Science Magazine says,
We are deeply disturbed by the recent escalation of political assaults on scientists in general and on climate scientists in particular. All citizens should understand some basic scientific facts. There is always some uncertainty associated with scientific conclusions; science never absolutely proves anything.
So they illustrate their piece with this photo:
I submit that this photo looks fake. And sure enough, it’s a photoshopped fakery. Science now says,
“Due to an editorial error, the original image associated with this Letter was not a photograph but a collage. The image was selected by the editors, and it was a mistake to have used it.”
The statement that science never absolutely proves anything might be true, but not profound. Of course scientific conclusions are always open to new findings and new research. But the insinuation that it is us schlubs who don’t get that is offensive considering that it has been the true believers in science, James Hansen at NASA, Michael Mann at Penn State, Phil Jones of the East Anglia University, and many others, who have been telling us for the past thirty years that the science of global warming is “settled” and no longer open to argument or doubt.
So now Science Magazine has substituted a new image to illustrate its story. This image is an authentic and unaltered photograph:
Well fine. I accept that. But what does two polar bears on a chunk of ice prove? Nothing, if you know another scientific fact the evidence of which is decades of observation in the field: Polar bears can swim. For about 60 miles at a time.
UPDATE: Why would you ever find polar bears on an ice flow anyway? Well, here’s a thought. Walruses are often found sunning themselves on ice flows. Polar bears like to eat walruses.