Somewhere in an office about 600 miles southwest of here, former NASA scientist Roy W. Spencer is laughing. The 50-year-old, white-haired PhD dreamed up the spoof site — sort of the Onion meets the Weather Channel — because he thinks people are overreacting to the threat of climate change.
Now a principal research scientist at the University of Alabama at Huntsville, Spencer says human activities have “likely” contributed to climate change, but he argues that “since we do not understand natural climate fluctuations, we don’t really know how much, quantitatively, of the present warmth is man-made versus natural.”
Spencer describes his Web site as “a spur-of-the moment effort that resulted from the increasing number of news stories that quoted people who blamed global warming for events such as tsunamis and the latest flood, drought or hurricane. . . . Also, I have a somewhat twisted sense of humor, and the Web site gives me an additional creative outlet.” His other creative outlet: He’s lead guitarist in a contemporary Christian rock band at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in Huntsville. (His environmentalist-mocking alternative lyrics to Supertramp’s “Give a Little Bit”: “I’ll take a little bit, I’ll take a little bit of your wealth from you/So give a little bit, oh, give a little more than a dime to me.”) …
Senate Environment and Public Works Committee counsel John Shanahan, whose boss, James M. Inhofe (R-Okla.), has called global warming “a hoax,” likes Spencer for his research as well as his wit.
“It wasn’t until I first saw his Web site that I realized that he’s an amazingly funny guy,” says Shanahan. “It’s refreshing to see a scientist keep his sense of humor in a highly polarized debate.”
“What we are seeing is breaching whales flapping their fins wildly, in an obvious attempt to achieve flight”, said Prof. Charles Beagle, research team leader with the Fish and Wildlife Service. In one amazing photo (above), a whale was seen contorting its body, clearly forming the shape of a giant hummingbird. “Its fins were flapping so fast, they were a blur”, exclaimed Prof. Beagle.
Rapid evolutionary changes have been hypothesized for years, the researchers explained, noting the near total absense of transitional forms of life in the fossil record. “This could be mankind’s only chance to actually observe a rapid evolutionary transition of one species into another species”, explained Beagle.
An alternative explanation for the odd behavior was offered by Dr. John Morrison of the National Creation Research Foundation. “Even if these whales are indeed attempting to mimic bird-like behavior, how does that in any way change their DNA so that their offspring will carry that behavior to the next level? Massive genetic defects would have to occur, all combining in positive ways to make the animal more bird-like”, explained Dr. Morrison.
Prof. Beagle responded to the criticism by noting, “Well, we have birds, don’t we? They had to come from someplace, didn’t they? And life started in the oceans, didn’t it? Case closed”.
Hat tip: Stephen Fromm