Global Warming… Jumping the Shark…

by | May 7, 2008

Wikipedia tells us,

The term jumping the shark alludes to a specific scene in a 1977 episode of the TV series Happy Days when the popular character Arthur “Fonzie” Fonzarelli literally jumps over a shark while water skiing. The scene was so preposterous that many believed it to be an ill-conceived attempt at reviving the declining ratings of the flagging show. 

The expression is used to refer to tired TV shows which have similarly passed their peak.

Once a show has “jumped the shark” fans sense a noticeable decline in quality or feel the show has undergone too many changes to retain its original appeal. 

Now, the same is true of the much over-cooked global warming. The Observer reported at the weekend:

Surge in fatal shark attacks blamed on global warming 

But, of course, we need the numbers.

Two deaths in the waters off California and Mexico last week and a spate of shark-inflicted injuries to surfers off Florida’s Atlantic coast have leftbeachgoers seeking an explanation for a sudden surge in the number of strikes. In the first four months of this year, there were four fatal shark attacks worldwide, compared with one in the whole of 2007, according to the International Shark Attack File at the Florida Museum of Natural History inGainesville.  

Gosh. Interesting. But correlation and causation, and all that. We ought to be careful. What is the warming climate doing to the sharks, to make them attack us?

‘The one thing that’s affecting shark attacks more than anything else is human activity,’ said Dr George Burgess of Florida University, a shark expert who maintains the database. ‘As the population continues to rise, so does the number of people in the water for recreation. And as long as we have an increase in human hours in the water, we will have an increase in shark bites.’ 

Hmmm. That’s not global warming though, is it?

Some experts suggest that an abundance of seals has attracted high numbers of sharks, while others believe that overfishing has hit their food chain. 

Hmmm. Still not getting the ‘global warming’ thing…

Another contributory factor to the location of shark attacks could be global warming and rising sea temperatures. ‘You’ll find that some species will begin to appear in places they didn’t in the past with some regularity,’ he said. 

“Could be”. Things “regularly appearing” where they hadn’t been “in the past”. We’re not going to worry about it until we see sharks in rollerblading rinks. It turns out that the headline is misleading.

The only sense which can be distilled from this absurd article is that sharks only attack you when you’re wet. Global warming has nothing to do with it.


  1. Planet Earth

    I appreciate you for covering the issues such the global warming. Earth is our mother and it is our responsibility to save her from danger.

  2. Sun Tzu

    John A. Warden III, a U.S. strategy expert recently posted this about Global Climate Change: Thinking Strategically About Global Climate Change. It would be interesting to hear how your readers view his positions and the need to establish the future state of the global climate before embarking on a lots of tactical solutions to a percieved problem.

  3. Magnus

    I wrote a blog post yesterday on this stupid shark thing, here.

    …with a link to some numbers at Blue Crab Boulevard.

    Oh, the article is extremely stupid about tatistics — 1 last year and 4 already this year (extrapolated 160 a year within 10 years then!) — so I guess the AGW alarmists at the news papers has already given up …except that they will aggressively trying to keep our politicians from abandon their regulate-economy paradigm. :(


  4. Magnus

    sun tzu: I think that the rational environmentalist and economist Bjorn Lomborg (a.k.a. Bjoern and Björn) has relly good points in policy matters.

    Loomborg presumes that the IPCC forecast will be realized, but I see the AGW as more or less a hoax and believe what many scientists think today, that we will have a cool climate the coming decades and maybe a little ice age.

    Then we have to adopt other solutions than if it would have get warmer, or? I think we shall always have well functioning free economies. Then we will have most resources to handle any situation.

    Your link to Warden presumes that we have AGW, and it also shows the AGW propagandistic paleoclimatology proxy temperature graph (with which they replaced the “hockeystick”) instead of the total revision of hundreds of proxy studies. This revision clearly shows, from almost all individual studies, a mdeieval warming period as well as a little ice age, at both hemispheres.

    Actually we don’t know what’s going to happen with the climate, but at least a slight cooling the coming decades seems most likely. I think we shall not plan our economies. Warden uses Pangloss rhetorically, but Pangloss in a non planning context isn’t lack of development.

    But Warden gives us som good facts well worth thinking about.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published.