Global Warming Causes Biblical Plague!

It’s the decade of news media manufactured global warming catastrophes. Every couple weeks, if a climate change disaster doesn’t happen, then the news media will invent one.

Today, its locust! The major media services are awash in reports of a locust plague of biblical proportions that is thrashing Egypt just before Passover. The giant swarm of 30 million insects is terrifying Cairo! It’s cause, of course… global warming. Gasp!

Gadzooks, Batman! Shades of the Book of Exodus! We’re all gonna die!!

Relax, Robin… Take a deep breath…
This is normal. It is not a plague. Not even close. Locust swarms have been around since… welll… biblical times.

Cairo’s 30 million bugs is a paltry sum compared to a 2004 Moroccan swarm that was 143 miles long and contained 69 billion locust!

By swarm standards this one is small and the scientific evidence linking it to global climate change is even smaller.

The Skinny on Cairo

The Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) of the United Nations keeps tabs on locust populations for pest control. Its called Locust Watch. It’s been tracking this year’s outbreak since November.

March 3 situation update by the FAO reported Cairo’s as “an immature swarm that appeared in the afternoon” and then “dispersed into several smaller swarmlets”.

The FAO recognizes 4 severity levels of locust:

  1. Outbreak
  2. Upsurge
  3. Plague
  4. Major Plague

An outbreak is the lowest severity level. According to the FAO, they commonly occur. That’s what is happening this year.

The next level up is an upsurge. It’s a very large increase in locust population with many outbreaks lasting two or more successive breeding seasons within a region. The last major upswing was in 2003-05.

Next up the severity ladder is a plague. It is one or more years of heavy local infestations affecting one or more regions.

At the top of the heap, a major plague is a widespread plague spanning large geographic areas, including more than one region over several successive years.

Since 1900 there have been five major Middle East plagues: 1926-1934, 1940-1948, 1949-1963, 1967-1969 and 1986-1989.

Its been 23 years since the last major plague. We are overdue for another.

Number of territories infested with swarms by year from 1860-2000 (Click for larger view)

Locust and Global Warming

Three studies of Chinese historical records covering periods of at least 1,000 years have linked locust infestations with global climate change.

All three studies inconsistently yielded these differing connections:

  1. Warmer and drier (Ge, et al.)
  2. Colder and wetter (Stige, et al.)
  3. Colder and drier (Tian, et al.)

Succinctly put, nobody agrees. That means that if there is a climate change link, nobody knows what it is.

It’s obvious, though, from the table above that, since 1860, locust infestations peaked in the 1960s and have since trailed off. It shows no association with CO2 emissions and/or human-caused global warming.

Conclusions

Before agonizing over a locust plague of biblical proportions, consider that we have something today the Pharaohs didn’t: insecticides!

The UN’s Food and Agricultural Organization tracks locust in order to coordinate international efforts to stop locus outbreaks before they become plagues. They do it every year.

Locust bed down for the night. They get blasted into oblivion in the morning with insecticides after they wake, but before their wings are warmed up enough to fly. Zonk! Bam! Ka-boom! No more biblical plague!

That is probably why there hasn’t been a major plague since 1989.

There is nothing unusual going on this year. The FAO says the latest Cairo infestation was small and is already dying out.

There is no known global warming connection. Locust infestations are becoming further and farther between, not more intense and frequent.

The sensationalist news media has once again cried “the sky is falling!”

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About azleader

Learning to see life more clearly... one image at a time!

Posted on Mar 5, 2013, in climate change, culture, Global Warming, journalism, Life, news, Opinion, Politics, science, Thoughts. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Formation of the United Nations on 24 Oct 1945 brought many benefits to society – reduction in the threat of nuclear annihilation, nationalism, racism, etc. – but hiding information on the source of energy (E) [1,2] stored as mass (m) in cores of

    a.) Heavy atoms like Th, U, Pu
    b.) Planets like Jupiter and Saturn
    c.) Ordinary stars like our Sun
    d.) Galaxies like the Milky Way

    Prevented world leaders from being able to meet the basic needs of society.

    – Oliver K. Manuel
    Former NASA Principal
    Investigator for Apollo
    PhD Nuclear Chemistry
    Postdoc Space Physics

    PS – By coincidence, it looks like the snow falling here in Missouri today should blanket Washington, DC in time for the House Subcommittee hearing tomorrow on “global warming !

    http://science.house.gov/hearing/subcommittee-environment-policy-relevant-climate-issues-context

    1. ”Neutron Repulsion”, The APEIRON Journal 19, 123-150 (2012): http://redshift.vif.com/JournalFiles/V19NO2pdf/V19N2MAN.pdf

    2. “Yes, the Sun is a pulsar,” Nature (submitted 12 Dec 2012): http://dl.dropbox.com/u/10640850/Yes_the_Sun_is_a_pulsar.pdf

  2. I constantly emailed this website post page to all my friends, for the reason that if like to read
    it after that my contacts will too.

    • Thanks for your kind remarks.

      My purpose always, in situations like this locust scare, is to accurately report the facts when the national media chooses to sensationalize and exaggerate it all out of reasonable proportions.

      In this article I only cited The Atlantic for their reporting, but I could have cited a dozen other publications and cable news reports.

      I went a little over the top with the humor, but the media reporting was so far over the top with their hysteria that I couldn’t help myself. 🙂

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