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Precipitous Penguin Populations
December 23, 2006 9:34 AM   Subscribe

Unhappy Feet. Penguin populations around the world are crashing. Biologists are mystified but suspect warmer oceans caused by global warming is reducing available food.
posted by stbalbach (36 comments total)

 
Poor Penguins. Well, if they are out of fish (maybe we are overfishing ? I don't know I can't detach my eyes from this piece of tuna) but I have a solution

Let them eat croissants !
posted by elpapacito at 9:46 AM on December 23, 2006


Can we chop up Robin Williams and feed him to the penguins? It wouldn't be much but it would be a start and it would solve two problems at once.
posted by fenriq at 9:47 AM on December 23, 2006


Well that sucks. I'm not fond of the idea of a world with fewer penguins.
posted by quin at 10:00 AM on December 23, 2006


Yeah, but waddle you do?
posted by hal9k at 10:06 AM on December 23, 2006


They're being punished because they're gay. God's cleaning house.
posted by homunculus at 10:06 AM on December 23, 2006


Yes, the human legacy. Ptui.

Mountain caribou have suffered a major decline in the last decade, down to 1900 individuals. This is thanks in part to increased snowmobiling, untenable recreation that disrupts their habitat. Super cool bonobos with whom we have much in common are hunted for food, after been marginalized to a population of less than 6000. Northern Pacific Right Whale is endangered by oil and gas exploration, population down to approx. 100. And polar bears are losing habitat because of global warming.

People need to cut back drastically by using less of the earth and reproduce less. Parasites. Do we really want a world with nothing but us, our garbage and our launch pads to the next planet we hope to despoil? Looks like it. Humans are easy to hate, as a class. How can we "smart ones" be so damn selfish? I don't get it. Merry Xmess.
posted by Listener at 10:23 AM on December 23, 2006


How can we "smart ones" be so damn selfish? I don't get it.

Oh it is easy, because bears, penguins et al don't complain ! Nor counter-attack. You know, like workers without an half-decent union, you can just walk all over them and infer from their silence they can stand it, so they can tolerate more.

There's a caveat tho : if you want to protect the caribou, somebody will scream you prefer caribous to humans, why do you hate humans and their recreational snowmobileing so much ?
posted by elpapacito at 10:39 AM on December 23, 2006


Climate change causes extinctions. Wow.
posted by smackfu at 10:42 AM on December 23, 2006


I wonder what penguins taste like?
posted by blue_beetle at 10:50 AM on December 23, 2006


blue_beetle: What do penguins taste like?
posted by porpoise at 11:15 AM on December 23, 2006


There is a penguin standing on top of my flatscreen monitor. If it laid an egg, it would fall to the floor and cause no damage whatsoever.
posted by three blind mice at 11:22 AM on December 23, 2006


Alright, guys, now don't go barbecueing penguins. Y'all are making me nervous.
posted by azpenguin at 11:28 AM on December 23, 2006


Those penguins better start dancing then.....
posted by TravisJeffery at 11:39 AM on December 23, 2006


I love how everything is blamed on global warming. Do scientists even do any research? Or do they just blame everything on global warming.

It seems too convenient that EVERYTHING has to do with warmer climates.
posted by subaruwrx at 11:43 AM on December 23, 2006


Everything doesn't have to do with warmer climates. Don't forget about all the other things that are killing off the world's plant and animal life (pollution, poaching, loss of habitat, deforestation, introduction of invasive species, overfishing, etc...)
posted by lunalaguna at 12:03 PM on December 23, 2006


It seems too convenient that EVERYTHING has to do with warmer climates.

Almost like its a global catastrophe with millions of unpredictable downstream effects!

Don't go concluding anything rash, though.
posted by dhartung at 12:08 PM on December 23, 2006 [1 favorite]


This is just more FUD from Microsoft.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:32 PM on December 23, 2006


It seems too convenient that EVERYTHING has to do with warmer climates.

Correct, exactly as convenient as NOTHING . A phenomenon may not be as hardly perceptible and unlikely to happen as meeting a sober person in a bar after SuperBawl, but may be possible, plausible or *gasp* likely to happen !
posted by elpapacito at 12:35 PM on December 23, 2006


It seems too convenient that EVERYTHING has to do with warmer climates.

Climate is habitat, it's ecology, it's the conditions of the world we live in. Of course everything has something to do with climate. Whether that makes climate change and human contributions to the chain of causes responsible involved the driving force behind changes to penguing populations is possibly up for debate, but to me it almost seems like a tautology to assume that climate has something to do with everything on earth.
posted by weston at 12:43 PM on December 23, 2006


I don't understand, how can we blame this on George Bush?
posted by fenriq at 12:59 PM on December 23, 2006


weston, just like the cessation of breathing is a leading cause of death?
posted by fenriq at 1:01 PM on December 23, 2006


I love how everything is blamed on global warming. Do scientists even do any research? Or do they just blame everything on global warming.

As the first link says, yes they do research, that's how they know the numbers are declining. They themselves admit that they can't prove the cause right now - global warming just seems a very likely culprit. Falklands Conservation unfortunately doesn't seem to have any more information about the research on its website. As an organisation, though, it's fairly active and well respected in one of its other major fields, protecting declining albatross populations in this part of the world (and these are not attributed to global warming - a lot of albatross deaths are due to birds being caught in fishing lines, and FC has helped fishing companies adopt mitigation measures which have gone a long way to reducing bird mortality).

I've been pecked by a curious Falklands rocky, and they are very cute little dudes. There are old black and white postcards of rocky colonies here in the last century, and they are sooo much bigger than they are these days.
posted by penguin pie at 1:14 PM on December 23, 2006


weston, just like the cessation of breathing is a leading cause of death?

Indeed. For all we know, global warming could actually be a symptom of decreasing penguing populations.
posted by weston at 1:25 PM on December 23, 2006


Weston, it's hard to tell if your making a joke or being serious - it's like drunk-logic. "Hey! Penguins cause globall warming! I read it man" (overheard in a bar).
posted by stbalbach at 2:09 PM on December 23, 2006


It seems too convenient that EVERYTHING has to do with warmer climates.

Damn straight. Just once, I'd like to see these so-called "mainstream" "scientists" tell the American people THE TRUTH - that meteorilogical phenomema are caused by:
- America Hater Cindy Sheehan
- Gay People
- Abortion Doctors
- Michael Moore (Who also hates America.)
- Penguins who voted overwhelmingly for John Kerry
- The French
- Dan Rather and the Liberal Media (Ditto on the America Hating!
- John Kerry, who lies about his war record
- Bill Clinton (Who got a blowjob!)
- Hillary Clinton's Socialist Health-Care Plan
- Dead Ender Baathists
- and Fuzzy Math
That's why they never do research.
posted by swell at 2:11 PM on December 23, 2006


Bears in some parts of the world have stopped hibernating.
posted by hindmost at 2:23 PM on December 23, 2006


"Do scientists even do any research?"

Why yes, they do! I'm so glad you asked.

Next question: will non-scientists ever listen? Or just keep making excuses and hiding their heads in the sand?

What can we do? The US can lead the world to better, renewable, non-polluting energy sources, while at the same time ending the eternal fighting over fossil fuel resources. This is inevitable anyway (fossils are limited), so what better time to start?

The damage has begun. We can now choose how much we care ... and what words our grandchildren will use to describe us.
posted by Twang at 3:29 PM on December 23, 2006


I don't understand, how can we blame this on George Bush?

And how can we blame it on George Washington ? I don't know, nor care. Yet if you think about it, why pre-emptive strike on terror and no pre-emptive strike on environment disaster ? It also resonates well with the imminent rapture that is going to happen on 1/1/2027 !
posted by elpapacito at 3:38 PM on December 23, 2006


happy feet was actually a good movie
posted by tsarfan at 4:31 PM on December 23, 2006


The world's 6th mass extinction is well underway in the world's ecosystem. Nothing new, humans have been working on this for quite some time.
posted by j-urb at 6:16 PM on December 23, 2006 [1 favorite]


If "for quite some time" you mean "in the blink of an eye."

Humans have been kicking it with nature for about 50 000 years. It's only in the past couple hundred we've really been hell on the ecosystem.

The next stage of human evolution is going to have to be psychological/social/"awareness"-oriented. If we can't collectively get our shit together, we're collectively doomed.
posted by five fresh fish at 12:21 AM on December 24, 2006 [1 favorite]


We are bad for the co-existent flora and fauna, period. We are deeply self-absorbed, competitve, territorial and hungry. I am trying to imagine what organisms have managed to thrive during our universal dominance.

Cats and dogs. Rats and pigeons. Cockroaches. Escherichia coli. Food crops--cows and pigs and chickens, only briefly. Lab rats, of course. And nude mice and flatworms and fruit flies with legs growing in place of antennae. 100 years ago, horses and dray mules. 300 years ago, slaves.

And all the brilliant beasts, the ones that could make you freak and run, or freeze, cringe, or just flat stare--the ones that made you wonder if God really favored you--the Elephant, the Tiger, the Cheetah, the Black Rhino, the North American Wolf, the California Condor.........

Heck.
posted by toma at 3:35 AM on December 24, 2006


The Condor? Why?
posted by five fresh fish at 9:22 AM on December 24, 2006


That's a cringe beast. The world's largest vulture, a carrion scavenger with a 9 foot wing span. Something that would gladly feed on you, if you were dead. And with a creepy pink head, to boot.
posted by toma at 1:09 PM on December 24, 2006


Hey, my grandmother has only a five dot five wingspan. No need to exaggerate!
posted by five fresh fish at 6:36 PM on December 24, 2006


if you want to protect the caribou, somebody will scream you prefer caribous to humans, why do you hate humans and their recreational snowmobileing so much ? http://www.metafilter.com/mefi/57232#1532008

I dislike them because they're noisy and polluting and everywhere. They don't have to be everywhere. It's not either/or, as you imply, but AND. Not like they need LOTS of core habitat. Sheesh.

Now, clearly most people here consider global warming and mass extinctions brought about by overwhelming use of the earth by humans to be a joke. Ill-named "smart ones" are homo sap. What's Latin for "dirty monkey that shits on its dinner table"?
posted by Listener at 9:17 PM on December 24, 2006


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