Guest essay by Eric Worrall
According to Bloomberg columnist Faye Flam, “climate change” simply isn’t scary enough; so they’re trying new ways to frighten their readers.
Climate Change Is Scary; ‘Rat Explosion’ Is Scarier
Scientists warn of global warming of 2 degrees Celsius. If you think that won’t affect you, think how it may affect pests.
By Faye Flam
31 October 2018, 01:02 GMT+10
What’s so scary about climate change?
How about “rat explosion”?
As the climate warms, rats in New York, Philadelphia and Boston are breeding faster — and experts warn of a population explosion.
The physics of climate change doesn’t have the same fear factor as the biology. Many living things are sensitive to small changes in temperature, so warming of 2 degrees Celsius will transform the flora and fauna that surround us in a big way. Other life forms are also very sensitive to moisture, and so populations will crash or explode as anthropogenic climate change continues to make wet areas more sodden and dry areas, more parched.
In recent years, psychologists have accused conservatives of being more innately fearful than liberals, but that never quite squared with the fact that conservatives express less fear over environmental problems. Some social scientists are finally starting to question the broad equation of political preferences with fear, recognizing that different people fear different things depending on their upbringing, education and surroundings. But we’re all sharing this warming planet, and at the very least surely we can unite against a future filled with rats.
One question Faye – why hasn’t this overwhelming rat explosion you say will happen in New York, Philadelphia and Boston already happened in southern states?
Why isn’t the tropical region where I live utterly overrun by rats?
The reason of course is nature abhors an untapped food source. Any explosion in rat population is rapidly followed by an explosion in the population of predators which eat the rats. My town on the edge of the tropics abounds with all sorts of wildlife running around at night – small lizards which eat insects, urban foxes and cats which eat rats or other small vermin.
Climate fantasists like Faye seem to think in straight lines – if a few warm days leads to a rise in rat population, a lot of warm days will produce even more rats. But in the real world, rats are a problem caused by useless city officials letting the sidewalks overflow with trash, not climate change. In tidy, well managed cities, rats are never a problem, even in warm climates.