Vampire bats? Must be a slow news day at Climate Progress

Almost every day, the ridiculo-meter pegs over at Joe Romm’s place. But today is special. He neuters his own headline in the very first paragraph. I just had to share the laughs.

Yes, the vampire bats are coming to get us thanks to climate change, or maybe not.

“Biologists are paying attention to the warming climate and what potential impacts that could bring, including non-native wildlife, but this is not something that will likely happen within the next few years,” Peterson said.

Oh thank heavens. It would be a tragedy if the climate change caused vampire bats to team up with the killer bees in Texas.

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Torgeir Hansson
March 26, 2012 9:04 pm

Well I for one wouldn’t like vampire bats to come to the U.S. They look kind of creepy. Vampire…vampire, that word means something. Wait! You mean bats that attack children in the night and suck their blood? THOSE kinds of bats??? Heaven help us!!!! Not THOSE!!!! Help! Help! Help! Someone, give me a valium pleeeeaaaase!!!!!

March 26, 2012 9:14 pm

So once again – if there were to be significant climate warming (which there isn’t) then the vampires might come and get you (or not).
Meanwhile on the basis of such speculation, these clowns intend to suck the lifeblood out of economies world wide!

March 26, 2012 9:18 pm

Yes, well there is what appears to be a large bite mark showing on the right side of Joe’s neck, maybe he is ontio something!

GP Hanner
March 26, 2012 9:19 pm

Animal Diversity Web (University of Michigan) says that one species of vampire bats range as far north as southern Texas. Mexican (Brasilian) Free Tail bats are migratory and range from norther SA up into Oklahoma, the we know of.

March 26, 2012 9:21 pm

Happened to see a Western mastiff bat this evening., or what I think was a Western mastiff. It was huge.

March 26, 2012 9:21 pm

They’re already here…only we call them…”WARMISTAS” (queue diabolical laughter…)
(all in good fun, folks)

March 26, 2012 9:21 pm

Ah such amateurs! If you want to scare people about global warming then tell them human bot flies are migrating northward – then show them video of what they do.

John F. Hultquist
March 26, 2012 9:28 pm

“. . . a feared and foreign species . . .”
I did not know bats recognized political borders. Let’s just put them on the TSA No-Fly List. Problem solved. Still one wonders how people manage to survive south of the Texas border and why anyone would ever go there. Perhaps, the creatures are not as scary as the movies made about them.

March 26, 2012 9:32 pm

Is Michael Mann a vampire bat? He’s been certainly set free to roam by global warming …

March 26, 2012 9:44 pm

The only creepy-looking-blood-sucking dingbats I worry about are those in Washington DC.

March 26, 2012 9:54 pm

Being mammals, bats can contract and spread rabies. Um, Rabid Rommulan Bats? Malevolent Mannian Mammals? My question would involve who is biting and infecting whom with what strain of mouth-frothing and crazed madness.

William Martin in NZ
March 26, 2012 9:59 pm

I can’t see all the headline.All I can see is” Michael Mann discussing climate wars.”Then the pic.

Theo Goodwin
March 26, 2012 10:02 pm

As someone closely associated with prominent American Bat scientists, I ask that everyone remain calm please. Bats are innocent but have been framed. Bats cause far less damage than house cats on the prowl.
If you have a Bat “infestation,” call the nearest research university. Bat scientists are usually in need of animals for experiment and most likely will collect your Bats. (The scientists have to crawl through your attic, barn, or whatever.)

March 26, 2012 10:06 pm

Joe Romm looks rather pale since switching to ThinkProgress…

Chris B
March 26, 2012 10:08 pm

Blood sucking hairy mammals that fly…..first class.

Gail Combs
March 26, 2012 10:11 pm

It is not the bats I am afraid of it is the USDA. Because of the WTO-SPS Agreement our quarantine procedures have been relaxed and our within country disease testing labs closed down. This allows live cattle to cross the border without quarantine. This has been coupled with severe reduction of routine on farm testing and a shifting of focus to slaughter testing. A strategy that has allowed disease to spread undetected.
Long story short
The USA had eradicated TB but border states are losing their TB free status and the outbreaks are traced to cattle wearing Mexican Ear tags. Bovine babesiosis (carried by ticks) is another worry as is Brucellosis and Blue Tongue.

How Has the WTO-SPS Agreement Faired To-Date?
The jury is still out on the overall performance of the WTO-SPS Agreement. On the one hand, the Agreement has successfully facilitated international trade—the main purpose of the Agreement—judging from the number of disputes that have been settled. On the other hand, it has also increased the risk of bioinvasion (i.e., foreign pests and diseases entering a country). By restraining a country’s sanitary and phytosanitary regulations, the Agreement has weakened national protections against bioinvasion (McNeely, 1999). This comes at a time when global concerns for the environment are outpacing the development of proven control technologies (FAO, 2001). The global spread of unwanted pests and diseases has increased significantly, as have their control costs….

I have pages and pages of info on the subject and none of it is good. At this point I have about as much respect for the USDA and FDA as I have for Hansen and Mann…. No less because so far those two have not killed anyone because of their misguided actions. I can not say the same for the FDA and the USDA.
SHIELDING THE GIANT: USDA’s “Don’t Look, Don’t Know” Policy

Frank Lee MeiDere
March 26, 2012 10:11 pm

Well, I for one welcome our new vampire bat overlords.

March 26, 2012 10:17 pm

I hear them gentle voices calling ‘poor old Joe’.
Stephen Foster.

March 26, 2012 10:18 pm

I think joe romm, thinkprogress and climate progress are a bunch of dingbats.

Greg Cavanagh
March 26, 2012 10:18 pm

But it could happen.

March 26, 2012 10:18 pm

That would be a sign of more benign weather, would it not/

Jack Simmons
March 26, 2012 10:18 pm

Whatever happened to killer bees?
They were on some sort of march from the south.
But, just in case, I’ll wear some garlic tonight.

Joe Prins
March 26, 2012 10:22 pm

You folks got it all wrong. These (ding) bats are the ones that vampires use to suck in unsuspecting prey and then bleed them dry of whatever is of value.
Do I have my metaphors mixed?

March 26, 2012 10:24 pm

Simple solution, locate all windmills along the Mexican border.

Gail Combs
March 26, 2012 10:27 pm

I should also note I really like bats. AGAIN the crappy quarantine of the USDA has been found at fault for the white nose disease in US bats. Seems a bat with the disease made it through inspection on food from europe(??) and spread it according to one of my Spelunking magazines. Doubt that news will ever make it into the MSM.
The biggest worry with bats is of course Rabies. Other than that they are really nice little critters.
Why Bat Houses are Important: Why should you put up a bat house?

March 26, 2012 10:32 pm

From National Geographic:
“In one year, a 100-bat colony can drink the blood of 25 cows.
During the darkest part of the night, common vampire bats emerge to hunt. Sleeping cattle and horses are their usual victims, but they have been known to feed on people as well. The bats drink their victim’s blood for about 30 minutes. They don’t remove enough blood to harm their host, but their bites can cause nasty infections and disease.”
I love the reference to the cows! One bat can drink a quarter of a cow’s blood in a year, assuming the cow is tethered in the Batcave. The bat would be kept pretty busy forking hay and cleaning up manure, though.
Also, the notion of TSA employees frisking the bats before they cross the border is very alluring indeed.
Just goes to show that Friday funnies can happen any day of the week!

March 26, 2012 10:32 pm

I have been trying hard to remember anythig bad or scary that has not or will not be caused by global warming. Only one thing I can think of and that’s Obamacare (sarc).

March 26, 2012 10:34 pm

It sucks more than we thought!

Mike McMillan
March 26, 2012 10:34 pm

“Oh thank heavens. It would be a tragedy if the climate change caused vampire bats to team up with the killer bees in Texas.”
Not to worry. We’ll sic the fire ants on ’em.

March 26, 2012 10:51 pm

battiness aside:
Princeton physicist William Happer in WSJ:
26 March: WSJ: William Happer: Global Warming Models Are Wrong Again
The observed response of the climate to more CO2 is not in good agreement with predictions.
What is happening to global temperatures in reality? The answer is: almost nothing for more than 10 years. Monthly values of the global temperature anomaly of the lower atmosphere, complied at the University of Alabama from NASA satellite data, can be found at the website The latest (February 2012) monthly global temperature anomaly for the lower atmosphere was minus 0.12 degrees Celsius, slightly less than the average since the satellite record of temperatures began in 1979.
The lack of any statistically significant warming for over a decade has made it more difficult for the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and its supporters to demonize the atmospheric gas CO2 which is released when fossil fuels are burned…
Frustrated by the lack of computer-predicted warming over the past decade, some IPCC supporters have been claiming that “extreme weather” has become more common because of more CO2. But there is no hard evidence this is true…
Nightly television pictures of the tragic destruction from tornadoes over the past months might make one wonder if the frequency of tornadoes is increasing, perhaps due to the increasing levels of CO2 in the atmosphere. But as one can read at Andrew Revkin’s New York Times blog, dotearth, “There is no evidence of any trend in the number of potent tornadoes (category F2 and up) over the past 50 years in the United States, even as global temperatures have risen markedly.” …

March 26, 2012 10:52 pm

Romm is the best thing going for realists. I am part way convinced that he’s a stealth skeptic who has bored his way into the heart of the beast in order that all & sundry can see the lunacy that drives this phenomenon.

Gary Hladik
March 26, 2012 10:57 pm

Barking moonbats, yes. They’ve already spread worldwide and cost humanity billions of dollars annually. Unfortunately there is no known way to eradicate the infestation.
Vampire bats? Not so much of a problem.

Gail Combs
March 26, 2012 11:11 pm

Mike McMillan says:
March 26, 2012 at 10:34 pm
“Oh thank heavens. It would be a tragedy if the climate change caused vampire bats to team up with the killer bees in Texas.”
Not to worry. We’ll sic the fire ants on ‘em.
I have a few nests I can donate. Should I send them to Joe Romm?

Ally E.
March 26, 2012 11:36 pm

I know! I can send some fruit bats over from Australia. They can team up with the vampire bats and their offspring can GO SUCK WATERMELONS!

March 26, 2012 11:39 pm

“… vampire bats to team up with the killer bees…” and then they all find Big Foot, ghosts and aliens (the real gods) and they kill us all! (See various “science” channels for more terrifying information!)

March 26, 2012 11:42 pm

Few readers would know this, but the ONLY native mammals in New Zealand are bats. Before humans arrived some hundreds of years ago there were no rats, mice, stoats, rabbits, cats, dogs, sheep, pigs, deer etc. There still are no snakes, wolves, lions, tigers, crocodiles etc apart from those in zoos.

Steve Brind
March 26, 2012 11:42 pm

Reading this, both my son and daughter (both aged 20) are hoping that further ‘climate progress’ will result in a resurgence of Zombies in Hertfordshire

March 26, 2012 11:50 pm

Just rescind their passports – problem solved

Dr Burns
March 26, 2012 11:59 pm

I took my 2 yr old to the zoo last week. A fellow was describing to the audience how climate change has upset the diet of sea lions. He then went on to talk about over fishing. I approached him after the show and asked him what was the evidence that climate change, rather than over fishing had effected the sea lions’ diet. As expected, he didn’t have a clue. These days “climate change” just rolls off the tongue as an excuse for everything.

Berényi Péter
March 27, 2012 12:02 am

Yeah, this is why the land south of Texas is uninhabitable for gringos. And now Mexicans migrate North to suck the life blood out of true Americans. Scary.
On the bright side, desmodus rotundus is not on the endangered species list, although rabid Latinos ruthlessly hunt them. In light of this, warming or not, the right of asylum should be granted to the cute little things ASAP on American soil.

March 27, 2012 12:33 am

On behalf of all Brits and those of Brit descent globally (whether they like it or not) I wish to apologise for the incipient takeover of the known universe by batkind.
The Germans can apologise for themselves……

jonathan frodsham
March 27, 2012 12:47 am

Great News from Australia Anthony. Sorry I know off topic.
Victorian government to abandon emissions target:
27 Mar 2012
Restrictions on new coal-fired power stations in Victoria won’t proceed and the state’s 20 per cent greenhouse gas reduction target has been dumped.The coalition won’t go ahead with the former Labor government’s plan to make it illegal for coal-fired power stations in Victoria to emit more than 0.8 tonnes of carbon per megawatt hour.The state’s greenhouse gas emissions reduction target will also go, after modelling conducted by economic consulting firm ACIL Tasman found it would cost Victoria $2.2 billion to buy international offsets. Environment Minister Ryan Smith said Victoria’s environment and climate change policies were under review and would not be confirmed until after talks with state and federal environment ministers in May.”There is a federal target of five per cent – I don’t believe that Victorians should pay four times the cost of their state counterparts,” he told reporters on Tuesday.”We will be working in concert with the federal government to see what programs that we currently have in place are appropriate to maintain.”Energy Minister Michael O’Brien said the government decided not to proceed with restrictions on new coal-fired power stations partly because the commonwealth had not introduced national standards.”The combination of commonwealth policies and market conditions have the practical effect that no new coal-fired power stations will be economically viable unless they are based on modern technology with significantly lower emissions,” he said in a statement.Environment Victoria chief executive Kelly O’Shanassy said Premier Ted Baillieu had caved in to the demands of polluters by scrapping the higher greenhouse gas reduction target.”It’s a terrible decision by the Baillieu government and basically puts the nail in the coffin for a clean energy future for Victoria,” she told reporters.”It’s environmentally reckless … the Baillieu government either don’t believe in climate change, don’t understand the impacts of climate change or don’t care.”Victorian Employers’ Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VECCI) chief economist Steven Wojtkiw said scrapping the state target would take pressure off business.”We already have a national emissions reduction target and the impending carbon tax, so it’s good news for Victorian business,” he told reporters.”The fact that we were at risk of having two targets, two plans, two burdens, and costs on business, meant that would put jobs and investment at risk.”Opposition Leader Daniel Andrews said investment in wind power had dried up since the coalition had come to power and introduced some of the most restrictive planning laws in the world.
Hurrah, see guys us Australians have some common sense after all, lol I mean “Us’ NOT the watermelon Labour and Green voters. We Australians will throw the scumbags into the ocean and they can all walk across to Tasmania on their pond scum to be with their best mate Bob Green opps Brown.
[Look up at the top edge. There is a “Tips” listing. O/T “you ought to know” items belong there in the future. -ModE]

M Courtney
March 27, 2012 1:18 am

We can’t be sure this would be bad. Yes, introducing new animals may put pressure on the local ecosystem but that’s evolution in progress.
On the other hand increasing the habitat range for the vampire bat is good for the vampire bat. And thus reduces their vulnerability to habitat destruction. This could be good for biodiversity. Perhaps it should be encouraged.
Indeed, I’ve long wanted to introduce hippopotami to Tewkesbury, the confluence of the Rivers Severn and Avon. Such a colony could help preserve the species and boost tourism in my native Gloucestershire, UK.

Steve C
March 27, 2012 1:47 am

There’s a modest, but important, place in history for the first person to work out how to train vampire bats (or any other flying creature) how to identify and bring down the snooping surveillance drones currently being developed and deployed by authoritarian governments around the world. Those are the only flying things we should be worrying about.

March 27, 2012 1:47 am

The biggest worry with bats is of course Rabies.
My biggest worry with bats is going off the ladder backwards. They sleep behind the second story shutters, and when I’m painting the house, they pop out from behind and zoom straight up between my face and the paint brush…

David L
March 27, 2012 1:58 am

Maybe the vampire bats will eat the killer bees or vice versa?

March 27, 2012 2:30 am

“Climate change”? brings bats to Austin? Austin boasted the world’s largest colony of Mexican Free-tailed bats back when I first crossed Town Lake on the Congress Avenue bridge in 1976. The colony thrives because of *habitat* improvement – the damming of the River to form Town Lake attracted the mosquitoes, and building the bridge gave the bats a place to live right next to their food supply. The bats also enjoy abandoned buildings and old smokestacks, which were common enough at the time.

March 27, 2012 2:55 am

Gail Combs: Why Bat Houses are Important: Why should you put up a bat house?
Don’t think I ever heard of bat houses until I talked to the weather station observer in Coleville, WA. I think I inadvertently got pictures of two of her bathouses in this picture:
You have to zoom way in to see them. One of them looks like a flagpole. I believe right at the top you can see a box, but you’re looking at it from the side. I’m pretty sure this is a bat house. Not so sure about the other, it is maybe 6 feet off the ground and much clearer. It also appears in the background of the Coleville Looking East picture.

March 27, 2012 3:05 am

All hail “Lord Bat” may his rule be long and may we all prosper.
But I have the sneaking suspicion he would suck 🙂

Joseph Bastardi
March 27, 2012 3:11 am

Not to worry, the wind turbines will take them out as that apparently is all they are good for.
BTW, the bats have been under that bridge in Austin for years, Its a tourist attraction rating right up there with Austin Zoo, known as 6th street
Whoop. Gigem Aggies ( except for Dessler and North)

March 27, 2012 3:20 am

“Biologists are paying attention to the warming climate and what potential impacts that could bring, including non-native wildlife, but this is not something that will likely happen within the next few years,” Peterson said.

Yah dam right. They’ll be moving south in the next few years due to climate changes. The world has stopped warming and shows a slight cooling. Let’s hope it doesn’t accelerate. 😉

Watching the watchers
March 27, 2012 3:28 am

When I see bats, I now think of Gleick sitting in a bat cave, writing his strategy paper,poising his PDF skills.

March 27, 2012 3:30 am

Oh, I forgot, here are some more alarmist stories tailored for the general public. Her you will find ‘bats decline’ and ‘rabid bats’ as well as ‘cougar attacks’ caused by Global Warming.

March 27, 2012 3:31 am

HerE you will find

March 27, 2012 3:45 am

There’s no doubt about it, AGW leads to inter species breeding.
Anybody who thought that ManBearPig was a problem is going to be horrified when the KillerVampBeeBat is let loose on the populace.
I’m running for the hills!

March 27, 2012 4:16 am

Heh, Joe B speaks the truth!
And as an Aggie, I’m embarrassed about North and Dessler.
The largest mammal colony in the entire world is the Mexican free-tailed bat colony in Bracken cave on the north side of San Antonio.

Sean Peake
March 27, 2012 4:46 am

The only solution is to build a line of wind turbines along the border

March 27, 2012 5:04 am

And some in the general population believe this? Sure as heck doesn’t say much for our “education” system. Notice he doesn’t mention that “killer” bees are here because some guys in Brazil screwed up,and let some of their “studies” loose??? All I know is that moonbats are FAR more dangerous the vampire bats.

Gail Combs
March 27, 2012 5:06 am

Steve C says:
March 27, 2012 at 1:47 am
There’s a modest, but important, place in history for the first person to work out how to train vampire bats (or any other flying creature) how to identify and bring down the snooping surveillance drones currently being developed and deployed by authoritarian governments around the world. Those are the only flying things we should be worrying about.
The Mexican fruit bat would be a better choice. They are much bigger and if the specimen I spent “Quality Time” with is any indication, very curious. I was <a ref=""<prusiking out of a deep pit cave in Mexico and the critter hovered about a meter from my face for about an hour. I am sure that little guy could be taught to hunt like a hawk.

March 27, 2012 5:52 am

As a native Texan I can tell you we have had blood-sucking creatures in Austin in the halls of Congress for years…nothing new here.

Tom in Florida
March 27, 2012 6:03 am

At least now I can justify all those hours watching vampire movies learning how to protect myself from them. Seems it wasn’t a waste of time after all.

Jason Calley
March 27, 2012 6:07 am

“A feared and foreign species…”?
That is the kind of blathering jingoism that keeps me from reading Climate Progress on a regular basis. Doesn’t Mr. Romm realize that vampire bats are merely doing the jobs that American bats won’t?
A pox on his house; preferably a moist and tropical pox which chooses English as a second language.

Pamela Gray
March 27, 2012 6:31 am

My bat population has been decimated here in NE Oregon due to several cold, late Springs in a row causing decreasing insect emergence date and number. If Texas is getting warmer, send some of that warmth up our way.

Mickey Reno
March 27, 2012 7:01 am

I would think publicly funded climate scientists would have a natural affinity for vampire bats. Both seek to suck the life blood from other animals in order to ensure their own survival.

March 27, 2012 7:04 am

In general invasive species are going to move northward for two completely unrelated reasons:
(1) South is where the species are. Warmer places have more critters.
(2) Most human migrants move from South to North (e.g. Mexico to US, Algeria to France), carrying critters with them. Why do humans migrate? Because North is where the jobs are.

March 27, 2012 7:08 am

It would not be proper to mention the Killer Bees without this:

Enjoy! RIP John B. We miss ya!

Gail Combs
March 27, 2012 8:39 am

bwanajohn says:
March 27, 2012 at 5:52 am
As a native Texan I can tell you we have had blood-sucking creatures in Austin in the halls of Congress for years…nothing new here.
You are insulting the bats.

March 27, 2012 9:02 am

Nosferatu the Vampire

Brian H
March 27, 2012 10:14 am

Wassat you say? Rabid bees? Where? Is their honey safe to eat? Think of the children!

John Blake
March 27, 2012 11:48 am

Calm thyselves… pace Groucho, fruit bats like Henry Waxman; wombats like Julia Gillard; but moonbats like watermelons. As curator of pink grapefruit, radishes, indeed also watermelons, we nominate “Spiketail Joe” Romm for Fledermaus-in-Chief. Take it away, Joe!

U. Torvaldsson
March 27, 2012 12:37 pm

I’m amazed that the Zombie Apocalypse is not announced yet. Global Warming…

Peter Kovachev
March 27, 2012 2:23 pm

Totally understand your love of these critters. When I was a kid, my grandfather somehow befriended a tiny bat and it used to come around evenings to hang off our fingers and suck on warmed milk from a cloth handkerchief or a sponge. When it had its fill, it wouldn’t just rudely split, but would either “hang around” or wobble about the garden table, checking out stuff, watching us with curiosity as we talked to it, and if I remember right, it used to perk up to its name. Polite little bugger and cuter than a kitten.
You’ve probably seen this, but just in case you haven’t: …it’s the second pic in the page.
Anyway, I think old Joe is a chiroptophobiac. Something to enter into our Evil Denialist Super-Secret Super-Computer; could come in handy one day.

March 27, 2012 4:36 pm

We got vampire politicians who are already bats. I am under-impressed.

Gail Combs
March 29, 2012 6:45 pm

Peter Kovachev says:
March 27, 2012 at 2:23 pm
Totally understand your love of these critters…..just in case you haven’t: …it’s the second pic in the page.
Thanks for the link. They are so cute. The only reason most cavers I knew did not have bats as pet is because of rabies. They really are amazing little critters. I have seen a couple hang around an outdoor party and stuff themselves with the bugs attracted to the lights and “food on sneakers”
With White nose disease wiping out much of our population Bat house – CLEAN bat houses – are very important for keeping insects in check.

March 31, 2012 11:01 am

Vampire bats are terribly streotyped animals. They have to drink blood to survive, just like we have to eat things like cows to survive. They drink as little as a tablespoon of blood per victim and the prey rarely ever knows it’s happeninng. Please, don’t stereotype these beautiful creatures. They deserve a chance just like you and me.

March 31, 2012 11:13 am

You know what, as I read through the comments I found some horrible things. People suggest putting windmills along the Mexican border. [SNIP: Over the top. -REP]

Peter Kovachev
April 1, 2012 1:23 pm

Glad you enjoyed the pic. I understand bats have a pretty low incidence of rabies, something like under 1%, and that other animals account for most human infections. Also, that a bat is not just a carrier, but is affected by it and will die soon. My daughter wants a bat-house, which I’m ok with, except the cleaning bit you just reminded me of. Bat guano and sharp reeking pee. Hmmm, I dunno. She likes unusual pets; has a collection of garden snails that stretch out and let her pet them. She’ll put them down on a table top, place her hand on it, and the little beggars will make their way over…at snail’s pace, of course…and climb on it. Very strange stuff.

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