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The "climate change" movement is in trouble. Having cried "rising sea levels" one too many times, no one is really paying attention anymore.
Looking back, it probably wasn't the brightest idea to attribute every meteorological phenomenon to global warming if they were looking to sustain popular belief in their crusade. One mega-blockbuster from Hollywood about how Dick Cheney was bringing on the next ice age with his cold-hearted policies was probably enough.
Hysterics will generate attention, but they won't last. And they haven't. But at least you can give them credit for being persistent. Their latest claim demonstrates the lovable desperation we've come to appreciate from the Goreites. And it also demonstrates the obsession they have with providing only the best, most scientific analysis of the issue.
It happened on NPR's (who else?) program All Things Considered on Saturday night. As Tim Graham noted:
Instead of finding a scientist, NPR offered an expert with these credentials: "Paul Solotaroff is a contributing editor at Men's Journal and Rolling Stone. He has written features for Vanity Fair, GQ, Vogue, and the New York Times Magazine, and he was nominated for a National Magazine Award in 2004. His work has been included in Best American Sports Writing." (His most recent book, published last summer, was titled The Body Shop: Parties, Pills, and Pumping Iron -- Or, My Life In the Age of Muscle.)
I know Graham is mocking him a bit, but I would challenge that Paul Solotaroff knows every bit as much about the issue as Al Gore himself. Note that isn't to be interpreted as a compliment to Solotaroff. Nonetheless, here's how the conversation unfolded:
NOAH ADAMS, anchor: In Yellowstone, the whitebark pine trees are affected by the increase in temperature. The whitebark seeds are a basic food for the grizzly bears. Last year, grizzlies attacked several visitors, killing two. Paul Solotaroff writes about it in the April issue of Men's Journal. He believes there's a definite connection.
PAUL SOLOTAROFF: About five, six years ago, arborists begin to notice that these extraordinary trees that have for many, many thousands of years survived winters of 50, 60 below, suddenly were dying and not dying by the handful, but dying by the stand, eaten alive by something called mountain pine beetles.
ADAMS: So the beetles, they can - it's not hot enough so they can go to work.
SOLOTAROFF: They can go to work and they can now spend the winter inside these trees, hatch their larvae, survive the winter themselves and attack the trees they've set up shop in and then fly to new trees and eat them alive as well.
ADAMS: Now, tell us about the attacks on the campers in Yellowstone. How many people were killed? How many were injured? What was going on there?
SOLOTAROFF: Well, there hadn't been a bear-caused fatality in two and a half decades in Yellowstone. And over the course of six weeks, two people were killed. One, a most unfortunate episode in which a botanist was wandering in an area that had just been visited by grizzly bear study team and they'd found a grizzly and they've knocked them out to take hair samples, tooth samples and the like. And they didn't post signs, warning that they were there and it was a bear that had been sedated. And so this poor guy wandered into a clearing, and there he found the bear waking up. And the bear killed him and ran away.
If I might interject for a second. We are supposed to believe that the reason this bear went postal on the botanist was because he was ticked about the beetles eating his food? I'm gonna guess it had more to do with the team of humans that jumped him, knocked him out stone-cold and then started yankin' his hair out for testing. The bear wakes up from sedation, still stumbling around kinda groggy, and there's another one of them right there. I'm gonna say that has a lot more to do with it than the beetles. But hey, that's just me. Back to the transcript...
And then six weeks later, a tragically thin mother bear and her three cubs wandered onto a campsite where they smelled cooking fish and they attacked several campers, and then finally wound up killing and devouring an EMT from Michigan.
Scary stuff, isn't it? I don't mean the mauling of humans. I mean the tragically thin bears running around. I can't imagine the horror of seeing such a thing. It makes me want to sell my SUV right now.
NPR was ecstatic about this. Graham jokes that they were so thrilled by his scary stories that they probably made a campfire in the studio as they listened to more accounts of grizzly attacks:
ADAMS: You have a very scary sentence in your article about the hunger of the bears. It is this: So desperate have they become that they run toward gunfire, having learned that hunters leave gut piles after a kill.
SOLOTAROFF: Yeah. It isn't just a lack of whitebark and those fleshy seeds. I mean, bears need to eat 13, 14,000 calories a day to maintain body weight and also fatten up for the four or five months to go to sleep. And if it were only the pine nuts that have become scarce, they probably be able to find a compensating food source.
The problem is that the fish are dying as well. The streams have gotten so warm, because the summers are longer. The runoff from snow is skinnier. Meaning that by July and August, the fish are dying of heat stroke essentially. And so bears who could depend upon cutthroat trout and brown trout and rainbow trout to pan out their protein diet are now going hungry in trout streams as well. And it's this kind of, you know, deprivation that is turning bears increasingly desperate.
Forget rising sea levels. Your obsession with the comforts of cheap energy are turning bears increasingly desperate. Have you capitalist pigs no shame?