- Doctorate from the University of Victoria in 2004. 
- Bachelor of Science degree in Zoology from the University of B.C. (1976). 
Susan Crockford runs the website “Polar Bear Science” where she describes herself as a “zoologist with more than 35 years experience, including published work on the Holocene history of Arctic animals.” She also runs the private consulting company, Pacific Identifications Inc. 
“Polar bear evolution is one of my professional interests,” Crockford writes at Polar Bear Science. While she does not study them in the field, she claims she is a “different kind of polar bear expert” and that “having a different background means I know things they do not and this makes my contribution valuable and valid.” 
Crockford, who has also said that “‘polar bear expert’ describes me just as well as ‘dog evolution expert,’” has not published in any peer-reviewed journals on polar bears. Crockford consistently claims that her work shows polar bears are not being endangered by global warming. A search of Google Scholar returns a number of articles related to early dog domestication. However, Crockford has prolifically posted polar bear articles on her own blog and in regular reports at the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF), which are often echoed by an extensive network of climate change denial blogs, conservative news sources like Breitbart, and climate change denial think tanks and organizations. , 
Crockford has claimed her GWPF reports are peer reviewed. However, an undercover Greenpeace investigation cast doubt on the validity of the GWPF‘s internal review process, noting that only the group’s internal advisory council generally reviewed documents, rather than the genuine, rigorous and often anonymized peer review of a traditional scientific journal. 
In 2012, a confidential document leak, dubbed Denialgate, revealed that Crockford had also been receiving payments of $750 per month from the notorious climate change denial think tank, the Heartland Institute, to work on their NIPCC (Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change) project. Crockford has also spoken at the Heartland Institute’s International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC). Crockford refused to discuss the payments when contacted by a University of Victoria student newspaper. , 
Crockford regularly produces studies for the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF), a think tank based in the UK run by Nigel Lawson with the purpose of combating what the foundation describes as “extremely damaging and harmful policies” designed to mitigate climate change. 
In November 2017, a study in the journal BioScience of discussions about polar bears on climate science denial blogs found that Crockford’s website was cited in about 80 percent of all the posts analyzed.
“Zero Authority” on Polar Bear Science
“If you tell a lie big enough, often enough, people will begin to believe it,” said Ian Stirling. “The denier websites have been using her and building her up as an expert.” 
Stirling co-authored a 2017 paper in the journal BioScience looking at a tactic used by climate change denial blogs to attack the symbols of climate change, rather than the science behind it. Motherboard reported that the study also found that, by examining 45 blogs that deny or question climate science, 80 percent of those blogs referenced a single site with reference to polar bears: that of Susan Crockford. 
“Because this evidence is so overwhelming, it would be virtually impossible to debunk; the main strategy of denier blogs is therefore to focus on topics that are showy and in which it is therefore easy to generate public interest,” the authors wrote. 
“Proponents of creationism and intelligent design use the same strategy: Instead of providing scientific evidence in favor of their opinions, they instead focus selectively on certain lines of evidence for evolution and attempt to cast doubt on them.” 
Crockford responded by sending a letter to the editors of Bioscience “requesting retraction of the shoddy and malicious paper by Harvey et al.” 
GWPF “Peer Review” Process
While Crockford has claimed to have published “peer-reviewed” studies at GWPF, the group’s unofficial peer review process differs from that of major academic journals. As revealed by an undercover Greenpeace investigation, articles would be submitted inside the GWPF‘s Advisory Council and other selected scientists reviewing the work, rather than presenting it to an academic journal. , , 
Sense About Science, a UK charitable trust, describes the danger of such a review process (despite having Matt Ridley, a member of GWPF‘s Advisory Council, on its own board):
”[S]ometimes organisations or individuals claim to have put their studies through peer review when, on inspection, they have only shown it to some colleagues. Such claims are usually made in the context of a campaign directed at the public or policy makers, as a way of trying to give scientific credibility to certain claims in the hope that a non-scientific audience will not know the difference.”
Stance on Climate Change
April 10, 2019
“I’m here today to talk about an important example of the failed science that’s used to convince uninformed people that burning fossil fuels has had and will continue to have a harmful effect on the planet.” 
March 13, 2013
In a GWPF paper titled “Ten Good Reasons Not to Worry About Polar Bears,” Crockford makes assertions about polar bear populations and global warming. 
“Global temperatures have not risen in a statistically-significant way in the last 16 years […] which suggests that the record sea ice lows of the last few years are probably not primarily due to CO2 -caused increases in global temperatures,” Crockford wrote, citing a non-scientific GWPF paper and numbers provided by climate change denier Roy Spencer as evidence.
“I am here today to give you an example of the failed science that is used to convince uninformed people that burning fossil fuels has had and will continue to have harmful effects on the planet.”
Crockford was quoted by multiple news sources, including climate change denier James Delingpole at Breitbart, and climate change denial blogs Climate Depot and Bishop Hill, Principia Scientific International, Watts Up With That, for a paper she had written in 2015 for the Global Warming Policy Foundation titled “Twenty good reasons not to worry about polar bears”: , , , , 
“On almost every measure, things are looking good for polar bears,” Crockford claimed.
February 28, 2021
Crockford wrote a report for the Global Warming Policy Foundation which argued that polar bear numbers had not declined as a result of climate change. It stated: “Even in 2020, polar bears continue to be described as ‘canaries in the coal mine’ for the effects of human-caused climate change, despite evidence that far from being a highly-sensitive indicator species, it is thriving across the Arctic, even in regions that have had the most dramatic recent declines in sea ice.” 
The accompanying post stated that Crockford’s report: “comes bearing good news, as it finds that Gaia’s favourite cuddly carnivorous super-predators have enjoyed yet another year of population growth.” 
January 27, 2020
The UK-based Global Warming Policy Forum released a video narrated by Crockford claiming nature broadcaster Sir David Attenborough had been misleading the public about the state of the Arctic and the impact of climate change on wildlife populations, in particular polar bears. During the video, entitled “Attenborough’s Arctic Betrayal”, Crockford accuses Attenborough and his producers of advancing a “message of escalating doom about the Arctic”, claiming that “polar bears and walrus are currently thriving, despite recent sea ice declines”. According to a press release posted by the group, she argues that Attenborough “bears the brunt of responsibility for the recent epidemic of ‘eco-anxiety’ among children and young adults”. , 
The GWPF also announced it would be sending the video to all headteachers in the UK, along with a letter “telling them that they are responsible for the mental health of their pupils and that they have a responsibility to provide their pupils with accurate information about the state of wildlife in the Arctic”.
April 10, 2019
Crockford gave a presentation at an annual Friends of Science event in Calgary, Alberta, rejecting climate science and claiming that polar bear populations have not been affected by global warming. 
On the same day an article in The New York Times highlighted an article published Tuesday in the peer-reviewed journal BioScience found climate change denial websites and blogs are using polar bears “to spread misinformation about the causes and consequences of climate change.” That study found that about 80 percent of contrarian websites such as Watts Up With That and Climate Depot link to Crockford’s Polar Bear Science website as a source. 
Crockford described the article as “academic rape,” while contrarian websites including Climate Audit and the Global Warming Policy Foundation came to Crockford’s defense. Multiple freedom of information requests were filed swiftly after the article was published, targeting correspondence from universities the authors worked at. 
Jeffrey A. Harvey, an ecologist and the article’s lead author, said: “Every time these deniers make some outlandish claim in the media and we don’t respond to it, it’s like a soccer match and we’ve given them an open goal.” 
April 5, 2019
During the interview, Crockford said:
“The bears are much more flexible [to the effects of global warming] and resourceful than they were given credit for. […]” 
Carlson: “You are a zoologist. You know a lot about polar bears. But you’ve been attacked by many in the climate establishment as a ‘denier’ as a subversive person whose voice shouldn’t be heard. This seems like a fairly straightforward question. They told us the polar bears were going extinct. You’re certain they’re not. Why is this controversial?”
Crockford: “The original proclamation of polar bears becoming extinct or being threatened with extinction back in 2007 was that polar bears were raised and used as an icon for global warming. And it became an important talisman for the whole movement. And that whole level of argument is being protected, and one of the reasons I’m being attacked is that I’m using the data, the scientific information that these biologists have collected themselves, I’m using that against them.” 
“The whole idea that you could blame these polar bear decline on global warming probably saved the careers on a lot of polar bear specialists and so it’s in their best interests to make sure that this concept stays in the public limelight.” 
Carlson: “Even though it’s a lie. They don’t care about polar bears.” 
Crockford: “Even though it’s a lie. Yes.” 
February 27, 2019
The Global Warming Policy Foundation, a UK think tank founded by a climate change denier, published a new report by Crockford purporting to show evidence of a rising polar bear population in the Canadian Arctic. Crockford speculated that the bears were adapting well to what she admitted was a period of Arctic warming: 
“We now know that polar bears are very resourceful creatures. They have made it through warm periods in the past and they seem to be taking the current warming in their stride too”. 
The report cited eyewitness reports and increasing encounters with polar bears by the people of Nunavut as evidence of an increasing population:
“The people of Nunavut are not seeing starving, desperate bears – quite the opposite. Yet polar bear specialists are saying these bears are causing problems because they don’t have enough sea ice to feed properly. The facts on the ground make their claims look silly, including the abundance of fat bears. Residents are pushing their government for a management policy that makes protection of human life the priority.” 
Peer-reviewed research by polar bear experts, however, suggests that the animals are being driven to seek out food scraps from human habitation as their hunting grounds decline with the melting ice.
February 4, 2018
In January 2018, more than 200 scientists endorsed an open letter calling on the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) to remove climate change denier Rebekah Mercer from its board and to “end ties to anti-science propagandists and funders of climate science misinformation.” The New York Times reported that those among the AMNH letter calling for Mercer to step down were Michael E. Mann, director of the Earth System Science Center at Pennsylvania State University, and Katharine Hayhoe, director of the Climate Science Center at Texas Tech University. 
Crockford was among a group of climate change deniers who responded with their own open letter, calling for the AMNH “not to cave in to this pressure.” The letter was signed by numerous individuals with ties to groups funded by the Mercer Family Foundation such as Will Happer of the CO2 CoalitionRichard Lindzen, a fellow at the Cato InstituteCraig Idso, the chairman of the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change. There are a number of signatories affiliated with the Heartland Institute, which has received over $5.78 million from the Mercer Family Foundation since 2008. 
“The Earth has supported abundant life many times in the geological past when there were much higher levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. It is quite likely that future generations will benefit from the enrichment of Earth’s atmosphere with more carbon dioxide.
“Make no mistake, the agitators are not defending science from quackery — quite the contrary!”
In the journal BioScience, a group of scientists published analysis of the climate science denial blogosphere, arguing that the supposed doubts over the vulnerability of polar bears to climate chnage had become a proxy for climate science deniers to push back against other scientific findings related to the vulnerability of ecosystems and species.
In the paper, the researchers found that Susan Crockford’s Polar Bear Science blog had been cited by about 80 per cent of the climate denial blog posts as the primary source for either information or discussion on the threats to polar bears.
Crockford wrote to the journal’s editor to demand the paper be retracted, claiming later it was “academic rape”. On her blog under the headline “Bioscience article is academic rape: an assertion of power and intimidation”, Crockford wrote: “Characterizing a professional, respected scientist as an unqualified vengeful opinion writer is the same kind of power attack as rape.”
March 23 – 24, 2017
Crockford was a speaker at the Heartland Institute‘s Twelfth International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC12). She spoke on Panel #A, “Fossil Fuels & the Environment.” Her speech was titled “Polar Bears: The Global Warming Icon That Refused to Die.” 
View the video below, as well as the archived PowerPoint presentation.
In conclusion, Crockford notes that she has two new books on polar bears, one “for adults and high school students and the other suitable for children seven and up.” 
February 27, 2017
Crockford was featured on a GWPF video titled “Polar Bear Scare Unmasked: The Saga of a Toppled Global Warming Icon”: 
November 6, 2017
“I hope you find it a useful resource for refuting the pessimism and prophecies of catastrophe about the future of polar bears,” Crockford wrote of her new GWPF paper, titled “Twenty Good Reasons Not to worry about polar bears: an update.” 
Crockford listed the following conclusions in the GWPF Briefing:
- Polar bears are thriving: they are not currently threatened with extinction.
- Tens of thousands of polar bears did not die as a result of more than a decade of low summer sea ice, as was predicted.
- Polar bears don’t need sea ice in late summer/early fall as long as they are well-fed in the spring.
Crockford wrote a GWPF “briefing” titled “The Arctic Fallacy: Sea ice stability and the polar bear” where she claims that “the assumption that Arctic sea ice is a naturally stable habitat over short time frames is a biological fallacy.” 
“Given what we now know about the animals and their naturally changing habitat, it is time to concede that data do not support predictions that polar bears, walrus, and Arctic seals are threatened with extinction due to habitat instability,” Crockford wrote. 
January 15, 2015
In a Financial Post opinion piece titled “Faux polar bear figures,” Crockford alleged that researchers were selectively presenting data because “prominent PBSG [Polar Bear Specialist Group] biologists seem determined to keep polar bears listed as ‘vulnerable’ to extinction ([International Union for Conservation of Nature] IUCN-equivalent of ‘threatened’) at all costs.” 
“Polar bears are currently doing well – data shenanigans to keep them classified as ‘threatened’ undermine the whole point of doing science,” Crockford concluded. 
October 20, 2014
“The constant rush by government biologists and the WWF to blame global warming for any changes they see in walruses and polar bears – always seeing signs of pending catastrophe – fails to account for natural changes in sea ice (both up and down), natural fluctuations in population size, and most importantly, the resilience of both species to profound sea ice changes they have survived repeatedly before now,” Crockford concluded. 
June 11, 2014
Crockford gave a lecture at the House of Lords in London, arranged by the Global Warming Policy Foundation, titled “Healthy polar bears, less than healthy science.” She published a GWPF “note” of the same name in August 2014. 
Crockford is listed as a contributing author/reviewer for the second report released by the Heartland Institute‘s Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC) titled “Climate Change Reconsidered II.” The report is a joint project of the Heartland Institute and the Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP) with the primary goal of discrediting the report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The full text of the report is available here. 
March 13, 2013
In a GWPF paper titled “Ten Good Reasons Not to Worry About Polar Bears,” Crockford provides what she describes as “a useful resource for tuning out the cries of doom and gloom about the future of polar bears and celebrating their current success.” 
Climate change denier and GWPF adviser Matt Ridley wrote the foreword to the paper. Citing Crockford’s work, Ridley asserts that “the claim that polar bear populations are declining at all, let alone due to climate change, is a manufactured myth.” 
“Such changes in Arctic sea ice appear to be normal habitat variations that polar bears have survived before (see point 9, below) and are likely due to natural processes we do not yet fully understand,” Crockford concluded. 
Denialgate documents revealed that Crockford had been receiving payments of $750 per month from the notorious climate change denial think tank, the Heartland Institute, to work on their NIPCC project. Crockford refused to discuss the payments when contacted by a University of Victoria student newspaper. 
One of Crockford’s colleagues at the University of Victoria commented on her work with the Heartland Institute:
“It is regrettable that anyone affiliated with the University of Victoria participated in the activities of an organization like the Heartland Institute,” says Dr. Thomas F. Pederson, Executive Director of the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions (PICS) at UVic. “The University prides itself on being an institution of higher learning that deals with facts and that is nowhere more true than in the field of science. Those who deny that the planet is warming as a direct result of human activity are denying facts.” 
- International Climate Science Coalition (ICSC) — Member, “Canadian Speakers Bureau.” 
- Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF) — Regular report author.
- Heartland Institute — Paid NIPCC contributor. 
Crockford does not appear to have published any articles in peer reviewed journals on polar bears or climate change. Her primary source of published articles appears to be early dog domestication and prehistoric dogs. 
According to a summary in the opinion section of Arctic Journal, and also at her blog, Crockford claims that one of her GWPF “briefing” papers is a “a peer-reviewed, fully referenced essay.” A 2015 Greenpeace investigation revealed details on just what “peer review” means in the context of the Global Warming Policy Foundation. , 
Some publications—like in Forbes, where the Heartland Institute’s James Taylor wrote praising Crockford—declare that Crockford “has been published many times in the peer-reviewed scientific literature.” While this is true in reference to her focus on “the Holocene history of Arctic animals,” on topics like dog evolution, the claim is often made alongside her claims on polar bears. 
An interchange between William Happer, who sits on the Academic Advisory Council of GWPF, and an undercover Greenpeace reporter revealed that GWPF‘s “peer review” process was to submit papers solely to members of its Advisory Council. Happer noted that a more mainstream journal would be much more difficult to get published in because of “the complications of delay, possibly quixotic editors and reviewers.” View the full email chain here, with comments from Greenpeace. , 
Google Scholar search for “Susan Crockford” performed December 24, 2017.
“2012 Proposed Budget” (PDF), The Heartland Institute. Archived at DeSmog.
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Jimmy Thomson. “Polar Bears Chosen as a Bizarre Symbol to Deny Climate Change, Scientists Say,” The Narwhal, November 30, 2017.
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Susan Crockford. “ON THE BEACH: Walrus haulouts are nothing new,” Global Warming Policy Foundation. 2014.
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