Last Tuesday’s New York Times featured a short article about a scholarly frog debate: is the spread of chytrid fungus being fueled by global warming? New and old studies draw differing conclusions. It should be noted that the scientists involved actually aren’t arguing — they’re simply pointing to scientifically valid reports that point to different reasons for the spread of chytrid. But I got a chuckle from a “tie breaking” quote from an Australian biologist:
Ross A. Alford, a tropical biologist at James Cook University in Townsville, Australia, said such scientific tussles, while important, could be a distraction, particularly when considering the uncertain risks attending global warming.
“Arguing about whether we can or cannot already see the effects,” he said, “is like sitting in a house soaked in gasoline, having just dropped a lit match, and arguing about whether we can actually see the flames yet, while waiting to see if maybe it might go out on its own.”