Alaska cancels snow crab season for first time in history after discovering a 90% drop in population

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So you are questioning the integrity of scientists based on what evidence, exactly? Or do you just disbelieve that populations under environmental pressure can’t collapse that quickly?


I’m not questioning the 90%, I’m questioning whether it really happened in two years, or if it’s been going on for longer and was swept under the rug until it became so big they couldn’t ignore it.

But that’s the data being presented by scientists who work for the State of Alaska. So you are questioning the veracity of their work. You are questioning their integrity.

Personally, I’m tired of non-experts questioning scientists for no damn reason. It’s destroying our world and our society. I’m tired of keyboard warriors calling into doubt every finding and every conclusion that teams of scientists come to, after years of study, based on nothing but their own desire to seem edgy or important.

If you have data that refutes these findings, by all means present it. But it’s shitty to just call it into doubt based on your gut, unless your lower intestines have a PhD from Woods Hole or Scripps.


Exactly. It’s basically saying all the scientists working diligently to study this population have either been willfully hiding the facts or have been passively letting falsehoods be published and not speaking out. Either way, basically calling them all liars. This mentality is not at all helpful.
Population collapse is real. Or sometimes they just aren’t where we’d expect them to be and we can’t find them (because the ocean is fucking enormous and amazing), but when scientists tell us they’re gone and it happened quite suddenly, we should listen to them. :woman_shrugging:t2:
I can’t even imagine how frustrating it must be to be a natural scientist in today’s climate. Skepticism and asking for evidence is one thing. Calling dedicated professionals liars without evidence is just insulting.


Dunning-Kruger, yo.


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I am not tired of experts.


The idea that scientific experts engage in industry wide coverups is based on the frankly fantastical notion that all (or at least most) of the experts in any given field are morally shady, highly disciplined and motivated by shared interests.

In reality just about every scientific field out there is filled with frequently petty rivals who are competing for the same grant money and would love nothing more than to show up some of their colleagues by proving them wrong.


I am absolutely all for listening to the experts, but we shouldn’t act like they can’t be bought.

I’m not suggesting these folks in Alaska are at all, but part of the reason that so many people are skeptical of experts comes from corporate influence on science; take the lead poisoning of the 1950’s, the doctors who peddled cigarettes, or phen-phen, and on and on and on.

If the previous people working up there were on the dole, all bets could be off on a good faith crab count.

But speculating about lack of integrity from scientists better have a fairly specific reason or some kind of evidence behind it, or it’s just conspiracy theory and attention-seeking bullshit. That action allies itself with and amplifies antivaxx and climate change denialism.


I can think of plenty of cases in which an industry bought themselves a bunch of experts to sow doubt about a specific issue, like the tobacco industry bankrolling studies to cast doubt on the causes of lung cancer or the people who paid Dr. Wakefield to “find” a link between vaccines and autism or the fossil fuel industry paying experts to rave about the potential benefits of “clean coal.”

However in those cases it was still a subset of “experts” pushing back against the overwhelming scientific consensus. I can’t think of any examples of an entire field of science being bought and paid for. Do you have any examples in mind?


The big difference is that back then, reaching the public was difficult and all you really had to buy off were the gatekeepers.
That’s not the case anymore.


You’re completely right.

Nope, and I don’t think these people are bought off.

Another comment rightly points out that back in the day, regulatory capture was easier for conglomerates to get away with because reaching the masses was considerably more difficult than it is now.

Ultimately this whole bit is a tangent. I can sympathize some with the poster who implied that perhaps populations were observably declining longer than stated, but with no evidence or at least a few red strings on a cork board, it’s completely off-topic.

Getting into science, and getting your PhD is a calling for a lot of people. It requires a lot of work, and the promised payoff is not that you’re going to eventually be making a lot of money, but that you get to do science. If you want to make a lot of money, jumping over the high bar of becoming a scientist and then selling out is not a sensible path.


I agree with you completely, and in general I don’t think people go into fields like that with the intention of betraying their interests.


Speaking as one of those experts,

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In the mix of pins I wear occasionally (my “VOTE and tell them Ruth sent you” and “Equal rights for others does not mean fewer rights for you - it’s not pie” are my favorites) is “Every disaster movie begins with the government ignoring a scientist”. True in the past, particularly true over the last few years, and as far as I can tell it will be true for the rest of eternity…

I’m so tired of people taking warnings like this as “Hold my beer…” challenges.


That was the classic conservative argument why climate scientists were overwhelmingly stating the reality and urgency of climate change - for the sweet, sweet grant money. It was laughably transparent projection; it was those same conservatives announcing “if I was a climate scientist, I would betray my field in a heartbeat for a little cash!” When in fact, those same climate scientists probably drove 15-year old Volvos and Subarus, or even just biked to work.