This is a bonus Climate Craziness of the Week. It seemed that while Climategate was raging, we saw an end to bizarre claims such as this. Now they seem to have resumed again as we saw in yesterday’s story claiming global warming causes more violence. What’s hilarious about this story is that is cites one environmental fear (AGW) and uses another even more feared solution (genetic modification) to save the flowers from AGW. This assumes they need saving. Reading the story, I wonder; maybe public transportation for the pollinators will help?
Excerpt From Asiaone News
Flowers Losing Scent Due to Climate Change
KUALA LUMPUR: A rose may stop smelling like a rose.
This is the concern of environmentalists as flowers are losing their scent due to climate change and air pollution. And their fragrance may be lost forever.
Science and Technology Professor Emeritus at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Dr Abdul Latif Mohamad, said genetically modified flowers might be the way out.
Climate change is also the reason Kuala Lumpur City Hall is increasingly turning to shady trees, because flowers which previously formed the centrepiece of its beautification programme have been wilting fast.
Datuk Bandar Datuk Ahmad Fuad Ismail said City Hall used to spend RM1.5 million ($635,100) a month to plant and maintain flowers in the city, but the contractor’s services were terminated in March last year.
City Hall has taken over the planting, opting for bou-gainvillea and the tropical shrubs, Ixora, for their durability and cheaper cost.
Under the previous arrangement, some of the small flowers cost RM3.50 per seedling.
“It was getting too costly to beautify the city. Flowers were dying fast,” he said, adding that City Hall would continue to plant shady trees more suited for soaking up the increasing pollution and coping with global warming.
Latif said UKM might have offered plausible reasons as to why some pollinators were not spreading flower seeds, a pattern caused by the missing “scent trail” with scent tissues burning easily due to global warming.
“The aroma producing chemical compounds in flowers dry up faster now compared with before.”
The only way out, he said, was to genetically modify the flowers so that the effects would not be permanent and the future generation would not be robbed of nature’s beauty.
“The act is almost like producing essential oils. Scientists add on certain chemicals for stronger scent.”
He said scents in flowers last longer in colder climate as plants can hold on to their essential oils longer.
“The flowers may still have strong scents in colder climate. But locally, we fear this might be lost forever.”
With flowers emitting lesser scent, the insects and butterflies are travelling further and longer to get a share of nectar.
Latif said birds and insects were heading towards hilly areas and deeper into the jungles where the weather is cooler.
He related an incident in Sungai Siput, Perak, where the farmers failed to get fruits from their orchards.
Upon investigation, Latif’s team discovered that the flowers were no longer pollinating after dust from a hill blast blocked the growth of stigmas.
He said Malaysians could no longer rely on nature to heal itself without the help of science.
Read the whole mess at Asiaone News
Commenter John in GA who made the tip writes:
Note that there’s no mention of any application of that “scientific method” thing — some professor at a Malaysian university simply declared it to be true, and so verily it is. Look for this new AGW “fact” to appear in your kids’ textbooks next year.
The article also states that Kuala Lumpur has had to take somewhat drastic measures, eliminating the planting of flowers in public areas because they were “dying too fast”. In fact, he says, “The aroma producing chemical compounds in flowers dry up faster now compared with before.” Really? When was “before”? A hundred years ago? Two months ago? And how did he establish that chemical compounds are drying up faster due to warming? With a controlled experiment? No mention of that. If his scientific method follows the Gore/IPCC model, it probably went something like this: “Hmm, flowers aren’t doing so well. Couldn’t be soil quality, amount of water, quality of seed stock, or anything like that. No, the only plausible explanation is that the planet is getting hotter, because if there’s one thing we know for certain, it’s that tropical flowers don’t like warmth. And we know that global warming is caused by CO2 emissions. Therefore, man-made global warming is killing off flowers, and with them, birds, bees, and farmers. Call the press.”
Then there’s this:
“Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM) director-general Datuk Dr Abdul Latif Mahmod said recently the extreme weather change might affect the life span of trees as a result of lighter or heavier rain.
‘We should look at how trees can be mutated so that they will not be destroyed.'”
I love it — straight from whimsical hypothesis to policy recommendation! No need to bother with troublesome experiments or any of that stuff. In the brave new world of AGW, it goes like this: “Hey, it might be possible that changes in temperature will cause changes in rainfall, and if that happens, then perhaps that would adversely affect trees. Let’s start genetically mutating trees to compensate.”
“OK, but you said that AGW might cause *more* or *less* rainfall. Which condition should we try to genetically adjust for?”