“You’re a science denier!” is a slur frequently touted against those who state that they doubt that climate change is human caused. The slur has strong emotional appeal because it suggests that the person accused is failing to appreciate the mountain of evidence and therefore must be someone who is still living in a fantasy land of Santa Claus and Elves. The slur has powerful effects because it shuts down conversation, debate, and shoves the accused into the intellectual equivalent of a ghetto. Presumably, the accusers hope that the “time out” and social ostracism experienced by the accused will help bring the accused to their intellectual senses and then ultimately join the community of the enlightened.
This blog entry, however, is not about climate change and its real or alleged causes. Instead, it deals with a different issue, namely hunting grizzly bears. Recently, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) determined that grizzly bears have reached populations high enough to sustain regulated hunting https://www.fws.gov/mountain-prairie/es/grizzlyBear.php. Most people would be glad that the majestic grizzly bear species (Ursus arctos horribilis) has recovered enough to justify harvest. With so much bad environmental news around, it would seem that bear recovery would be grounds for rejoicing.
Unfortunately, that is not what happened. Self-identified environmental groups sued the USFWS decision and according to https://www.heraldandnews.com/news/local_news/judge-temporarily-blocks-hunt-of-yellowstone-grizzlies/article_f133334e-9a1f-5117-af55-f61213261d62.html a judge has blocked the hunt in Yellowstone, at least temporarily.
Now the question I have is this. How is it that if one denies that climate change is caused by human actions, one is labelled a “science denier” yet if one opposes a grizzly bear hunt then that person is called an “environmentalist”. How is it that scientists can “know” the causes behind something as complex as climate but other scientists are unable to adequately determine if there are enough grizzly bears to sustain hunting? Does it really seem reasonable that knowledge of one is easier to determine than the other?
Of course not. But in our age of spin, disinformation, and truth as perspective only, there are no objective truths. Just power, feelings, and perspectivalism. It seems now that science has succumbed because the scientists who quickly will accuse others of being science deniers seem to be quite silent about the denial of science in regards to grizzly bear populations.Stephen M. Vantassel, CWCP, is the owner of Wildlife Control Consultant, LLC. He helps people restore their balance with nature through publishing, training, consulting, and the internet. He has published numerous articles in trade and academic publications along with several books (http://kingsdivinity.academia.edu/StephenMVantassel). He is a sought after speaker and trainer. Copyright All postings are the property of Stephen M. Vantassel and Wildlife Control Consultant, LLC. Text (not images) may be reprinted in non-profit publications provided that the author and website URL is included. If images wish to be used, explicit and written permission must be obtained from Wildlife Control Consultant, LLC.