Global Science Report is a feature from the Center for the Study of Science, where we highlight one or two important new items in the scientific literature or the popular media. For broader and more technical perspectives, consult our monthly “Current Wisdom.” In this edition, we cover an important story that we missed back in 2008.
People send us stuff. As a result of our recent Global Science Report on global warming ruining our bananas, one of our fans directed our attention to an important effect of climate change that we somehow missed, back in 2008, when the alarmists at the BBC wrote that it was threatening haggis.
Haggis, for the uninitiated, is sheep stomach stuffed with minced lung, liver, heart, tongue, suet, onions and oats. How offal!
While there’s no accounting for taste, it tastes as bad as it smells.
According to the story, there has been a rise in a parasite effecting Scottish sheep that renders the lung “unfit for consumption” (something that many of you probably thought was the case already).
And, so as not to miss the bandwagon, an official from the Scottish Agricultural College Veterinary Investigation Centre told the BCC that:
Part of the reason will be the parasite is able to live a pretty happy life on the ground because of higher temperatures. Maybe it’s climate change.
Or maybe not.
It turns out that another potential cause of the increase in the lung parasite is that Scottish farmers have reduced their application of parasite treatment due to declining infections of roundworm. The treatment of roundworm also killed the lung parasite.
There was no mention made in the BCC article as to whether global warming was behind the decrease in roundworm infestations.
Instead, the article went on the describe the events which took place in the World Haggis Eating Championship, won by Willie Robertson from Dunkeld, who managed to put away a pound of haggis in 125 seconds. For his victory, Mr. Robertson was awarded a trophy and a bottle of whiskey—no doubt a key feature in the rest of the day’s merrymaking.
BBC’s writing in the haggis story appears similarly merry. Here are the last three paragraphs of their report, verbatim, a candidate for first place in the 2008 International Nonsequitur Competition.
The championship was held as part of the 125th Birnam Highland Games, and attracted competitors from Australia, New Zealand and the US.
Climate change, meanwhile, has been blamed for affecting natural habitats in Scotland and across the world.
Most notably, scientists and conservationists say it threatens survival of polar bears.