Tag Archives: Antarctica

You become what you are

I stumbled upon news a mere two hours old, now this is nothing special, but the content was. It came from Reuters and even though I cannot tell who the writer was, it is not about the writer. For the most it is an account of details that had passed, it is the accumulation of acts by people so intensely short minded, that is what baffled me. As such you become what you are, you become dead as your brain was dead. 

In the first we see Stephanie Simpson, no idea who that is, or who she thinks she is, yet the situation is given that she is from Essex. This is not against her, she might be an expert in the hiking field and for those feeling frisky and having an attempt at hiking in the  Mount Aspiring national park I have one small advice, I have never been there, but hiking, climbing, diving and a few other options, YOU NEVER EVER DO THAT ALONE!

Nature does not budge, it does not give in and it does not compromise, the smallest kindness shown by nature could be the start of its next serious attack on your body and senses. This is not negativity, this is reality. Even when it is a fluke event like “Flash floods and incessant torrential rains hit New Zealand’s South Island last week leaving several hundred tourists stranded for days and forced many residents to evacuate their homes“, in these matters the expression changes, it becomes pain shared is optionally pain avoided. In natural places like New Zealand, that is very much the centre of the hurricane.

I even have some issues with the statement “In 2016, a Czech women spent nearly a month alone in a warden’s hut on a remote hiking trail on South Island after her male partner was killed in a fall“, I am not denying this, yet the larger truth is ‘How many deaths did this Czech women avoid whilst her husband was alive?

I got it, she made it and I am happy for her and sad because she lost her husband, yet as they were together, how often was stated ‘Watch out, that looks lose!‘, or ‘That road seems dodgy, let’s take the other direction?‘ for the simple reason that 4 eyes see more than two, gender was not part of this equation, nature does not care about gender, in its eyes both genders are equally worthless.

So even as we see: “Thousands of hikers visit New Zealand each year to explore its mountains and wildlife“, in this we do not get to see the parts that matter, even as there are dozens of pages with ‘Hiking Solo‘ some giving us their goods with “Adventure, depending on your taste in activities, is supposed to be exciting and fun! It should get you out of your comfort zone, get the blood flowing, the adrenaline pumping, and maybe if it’s really scary, make your heart pound and your stomach jump into your throat. Adventurous activities are not usually for the faint of heart. But they also aren’t just for a certain group of hardy people either. Everyone can be adventurous. It just takes the right people connecting, an open mind, an adventurous attitude, and responsible planning! Anything is possible when you make up your mind!“, we also need to realise ‘It just takes the right people connecting‘ which infers that they get their solo and hooked up, which makes perfect sense. Other places give us “Saying that, hurting yourself, getting lost and getting caught out by the weather can happen, so you still need to take proper safety precautions when hiking, especially if you are going it alone“, and when you go this trail, ‘take proper safety precautions‘ will be everything. 

You see, we seem to forget that New Zealand is not rugged, it is not unexpected, it is sturdy as a rock, the weather breaks its back on New Zealand and with that crushing anything in its way as well. We oversimplify matters too often, we think of an earthquake and firmly believe that it does not hit us, yet in New Zealand the Alpine Fault is a geological fault that runs almost the entire length of New Zealand’s South Island, and we know that the last 7.8 was in 2016 and at that time “the recent massive earthquake pushed a chunk of coast several feet up“, yet a much smaller one (like a 4) could loosen a rock that shatters your leg, or if you are lucky your skull. Now, this is not some scary story telling, it needs to be firm that there is an important reason to be aware, nature will not give in. Consider “Every year GNS Science locates over 15,000 earthquakes in New Zealand. About 100 – 150 of these quakes are large enough to be felt“, a rock needs not feel, it merely needs to move, at times merely an inch. Still, from all pictures and accounts, New Zealand is more than just beautiful and the appeal to go there is there, I feel it too, but I feel that something like that is never ever to be done alone, it does not matter if you hook up with a team there, or if you follow a group, even a small tour, just do not do that alone. I also need to be clear, I am not talking about hiking tracks like the Queen Charlotte Track, or the Routeburn Track. They are hikes, yet it is different when you are alone, one of 10-20 alone on a clear given track, in the unspoiled terrains it is a different setting, the hiking places where others do not go. I get it, it is like skiing on fresh snow, not a piste, it is for many an overwhelming desire to do so, but at that point it is you alone and in nature, a little snow can become a blizzard, some rain becomes a flood or a flash flood, nature simply does not budge.

I have an additional feeling, the idea that an entire rescue team needs to become active for one useless person (me), offends me too and I used to be a rescue worker when I was younger. I have seen the impact of the sea and the ocean. You see on a large cruiser it seems harmless, on a fishing boat the ocean is something else. I personally still believe that of the three gods, Poseidon got the best deal of all three and I respect the ocean, it is not my element, as such one could argue that  have no business being near it, but the call to the sea is strong.

I write this with a special view on the last part of the article, which was “a 22-year-old British backpacker was murdered by a man she met on dating app Tinder. A jury convicted the man in November and he is to be sentenced on 21 February“, which is (as I personaly see it) a different level of stupid. As such we need to realise that New Zealand is a safe place, it has been and optionally always will be, at times people are not safe and the weather is never ever safe. As such look at Australia, first that island scorches through the kind assistance of the sun and 11 million hectares was burned, including 23 people and over 2,000 houses, then the rain helped out flooding thousands (me included), and left 100,000 houses without power. I had rain damage, but not as bad as some who had to throw out the bulk of their living room, my landlord found a new way to live green, he ended up with a tree in his living room. 

So lets realise that nature will NOT compromise and if it is devastating in a city like Melbourne, how bad can it get in rural conditions? Yet I still stand still with the Tinder girl, it is my personal believe that Kiwi’s (New Zealand natives) are not homicidal, they have been around a long time and tend to be friendly and at times direct and even now, this act stands out, it stands out a lot more than the people trying to hike in Australia (the movie Wolf Creek is based on it), to see such an event in NZ is weirdly uncanny to say the least. 

So no matter if you agree and how you feel, remember that when you are alone, it is the weather you must fear and the moment you take your eyes of it, it swamps you. It stands out against something that happened a year ago “both men were experienced climbers, active in the Canberra Climbers’ Association. They were attempting a challenging route across the top of the Remarkables mountain range” this is not the same as hiking and we can speculate on the exact issues as much as we want, in these places we are out in the open, we are where we do not belong and nature does not believe in capturing or taking a prisoner, it merely kills you or it optionally makes you stronger. It has nothing to do with gender and nothing to do with expertise, in a match between you and nature, you will always lose, that is the reality of it all and whilst New Zealand has the most beautiful sites any place on earth offers, being overwhelmed by it is a dangerous stage to be in. My point of view was partially seen last September “Two tourists ignored advice against hiking the Routeburn Track in winter, and went out under-prepared for the conditions they faced, a Coroner’s report has found“, I see it as a double whammie, overestimating your own abilities and forgetting the power of nature, oh and there is also the stupid factor as ‘ignored advice‘ is part of all this, and they went to see the Department of Conservation (DOC) centre in Queenstown to get information before they went. As they were told “not to go because it was winter and there would be winter conditions“, so how high does ‘giving it a go‘ rank in stupid levels? As I said Nature will not care, it will simply carelessly kill you. Even as Stephanie Simpson took all the precautions, did everything right, she was seemingly alone and there was no one to raise the alert, give a hand if she slipped on wet rocks or chase her if the water caught her, all speculated options in what might never be known, my personal view is never go alone, even if it is just you and the guide, he/she can still take pics of you for you to show off when you get home.

I do feel sorry for Stephanie Simpson, it doesn’t matter who she is, her age, her interests, getting stuck alone in nature is perhaps the harshest death there is (apart from a rock pushing you in a crevice instantly killing you), being helpless and crushed by nature is something overwhelming, because you tend to have no hope at all to survive that.

Consider that the Czech republic has quality snow, harsh ice and real winter conditions to read “they had underestimated the snow conditions” is simply a new level of stupid (like flying from the UK to NZ to meet a tinder guy). And my view is not the only one, the SCMP (South China Morning Post) gives us “A growing number of tourists are getting into trouble while hiking in New Zealand. Local knowledge could help prevent these incidents” anyone needing a travel guide? We also see the Kiwi preemptive stage of “New Zealanders are being called on to talk to tourists in hotels, pubs and shops to educate them about the dangers of the nation’s countryside, after a spate of emergency rescues and fatalities“, which is awesome, it might not save the stupid ones who are willing to ‘give it a go‘ but those with genuine self interest (on living) might take notice that New Zealand nature is like a Cobra, it looks amazing in many ways, yet too close and it can turn deadly in seconds. Remember that nature never cared about you in the first place, so accept that there are no dangerous snakes and spiders in New Zealand (unlike in Australia), in New Zealand nature and its weather is a much larger danger and those unprepared pay the price with their soul, so never ever go it alone, even if the second person can only call for help, you could not move as you slipped on a wet moss covered rock and fell the wrong way. Yes you might walk alone on certain trails, but that is because there are well over a dozen on that trail and you will most likely be spotted, hopefully in time.

Even as we are given “the second preventable death“, it was not the fault of any Kiwi, it was the fault of the tourist not comprehending just how dangerous nature is and how deadly the weather can become in seconds.

That is how I see it!

My bucket list still has the need to visit Antarctica, its unreaped snow fields, the azure freshwater lakes and the direct view on a complet nature and weather setting has its appeal (and the appeal to photograph it), but I too know that it could kill me when I am alone. So just me and a local guide it will be, I prefer to be around one day later, that’s how I roll.

 

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The ice and the icing

Ah, it is the environment that was taking a hit yesterday. The Guardian (at https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/jun/18/arctic-permafrost-canada-science-climate-crisis) is giving us: ‘Scientists shocked by Arctic permafrost thawing 70 years sooner than predicted‘, and at this point, we can all agree that we have a really serious problem. I know, the people at Wall Street would more likely than not be in a stage to dismiss and debunk the news, yet this is not about merely melting ice, this is about permafrost melting. This is no small matter; you see the Arctic and Antarctic both have places where the ice never melts, that ‘never melting’ ice is now actually melting. Consider if you can, a piece of ice on Antarctic, twice the size of the state of Texas, close to half a mile high, that is now becoming water (which in Antarctic terms does not seem much). Now we also know that ice loses volume when it melts, yet it is only 10%, so over the foreseeable future we end up with a water mass 800 meter high and the size of Texas being added to the oceans. Water levels will rise and to a decent amount, in all this, there is also the arctic to consider, it is not land, it is all water and they too will add levels of water to it all.

Then there is a new development, which we see at (https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/jun/19/himalayan-glacier-melting-doubled-since-2000-scientists-reveal), the problem is are we have been sold for too long and too often a package of goods? Is it such a stretch that the media ‘suddenly’ has a whole range of ‘revelations’? I am not stating that these are fabricated, but the timing is an issue. As I personally see it the people have been ‘handled’ for far too long, giving less and less reliability on what we see. Even as we see ‘Himalayan glacier melting doubled since 2000, spy satellites show‘, more important, why did it require a spy satellite? Yes, I get it when we see “more than a quarter of all ice lost over the last four decades, scientists have revealed“, so when was that revealed? It gets to be worse when we see: “This is the clearest picture yet of how fast Himalayan glaciers are melting since 1975, and why“. Fair enough the work ‘Acceleration of ice loss across the Himalayas over the past 40 years‘ published in Science Advances 19 Jun 2019: Vol. 5, no. 6, eaav7266; DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aav7266 is seemingly an academic work by J. M. Maurer, J. M. Schaefer, S. Rupper and A. Corley might be good and it might all be top notch work, but the timing of it all gives it a little bit of a bitter taste. Now, this is not some hidden attack, the work looks really good (at https://advances.sciencemag.org/content/5/6/eaav7266), it has uncertainty assessments, how it was dealt with, how the data was captured, this is a real piece of academic work with references and all (a lot of references), yet timing is everything we know that and it still feels like we are being handled. Part of me is speculating that this game is not by the scientists, but that certain previous white house players have been suppressing or delaying certain reports. It is highly speculative and I have no evidence, but that is what it feels like, the more the political player gets into bed with big business, the less environmental consideration we tend to see.

The entire matter increases when we consider: “The analysis shows that 8bn tonnes of ice are being lost every year and not replaced by snow, with the lower level glaciers shrinking in height by 5 meters annually” this implies another part which we see in the National Geographic (at https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/global-warming/sea-level-rise/). When we see: “Rising seas is one of those climate change effects. Average sea levels have swelled over 8 inches (about 23 cm) since 1880, with about three of those inches gained in the last 25 years. Every year, the sea rises another .13 inches (3.2 mm)“, we see the other part of the coin, so how about your beachfront property in 2045?

We can go long on the yay and nay sayers, but in all this, the media needs to stop facilitating to their shareholders, their stake holders and their advertisers, because the bulk of them are clearly in denial of environmental changes, as well as clearly opposing change. In 2012, the Guardian (https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2012/may/30/companies-block-action-climate-change) gave us: “An analysis of 28 Standard & Poor 500 publicly traded companies by researchers from the Union of Concerned Scientists exposed a sharp disconnect in some cases between PR message and less visible activities, with companies quietly lobbying against climate policy or funding groups which work to discredit climate science“, I believe that this is still going on, however these companies have become more clever in their actions and acting indirectly. In 2014 we see a Journalist names Mark Green giving us (at https://www.api.org/news-policy-and-issues/blog/2014/10/21/americas-oil-and-natural-gas-industry-be) “97 percent of all oil and natural gas company stock – held by millions of Americans across the country. These include retirees and middle-class Americans saving for retirement“, it is now less about the opposition it is that being ‘in favour’ is dooming the middle class a reversed reverse psychology if you will.

Do you still think that shareholders and stake holders are a stretch? How many financial institution advertisement have YOU seen in the last week alone? And when it comes to the sceptical and the 197 excuses they have, let me add utterly bogus excuse 198: “Women warm the hearts of men and with 4 billion men one woman can raise the planetary temperature by at least 1 degree, so what about the other 99 in the hot 100 (graphic evidence added)?” We see lists of excuses yet to overall need to take a serious look at the matter and give serious airtime to those trying to warn us is also a topic for debate.

When we pass over that episode and we add to the matter (Antarctica, Himalaya, Arctic, Greenland) there is a stage where we have surpassed essential milestones, milestones that can no longer be undone (not within the next two generations). Me, I am still all in favour of culling the human population by 85%, and fortunately for me this time around, the politicians are actually helping me.

It’s the Icing

When it is about the icing we can go in two directions, in the first it is about the topping of a cake, we all have tried it, yummy chocolate icing, marzipan topping, our sweet tooth desires a scrumptious load of icing and the larger your slice of the cake, the better the sugar rush. The second direction is mostly for Canadians (LOL), it is seen in hockey when a player shoots the puck from behind the centre red line, across the opposing team’s goal line, whilst the puck remains untouched. It is a rule to oppose a quick win, netball has a similar option; you need to win by being the better player in each segment of the field. It nullifies a play like Matt Prater of the Denver Broncos achieved in 2013 by kicking that piece of air filled leather for 64 yards, an achievement for sure, but at that point the game becomes about the kickers and it becomes less about the full game. An icing stops this option, making it about the game and this matters as we see in: ‘Diplomatic offensive aims to dissuade Tehran from breaching uranium limits‘ (at https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/jun/19/uk-france-germany-last-ditch-effort-save-iran-deal), you see I am slightly less convinced that they are not their yet (or disgracefully close to it). When I see: ““We want to unify our efforts so there is a de-escalation process that starts,” Le Drian said. “There is still time and we hope all the actors show more calm. There is still time, but only a little time.”” to be honest I wonder what drugs Jean-Yves Le Drian is on (and can I have some please?) The idea that Iran adheres to any kind of agreement is short sold to begin with, the entire Hezbollah proxy war counts as evidence in that matter.

So when I see: “We need to de-escalate through dialogue. It is a time of ‘diplomacy first’ and that’s what we are committed to” I merely wonder who is fooling who. It is seen when the most stupid of all actions is given with: “If Iran did breach the uranium limits, the deal, known as the joint comprehensive plan of action, gives both sides time to go into a disputes mechanism before it is declared void“, is it really that bad, after the ‘breach’ Europe still wants to talk? Did you learn nothing from the Adolph Hitler European tour of 1939-1945? We could ask the State of Israel with its 15 million votes, oh sorry, there are apparently 6 million absentee ballots, they can no longer vote; does anyone remember that little fact in the entire equation?

If it is slightly too crude, then it is intentional. We have facilitated for tea parties and long winded talks going nowhere for too often and for far too long. It is now time to act before it is too late, or merely accept the culling that comes afterwards, which will be good for the environment as well.

Ice and Icing, all events linking to intentional violations to norms, to boundaries and to standards of life and living, how many more violations will we endure until we are given the sad reality our children and grand children face soon enough, we have left them nothing and for too long we would not adhere to that reality until it was too late for the next generation. We are shown too much pieces of evidence that we are doing this, whilst denying the facts presented. This might be the best evidence that we are bad parents and that we are unworthy of titles of parent and custodian, the evidence is all out there in colour, in black and white, on all levels including the academic one.

If this was a match, then it would be the face-off between the two Global Hockey teams: the Bogusses versus the Professinators, the problem is that no matter who wins, the people lose, this game has been on for too long and time is a luxury we actually no longer have and the media have been all about getting the limelight and the time to let all the voices be heard letting exploitation reign (aka circulation and clicks). The Great Barrier Reef with over 50% now bleached to death (source: National Geographic), is merely one casualty of all talk and no actions, I wonder how many more needs to be lost for people to finally force actions against politicians and corporations. In opposition we see the New York post giving us (at https://nypost.com/2018/09/12/the-great-barrier-reef-was-never-dead/) “Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is “showing signs of recovery,” a new study shows, after massive bleaching events in 2016 and 2017 threatened the world’s largest living structure”. It is time to properly vet the media for what they publish and cater to on a much larger scale, because in this age of strife they win, as do their advertisers. We could of course accept the second option and allow for the culling, it will solve both matters at hand as it means that there are too few left to advertise to.

6 of one, half a dozen of the other is a term we see, and we think that it is the same, yet we are too often not told that it was no longer about apples or oranges, it was relabeled as an issue about fruit, now we get to deal with fruit whilst our individual preference of apples and oranges is no longer an option to cater to, did you realise that small part of the equation as well?

 

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