him in third place in the GOP race for the presidency.
Asked on “Fox News Sunday” whether getting rid of Col. Gadhafi was a good thing, Mr. Paul said it was but added that Col. Gadhafi’s departure did not mean the long-term result would be good for the United States. He said that getting rid of Saddam Hussein was also good, but that the long-term result in Iraq has not been a success for the U.S.
“We’ve delivered Iraq to the Iranians,” he said.
“We have no idea of what’s going to come out of Libya. I’m very skeptical,” he said.
Mr. Paul said U.S. foreign policy should be focused on national security. Instead, he said, its foreign policy has drifted toward picking dictators around the world.