This just in: According to the Christian Science Monitor, global warming could turn us all into hobbits:
It’s been long known that the Earth’s rising surface temperatures portend mass extinction, prolonged droughts, extreme weather, and rising seas. Now we can add a new worry: Humanity could be transformed into a race of hobbits.
Oh, that I were making this up. What hope that would give me for the fate of my nation, and for one of its most hallowed institutions of journalism. Alas, I am not. The CSM story is based on a peer-reviewed article in Science, which determined that because a single species of horse shrank when temperatures warmed suddenly 55 million years ago the same thing could happen to homo sapiens any time.
Now, let’s talk about the logic here. One species of horse (a miniature one, at that), living without a single scientist around to examine its habitat, shrinking during a time of warming temperatures tens of millions of years in the past, is proof that you should pay $8 a gallon for gasoline. Pretty straightforward, wouldn’t you say? Actually, not.
Did the scientists determine that predators of the horses remained stable in terms of their size and population? No, they did not. Did they determine that the food sources for the horses remained stable. No, they did not. Did they determine that precipitation and sources of water remained stable for the horses? No, they did not. Did they determine that salt and other minerals remained stable for the horses during this timespan? No, they did not.
This is science? No, it is not. Once again, Earth has cooled for the last 6,000 years. What now is tundra ringing the Arctic Ocean was forest during the Holocene Climactic Optimum. We were warmer during the Eemian and the interglacial before that. But, no matter, the three-quarter-of-a-degree-Celsius warming of the last century means that all Hell is about to break loose.
I’d write a lot longer piece here, but my hobbit fingers are struggling to reach all the keys!