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January 11th 2014 print

Mal Wedd

Pity The Climate-Addled Moose

Add the innocent moose to global warming's ever-growing ledger of victims and perishing species. Only a mass infusion of research grants can save it

moose“Puzzling moose deaths hint at climate shock to forests” proclaimed a recent New Scientist  report.  Unfortunately, as in most New Scientist articles promoting global warming, the body of the story did not justify its headline.

“Moose in the northern US are dying in what could be the start of a huge climate shock to the world’s boreal forests,” the article asserted. This line was followed by the mandatory exclamations “it’s worse than we thought” and “it’s broader than I thought”.

The article presents a brief discussion on the evidence of the “die-off” and the obvious, apparently undeniable reason.

No single cause seems to be responsible across all regions.  In Minnesota, many moose seem to be dying of parasitic worms called liver flukes; in Wyoming, some researchers are pointing to a worm that blocks the moose’s carotid arteries; in New Hampshire, massive tick infections seem to be the culprit.  This diversity of reasons makes some experts think they need to dig deeper.

“The fact that you’ve got different proximate causes killing off the moose suggests there’s an underlying ultimate cause.”

Of course, there can only be one cause, even if there are many — nay, especially if there are many.

I can understand scientists wanting publicity to assist in their quests for research funding, but why do propagators of “science” — and by this I refer specifically to the New Scientist’s writers-cum-propagandists — persist in publishing such flimsy pseudo-reasoning? Is it not their duty to question the claims and assertions they send to press?

A little online research reveals that during the last 15 years of the last century, during which the Earth’s temperature increased, there was time for as many as 10 generations of Alces Alces (moose) to see the unadapted members weeded out of their species. There has since been time for a further ten generations of relatively constant climate in which they might have made further adaptions.  Yet moose have stubbornly refused to adapt, if you believe the warmist “researchers”, and further “climate research” funding is required as a matter of urgency.

I would have found the article more persuasive had the author speculated that a similar “die-off” may well have been happened during the Medieval Warm Period, known to be even warmer than today.  Oops, I forgot that the Medieval Warm Period has been “corrected” out of the record by self-styled Nobel laureate Michael Mann, whose fiddling and number-crunching made sure his infamous “hockey stick” graph featured an impressively flat handle. This put it at odds with the “witch’s broom” the IPCC has more recently adopted as its iconic representation of future world temperatures. Moose of the world, feel free to heave a sigh of retrospective relief!

The article concedes that “researchers have yet to prove a link to climate change”, but few readers will have read past the headline, and those with sufficient training will have recognised that line as a throw-away concession to deniers.  It also sends a neat and subtle signal to grant-approvers that more funding is needed.

After reading New Scientist for more than 30 years, the publication lost my subscription some time ago, when the ongoing barrage of leftist political articles began to outweigh those devoted to science.

True, there is no shortage of leftist political articles to be found on the internet, nor is New Scientist the only once-reputable publication to be overrun and colonised by those pushing political agendas. But I will not pay for propaganda when I want science – unless, of course, I am tuned to Their ABC, where every science-related program seems captive to leftist pseudo-science. Alas, unlike New Scientist, I have no option as a taxpayer to cancel my subscription to the national broadcaster.

Mal Wedd is a physicist with no expertise in moose ecology, but he can recognise global warming’s careerism and exaggeration in its many and various forms