The Flight 1549 blame game (updated)

Thomas Lifson
It didn't take long for the warmists to blame the US Airways crash on global warming, which is, after all, deemed responsible for anything bad. Time Magazine, which was once widely read, sprang into action:

While officials use radar and radio collars to track bird populations, habitat destruction and climate change have disrupted migratory patterns. Moreover, the populations of certain species of birds are increasing at rapid rates, thanks to changes in food supply. The Canada-goose population, for example, has grown 7.3% annually from 1980 to 2006. [emphasis added]

Rush Limbaugh may have been the first person to point out that greenies have made the protection of birds (especially waterfowl) a major priority, and an increase in bird population is a goal they have achieved -- that may deserve blame for the crash, if anything is to be blamed other than an Act of God.

Greg Pollowitz of NRO did the legwork and discovered that none other than New York Senator Chuck Schumer boasted of being responsible for an earmark that increased the population of Canada geese right in the neighborhood of LaGuardia Airport, from which the doomed aircraft took off:

This issue came up in 2004 when Geesepeace was trying to save a flock of geese from Riker's Island (in the flight path of Laguardia) rather than have the geese killed:

In this time of trouble in faraway places, the man-versus-fowl struggle brewing on Rikers Island may seem trivial. But its implications are dire for a certain flock.

On one side are geese, slender-necked and given to relieving themselves liberally, who like where they are living, a stone's throw away from La Guardia Airport. On the other is a worried band of federal officials who believe the geese are too close to planes carrying millions of passengers in and out of one of the nation's busiest airports.

History teaches that these things hardly ever end well - for the birds at least. Indeed, by the end of the day today, barring a last minute reprieve, 495 Canada geese will be on their way to an upstate slaughterhouse, Port Authority and federal wildlife officials said yesterday.

There's nothing in the New York Times archives between the 2004 slaughter and the crash yesterday, but I think an investigation into what was or wasn't done over the years to control the geese is in order. If environmental concerns overrode passenger safety then that's something that needs to be debated in light of yesterday's miracle. 

Hat tip: Doug Powers

Update: Marc Sheppard has similar thoughts:

When word first broke that the remarkable Hudson River emergency landing of US Airways Flight 1549 was caused by a flock of Canadian geese, two thoughts immediately occurred. 

One - Somehow PETA would focus more on the agony of the geese that were sucked into both of the plane's jet engines than the safety of the 150 passengers and five crew members, perhaps even suing US Air and hero pilot Chesley B. "Sully" Sullenberger for animal cruelty.

And Two - Somehow, somewhere, global warming would be blamed.

Well -- no word yet from the animal advocates.

But their fellow greenies in the climate alarm department didn't disappoint, as the Time piece above notes.

Outstanding.

Perhaps after PETA figures out what to do about the freezing iguanas falling from trees in Florida, we'll hear the geese's side of the story.
It didn't take long for the warmists to blame the US Airways crash on global warming, which is, after all, deemed responsible for anything bad. Time Magazine, which was once widely read, sprang into action:

While officials use radar and radio collars to track bird populations, habitat destruction and climate change have disrupted migratory patterns. Moreover, the populations of certain species of birds are increasing at rapid rates, thanks to changes in food supply. The Canada-goose population, for example, has grown 7.3% annually from 1980 to 2006. [emphasis added]

Rush Limbaugh may have been the first person to point out that greenies have made the protection of birds (especially waterfowl) a major priority, and an increase in bird population is a goal they have achieved -- that may deserve blame for the crash, if anything is to be blamed other than an Act of God.

Greg Pollowitz of NRO did the legwork and discovered that none other than New York Senator Chuck Schumer boasted of being responsible for an earmark that increased the population of Canada geese right in the neighborhood of LaGuardia Airport, from which the doomed aircraft took off:

This issue came up in 2004 when Geesepeace was trying to save a flock of geese from Riker's Island (in the flight path of Laguardia) rather than have the geese killed:

In this time of trouble in faraway places, the man-versus-fowl struggle brewing on Rikers Island may seem trivial. But its implications are dire for a certain flock.

On one side are geese, slender-necked and given to relieving themselves liberally, who like where they are living, a stone's throw away from La Guardia Airport. On the other is a worried band of federal officials who believe the geese are too close to planes carrying millions of passengers in and out of one of the nation's busiest airports.

History teaches that these things hardly ever end well - for the birds at least. Indeed, by the end of the day today, barring a last minute reprieve, 495 Canada geese will be on their way to an upstate slaughterhouse, Port Authority and federal wildlife officials said yesterday.

There's nothing in the New York Times archives between the 2004 slaughter and the crash yesterday, but I think an investigation into what was or wasn't done over the years to control the geese is in order. If environmental concerns overrode passenger safety then that's something that needs to be debated in light of yesterday's miracle. 

Hat tip: Doug Powers

Update: Marc Sheppard has similar thoughts:

When word first broke that the remarkable Hudson River emergency landing of US Airways Flight 1549 was caused by a flock of Canadian geese, two thoughts immediately occurred. 

One - Somehow PETA would focus more on the agony of the geese that were sucked into both of the plane's jet engines than the safety of the 150 passengers and five crew members, perhaps even suing US Air and hero pilot Chesley B. "Sully" Sullenberger for animal cruelty.

And Two - Somehow, somewhere, global warming would be blamed.

Well -- no word yet from the animal advocates.

But their fellow greenies in the climate alarm department didn't disappoint, as the Time piece above notes.

Outstanding.

Perhaps after PETA figures out what to do about the freezing iguanas falling from trees in Florida, we'll hear the geese's side of the story.