I watched an incredible documentary on National Geographic the other day about “zombie alligators” in Florida. The story centered around a lake in Florida where researchers began discovering hundreds of alligators that, though still alive, they had essentially stopped functioning or moving and would eventually die. The program detailed how the researchers searched for any sort of answer to the problem, whether it was a virus, bacteria, pesticides or genetic. They could come up with nothing. The virus angle went nowhere because apparently alligators, who are constantly biting each other and tend to live in filthy swamps, have a crazy wicked immune system. The pesticide angle was also thought to be a dead end. While the lake had been the end spot for a fair amount of pesticide runoff which had negative effects on the lakes biodiversity, tests indicated that the pesticides themselves were not harming alligators. The researchers did notice that there were small pockets in the alligators brain that were abnormal, thus causing the zombification, they could not pinpoint a cause.
The researchers were eventually contacted by a scientist in the Pacific northwest that was familiar with zombification among certain salmon populations whose diet was deficient in Thiamine, or Vitamin B1. The salmon were determined to have the same brain anomalies as the gators. With the cause of the zombification determined, the researchers set out to determine why the zombie gators were deficient in a necessary and usually widely available vitamin. The conclusion: Pesticide runoff had killed off the biodiversity of the lake, creating a lake that overly nutrient rich. This rich environment enabled a fish called the Gizzard Shad to overpopulate the lake. The Shad, which became the zombie gators primary food source, produce a chemical which inhibits the absorption of thiamine. And thus, the zombie gators.
Which, in a round about way, brings me to global warming. The UN and the MSM are sure that man-made global warming is happening and are determined to convince us that we are all doomed because of our own actions. Given our natural disposition to hysteria and worry, it is understandable that we are buying into hype. We, americans especially, understand, on some level that we are consuming the earth’s natural resources in a short-sided manner. We understand, on some level, that we are wasteful and greedy. We understand, on some level, that we need to alter our actions because of the potential consequences.
Empirical evidence tells us that the weather has changed over the last few decades. Of this, there is no doubt. The cause of the this change, I believe, you must be skeptical. I am not the only one either. There are very respected environmental scientists that are skeptical of the consensus on Global Warming. Now, please don’t misunderstand me. I am not saying that there is not something going on. I am not saying that global warming will not dramatically alter some peoples lives. What I am saying is, don’t stop being skeptical of what the “consensus” is. Don’t stop questioning, based up preconceptions of doom. Remember that through the years, we’ve been confronted with global warming, Y2K, nuclear winter, acid rain, ozone depletion, topsoil depletion, global cooling, overpopulation and inability to grow enough food, rainforest deforestation, bird flu, ebola and planet killer meteors, among others. We are preconditioned to expect doom.
Which brings me to Occam’s Razor. All things being equal, the simplest solution tends to be the right one. Empirical evidence tells us that the weather is changing now. Empirical evidence tells us that the weather has been changing for centuries prior to the industrial revolution. Empirical evidence tells us that the Arctic is melting and the seas are rising. Empirical evidence tells us that the seas have been rising and falling for years. (Take Cosquer Cave in France for instance. This cave, discovered in 1991, contains cave drawings and paintings dating back 20,000 years (give or take). No big deal right? Well it wouldn’t be except that the entrance to the cave is approximately 37 meters below the surface of the Mediterranean sea. (Apparently one of the drawings is of Al Gore’s ancestors inventing fire and leaving a carbon footprint)).
Occam’s Razor my friends. Occam’s Razor.