An agenda in search of a weatherman

by the Night Writer

A couple of weeks ago I was sitting in my warm house, in a comfy chair, just flicking my gloveless fingers over my keyboard and I discovered that the amount of global sea ice was as high as it had been at any time since 1979, according to satellite observations of both the northern and southern hemisphere polar regions monitored by the University of Illinois’ Arctic Climate Research Center. Of course, those paying attention will remember that 2008 was the year that some were predicting that the North Pole would melt entirely.

Didn’t happen. In fact, there was about 10 percent more ice in August of ’08 than there was in August of ’07. The last quarter of the year then saw an exceptionally fast and widespread refreeze to reach the 29-year high reported above.

Meanwhile, the Caitlin Arctic Survey team from the UK set out earlier this year to measure for themselves the amount and thickness of the arctic ice, predicting that due to climate change they’d have to swim (using special suits) for as much as 15 percent of the excursion.

Instead, severe weather and extreme cold put the team in danger as re-supply flights had trouble reaching the explorers:

Three global warming researchers stranded in the North Pole by cold weather were holding out hope Wednesday as a fourth plane set off in an attempt deliver them supplies.

The flight took off during a break in bad weather after “brutal” conditions halted three previous attempts to reach the British explorers who said they were nearly out of food, the Agence France-Presse reported.

“We’re hungry, the cold is relentless, our sleeping bags are full of ice,” expedition leader Pen Hadow said in e-mailed statement. “Waiting is almost the worst part of an expedition as we’re in the lap of the weather gods.”

Fortunately, a relief flight did manage to reach the group the other day, but it was touch and go for awhile:

“It’s been a pretty grim time waiting for the weather to lift enough to get the plane in. It’s no place to just hang around when it’s minus 40 degrees [Celsius], but we could not afford to move without our essential kit, food, fuel and batteries for our survey and communications gear,” said Hadow, the expedition leader, “All of us are just wanting to get going quickly and have a high calorie meal to fuel ourselves up.”

I’m glad to hear that the team is all right for now as only polar bears would truly be happy about the group’s predicament. Some of the commenters on the rescue story are upset, however, that fuel-burning, carbon-dioxide-spewing airplanes were used to resupply the expedition. Perhaps relief via a nuclear sub would have been better?

5 thoughts on “An agenda in search of a weatherman

  1. Hopefully I’m not stepping in a ginormous hornet’s nest, but I feel I have to say something on the whole ‘global warming’ thing.

    It has been transformed into a partisan litmus test, an idea that you almost have to pledge to uphold or hate depending on the party you belong to.

    Science, or the pursuit of truth, shouldn’t exist as a party vehicle. It is extremely hard for a scientist in this climate (if you’ll forgive the pun) to uphold this Prime Directive.

    Not only is much of the analysis of current climate data suspect at this point, but meteorological/climate study is still in its infancy as a science.

    So for anyone to say that global warming exists (or doesn’t exist), is being scientifically disingenuous at the expense of the scientific process.

    The second problem I have with global warming is that it doesn’t matter and no one seems to see that.

    I don’t give a rat’s whatever whether global warming ‘real’ or not. I never understood why the people who push it are so adamant about its existence. Or why it sends others into a tizzy.

    Does it matter? Can’t we all agree that, er, excrement-ing where we eat is a horrendous idea? That it will probably have some pretty bad consequences, even if those consequences aren’t the complete extinction of every mammal bigger than the size of a squirrel?

  2. Any “movement” requires and deserves some skeptical scrutiny. The biggest red flag about the global warming (especially “man-made” global warming) crusade is that any skepticism is met with jihad. “Deniers” are accused of being in the bag of industry, while no one looks at the billions of dollars pumped by governments and NGAs to favored groups to “research” and “study” (i.e., find what you want to find) the phenomenom. (Here’s a natural law everyone seems to overlook: you get more of whatever you subsidize).

    We can barely rely on our sophisticated meterology tools and Doppler radars to forecast the local weather 7 days out, yet we are supposed to risk our economies, freedom and resources on “models” that are supposed to predict planet-wide conditions 100 to 500 years in the future? Whatever happened to the scientific method – you know, observe, hypothesize, experiment, measure and repeat the results? Experiement/measure/repeat has been replaced in the process by “emote.”

    Another natural law: there’s nothing that government loves so much as a crisis. The question for any deep-thinking lover of freedom to ask is “Why?”

  3. Ooo, I know, I know!!! Because then they can find the “solution,” which by happy circumstance always ends up being more power for the government and less for the people. Oh, and higher taxes too no doubt.

    BTW, do I get a treat? Send that red-haired girl over here with some grapes.

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