I was out birding with a group of folks on Saturday, out on the South Platte River northeast of Denver. In terms of quacks seen, it was a spectacular day, with thousands of birds covering fourteen species along with bald eagles, hawks, cormorants and herons. And smaller stuff. It helps that a major waste treatment plant dumps its final product in the Platte upstream … it both warms the water and adds nutrients. The vast majority of ducks we saw were Northern Shovelers, known to like brackish water.
Such a day makes up for my weak outing on the Audubon Christmas Bird Count, where a friend and I walked for several hours through woods, not seeing one bird. At the outset we saw two crows flying high overhead, and I reported them only to be told they were ravens.
“So,” I told our group leader, “I saw two birds this afternoon, and got them both wrong.”
I bring this up because of a conversation that transpired during the morning among the four men in that group. They knew my wife and I are originally from Montana.
Mr. One: Have you been to Glacier National Park?”
Me: Not for many years. We lived in the southern part of Montana, and it is a 350 mile drive to get up there.
Mr. One: They should rename it. The glaciers are nearly gone.
Me: Yeah, they’ve been shrinking since the bottom of the Little Ice Age. I remember as a kid in the 1950s being told that Glaciers up there would soon be gone.
Mr. Two: Did you see where they recorded the highest temperature on record in Antarctica?
Mr. Three: Yeah – like 18 degrees Celsius.
I had not heard about this. I learned after that it was reported in bold headlines in the New York Times and the British Guardian, along with the BBC. This kind of reporting, incredibly irresponsible, is deliberately misleading. It is as if I reported that a manhole cover in downtown Denver was blown off by a rush of underground water, and the Denver Post reported
Denver is flooding! Denver is flooding!
It means nothing. It is not even climate variability – it is just local weather.
But not one of those gentlemen will look into it. This is because the truth about those temperatures is not reported anywhere, and these men will not search for it. The Climate Change scare exists because of massive censorship at every level of information in our society, from first graders up to our universities.
I spoke at more length with one, who told me the whole of Antarctica is warming, to which I replied that a small part of the continent is warmer than the rest, and that’s where they get the photos of calving glaciers, but that as a whole, Antarctica is accumulating more ice than melts. That led to this:
Mr. Three: Are you a scientist?
Me: No. An accountant.
Mr. Three: Do you trust scientists?
Me: No I don’t. I think they are just following the money.
[End of conversation. It is very difficult to be both social and to argue rationally in a groupthink environment.]
For the real scoop, I found an article by Michael Kile, and Australian whose CV I do not have, called ESPERANZA ON MY MIND. Esperanza is an Argentine research station on Antarctica.
The high temperature was a “foehn event”:
“Foehn events cause rapid extreme temperature jumps simply due to changes in the air pressure as winds descend from a mountain top. During the 2015 foehn event, Esperanza’s daily temperature jumped from 0°C [32°F] 2 days before, to a record setting 17.5°C [63.5°F]. Elsewhere, Antarctic foehn winds are common and have been extensively studied, often raising maximum temperatures by 10+°C [18+°F] above normal.”
It was just local weather, and not an indicator of anything, least of all anthropogenic global warming. Too bad however, as the lies told by the New York Times, BBC and The Guardian circled the Earth several times while Mr. Kile was tying his shoes.