Whales, Bees, and Global Warming! Oh My!

Is it a preponderance of scientific evidence or an inundation of media coverage that, like a feedback loop, spurs on the theory that global warming is the cause for all the world’s ills? This week there were at least two news stories (that I saw) pointing the finger at climate change for damaging the lives of animals.

The first story in the Washington Post takes up the honey bee crisis, postulating that the warming world is causing flowers to bloom earlier in the season, leading to low nectar production in bees, and subsequently undernourished bees that are more susceptible to Colony Collapse Disorder.

The second article from the BBC takes our optimistic dream that the gray whale, (removed from the endangered species list in 1994), has made a full-recovery and dashes our hopes against the rocks. According to a new study, genetic testing on modern whales shows that the pre-whaling population was around a 100,000 whales, not the measly 20,000 that scientists previously estimated and the number they hover at today.

Also troubling is that the whales are showing signs of poor nourishment (how one determines that a whale is too skinny is beyond me). The suggested cause and the go-to scapegoat of the week (and many weeks to come I’m sure) is global climate change. Don’t even bother suggesting that the whales are malenourished due to increased numbers (thanks to the ban on whaling) and not enough food in the ocean—they’ve already thought of that and dismissed the idea; it’s got to be climate change. Why? Because that’s what science, or at least the people who sign grant checks say it is.

On a related note, there’s one less gigantic mouth to feed as this guy in Washington state didn’t hear the news that whales may not be as abundant as we thought.