Around the beginning of the summer, an explorer named Lewis Gordon Pugh announced that he was going to paddle a kayak all the way to the North Pole. Pugh apparently believed that there would be little or no ice blocking his way.
The internet was jammed with posts about the Arctic being melted by September.
I made the offer of a $50 wager against anyone willing to put up $10 that this guy would have to turn around before reaching the North Pole. The great Dr. Ralph took me up on it.
Well, not only did the guy turn around before reaching Santa's workshop, the objective of the publicity stunt/journey changed. It began as a trip to the North Pole in a kayak to show that there wasn't any ice left. Unfortunately for Pugh, by the time the kayak left The Mother Ship it was obvious that the only way to get him and his kayak to the North Pole would be to hook them both to Balto the mighty sled dog and start saying "mush".
The purpose of the trip had to change, since it was obvious to everyone that there was a shitload of ice between Lewis Pugh and the North Pole.
Therefore, they turned it into something about posting the flags of every nation in the Arctic, to show how we all need the Arctic. Never mind that there wasn't room in the freakin' kayak for 192 flags, and the flags had to ride in the support boat. We're talking symbolism, not substance here.
Dr Ralph can drop an extra $10 in the offering plate at Broadway Baptist Church (all loose offerings go to the homeless), and we'll be even. (I'm tempted to ask him to contribute it to Sarah Palin, but he would probably implode. And if I were to lose a bet with him one day....I can't even think about it.)
Plus, Dr. Ralph only made the bet out of tribal loyalty.
In general, my gambling M.O. works like this: Find people who are illogically loyal to the home team, catch them in a weak moment, and make a statement against all that they consider holy. Then put it in the form of a wager. For instance, when dealing with a large gathering of Dallas Cowboys fanatics, state that the Cowboys are ok this year, but not good enough to beat Cleveland by 21 points. They will crawl all over each other to disagree. Present a wager. Wait. Collect money.
So now that I've laid it out for everyone, let's try another
Global Warming Climate Change wager....
I think that the idea that we cause Climate Change is totally nuts. It happens with us or without us. There used to be farms all over Greenland, but the climate went through a cyclical change and now that entire area is covered with ice and snow. SUV's had nothing to do with it.
We keep getting Chicken Little alarms that the sky is falling, the seas are rising, the poles are melting, and they're not going to stop until Gore gets enough government funding and subsidies to get his alternative energy start-ups off the ground. Then he's going to work on requiring us to purchase whatever snake oil he's selling.
The Spectator has an article stating that:
The Northwest Passage has been a focal point for both environmentalists and shipping companies for years. The sea route along the North American coast has been blocked for hundreds of years by a pack of Arctic ice. But through climate change the pack is melting away and the waters may soon be available for maritime use in 2009. This new route could chop thousands of nautical miles off journeys from Europe to Asia.
But the melting of the ice pack shows worrying trends in global warming. The ice pack blocking the route has reached its smallest size since records began. The pack’s disappearance has been exacerbated by its melting rate speeding up during its usual cooling season. The event serves as a prescient reminder to politicians that climate change is an ever burning issue – credit crunch or no credit crunch.
Thanks to Chris at Counting Cats for bringing this article to my attention.
Note the need for speed in the last sentence of the article. Gore ain't getting any younger, and wants your money now.
So do I. I'll bet $50 against your $10 that the Northwest Passage isn't clear enough for ships by 2009.