FROM FOX NEWS
HEAD: No Matter What Happens, Someone Will Blame Global Warming
Global warming was blamed for everything from beasts gone wild to anorexic
whales to the complete breakdown of human society this year -- showing that
no matter what it is and where it happens, scientists, explorers,
politicians and those who track the Loch Ness Monster are comfortable
scapegoating the weather.
takes a look back at 10 things that global warming allegedly
caused - or will no doubt soon be responsible for - as reported in the news
around the world in 2008.
In April, media mogul Ted Turner told PBS's Charlie Rose that global warming
would make the world 8 degrees hotter in 30 or 40 years. "Civilization will
have broken down. The few people left will be living in a failed state, like
Somalia or Sudan, and living conditions will be intolerable," he said.
Turner blamed global warming on overpopulation, saying "too many people are
using too much stuff."
Crops won't grow and "most of the people will have died and the rest of us
will be cannibals," Turner said.
2. The Death of the Loch Ness Monster
In February, Scotland's Daily Mirror reported that 85-year-old American
Robert Rines would be giving up his quest for Scotland's most famous
A World War II veteran, Rines has spent 37 years hunting for Nessie with
sonar equipment. In 2008, "despite having hundreds of sonar contacts over
the years, the trail has since gone cold and Rines believes that Nessie may
be dead, a victim of global warming."
3. Beer Gets More Expensive
In April, the Associated Press reported that global warming was going to hit
beer drinkers in the wallet because the cost of barley would increase,
driving up the price of a pint.
Jim Salinger, a climate scientist at New Zealand's National Institute of
Water and Atmospheric Research, said Australia would be particularly hard
hit as droughts caused a decline in malting barley production in parts of
New Zealand and Australia. "It will mean either there will be pubs without
beer or the cost of beer will go up," Salinger said at a beer brewer's
convention, the AP reported.
4. Pythons Take Over America
Giant Burmese pythons - big enough to eat alligators and deer in a single
mouthful - will be capable of living in one-third of continental U.S. as
global warming makes more of the country hospitable to the cold-blooded
predators, according to an April report from USAToday.com
The U.S. Geological Survey and the Fish and Wildlife Service investigated
the spread of "invasive snakes," like the pythons, brought to the U.S. as
pets. The Burmese pythons' potential American habitat would expand by 2100,
according to global warming models, the paper reported.
"We were surprised by the map. It was bigger than we thought it was going to
be," says Gordon Rodda, zoologist and lead project researcher, told
. "They are moving northward, there's no question."
5. Kidney Stones
A University of Texas study said global warming will cause an increase in
kidney stones over the next 30 years, the Globe and Mail reported in July.
Scientists predict that higher temperatures will lead to more dehydration
and therefore to more kidney stones. "This will come and get you in your
home," said Dr. Tom Brikowski, lead researcher and an associate professor at
the University of Texas at Dallas. "It will make life just uncomfortable
enough that maybe people will slow down and think what they're doing to the
6. Skinny Whales
Japanese scientists, who have claimed that the country's controversial
whaling program is all in the name of science, said in August that if they
hadn't been going around killing whales, they never would have discovered
that the creatures were significantly skinnier than whales killed in the
late 1980s, the Guardian reported in August.
The researchers said the study was the first evidence that global warming
was harming whales by restricting their food supplies. As water warmed
around the Antarctic Peninsula, the krill population shrank by 80 percent as
sea ice declined, eliminating much of the preferred food of the minke whale.
The whales studied had lost the same amount of blubber as they would have by
starving for 36 days, but the global warming connection couldn't be proven
because no krill measurements are taken in different regions.
7. Shark Attacks
A surge in fatal shark attacks was the handiwork of global warming,
according to a report in the Guardian in May.
George Burgess of Florida University, a shark expert that maintains an
attack database, told the Guardian that shark attacks were caused by human
activity. "As the population continues to rise, so does the number of people
in the water for recreation. And as long as we have an increase in human
hours in the water, we will have an increase in shark bites," he said.
Shark attacks could also be the result of global warming and rising sea
temperatures, the Guardian said. "You'll find that some species will begin
to appear in places they didn't in the past with some regularity," Burgess
8. Black Hawk Down
Although it happened in 1993, the crash of a U.S. military helicopter in
Mogadishu that became the film "Black Hawk Down" was blamed on global
warming by a Massachusetts congressman in 2008.
"In Somalia back in 1993, climate change, according to 11 three- and
four-star generals, resulted in a drought which led to famine," Rep. Edward
Markey told a group of students who had come to the Capitol to discuss
global warming, according to CNSNews.com
. "That famine translated to
international aid we sent in to Somalia, which then led to the U.S. having
to send in forces to separate all the groups that were fighting over the
aid, which led to Black Hawk Down."
9. Frozen Penguin Babies
Penguin babies, whose water-repellant feathers had not grown in yet, froze
to death after torrential rains, National Geographic reported in July.
"Many, many, many of them-thousands of them-were dying," explorer Jon
Bowermaster told National Geographic. Witnessing the mass penguin death
"painted a clear and grim picture" of global warming.
"It's not just melting ice," Bowermaster said. "It's actually killing these
cute little birds that are so popular in the movies."
10. Killer Stingray Invasion
Global warming is going to drive killer stingrays, like the one that killed
Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin, to the shores of Britain after a 5-foot -long
marbled stingray was captured by fishermen, the Daily Mail reported in June.
A single touch can zap a man with enough electricity to kill, the Mail said,
and global warming is bringing the Mediterranean killers north.
"Rising sea temperatures may well have brought an influx of warm water
visitors," sea life curator Alex Gerrard told the Mail. "Where there's one
electric ray, it's quite likely that there are more."
Here in the twilight zone...twilight zone...twilight zone........