March 14, 2007

Winter Blunderland


Continuing the global warming theme: This cartoon was originally posted on December 6, 2005, and is one of over 400 illustrations you'll find in our latest book Black & White World III, which can be ordered via Cox & Forkum, The Steyn Store, and Barnes &

From AP: Frostbite ends Bancroft-Arnesen trek. (hat tip Jack Friedman)

A North Pole expedition meant to bring attention to global warming was called off after one of the explorers got frostbite. The explorers, Ann Bancroft and Liv Arnesen, on Saturday called off what was intended to be a 530-mile trek across the Arctic Ocean after Arnesen suffered frostbite in three of her toes, and extreme cold temperatures drained the batteries in some of their electronic equipment.

"Ann said losing toes and going forward at all costs was never part of the journey," said Ann Atwood, who helped organize the expedition. ...

[T]he latest trek got off to a bad start. The day they set off from Ward Hunt Island, a plane landing near the women hit their gear, punching a hole in Bancroft's sled and damaging one of Arnesen's snowshoes.

They repaired the snowshoe with binding from a ski, but Atwood said the patch job created pressure on Arnesen's left foot, which led to blisters that then turned into frostbite.

Then there was the cold quite a bit colder, Atwood said, then Bancroft and Arnesen had expected. One night they measured the temperature inside their tent at 58 degrees below zero, and outside temperatures were exceeding 100 below zero at times, Atwood said.

"My first reaction when they called to say there were calling it off was that they just sounded really, really cold," Atwood said. ...

Atwood said there was some irony that a trip to call attention to global warming was scuttled in part by extreme cold temperatures.

"They were experiencing temperatures that weren't expected with global warming," Atwood said. "But one of the things we see with global warming is unpredictability."

UPDATE I -- March 16: Making this story even more ironic, CNN reports: Winter has been world's warmest on record.

And Newsday has a report on a debate held in NYC this week on whether or not global warming is a crisis: The climate's just perfect for a debate.

This issue will never be resolved in one brainy evening, even one as pointed and personal as this. In the previous five IQ2 U.S. debates, there hadn't been all that much mind-changing in the room. But this time, there was. Before the debate, not-a-crisis got 30 percent of the vote. After, the number rose to 46 percent. The is-a-crisis tally dropped from 57 to 42. The undecideds dipped slightly, from 13 to 12.

UPDATE II: Geologist Don Easterbrook helped put global temperature in historical perspective -- not just the last century -- in an interview with Glenn Beck: transcript. (via Harry Binswanger)

BECK: Just in the last few centuries, we have had global warming cycles that were far worse than that. I read in "The Times" piece today that there have been several times in the last, I think it was 15,000 years, where there have been cycles that were 20 times worse than this right now. True?

EASTERBROOK: That's correct. Most of those that were of that magnitude occurred about 10,000 to about 15,000 years ago, and the ones that have occurred in the past 8,000 years or so are not as profound as that.

The big ones were then, but nonetheless, there have been at least ten times when global warming and the rates of global warming have been greater than we`re seeing right now.

Posted by Forkum at March 14, 2007 07:30 PM