Whitebark pine tree faces 'imminent' extinction from climate change?

The Fish and Wildlife Service has determined that the whitebark pine tree faces an “imminent” risk of extinction from climate change. But unless global warming caused trans-Pacific shipping and computer modeling, the claim does not appear to be supported by reality.

Supposedly global warming is promoting the major threats of white pine blister rust and mountain pine beetles.

But:

As we pointed out last week, there is no evidence that ongoing climate change has caused, is causing or will cause species extinction despite more than 1,100 studies published since 2005.

Not surprisingly, reality had no opportunity to intrude upon the Washington Post reporting of Juliet Eilperin as the only two sources she cited in her story were the former FWS staffer responsible for the above-mentioned computer modeling and the Natural Resources Defense Council, the activist group petitioning the FWS to list the whitebark pine in the first place. Quel balance!

We have an inquiry out about the mountain pine beetle modeling and will report back if and when we get a response.

One thought on “Whitebark pine tree faces 'imminent' extinction from climate change?”

  1. In August 2009, I took a drive through the Rocky Mountain National Park which was a 170 mile trip. I was stunned when I saw thousands of pine trees dead at elevation around 6000 feet to 8000 feet due to pine beetles. The needles on the trees were rust-colored.

    The park service had a sign that I thought dated around 2000 that the trees were dead due to the pine beetles and the recent warming. At elevations above 9000 feet there were no dead trees with rust-colored needles. There were dead grey colored trunks with no bark or limbs. There were live trees. At the time I thought there may have been cooling the last ten years and maybe these higher elevation trees may show global cooling and elimination of the beetles at these elevations.

    I went to the Ranger station at Estes Park and expressed my dismay to a Ranger about the dead trees. He said don’t worry. This behavior has been going on for over 3000 years and the trees come back.

    James H. Rust

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