Birds and other animals are “shrinking” because of climate change, the World Economic Forum (WEF) announced Monday.
Citing a recent article published in Ecology Letters, the WEF posted a video claiming that climate change is causing birds and other animals to shrink in size, while birds’ wings are simultaneously getting longer.
“Scientists say birds are shrinking because of climate change,” states the text of the video. “Researchers looked at more than 70,000 North American birds and found that over 40 years most have got smaller while their wingspans have grown longer.”
“Scientists think smaller bodies help the birds keep cool but this means they have less energy so they need bigger wings to compensate,” the WEF proposed.
“Experts think global warming is causing other animals to shrink, too, including species such as mountain goats, fish, salamanders, and wasps—all getting smaller as the planet heats up,” the text continues.
“This is affecting feeding habits and the availability of food and changing behavior. So limiting global warming is vital to avoiding further damage to our wildlife,” it concludes.
Without entering into the merits of the study upon which the video is based, two queries immediately come to mind.
First, the video suggests that the birds are getting smaller because smaller bodies help them to “keep cool,” but then goes on to propose that the same phenomenon is occurring among other animals including fish — which are cold-blooded. How is that possible?
Second, the video concludes by asserting that global warming must be limited to avoid “further damage” to wildlife.
What exactly is the damage here?, one would like to ask WEF. Is all biological evolution “damage”? Do animals historically become worse by adapting to natural habitats and climatological change? Why is all change assumed to be a loss?
It would seem, rather, that the knee-jerk reaction of many of our contemporaries is to assume that any alterations in nature must necessarily be the result of climate change and must also necessarily be bad. This is never proven, of course, just assumed.
If the climate change lobby would like more people to get on board with their crusade, they would do well to offer a little more science and a little less ideological propaganda.