On March 14 2010, Sciam (Scientific American) tweeted a report called “Climate Change – State of the Birds 2010 Report”. A link is in the Reference section at the end of this post.
My wife and I are a lifelong conservationists with a special place in our hearts for birds. In our home country, New Zealand, we gardened organically, without pesticides or artificial fertilisers, and planted native trees in the garden of every house we have owned, to attract, feed and encourage the NZ and exotic birds back into our lives. People change landscapes, and we feel strongly that we should provide the means for the native wildlife to survive those changes. So we do just that, and are rewarded by the tuis, wood pigeons, fantails, wax-eyes, goldfinches, starlings, sparrows and other birds that swarm in our garden. They are so comfortable with us that they pick for food at our feet when we sit on the garden deck. They will do so again when we return.
Here during our sojourn in the Netherlands, our greatest delight is the splendid variety of birds that grace the trees in our tiny lane in Haarlem, and fill the polders, reserves and wetlands. We put out seeds, nuts, fat balls and insect blocks this winter, because it has been the harshest for forty years. No doubt we have assisted the great tits, blue tits, jays, tree-creepers and robins that are outside the window, ten feet from me, right now. And now that spring quickens the trees and the temperature is finally back above zero, we shall once more roam the cycle lanes in the reserves, among the swans, ducks, herons and magpies.
So how does a Grumpy Old Conservationist react to the report? By grumping – it is shameless advocacy. A load of self-serving twaddle riding the coat-tails of the highly exaggerated predictions of anthropogenic catastrophic global warming. Prediction after prediction in the IPCC report is being exposed as nonsense. Himalayan glaciers, African crop yields, Amazon rain-forest health are three examples. These are not small errors – they are critical for the IPCC’s advocacy. It will not be long before their predicted six-degree Celsius global temperature rise for the twenty-first century is similarly nailed, and nailed conclusively. Already, scientific analyses of the various bases on which that prediction was based are showing them to be doubtful at best, and suggest that some of them have been shamelessly manipulated. The leaked emails of the Climategate incident add weight to that suggestion.
Audubon and the other conservation agencies have done a great conservation job of maintaining, recovering and protecting wildlife populations, and will continue to do so. It is important work, mitigating the environmental consequences of the actions of humankind. It enriches all of life. They should keep it up.
It saddens me to see that work, and the agencies who perform it, hooked up in the advocacy of the AGW group. The predictions of the AGW camp will be shown to be about as accurate as the Jehovah’s Witnesses predictions of the end of the world in 1914, 1915, 1918, 1920, 1925, 1941, 1975 and 1994. IPCC and all of those who have promoted AGW will be utterly discredited. An angry world may well discredit all conservationist groups along with them.
That would be a very great shame.
2010 State of the Birds: http://www.stateofthebirds.org/habitats
Postscript: Scientific American is diminished. It used to be great magazine that reported science. Now it is an avenue for advocacy.