To a hammer, everything is a nail

Have you noticed that, of late, whenever something anomalous occurs, it’s blamed on climate change?  This has slowly been seeping into my subconscious, and suddenly burst to the forefront of my mind when I saw today’s SF Chronicle, with a story about shorebird die-offs.  Not to speak disrespectfully of these dying birds, but the fact is that, during my lifetime of reading the Chronicle, I distinctly remember several die-offs stories.  Birds seem to be vulnerable to things and to die easily (a “fact” I remember from the biologically classes I reluctantly took in high school and college.)  This time, however, it comes as no surprise to me that the current die-off cycle is tentatively assigned to climate change.

Now it could, of course, be entirely true that this current die-off is occuring precisely because there is climate change.  The fact remains, though, that when all events get attributed to a single cause, you start to doubt how thoughtful the scientists and analysts are, and start wondering if they’re not becoming a bit monomanical.  In a way, climate change attribution is the 21st Century equivalent of the old “It’s God’s will” line that was, in a pre-scientific era, deemed an appropriate response to all unexplained or disturbing events.

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Comments

  1. highlander says

    You have a good point, Book, but we’ve got to bear in mind that whether or not climate change is causing the birds to die, it’s still Bush’s fault.

  2. Danny Lemieux says

    Today, ’70s, rainy and pleasant. Tomorrow’s forecast: blowing winds, cold and snow. This means one of two things – climate change is real, or AlGore (a Farce of One)is going to be in town. Either way, it’s Bush’s fault!

  3. Zhombre says

    Yes, it is all Bush’s fault. Reminds me of an apropos bit of hysterical dialog from an old Hitchcock movie, The Birds:

    They said when you got here, the whole thing started … I think you’re the cause of all this. I think you’re evil! EVIL!

  4. Al says

    I’m perfectly willing to consider one of the possibilities of the cause of ocean current changes being the warming of the planet. And current changes certainly can affect sea birds.
    There is the theory that the increased melt of North Atlantic ice will reduce the salinity of the relatively warm Gulf Stream water when it reaches the North Atlantic, and thus turn off the pump that powers the Gulf Stream. That could be a problem.
    Or the bird die off could be some completely unrelated phenomenon, like the viral infection that actually caused three legged frogs to appear several years ago, also initially attributed to global warming.(and George Bush)
    Al

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