Ban Kin-moon sticks his foot in a penguin hole

By Eduardo Ferreyra
President of FAEC

Ban Kin-moon follows Kofi Anan's example and heads towards making himself one of the worst UN General Secretaries ever. Bah!, for what they are worth…

This time his advisers made him trip with penguins in Antarctica, showing one more that a bunch of in-competents are not worth one single expert with a well functioning brain.

In his recent trip to Chilean base in Antarctica, he outgased his usual statements (contributing with 50.000 ppm of CO2 with every breath), loaded with alarmist warning about the future of planet Earth and mankind because global warming making, for strengthening his arguments, serious mistakes regarding scientific evidences. According to several reports in the media, especially in the UN official website, it is said that temperature increase in Antarctica shows increasing dangers for the climate change, and the need for immediate action to cope with it.

As a loyal employee of our well known G300, Ban-Kin-moon follow its instructions and keeps alarming to the unaware about climate change. As an evident contradiction with this people's thinking, he was galvanizing will in order to support his warnings during the next meeting held by the IPCC in December in an island that is not precisely cool: Bali, in a full tropical area. It seems as IPCC officials, scared stiff by the future heat are delighted to gather in warm and exotic countries. Of course, in five star hotels, paid with our tax dollars –your money too.

Ban Kin-moon said that Antarctica landscapes are “odd and marvelous”, but “also deeply troubling as the ice keeps melting at an accelerated rate.” His advisers should have told him that Antarctic sea ice broke all time records in extension since it has been recorded by satellites starting back in 1979. It has never been so much ice around the White Continent. If such increase must be taken as “melting”, let us pack our baggage and the last one, please turn out the lights.

He warned that “Antarctica is on the verge of a catastrophe – for the world.” They say he offered hard figures for illustrating his point, noting that “The glaciers here on King George Island have shrunk by 10%. Some in Admirality Bay have retreated by 25 kilometers. You know how the Larsen B ice sheet collapsed several years ago and disappeared within weeks – the size of Rhode Island, 87 kilometers.” As always, in a very convenient way for G300's arguments and its payroll legion, he forgot to say that King George Island is 120 north of the Antarctic Peninsula, the only place in Antarctica that has seen a warming in the last years. And, of course they “forget” to tell the people that the warming is due to a change in the wind pattern that come now from the northwest and west, more warm regions as can be seen in the following study:

Antarctic Science 7 (3): 315-325 (7995)

The local surface energy balance of the Ecology Glacier,
King George Island, Antarctica: measurements and modeling

Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research Utrecht,
Utrecht University, P.O. Box 80005, 3508 TA Utrecht, the Netherlands

Figure 1: Wind patterns in King George Island, Antarctica

Also, among his many “forgetfulness” and “scientific data omissions”, there is the fact that the entire Antarctic Peninsula is just 2% of the continent, which is setting all time records in low temperatures. This year, Russian Vostok station saw a low one with 81.3ºC at the surface. And as for the Larsen-B ice shelf we already know that its collapse (not melting!) was caused by the increase in it enormous ice mass. The excess weight broke its anchors with firm land and the whole barrier, a balcony suspended only by its extremes. Scientists say that the Larsen-B barrier has periodically suffered in the past similar collapses as this one.

Ban Kin-moon makes later the eternal mistake of ignoring the difference between the consequences for the sea level coming from floating ice and the one on land. He said: “It is floating ice, a fifth of the whole continent. If it breaks, sea levels will rise 6 meters or 18 feet.” It is clear his script was written by Al Gore. He also noted that “every year 138 tons of ice are lost.” Nothing more? It is a drop in the ocean! Ice in Antarctica weighs more than several billion tons. 138 tons are just enough for the whiskey in IPCC gatherings…

In the other hand, and worse still, it is his ignorance (and their “advisers”) that floating ice does not contribute with the rise in sea levels. Physic laws swear us that the ice, when melting, returns to the ocean the same volume taken when freezing. What a blooper! It sounds as a really bad Algorism. And then, we arrive to penguin's part.

The UN Secretary said that “deeply worrying signals” were the decreasing in penguin populations in Chabrier Rock (part of King George Island), “that has fell 57% during the last 25 years”. And he adds the classical emotive touch: “What will happen with the annual march of the penguins in the future? Will there be even one?”.

Quite evidently, Bam Kin-moon advisers had taken data from the study:

Recent decrease in chinstrap penguin (Pygoscelis antarctica) populations at two of Admiralty Bay's islets on King George Island, South Shetland Islands, Antarctica,
by Martin Sander, Tatiana Coelho Balbão, Michael John Polito, Erli Schneider Costa y Ana Paula Bertoldi Carneiro.

Received: 8 November 2006 Revised: 15 January 2007 Accepted: 16 January 2007 Published online: 15 February 2007

We examined the breeding populations of chinstrap penguins (Pygoscelis Antarctica) on Chabrier Rock and Shag Island within Admiralty Bay, King George Island, South Shetland Islands, Antarctica from 2002 to 2004. When comparing our results to historic data from 1979, we found an overall decline of 57% in the last 25 years, mirro-ring the population trend of this species in other regions of the Antarctic Peninsula. Our results are discussed in relation to factors hypothesized to be driving the declines found at other sites, as well as the importance of consistent annual censuses to accurately determine population trends.

It breaks my heart. But with a broken heart I went to the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, and read this:

Pygoscelis papua breeds on South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands (to UK), the Falkland Islands (to UK), the South Orkney and South Shetland Islands, Prince Edward and Marion Islands (South Africa), Crozet and Kerguelen Islands (French Southern Territories), Heard Island (Heard and McDonald Islands [to Austra-lia]) and Macquarie Island (Australia), and the Antarctic Peninsula. The total (minimum) population has been estimated at 314,000 pairs6. Populations on the Antarctic Peninsula (25% of the total) are increasing at most sites, some (e.g. Signy Island) have doubled in the last 20 years3. Conversely, populations at sub-Antarctic islands (75% of the total) may have decreased substantially. For example, populations at Bird Island (the only monitored popula-tion at South Georgia - 33% of the total) decreased by c.67% over the last 25 years4, at Marion Island (3% of the total) by 11% over the period 1994-19971 and on the Falklands (21% of the total) by c.45% from 1932/33-1995/952. More recent surveys on the Falklands have shown the population to have increased from 65,000 pairs in 1995-96 to 113,000 pairs in 20007, whilst a suggested increase at Macquarie needs confirming5. Threats include disturbance by humans, local pollution, and potential interactions with fisheries5.

And about global warming? Not a word! But or Korean friend keeps sticking his foot in the hole saying: "Grass is growing for the first time ever here on King George Island – including a grass used on American golf courses. It rains, increasingly often in the summer rather than snows.", he stuck his foot deeper still to his throat:

I guess that nobody told him about the present sea ice extension record and the sustained ice increase in 98% of the Antarctic continent. As comparisons are made with records obtained by satellites since 1979, it is very likely that the cold has been greater during the 60s and 70s, and the size of ice was bigger than the one during the much warmer 30s. This reminds me of the weather forecaster that was predicting sunny time while it was pouring rain. Had he taken a look through the window, he wouldn't have seemed so stupid. When some one makes a statement that is obviously far away from reality, it really hurts his credibility. It makes one to mark his words permanently as something that may be repea-ted and repeated. But, as in the mouth of a liar, the truth becomes doubtful, Ban Kin-moon statements, past, present and future becomes a worrisome thing. Mr. Ban Kin-moon, please go home and keep pla-ying with Korean playstations.

Has not asked yourself how much penguin populations have fluctuated in the last 150 years? Was the population in an historical maximum 25 ago and now they are returning to a “normal” level. There are not the necessary data for claiming this must be a worrying thing. It is most likely that the fluctuation is completely normal and natural. And, as for the grass growing for the first ime ever: King George Island was discovered in 1819. We asked ourselves, because we are so mean, if during some time in the past there could have been grass growing in the Island in the last 50, 100 or 1000 years. Our friend Mr. Google gave us a fast answer. The Deschampsia antarctica is an aboriginal variety from King George Island. It is a native species! It didn't come from anywhere else. So it is nothing strange that the Des-champia antartica keeps growing there, amazing our ignorant Korean, with disregard of a warming or a cooling Earth.

So, every time you hear someone saying “by the first time ever”, I authorize you to remain skeptical about that claim. It will prevent you to have someone sinking his hand in your wallet.

Finally, it seems that Ban-Kin-moon believes that penguins are in extinction because they do not resist warm weather or climates. In Argentina we can find the biggest penguin hatching place in the world, Punta Tombo, in Chubut province, very close to Puerto Madryn –where zillion whale loving tourists go to see every year how they play and mate. If you want to have a good time watching penguins mingling with guanacos in Patagonia, go to this website and you will see it. Or, if you have ever been in Mar del Plata or Rio de Janeiro, you must have seen many penguins quite happy swimming in warm waters.

Last thought: Ban Kin-moon is supposed to be among the wisest men in the UN. He was elected because of that. Or there was another reason? If he is among the wisest, I wonder how the morons are in the 54th Street building.

Because of all this, Mr. Secretary, forgive me if I cannot feel any respect for you. The man who occu-pies such and important an vital place fro all people in the world, has the obligation to be more prudent in his claims and statements, and furthermore, in decisions he is pushing regarding world policies because they could have grave consequences for us, the poor people who still absurdly believe in our “authori-ties” –even if we had no part in their election.

Eduardo Ferreyra
President of FAEC
Argentinean foundation for a Scientific Ecology

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