Extinction Study on Shaky Scientific Ground

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Alarming predictions of mass extinctions due to future global warming, forthcoming in this week’s edition of the journal Nature, represent yet another salvo in the ideological battle to frighten the public into believing in a future of catastrophic climate change. The article was co-authored by 19 researchers using computer modeling to predict future distribution of animal populations.

“Not only are the conclusions outlandish, but the theory upon which the entire article rests has been itself thoroughly disproved,” said Competitive Enterprise Institute Senior Fellow Iain Murray. “The authors used a theory from 1859 that the absolute area of animal habitat controls the number of possible species, despite ample proof in recent years that that simply isn’t true. Without that connection, any predictions about actual extinction rates are hogwash.”

The article suggests that as many as one million species could go extinct by 2050 due to global warming. Currently, only about 12,000 species are considered to be threatened with extinction out of an estimated total of 14 million.

“As in the past, when the agenda of the global activist elite suffers, improbable and speculative predictions of doom are trumpeted to terrify the world into compliance,” said Myron Ebell, Director of Global Warming and International Environmental Policy at CEI. “With setbacks for boosters of global warming theory like Russia’s rejection of the Kyoto Protocol, it’s likely that they will begin clinging all the more tenaciously to ridiculous fantasies like this one.”