Sunday, February 04, 2018

Extreme cold, frostbite and hypothermia force halt to Yukon Arctic Ultra race

According to the Greenies, the earth started to warm immediately after WWII -- as industrialization picked up and produced more and more CO2 emissions.

They got one part right.  CO2 has risen steadily since then.  But where is the warming?  After 70 years of warming there should be none of these repeated incidents of extreme cold.  Extreme cold should have greatly moderated.  But it has not.  Worldwide there have been constant severe winters.

Greenies say these freezing periods are just weather but when does weather become climate?  Frequent cold weather is part of climate so the Greenie prophecies have just not been fulfilled.  The global warming prophecy was wrong

It's billed as "the world's coldest and toughest ultra" race — and few would argue, after this year.

The long-distance, backcountry Yukon Arctic Ultra race, which began Thursday in Whitehorse, was put on hold on Friday after a slew of competitors fell victim to hypothermia and frostbite, calling for help, and dropping out of the race.

"We are in what we refer to as 'high alert status,'" says a notice on the race website.

The temperature in Whitehorse as racers set off on Thursday morning was hovering around –30 C. Overnight, it was closer to –45 C, race officials say.

"We were hoping most of them will get through the night without major problems. Unfortunately, this was not the case," the race website says.

As of Friday afternoon, several competitors had already been retrieved from the trail, and some have gone to hospital to be treated for frostbite.

Mark Kelly, a Whitehorse photographer, found himself unexpectedly busy on Friday morning, picking up racers in distress on his snowmobile and delivering them to safety.

He had arranged to meet one of the racers on the trail, freelance journalist Eva Holland, to take some photographs for her. He didn't get far out of town before he was sidetracked.

"I was maybe five or eight kilometres on the trail, and a fellow hopped out of the bush and waved me down and just said, 'rescue me!'. Poor guy, I really felt for him. He was definitely hypothermic," Kelly said.

Kelly gave the cold man some hot tea, loaded him on his sled, and took him back to his truck to warm up and wait to be picked up. Kelly then set off again to meet Holland.

Again, he was stopped before he reached her. Another man was in trouble, and calling for help.

"After the second fellow with the blackening fingers, I thought, this is serious," Kelly said.

"One of the fellows, he'd stopped [to camp] because he was freezing cold, but his hands were so frostbitten that he couldn't even open his Thermarest. So he was laying, literally, right on the frozen ground — no wonder he was hypothermic."

Kelly eventually made it to Holland, who in the meantime had also called for help. Her fingers were frostbitten, but she was in good spirits, Kelly said.


Where the floating plastic comes from.  It is not "us"

A picture is worth a thousand words

The wetland reserve at the mouth of the Yangtze is supposed to be the last unspoilt tract of seaside by Shanghai.

Yet here in the delta of the world’s third longest river, which is the leading source of plastics polluting the oceans, it is more like a disaster zone of flotsam and debris.

The tides sweep a myriad of garbage — bits of old appliances, plastic jugs, packaging fragments, torn fishing lines and polystyrene foam — on to the shoreline at Jiuduansha.

“Plastic waste far outnumbers any other kind of waste I have found on beaches,” Tang Heqing said, who is trying to clean the area and gauge the level of pollution.


Climate change is making some women reluctant to have children

Good, good, Good!  I am all in favor of lamebrains voluntarily removing themselves from the gene pool

Climate change is creating yet another debate -- this time largely among women who are wondering what it means for their reproductive future.

They are not saying they fear their ovaries are affected by climate change; instead, they are saying they are so worried about climate change, it has made them wonder if bringing a child into the world right now is a bad idea.

The state of worry has created groups such as Conceivable Future. The group is made up of men and women. Though largely made of women, everyone comes to discuss the next generation and climate change. Members of the organization aren't optimistic for what is ahead, so they are unsure about bringing a child into an uncertain future.

Gone are the days of getting married and nine months later, happy couples welcome their first child into the world.

Now, future parents are calculated, often double earners faced with skyrocketing college costs, the consequences of living in a digital age, ever increasing health risks, and the declining state of our planet. At Conceivable Future, the environment discussion is all about how climate change affects family.

“It’s one way to talk about climate that really cuts both across everybody’s life and cuts to the core of what it really means to be a human," Josephine Ferorelli, co-founder of Conceivable Future, said.

The organization’s founder holds house parties across the U.S., including areas such as Chicago. The mission of these house parties is to get attention with help from testimonials from members.

Hannah Harpole, 34, from New York, is among those that are worried about the future.

“At this point, I feel it is very unlikely that I will have children,” Harpole said. “It’s a biological feeling that It’s a very bad idea to have children because of what’s going on with the climate.”

Harpole is not alone in feeling this way. Andree Zaleska, 48, from Boston, is right behind Harpole.

“I have had to raise my kids with the knowledge that their future is completely uncertain to me," she said.

According to the organization, it is a chance for everyone to have and hold a conversation. Everyone is welcome, men and women, adults and children, those with kids and those without. It’s a forum, a safe place, they say, to share and to ask questions.

Ferorelli initiates this conversation with a question that allows for the discussion to begin.

“How is climate change impacting our reproductive lives? That’s the conversation, as open-ended as that,” she said.

The questionable climate change has prompted others to consider having more children or even a child at all.

Eleanor Ray is one of the many women that see the climate as a reason why she has settled on not having kids.

“Every other thing is eventually going to depend on what the weather does,” Ray said. “ I think it will be the shaping force of the next 100 years, and we’re not planning for it.”


Conservation, Not Environmentalism

Much of the disagreement over the use of America's natural resources stems from confusion over the difference between conservation and environmentalism.  Conservation, a rational, conservative approach to protecting and preserving the environment, is an ethic of resource utilization.  Conservationists view man as a natural, invested partner in the endeavor to preserve the environment to ensure its continued, sustainable use by humans.

Environmentalism began as a sincere conservationist movement but subscribes to a view of man as nature's enemy.  Nature itself is revered and intrinsically embodied with value.  Environmentalists seek to limit human access to, rather than allow use of, nature to advance human life, health, and happiness.  Environmentalists perceive man as an immoral, destructive interloper who can interact only negatively with his natural surroundings.

In his book, Smoking Them Out: The Theft of the Environment and How to Take It Back (American Tradition Institute, 2013), Greg Walcher focuses on these ideological differences as he examines the environmental movement.

Walcher begins with the history of the environmental movement.  He demonstrates how the stewardship of our resources – water, forests, energy sources, other natural resources – has become less about real science and conservation and more about politics and achieving centralized control.  This change in focus has created unintended consequences, far removed from the ideals of caring for the environment and, today, bordering on malfeasance.

The author describes an environmental industry that has grown by leaps and bounds since the 1980s.  Although their stated goals have remained the same, the nature of the groups has changed radically as they borrowed techniques from non-profit organizations in other fields and raised huge sums of money, much from major foundations such as the Ford Foundation, the Heinz Endowments, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, and other entities known for supporting anti-capitalist goals.

Many of the organizations boast membership statistics that dishonestly include visitors to their websites and attendees to their meetings to claim extensive and widespread support for their activities, while having few actual, dues-paying members.  Large organizations often spawn new groups that are portrayed as concerned citizens promoting an alleged grassroots issue of regional concern, such as "Friends of the Canyon," to give an image of neighborhood conservation groups valiantly fighting large, evil corporations.

The emphasis has been on stopping development rather than compromising to balance community needs with legitimate environmental concerns.  As a result, hundreds of new local groups have sprung up to influence nearly all major natural resource agencies at every level of government.  They pursue lawsuits in staggering numbers, greatly impeding progress on the development of environmental policies.  The Sierra Club alone filed 129 federal lawsuits between 2001 and 2007.

During his tenure as head of the Department of Natural Resources in Colorado, Walcher dealt firsthand with the full smorgasbord of environmental concerns.  He describes his interactions with factions of the powerful, politically connected international environmental industry and takes issue with their negative characterizations of coal-miners; oil, gas, and mining companies; loggers; and farmers as irresponsible abusers of the environment.

Walcher considers the Endangered Species Act of 1973 – the most powerful environmental law ever passed – a failure.  Half of the species on the endangered list have been on the list for more than 20 years, and only one third have an actual recovery plan in place.  The legislation has accomplished little to recover endangered species, and, in the vast majority of cases, the situation has worsened.  Rather than recovering and reintroducing self-sustaining populations of species, the focus has been on habitat conservation, resulting in legislation and regulations to control property, land access, and resources with a negligible effect on actual species recovery.

Walcher's approach to species endangerment was to build state-of-the-art recovery facilities: first an aquatic species hatchery and, later, similar facilities for birds and mammals.  The goal was to recover sufficient numbers of the species to place them into a suitable habitat for their growth.

While the program became overwhelmingly successful, little interest arose from the government and environmental groups.  Walcher became aware that listings of endangered species were made with inadequate proof that they were, in fact, endangered, and statistics on historic populations or recovery goals were not part of the equation.  Further, the law offered no appeals process or comment period for the public to contest a potential listing.  Since the inception of the Act, 1,435 species had been placed on the list, and only eight had been removed.  From this dismal record, Walcher concluded that the real agenda was to control land and human activity.

In his well researched book, Walcher describes similar scenarios of environmentalists' intrusions in the management (or mismanagement) of other resources: forests, land, water, and energy.  He shows how well endowed environmental organizations are adept at imposing their agendas at any cost and with any subterfuge necessary.

In land management, he explains how America's forests had traditionally been kept in check by nature, with periodic fires sparked by lightning.  But forest management was created and engaged in fire suppression, with logging taking the place of fire to thin forests.  In the late 1990s, logging became unpopular and a hot-button issue for environmentalists.  The result: a massive overgrowth of trees, brush, grasses, and weeds that deteriorated the health of forests and produced a literal tinderbox.  Our forests are so overcrowded that they currently burn at a rate unmatched in recorded history, threatening the wildlife they sustain.

An interesting split on land management and development issues between the West and East is also explored in Smoking Them Out.  Whereas in the Western states, much of the land is state- and federally owned, government land ownership constitutes a mere 1% to 2% in the East.  For example, Nevada consists of nearly all public land, while less than 1% of New York State land is government-owned.  This means that Nevada has a much lower tax base available for local schools, fire departments, water and sewer services, and other needs.  The amount of publicly owned lands presents a difficult challenge for Western states hampered by government regulation of much of the land surrounding their communities.

In the end, Walcher promotes a policy of hands-on environmentalism – recovering endangered species, restoring forests through effective clearing, responsible mining with an emphasis on mitigation and reclamation, and other such sensible interventions.  With millions of acres of land currently restricted for human activity, our forests and water supply have suffered, and we have strayed from the original intent of resource protection to a hidden agenda of control.

Flush with cash and an armamentarium of legal guns, the environmental groups have embarked on a multi-decade destructive crusade that has plundered resources and ensured that the next generation will not enjoy the same standard of living; will travel less; will live in smaller homes; will relinquish cars; and will consume, manufacture, and produce less.  In Smoke Them Out, Greg Walcher demonstrates that the answer is not to continue to promulgate a massive regulatory morass, but to engage in sensible conservation and recovery policies.

Moving forward, environmental policy should be about responsibly providing the necessary natural resources to sustain a prosperous country.  As is clear from the many examples set by impoverished countries, when people have inadequate resources to sustain their communities and livelihoods, they focus on survival and don't expend time and energy for conservation.


Australia: Greenies trying to gag honest scientidst

Marine scientist commented on their "unvalidated" public pronouncements about catastrophic damage to the Great Barrier Reef.  The reef is now back to normal so he was proved right.

Marine scientist Peter Ridd has refused to accept a formal censure and gag order from James Cook University and expanded his Federal Court action to defend academic freedoms and free speech.

A revised statement of claim alleges JCU trawled through private email conversations in a bid to bolster its misconduct case against him.

JCU had found Professor Ridd guilty of “serious misconduct”, ­including denigrating a co-worker, denigrating the university, breaching confidentiality, publishing information outside of the university and disregarding his obligations as an employee. [i.e. He told the truth]

Professor Ridd has asked the Federal Court to overturn the university ruling and confirm his right not to be silenced.

In the revised statement of claim, Professor Ridd has dropped an earlier claim of conflict of interest against JCU vice-chancellor Sandra Harding, but has alleged other senior staff had been biased and had not acted fairly or in good faith.

Professor Ridd’s Federal Court action is seen as a test of academic freedom and free speech, and has been supported by the Institute of Public Affairs.

Professor Ridd said he would seek public donations to continue the fight against JCU. He first took court action in November in a bid to stop a JCU disciplinary process against him for comments he made to Sky News presenter Alan Jones.

The university said by expressing concerns about the quality of some reef science, Professor Ridd had not acted in a “collegiate” manner.

Professor Ridd told Sky News: “The basic problem is that we can no longer trust the scientific ­organisations like the Australian Institute of Marine Science, even things like the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies.”

He said a lot of the science was not properly checked, tested or replicated and “this is a great shame because we really need to be able to trust our scientific institutions and the fact is I do not think we can any more”.

A JCU spokesman said the university’s lawyers had invited Professor Ridd to discontinue his proceedings. “(He) has amended his proceedings. His decision to do so is a matter for him,” he said.

“The university intends to vigorously defend those proceedings (but) as these matters are before the courts, JCU will not comment further.”

Lawyers for JCU wrote to Professor Ridd on November 28 confirming the university had determined he had engaged in “serious misconduct” and issued him with a “final censure”.

“The disciplinary process and all information gathered and recorded in relation to the disciplinary process (including the allegations, letters, your client’s responses and the outcome of the disciplinary process) is confidential pursuant to clause 54.1.5 of the university enterprise agreement,” the JCU lawyers said.

Professor Ridd has subsequently published his concerns about the quality of reef science in a peer-reviewed journal. He said he was determined to speak freely about his treatment “even though it will go against explicit directions by JCU not to”.

“This is as much a case about free speech as it is about quality of science,” he said.




Preserving the graphics:  Most graphics on this site are hotlinked from elsewhere.  But hotlinked graphics sometimes have only a short life -- as little as a week in some cases.  After that they no longer come up.  From January 2011 on, therefore, I have posted a monthly copy of everything on this blog to a separate site where I can host text and graphics together -- which should make the graphics available even if they are no longer coming up on this site.  See  here or here


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