The Reality Of The “150,000 Penguins Killed By Climate Change” Story

You may have recently read the breathless headlines regarding 150,000 penguins dying in Antarctica. What’s the reality?

(Daily Beast) Major news outlets ran with a widely mischaracterized study from Australian and New Zealand researchers in Commonwealth Bay, Antarctica, saying enough penguins to fill three Yankee Stadiums had been trapped by an iceberg and, unable to fend for themselves, died.

The Guardian issued a death notice, saying “150,000 Penguins Die After Giant Iceberg Renders Colony Landlocked.” Other news sources issuing death certificates included theDaily Mail, The Telegraph, and CNN.

Bit of a problem: The research paper doesn’t—and never did—say that. Some penguins may have died, because penguins aren’t immortal. Others probably just moved.

“Maybe these birds moved. Maybe they died. There’s multiple scenarios that could’ve happened here,” Dr. Michelle LaRue, a research ecologist at the University of Minnesota, told The Daily Beast. “But nowhere in the paper said there was death and destruction.”

LaRue would know. She did the initial census on the Adelie penguins two years prior to the study done by University of New South Wales researchers that came out early this month.

So, all the media hyperventilation was based on them failing to read the paper properly.

Grist.org, for example, wrote, “150,000 Penguins Have Disappeared in Antarctica. Thanks, Climate Change!”

“They likely have nothing to do with each other,” said LaRue. “This is an iceberg. It’s the thing I find commonly, doing work in the Antarctic. Certain outlets will make links when there aren’t any. It’s ridiculous.”

In other words, these things have happened before, and will happen again. Perhaps all the media outlets should have asked the people involved with the study. Na, that would have forced them to be honest in their thinly veiled opinion pieces which support other people being forced to do something by government to stop ‘climate change’.

Crossed at Pirate’s Cove. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach.

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