Monday, July 20, 2009

Cherry-Pick of the Day: DIY AGW Headline Generator

First, pick your headline:

Fish are shrinking in response to global warming
Fish are bloating in response to global warming
Fish are shrinking in response to climate change (i.e., when it's cold instead of hot)
Fish are bloating in response to climate change

Then, cue the picture of a single, solitary, pint-sized fish. OK, maybe two fish. One for the polar bear.

You too can become an AGW media propaganda alarmist!

Now let's visit the actual article (found here)

First sentence -- "Fish have lost half their average body mass and smaller species are making up a larger proportion of European fish stocks as a result of global warming"

Exegesis: Fish are growing half as big, smaller species are taking over, bigger species are being wiped out. Notice that there is no qualifier to the statement attributing this to global warming.

Unspoken message: The globe is warming, the natural equilibrium is being upset, the ideal temperatures we enjoyed in 1850 are now long-gone, and it's all our fault.

Second sentence -- "It's huge," said study author Martin Daufresne...."
Exegesis: This research of ours is really, really significant. This is not just big, this is very big. Vewy, vewy big. It's Huge!
Unspoken message: The media should pay gobs of attention to this and our organization should get lots more funding.

Further on: "A similar shrinking effect was recently documented in Scottish sheep [50%?] and Daufresne said it is possible that global warming could have "a significant impact on organisms in general."
Exegesis: Because you drive a car, humans will soon shrink to half their size, throwing the garment industry into chaos.
Unspoken message: Get a new wardrobe, and downsize your auto NOW (because soon you won't be able to see over the dash)!

By now the average reader is probably reeling with shock, unable to continue. What's the point of going on -- "I'm ruining the planet -- let me die, now!" However, for those who soldier on...

Way, way down: "While commercial and recreational fishing did impact some of the fisheries..."

Exegesis: Screech. Stop. Huh? You mean they're throwing into the mix fish getting smaller because the big ones have all been caught, and this wasn't mentioned sooner? And all the time I thought the cod caught off PEI were getting smaller due to over-fishing. Now I find out it's all because Al Gore has a mansion and a house-boat?
Unspoken message: Blast you, Al Gore, you and your massive carbon foot-print!

Final excerpt: "While commercial and recreational fishing did impact some of the fisheries studied, it "cannot be considered as the unique trigger"....

Exegesis: "It can't all be blamed on commercial and recreational fishing, so we're going to blame it all on global warming instead and hope nobody reads to the end of the article.

* * *

I remember the first time we drove through Indiana. To this Ontario boy, the corn stalks were huge, I mean huge. In Ontario, they grow to about your chest. (In PEI, it's your waist, if that). In Indiana, the air was hot and lush, and the corn stalks were growing well over six feet high. So, yes, global warming will affect the size of species. Corn will grow high, alarmingly high! This is huge!

I also remember the first time we spent time in Oklahoma. A native casually mentioned the second or third growing season for a crop. I asked what they were talking about. The growing season is so long in Oklahoma, you can grow two, three, or four rounds of a vegetable. In Ontario, you have a growing season. Period. And things grow only so big, and then stop.

So, yes, global warming will affect the size of species and growing seasons as well.

And it's not all bad -- but that won't produce a screaming headline.

And it's not like it's never happened before -- but that won't have the desired effect either.

And I wonder, just wonder, if there were no anthropogenic effect assumed; if UN experts and environmentalists were insisting instead that this was a natural cycle, would there be the same degree of alarmism -- would they be insisting that the peril was so great that the West must marshall its resources to beat climate change -- or would they instead be insisting, "this is nature running its course, we should adapt to it, and it would be wrong to interfere with the natural rhythms and cycles of the planet just to save some lush waterfront properties in New York and London"?

Just asking.

And that's the way the over-fished Ball bounces.

PS -- by the way, if you really believe the alarmist message, buy properties a block in from the present shoreline. Boy are your waterfront neighbors now ever going to be surprised when it's you what's got the waterfront lot!

This is big. This is huge!

No comments:

"... nothing intellectually compelling or challenging.. bald assertions coupled to superstition... woefully pathetic"