David Kroodsma

Chris Turney


David Kroodsma

Okay, let’s start by just being absolutely blown away, comfortably blown away, I should add, by someone who goes off on a long bike ride across the country and speaks at dozens of schoolhouses and TV studios about climate change and local environments. How did he do it? How long was his trip? First to answer the second question, time-wise 17 months and he traveled 16,000 miles. How? By bike. Cap that with failed market mechanistic cap-and-trade if you would be so obliged. His route? He rode from Palo Alto, CA to the southern tip of Tierra del Fuego. On top of that, he then flew to Massachusetts and then rode back to California. My bike is in the backyard right now lonely, asking why me, why the tarp, why why why?

He camped behind people’s homes in the countryside or hid in the wilderness off the road. Did you know that firefighters in Latin America sometimes take in travelers at fire stations? Wow again. Overall, he stayed at 100 homes and slept at 40 fire stations.

His tour de force for raising awareness of climate change in Argentina was widely successful. He appeared on national media and spoke at dozens of schools. His degree in climate science may have filled him with knowledge, but what really opened up the opportunity to share his knowledge was the fascination of people about climate change in 16 different countries. He found that people in Latin America are more interested in climate change than in the US. No surprise there.

What I particularly like about David is that he understands that although much of the world is poor, they rightfully want to use more energy and resources, not less and it’s completely unfair to leave it up to them to make up for shortcomings in wealthier parts of the world by making unfair sacrifices in comparison.

As far as how climate change may impact us in the future, he thinks it’s likely that much of the West and especially Southwest, will become drier in coming decades.

Another interesting fact about him is that he doesn’t like to link biking and environmentalism too strongly. He says he doesn’t bike because it’s good for the earth, but because it’s a great way to get around, healthy and fun! He’s also happy that it’s good for the planet.

You can buy a copy of his book and read the blog he kept during his journey here: http://rideforclimate.com/blog/

Sources: Bay Nature

Chris Turney

I’m really starting a bio about a guy named Chris by focusing on a guy named Douglas? Really? Yes, really. Douglas Mawson led an exploration on a ship from Australia to Commonwealth Bay, Antarctica heading south where explorers spent two years mapping the icy continent about a hundred years ago. Okay, okay, how’s Chris connected to Douglas? He retraced Mawson’s voyage to examine how the eastern Antarctic has changed in December 2013 with a group of 52 Australian global warming activists including both scientists and climate conservationists. 

As is usual, there were critics, but he knew all the risks involved and he believes they were wrong for criticizing him. The controversy in the matter surrounds the fact that the ship got stuck in the Antarctic ice on a research mission and they had to get rescued by a helicopter and two ice-breakers. 

Extravagantly costly and provided opponents of climate science a ripe opportunity to put him down for what they considered a lack of preparation motivated by climate alarmism. Chris is a professor of climate change at Sydney’s University of New South Wales.

Here are parts of his reply to critics! Classic! (Click on the link to read the whole reply.)

There is relief, but there is also frustration over what appears to be a misrepresentation of the expedition in some news outlets and on the internet. We have been accused of being a tourist trip with little scientific value; of being ill-prepared for the conditions; putting our rescuers at risk; and making light of a dangerous situation. …

I would like to address some of the issues that have been raised, but more importantly highlight the potential this region has for research and the value of getting the public engaged in science.

Added to that, he had to explain, “I understand four nations helping is quite unusual. That’s not our call …. that’s beyond our control.”

So what happened? Their goal, according to an accompanying journalist was to “examine how the eastern Antarctic, one of the most pristine, remote and untouched parts of the world’s surface, has fared after a hundred years of climate changes.” Did they reach it? According to Chris, he would argue that the amount of data they collected exceeded their expectations.

The AAE is not a jolly tourist trip as some have claimed, nor is it a re-enactment. The AAE is inspired by Mawson but is primarily a science expedition; it will be judged by its peer-reviewed publications.

You can read his entire defense against critics here Chris Turney’s response to critics

So what were his published concerns before the journey?

Did he get stuck in the Commonwealth Bay area where Mawson’s hut is? In fact, yes. Some critics call him inexperienced, but in fact as he mentions in this video, a few years ago (2010 to be specific) an iceberg beached itself in Commonwealth Bay and the result was a lot of sea ice. He was aware of the risks, but the benefits of gaining some knowledge for the mission of the trip outweighed not going at all. Today, Mawson’s Huts lie behind 65 kilometres of sea ice, the result of the 2010 collision he spoke about in this video between an enormous berg known as B09B and the Mertz Glacier Tongue. Read about the region’s massive reconfiguration on his blog.

To read more about the expedition, keep reading the blog or take a look at the video diaries on the Intrepid Science YouTube Channel.

It’s also interesting to read Guardian science correspondent Alok Jha’s account of meeting up with Turney to reach the prized Mawson huts.

Although the controversy stole the headlines as you can imagine, he recently became a controversial winner of the honorific award, Australian Academy of Science prize 2014 Frederick White Prize for his research on understanding past and present climate change and on improving climate change models.

Sources: Toronto Sun, Weather Channel, The Observer, Xinhua, The Guardian, BBC



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