Rush Limbaugh takes credit for Americans' climate skepticism; bats in Austin no longer content to sleep at night; don't do this in a pool
Here's all the weather news you need to get through to the weekend:
• End Times sign of the week! Bats in Austin have decided to start getting up along with humans and working during the day light. This unsettling development has likely occurred because the hellish drought in Texas has killed so many crops, and by extension so many crop insects that the bats like to eat. So now the flying rodents have to get up a little earlier and hustle for their food.
People who study such things think this evolved bat behavior isn't necessarily a bad thing, as long as the drought ends and bats get to go back to sleeping during the day soon. Reports the Vancouver Sun:
"If we just have one to two years of drought, it's a natural cycle and it's not going to affect the species as a whole," [bat naturalist James] Eggers said. "What some scientists fear is that this is not a regular drought, but could be indicative of change coming because of global warming."
This bat horde is estimated to remove 1,000 tons of insects from the air every night. You can see them at work as they stream out of their bridge abode next time you're in Austin - or just watch them in this goosebump-prickling video.
• Americans don't trust scientists: A recent Rasmussen poll indicates that 69 percent of American adults believe that it’s "at least somewhat likely that some scientists have falsified research data" on climate change. That's 10 points above the number who thought such falsification was "likely" in Dec. 2009. What's behind this seeming growth in global-warming skepticism?
At least, that's according to Rush Limbaugh. "I'm gonna raise my hand and I'm gonna take credit, 'cause this has been one of my pet peeve issues for as long as I've had this show," the radio host said on his Aug. 4 broadcast, literally raising his hand in the studio if this photo is to be believed. Rush then added, no joke: "We win!"
Yay! Screw you, science!
• Rowdy party of storms congaing toward East Coast: ABC7's Chris Naille wrote yesterday about the Cape Verde Conga Line of tropical storms that typically head our way during this time of year. Well, they're right on schedule: The National Hurricane Center is tracking four separate areas of low pressure and thunderstorms in the Atlantic. Over at the Wunder Blog, Jeff Masters is giving odds on each storm's potential for dangerous growth. Read it here.
• Terrible, yet irresistible idea of the week: Headed to the pool this weekend? Then why not rent a backhoe and make it an experience to remember? Just limit your Russian driver to a pint of vodka and keep your hardhats on at all times: