The PJ Tatler

'Think' Progress: Global Warming Causes Mountain Goats to Suffer Significant Shrinkage

Humans have only been able to keep accurate track of temperatures fairly globally for about 100 years now. Considering the age of the earth, which is billions of years, 100 years of temperature readings is not a statistically significant sample size to assess massive climate trends and changes. It’s all we have, but it’s not enough.

And it’s nowhere near as conclusive and “settled” as the warmists and alarmists claim that it is. In fact, the globe hasn’t even been warming for the past 18 years or so (hence the switch to “climate change”), a fact left out of pieces like this one, which blames global warming for a supposed shrinkage in the size of mountain goats.

New research has found that climate change is causing mountain goats living in the Alps to shrink. The study, which was published Tuesday in the journal Frontiers in Zoology, found that adolescent Alpine chamois mountain goats are significantly smaller than their peers were 30 years ago, weighing about 25 percent less than goats in the 1980s did. The researchers called this change in body mass over 3 decades “striking.” They also said the shrinking “appears to be strongly linked” with increased temperatures in the growing season of the goats’ Alpine habitats.

25% in 30 years? At that rate, they’ll become trendy pocket pets in another year or two.

The researchers note that in ungulates, a group of mammals that includes goats, cows, horses and other hoofed animals (though whales and dolphins are also sometimes included), “behavioural changes, such as allocating less time to foraging, play an important role in thermoregulation.” This means that, to avoid getting too hot, the chamois goats don’t forage for food as much during the hottest parts of the day, and don’t forage as much in general when the temperature remains high throughout the day. If chamois eat less during warmer growing seasons, they aren’t likely to reach the same body mass as goats who lived through cooler growing seasons.

Smaller goats? Even if that’s true I’m struggling to see an actual problem here. So surely we must modify our entire economic system and put it into the hands of wizened central planners. Let us all sacrifice human self-determinism for the sake of the body mass of a bunch of goats.

The same “Think” Progress article makes all kinds of other questionable claims.

As the study notes, this isn’t the first time that scientists have discovered climate change to be behind changes in animal body mass. Six species of salamander in the Appalachian Mountains have been growing shorter over the last 50 or so years, with salamanders living in the southernmost sites that researchers visited showing the most shrinkage. And shrinking sea ice is in turn leading to smaller polar bears — the lack of sea ice means polar bears can’t hunt like they used to, and end up spending less time eating and gaining weight.

Still struggling to see an actual problem, even if all of that is true.

Polar bears may or may not actually be shrinking, and but polar ice is not. The fact is, all polar bear population figures and statistics are educated guesses — according to pro-polar bear activist scientists. That’s fine; educated guesses are part of science. Dogma claiming to be science that happens to support a given political platform and blasts all skeptics and critics with the open-mindedness and tolerance of the Spanish Inquisition is not.

Polar ice grows and shrinks seasonally and over longer timescales, and currently Antarctic ice is growing at a record rate while Arctic ice is shrinking somewhat. That’s subject to change as the climate does in fact change, as it has done for literally billions of years (therefore, well before the invention of the eeevil internal combustion engine). That’s a whole lot less sexy to say than “We’re losing all the ice and all the animals are shrinking and New York is gonna be underwater!” but it’s the truth.

As for the mountain goats? Who knows? The goats might have been bigger or smaller prior to the onset of climate alarmism. The data are incomplete. Animals adapt. We need data, not dogma.

I’ll take an educated guess that “Think” Progress is full of political hot air, though.