The alarmist headlines just keep getting whackier and whackier . . .
The latest one comes from TakePart.com, which concocts the story from several sources. It says that a virulent new strain of herpes is leading to drastic falls in oysters off the west coast of England, and that the herpes is caused (or exacerbated) by . . . yes, you’ve guessed it: global warming and ocean acidification:
The cause, according to the National Geographic, could actually be related to global warming. The herpes strain infecting the oysters is only active in waters above a certain temperature, and remains dormant otherwise. As global water temperatures rise, new breeding grounds for the herpes virus appear.
The news from England is coupled with headlines from the Grice Marine Laboratory at the College of Charleston, South Carolina, which released a study saying that ocean acidification lowers marine species’ immune defenses in general.
TakePart.com. Oysters With Herpes: One More Effect of Global Warming.
You know, I used to complain about the billions being spent on research into so-called global warming, but now I think that in terms of entertainment value alone it could be worth it. Or maybe not.
As Jimbo (Comments) points out, the National Geographic article cites a fish expert who only speculates that global warming could be the reason for this virus. As anyone who’s ever read anything on virology will know, there’s lots of things that could trigger the spread of a virus. Nat Geo and others are, frankly, indulging in what is basically pure speculation.
This is how it seems to work, though. One expert (in anything, not necessarily climate) is willing to utter the words “could be global warming” and the PR machine roars into life. As the story gets passed along, the caveats and stipulations get progressively removed or watered down, so soon you have a story from somewhere like TakePart.com entitled: Oysters With Herpes: One More Effect of Global Warming.