HOW DARE YOU: Professor turfed after telling inconvenient climate truth
In 2011, London’s National Theatre mounted a play, The Heretic, by Richard Bean, that had the hot topic of climate change as its driving theme. His protagonist is a respected academic in the earth sciences department of a Yorkshire university, Dr. Diane Cassell. Her specialty is the measurement of sea levels in the Maldives.
Can you already see where this is going? Bet you can, and you’re right. Her scientific objectivity compels her to report the truth (and it is the truth): that in violation of all alarmist predictions that the Maldives would be completely underwater, sea levels in the Maldives have not in fact risen by more than the annual norm of a few millimetres in 20 years. In fact, new seaside resorts are being built in the Maldives as I write.
All hell breaks loose. Dr. Cassell receives death threats from eco-activists, and she is suspended by her faculty boss. Such are the perils of the heterodox thinker in a world gripped by climate-change apocalypticism.
Canada’s own version of Dr. Haskell is real-life zoologist Susan Crockford, a specialist in polar bears and dog domestication, as well as a widely-respected expert in animal bone identification who has helped catalogue museum collections and assisted police in their forensic investigations. Crockford’s academic work is of a high enough standard that she has been published in the prestigious journal Science.
She was for 15 years an adjunct assistant professor at the University of Victoria (an unpaid position that allowed her to further her research), until—without explanation—her May renewal application was rejected by UVic’s Anthropology Department. The lack of a university affiliation will put paid to her ability to apply for research grants, so basically this could mean the end of her scholarly career.
Crockford announced the non-renewal along with background information attesting to what had up to then been a stellar career in research, on her Polar Bear Science blog, accusing officials at the university of bowing to “outside pressure” in their decision. According to journalist Donna Laframboise, who wrote an article on the story for the National Post, her diligent pursuit of explanations was stonewalled by UVic. A UVic spokesman declined to say, for example, how many people were on the rejection committee or how many of them were zoologists who could make an informed decision on her competency.
The UVic expulsion follows on the heels of Crockford’s previous expulsion from the UVic Speakers Bureau, which sends out volunteer speakers drawn from faculty, graduate students and retirees. They speak on diverse topics, including climate change. For almost a decade, the Bureau had arranged for her to give unpaid talks to elementary and high school students, as well as adult community groups. One of her talks was titled Polar Bears: Outstanding Survivors of Climate Change.
But in 2017, she was told that from then on, a policy change required that the Anthropology Department chair needed to confirm that Crockford was “able to represent the university” when discussing her topics, a requirement that up to then had never before been brought up as a speaker’s obligation. (Hang on to that phrase, I’ll be returning to it in my wrap-up.)
There seems to be little doubt that Crockford’s apparent crime is climate heresy of the kind that scuppered the fictitious Dr. Haskell’s career. She shattered a myth that is deeply beloved by the Gaia religion’s climate-alarmist clerisy, in reporting the truthful information that polar bear populations are not plummeting as a result of shrinking Arctic ice. In fact, polar bear numbers are stable and even rising. As Greta Thunberg might say to Dr. Crockford, How Dare You? How dare Crockford tell this inconvenient truth, and render useless what has been the darling poster child for Doomsday-inclined warmists.
Really, dying polar bears have had a formidable grip on the public’s imagination. They are awesome creatures, in actuality capable of great ferocity, so not the cuddly creatures suggested by Coke ads, but since they are powerful symbols of extreme-cold endurance, and unique in their coloration and habitat, they are justifiably beloved national symbols. It would truly be a great tragedy if they were at risk of extinction. So one can see why they are catnip to climate-change warriors, and why the sky is the limit to the eco-warrior imagination in exploiting them for their political agenda.
Speaking of the sky being the limit, in 2009, a pollution activism group called Plane Stupid launched a graphic cinema campaign to illuminate the impact of carbon emissions, in which dozens of extremely realistic-looking CGI polar bears fall from the sky to their death, spurting “blood” as they careen off buildings and smash into car roofs with a great wincemaking thump, as an airplane whines ominously overhead. Plane Stupid said the ad was inspired by the fact the 400kg of carbon produced by the average European flight is the same weight as the average polar bear. England’s advertising regulator was not amused.
In 2011, polar bears were referenced in the above-mentioned play, The Heretic. Dr. Cassell says at one point: “This generation are disaster junkies. … Every day they wake craving a narrative fix. When they see a photograph of a polar bear, hitching a lift on a passing ice floe, they cannot see an animal at ease in its natural habitat. What they see is the last five minutes of Titanic!”
Well put. When Crockford was delivering her truthful polar bear shpiels to elementary school students, she says she was repeatedly “astonished to learn that every single teacher believed that only a few hundred to a few thousand polar bears were left.” Such widespread indoctrination-fuelled ignorance gave Crockford additional motivation as a scientist to speak up and inform both students and teachers that the global population of polar bears is estimated as 22,000 to 31,000 and may even be quite a bit higher.
Polar bears are adaptive and well able to withstand changes in their Arctic environment, she tells her audiences. The ability to “adapt” to changing climatic conditions is of course very triggering to the alarmist clerisy, who know that any comforting truth offered to hoi polloi that takes the edge off climate-change panic makes their task of terror-mongering that much harder.
It’s one thing to cut loose an academic who doesn’t toe the party line on climate change predictions—let’s say someone on the faculty who is convinced we’re going to enter a cooling cycle very soon, and we should be preparing for adaptation to a colder world. It would still be wrong to censure that researcher if he or she was working from a reasonable hypothesis that could neither be proved nor disproved, it would be somewhat understandable that the university wanted to present a united face to the world on what it considers the received wisdom, even though projections of drastic warming due to anthropogenic forcing is also a hypothesis, not a fact. But never mind. Let’s stipulate that the latter hypothesis is what “represents the university.”
But Dr. Crockford is not disputing the hypothesis of global warming nor the role of humans in causing it. All she is saying is that even if the Arctic is getting warmer, the prediction that warming would have a disastrous effect on polar bears was not borne out. The polar bears are there and doing fine. We are way beyond hypothesis territory here and into bloody factual reality. The polar bears are there. You can go up north and see them if you want. Nevertheless, UVic is by all appearances saying to an honest authority on her subject, your bloody facts don’t interest us, because they don’t “represent the university.”
If a UVic can claim that demonstrable reality uncovered by bona fide methodology does not “represent” it, then UVic has effectively declared itself a religious institution, no different in principle than the Jehovah’s Witnesses that “shun” members of their faith who challenge a core doctrine. They are prepared—no, they apparently actually want—to have little kids sobbing into their pillows at night over the allegedly disappearing polar bears, and they want elementary school teachers to keep on drilling that myth into their vulnerable little heads, for ideological reasons alone. The conclusion they are chivvying us toward is that the prohibition of proven truth and the promotion of faith-driven lies is in fact what “represents the university.”
The shunning of Susan Crockford has all the earmarks of an intellectual scandal and an institutional disgrace. Unless they have some hitherto suppressed information proving that Crockford is morally unfit to continue as a member of the UVic community, UVic should reinstate her forthwith as adjunct professor, and as a member in good standing of its Speakers Bureau, along with an apology for their error of judgment.
Then they should publicly state that they understand the polar bears are doing well—and that’s okay. Then they should go about their business and let all their academics go about theirs—free from surveillance by the Thought Police—to uncover the facts as they find them and to share them with the world, a process that is—when not impeded by popular delusions and the madness of crowds—the scientific norm.
UPDATE: On December 6th, a Twitter user reported to The Post Millennial that two of Michaels’ tweets had violated the Twitter Terms of Service. Michaels then locked his account.
The Post Millennial reached out to Twitter to verify if disciplinary action had been taken against Michaels since his harassment of Andy Ngo was reported on, but did not hear back by the time of publication.
The Post Millennial has learned that a Twitter account that has been engaged in targeted harassment of TPM Editor-at-large Andy Ngo appears to belong to none other than a Twitter employee.
Max Michaels, who goes under the Twitter handle Manchild, is an Operations Infrastructure Analytics Engineer at the Twitter Command Center. According to his Linkedin, he has worked at Twitter for over 7 years.
Michaels’ abusive behaviour towards Ngo began in June of 2019 after Ngo was bloodied while reporting from an Antifa riot in Portland. Beneath a tweet calling for information which might lead to the arrest of those involved, Michaels wrote: “It’s almost like there are repercussions for being a piece of shit.”
Under another tweet by Ngo, Michaels replies “you should just get fat again and hangout on reddit acting sad. I liked fat, sad Andy better.”
Michaels also replied to journalist Peter Hasson, who was reporting on Ngo’s brain bleed as a result of his beating at the riot, calling the hemorrhage a “lifelong, pre-existing condition from garbage Andy.”
Michaels was featured in a 2016 Vice article describing the important functions of the Command Center. In the piece, Michaels is quoted as saying he and his team are responsible for “keeping the lights on at Twitter.”
A recent job posting for the Twitter Command Center suggests staff have a great deal of insight and control over the intricate details of Twitter’s technical infrastructure, calling into question what impact potential biases in the staff might have over users’ personal information and security on the platform.
Ngo was recently suspended from Twitter for tweeting a truthful claim that “The U.S. is one of the safest countries for trans people. The murder rate of trans victims is actually lower than that for cis population. Also, who is behind the murders? Mostly black men.” Ngo was forced to delete the verifiably truthful claim in order to regain access to his account.
The Post Millennial reached out to Michaels for comment but has not heard back by the time of publication. He did, however, confirm on Twitter that he still works in Operations for Twitter.
Targeted harassment is explicitly against Twitter’s Terms of Service. A Twitter spokesperson said, “Abuse and harassment have no place on Twitter. We take enforcement action against any content that is violative of our rules, regardless of the account involved.”
Daniel Koren is the director of Hasbara Fellowships Canada, an organization that empowers student leaders to fight against anti-Israel and antisemitic discrimination on campus.
In an opinion piece titled “Free Speech, but not for Palestine” published in the Toronto Sun on Nov. 28, two anti-Israel activists (one of whom is known for his anti-Israel activism at York University) suggest there is nothing wrong with calling for an intifada on campus.
As the director of Hasbara Fellowships Canada, which empowers student leaders to fight against anti-Israel and antisemitic discrimination on campus, I strongly disagree.
In their op-ed, Hammam Farah, a York alumnus and founder of the university’s Students Against Israeli Apartheid (SAIA) club, and Mona Dennaoui, a former member of SAIA, suggest they were bullied by members of the Jewish Defence League (JDL) and other Jewish counter-protestors at the now infamous York rally on Nov. 20.
This, despite the fact that, according to most accounts, Jewish protestors were outnumbered by anti-Israel demonstrators by at least six to one.
Astonishingly, referring to members of the JDL (known for their hawkish position on the Arab-Israeli conflict) as “snowflakes” isn’t the most ludicrous comment in Farrah and Dennaoui’s op-ed.
No, what’s most absurd is that they suggest there is no free speech for Palestine at a campus known for its hostility towards Jews and pro-Israel students, a campus notorious for a vulgar and violent mural that Jews have for years demanded be removed, a campus where even uttering the words “Israel” or “Zionism” can result in harassment and discrimination.
Farrah and Dennaoui are right about at least one thing, though: the importance of freedom of speech on Canadian college and university campuses. What they fail to articulate is that chanting “Viva, viva intifada!” is not free speech. In my view, it’s hate speech.
But please, don’t take my word for it.
Take the word of Adele Banita-Bennett, whose 22-year-old husband Aharon was stabbed to death in the name of intifada as Adele, their two-year-old daughter, and infant baby watched in horror.
Or, to illustrate why the Palestinian Roots mural promotes violence against Jews, take the word of Yosefa or Maya Levlovich, who were in the car with their father Alexander when Palestinians hurled rocks at their car, forcing it to crash. Alexander, now known as the first victim of the “Stabbing Intifada” of 2015-16, died in hospital the next day.
Or take the word of any of the relatives of the victims of the October, 2015 Jerusalem bus attack, where three Israelis were killed and 16 others were wounded in the name of intifada.
I can go on and on. This is the real face of intifada, and not just to the Jewish- and Arab-Israelis who have been mercilessly attacked in cold blood, but to anyone who has been paying attention.
When a small number of Jews are subject to chants of “Viva, Viva Intifada!” from a much larger group, that’s not just some innocuous saying to us. It’s a call for a violent uprising of knife stabbings, car rammings, and suicide attacks, not “peaceful resistance,” as many anti-Israel activists have suggested. It’s a horrific promotion of murder and genocide.
Palestinians, like all people, deserve the right to protest and freedom of speech. Palestinians, like all people, should not be held collectively responsible when their leaders promote bloodshed by calling for an intifada.
But to imply that this term can mean anything else but violence and murder is to assume it is subject to interpretation when it is not. These examples are indisputable facts concerning hundreds of innocent Israelis, Jewish and Muslim alike, murdered in the name of intifada.
It is the height of hypocrisy that Hammam Farah, who has personally attempted to silence oh so many Jewish- and Israeli-Canadians, claims to be interested in preserving freedom of speech. If he were, then that freedom would have to be awarded to all people, even those he disagrees with.
Following the rally at York, some of the IDF soldiers who spoke said it was unfortunate not a single anti-Israel protestor would give them the chance to start a dialogue that could lead to interfaith building. Instead, they were just trying to shut them down. As the founder of SAIA York, who organized the rally, this is Hammam Farah’s legacy.
Sadly, if anyone is guilty of denying freedom of speech and expression, it is the anti-Israel activists at York, U of T, McGill and other campuses around the world where Jews are being told what they can and cannot do or say. Or am I just being a snowflake?
Consent culture is touted as the antidote for rape culture. Only it’s not really the opposite or a salve, but a perpetuation of the infantilization of women. Articles abound on how rape culture is perpetuated, by parents to children, in entertainment, and by women’s fear of men. Consent culture posits that the asking of women for their permission prior to the commencement of sexual or romantic contact could remedy this. The preponderance of rhetoric around consent does not liberate women, or even give them the autonomy it seeks to, but turns romance into bureaucracy.
Consent culture seeks to redefine how we think about relationships, sex, and our own impulses. There’ve been hot takes about how it’s wrong to make little kids hug their grandparents and missives about how a yes can be retracted in medias res. On some college campuses, there’ve been directives on asking for consent during every step of a sexual encounter, while still having the conceit that if the sex is later regretted, it can be reclassed as rape, despite consent. Now we’re treated to a new kind of ask for consent, consent for sexting.
“Ask consent for all sexual encounters, yes, even sexting. I just came up with this script that you’re all welcome to borrow!”
The message is that this is how intimacy should be initiated, cordially, without nuance. Rather, a straight appeal to the logical mind is what’s required. If this is the kind of message you feel you must send to find out if a person wants to sext with you, perhaps that’s not the right person to sext with. Are we so closed with our feelings that we can’t express them except in the form of yes or no answers to direct questions? This seems like the type of question one should only ask if they’re sure of an affirmative response.
The reaction to the consent for sext script was swift and fierce. But as we try more and more to control what we say, how we say it, and the thoughts from which our expression derives, this is the direction in which we’re headed. Mediated communication, even in our most intimate moments, a script for how to talk to those we feel passionately about simply to ensure that no one is offended, are the ways we are being directed to initiate and stay in romantic relationships.
Does asking for consent in this way work? Does it achieve the goal of getting someone to read your illicit thoughts? The response to this request to sext could go one of two ways: yes, or no. If yes, the initiating sexter may imagine that this is a green light to off-screen romance, but what if the mere act of asking has an impact on the answer? Perhaps the respondent, in saying okay, is actually feeling coerced by the existence of the question into accepting the terms of this new form of contact. This script is intended for both the asker and the asked, after all.
If that’s the case, then gaining consent isn’t even a good enough measure of her willingness to sext with you. As this poster points out:
In this context, consent culture is an extension of rape culture. It’s not something that can stop women from getting into uncomfortable situations, but the first bit of pressure that leads them down the road to coercion, where every yes is more easily followed up by an additional yes. How do you tell a guy whose sexts you’ve accepted that you don’t want sex, is the question this post asks.
Both the initial script of how to ask someone to sext with you and the note about how the expression of consent is not evidence of consent assume that a woman does not know her own mind. Either she needs to be asked directly if she is interested, presumably because she has not given any indication of being intrigued by her potential suitor, or even when she affirms her intention, she is not telling the truth.
There’s this idea that we know what healthy relationships look like, and that we can engineer them, from the outset, to follow a prescribed course to attain that result. This new relationship model is in direct reaction to the old patriarchal one, where men led the family and women submitted to their husbands. That model still works for many families– are those couples doing their relationship wrong, even if those within the family are thriving?
Romance isn’t really an appeal to logic and reason. What works for one couple may not work for another. Individuals don’t come to relationships from a position of knowing what they want, how to get it, or even fully how they want to be treated. We’re all basically damaged, and the implementation of checklists into relationships makes things worse, not better. There is no script for how to communicate, despite the tweets or BuzzFeed quizzes. There is only, as always, open communication, respect, kindness, love, and honesty. Nothing else is even remotely relevant. Speak with an open and loving heart. Don’t let romance be carried off by paperwork and rules of wokeness.
Quebec politician says that you should be able to commit suicide if you're worried about climate change
Quebec politician Luc Ferrandez has suggested that euthanasia could be extended to those who wish not to be a burden on society.
Writing in a Facebook post, the former mayor of Plateau Mont-Royal said, “Could we, for environmental, social and economic reasons, decide that we want to receive help to die so as not to be a burden for our family and society in general?”
When confronted about his comments, Ferrandez stated that he merely intended to “deepen the discussion” on assisted dying, according to Journal Metro. “Is it immoral to ask a question,” he added indignantly.
Currently, for assisted dying to be permitted, a patient must be suffering, and their death must be imminent. Ferrandez appeared upset as the law does not consider the possibility that a patient may want to die for environmental or economic reasons.
In 2016, several advocates requested that the government expanded euthanasia legislation so to fit Ferrandez’s definition, however, the provincial government is not ready to rethink the legislation in the immediate future