Conservative MP Slammed for ‘Appalling’ Polar Bear Letter

Polar bear ~ photo by Daniel J. Cox/Natural Exposures

Polar bear ~ photo by Daniel J. Cox/Natural Exposures

April 30, 2013 _ A Conservative MP has been peddling what researchers describe as “bogus” information on polar bears and citing U.S. climate skeptics as experts on the iconic creatures.

In a letter that shocked scientists, Yukon MP Ryan Leef said: “The global polar bear population has quadrupled over the last 40 years.”

The letter, which Leef wrote to a constituent in February, said many “pessimistic studies” about the bears have been judged “unscientific and inconsequential to decision makers” by U.S. researchers. The researchers he refers to are well-known climate skeptics.

Ian Stirling, a world authority on the bears at the University of Alberta, said he was shocked by Leef’s letter. Continue reading


When it comes to survival, being a bit squirrely can be good

Red squirrel, sporting ear tag,  emitting a territorial "rattle" ~ photo Ryan W. Taylor

Red squirrel, sporting ear tag, emitting a territorial “rattle”
~ photo Ryan W. Taylor

Published April 18, 2013

The wilds of the Yukon may seem like a strange place to study stress.

But a long-running project in a spruce forest near Kluane National Park has found that when it comes to survival of the fittest, stress can be a good thing.

Females squirrels, when stressed by life in the woods, improve their pup’s odds of survival by making them grow faster, according to the latest study from the Yukon “squirrel camp” published in the journal Science on Thursday. Continue reading

International science ‘superstar’ walks away from $10-million grant

Published: November 14, 2012

Diabetes researcher Patrick Rorsman gave up $10-million research post at the University of Alberta and returned to England. Credit: UofA

By Margaret Munro
Postmedia News
A European scientist widely described as a “superstar” when he was lured to Alberta with $10 million from the federal government, has aborted his Canadian experiment.

After just seven months at the University of Alberta, Patrik Rorsman returned to England, forfeiting his $10-million Canada Excellence Research Chair.

Rorsman was one of 19 foreign men awarded lucrative deals at Canadian universities in 2010 as part of a $190-million Canada Excellence Research Chair program, the federal government’s ambitious science talent drive. Continue reading