Sunday, November 30, 2008

Good news on global warming?

It's apparently bad for squirrels:
Last year, oaks in metropolitan Washington produced a bumper crop of acorns, and squirrels and other urban wildlife produced an abundance of young. This year, experts said, many animals will starve. . . .
"I was worried they'd think I was crazy. But they said I wasn't the only one calling who was concerned about it," [Arlington, Va., resident Louise Garrett] said. "This is the first time I can remember in my lifetime not seeing any acorns drop in the fall and I'm 53. You have to wonder, is it global warming? Is it environmental? It makes you wonder what's going on."
(Via Memeorandum & the Corner.) Notice how they bring in the Anecdotal Amateur to blame the DC-area acorn shortage on global warming, since no climatologist was willing to take on that proposition.

In fact, the most probable explanation is the region's unusually rainy spring season this year. Oaks produce more acorns in dry conditions. So the squirrels are doing just fine in drought-stricken Georgia. This is a short-term, regional phenomenon, but if amateur speculation can be used to feed the media's climate crisis motif, you can be sure they won't miss the chance.

Indeed, the regional acorn shortage has driven the bushy-tailed rodents into a frenzy. I live up in the woods about 70 miles north of D.C., and yesterday when I was in the back yard, the leaves were rustling madly with desperate vermin trying to find a nut. Such was the frantic scurrying that I mentioned it to my wife when I went back in the house. "Damn squirrels! The place is infested with them!"

Maybe some city-slicker liberal tree-huggers have a soft spot for squirrels, but not me. Squirrels are disease-ridden scavengers, the rats of the forest. And the imminent starvation of a few million of these menaces is good news.

Blame global warming, please. I just bought a Ford Explorer, and if my gas-guzzler is doing some small part to diminish the squirrel population, you can thank me later.


  1. Squirrels DO have a use.

    They provide excellent target-shooting practice...

  2. Our newspaper said acorn drop shortage is a fairly common phenomenon that happens every few years. In fact, in 1956, the acorn shortage was so bad and the squirrels so numerous that they migrated westward, some even swimming the Hudson River, looking for food. Experts say it's nature's way of balancing things - insuring both the long term survival of the oak trees and keeping a lid on the squirrel population. If acorns always keep dropping, squirrel populations keep increasing. More squirrels eating more acorns mean fewer oak trees because fewer acorns survive to germinate.

    It'a all a rather fascinating function of nature that has nothing to do with global warming. Of course, nature (at least in my neighborhood) WILL still be my next door neighbor who feeds the squirrels and the deer as well.

  3. We had a bumper crop of acorns this year central North Carolina, and are now having a bumper crop of arboreal rats to go with it. So much for global acorn/squirrel shortages. What we really need here is a shortage of city folk moving into the county and feeding the already too numerous deer and squirrels. Bambi, Thumper, and the rest of our forest denizens will do just fine on their own, thank you.