JoNova

A science presenter, writer, speaker & former TV host; author of The Skeptic's Handbook (over 200,000 copies distributed & available in 15 languages).


Handbooks

The Skeptics Handbook

Think it has been debunked? See here.

The Skeptics Handbook II

Climate Money Paper


Advertising

micropace


GoldNerds

The nerds have the numbers on precious metals investments on the ASX



Archives

ABC national tribute to vegan lecturer climber who died on Everest

Who are the national heroes according to the ABC?

Last night we saw two full indulgent minutes on our ABC national news broadcast (from 12:25 mins) on the death of the unfortunate Maria Strydom, as she tried to descend Mt Everest. My issue is not with her, but with the ABC choice of national priorities. The 34 year old climber ticked all the PC boxes, a vegan academic in pursuit of better holidays. The ABC lost one of their tribe. But where are the accolades for the 50 people have died already this year doing their jobs in Australia, like the farmers and miners who die supporting their families?

The effusive coverage did not mention the phrase “unnecessary risk”. It was just a straight out tragedy. (A very first world kind of one).

There was an unbridled virtue message about hallowed university experts:

“…intellectually, reaching a PhD by age 30 — massive achievement”

“…celebrate the life of people like Maria — who actually did what she loved”

ABC narrator James Hancock revealingly sums it up: “…risking their lives in pursuit of the ultimate goal”

Because in ABC-world, “the ultimate goal” is adventure for self-gratification?

The news article did not mention that she has said she was climbing to show the world that vegans can do anything. Neither does this ABC feature.

The DailyMail does:

Weeks before her death Dr Strydom told how she and her husband wanted to dispel the belief that vegans were ‘weak’ or ‘malnourished’ by taking on the climb.

‘It seems that people have this warped idea of vegans being malnourished and weak.

‘By climbing the seven summits we want to prove that vegans can do anything and more,’ she said in an interview with the university where she worked.

Today a 61 year old truck driver was killed doing his job in Victoria. Look to see if he gets 2 minutes of glory on the ABC tonight.

Strydom’s death is a sad event, a horrible waste, and my sympathies go to her family and friends — as with the unnamed truck driver. It’s the ABC coverage that says a lot about “their ABC”. The ABC makes political points with deaths through editing choices. They are silent on some deaths while lauding others for “getting a PhD before 30″.All hail the academics? I’m sure Maria’s family are in a place no one wants to be in today, and they probably found great comfort in the news piece. That’s a good thing, but ask if our $1b news program ought to spend more time on policies that affect most Australians instead. This is bread and circuses stuff.

UPDATE: ROM in comments points out that there are risky research projects, set up by an Australian, which break new ground testing gliders to 90,000ft. The ABC has mentioned these in local Newcastle stories and a local video but no national prime time coverage that I can find.

Thanks to Sonny for feedback.

 

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 8.9/10 (69 votes cast)
ABC national tribute to vegan lecturer climber who died on Everest, 8.9 out of 10 based on 69 ratings

Tiny Url for this post: http://tinyurl.com/jlyrhdy

83 comments to ABC national tribute to vegan lecturer climber who died on Everest

  • #

    I see also that another hero of the ABC gets a mention today as well.

    Michelle Payne suffers fall in Mildura, taken to hospital for observation

    Just another of those who ticks all the boxes at the ABC.

    Tony.

    143

  • #
    LevelGaze

    Hmm.
    I was about to suggest that this post was unworthy of you… until I read on and saw the relativities involved here.

    It’s a tricky area and that’s why I prefer to stick to science. But I certainly sympathise with your point re farmers and miners.

    151

  • #
    Bulldust

    Well just another day of ABC reportage. You’d think from the following headline that the Lib member had been saying nasty stuff about the Labor candidate as well:

    Federal election: Gloves are off in the WA electorate of Swan as candidates trade verbal blows

    Turns out the female Labor candidate (who was a Greens candidate before and never voted Labor but recently converted) called the lib candidate out of touch because he was a “rich, white man.”

    Turns out her opponent (Steve Irons) was a product of the foster system (orphaned at 6 months) built himself up through a trade and was a single parent for a stint. His “verbal blow” was mentioning that Ms Solonec was a relative unknown, that his electorate didn’t know that he had a Labor opponent. Ouch, evil rich white man talk. Had it been the other way around, the ABC would have been all over it like fluff on a Carebear.

    Source:
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-05-22/gloves-are-off-in-the-federal-electorate-of-swan/7426246

    142

  • #
    thingodonta

    I’m one of those people who just doesn’t get dangerous mountain climbing, such as on Mt Everest. The rate of death on Everest is way too high to be acceptable in just about any other context, yet people still do it, because ‘it’s there’.

    The death rate is something like 6.5% of total summit successes, as of 2015. (265 deaths, from 4042 successful summits). You wouldn’t get in a car, or swim in shark infested waters, at this death rate.

    http://climbing.about.com/od/mountainclimbing/a/Death-On-Mount-Everest.htm.

    This rate exceeds many things that are outright banned. One thing one could do I suppose, is actually inform those wanting to do it, just how dangerous it actually is, something family and friends might want to know.

    [Was caught as spam for no apparent reason] ED

    21

  • #
    Peter Cynical

    Jo, leave them alone it’s their ABC……………

    91

  • #
    James Murphy

    It does seem as though being an activist (for certain approved causes) is now a requirement to maintain a university position.

    The other point was that someone else in the same group also died, but I guess as they are male, and foreign, then it doesn’t matter about them.

    “…Another climber in Dr Strydom’s group, Dutchman Eric Arnold, also died from altitude sickness on Friday after reaching the summit on his fifth attempt…”

    If people want to risk their lives climbing Everest, then let them do it. I doubt anyone has embarked on such an expedition without knowing that they may die, or come very close to it.

    261

  • #
    Yonniestone

    Self-gratification is a good summary of the lefts ideal result, no wonder they fornicate so much over the cult of Voldemort.

    112

  • #
    handjive

    Oz Election news …

    From July 1, coincidentally the day before the election, the Coalition’s “safeguard mechanism” within its Direct Action Plan will come into force.

    One-hundred and fifty companies, representing about 50 per cent of Australia’s total carbon emissions, will be capped by legislation at their highest level of emissions between 2009-10 and 2013-14.

    If they emit less than their caps, they will get credits, called Australian Carbon Credit Units (ACCUs), which were created by the Gillard government’s 2011 legislation; if they emit more, they have to buy ACCUs on the market.

    The caps specifically include the electricity sector and the ACCUs are “financial products” under both the Corporations Act and the ASIC Act, and can be traded, so an ETS market will be established from July 1.

    It is, in short, a classic cap-and-trade ETS, similar in effect to the one legislated by the ALP in 2011, but which unwisely started with a fixed price that could be labelled a carbon tax, and was repealed on July 17, 2014 by the Abbott government, with high-fives and champagne.

    What hasn’t been announced or included in the Coalition’s legislation yet is that the caps will start to be reduced from next year, which will make it even more similar in some ways to the Gillard government’s Clean Energy Act 2011.

    The legislation that included the Coalition’s ETS was passed by the Senate — with the support of both the ALP and the Greens — on its last day of sitting in 2015, in December.”

    You’ll find that amongst comments at micheasmithnews.

    Sceptic becomes a believer:

    Deputy prime minister Barnaby Joyce faces the reality of climate change

    It was the moment Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce, a renowned climate change sceptic, confronted the reality of global warming.

    “It’s the driest I’ve ever seen it,” Mr Joyce said.
    “And then, as if suddenly possessed by the valley’s ghosts (or something equally whoopee), Barnaby Joyce takes a tentative step into the realm of scientific consensus.

    “When I look at this,” he says, shaking his head, “I start to wonder whether climate change might really be happening.”

    100

    • #
      AZ1971

      “When I look at this,” he says, shaking his head, “I start to wonder whether climate change might really be happening.”

      He should know that (a) climate change is constant and cyclical, and (b) the drought is the result of El Niño. I will guarantee when La Niña ramps up by next summer, all that rain will return with a vengeance.

      142

  • #

    Why are Vegans always noting themselves and trying to prove something?

    192

  • #
    TedM

    “celebrate the life of people like Maria — who actually did what she loved”

    I do what I love doing too, I hunt. I wonder if the ABC would see that as a virtue.

    270

  • #
    John of Cloverdale WA Australia

    BTW Jo, good post, today, over on Tim Blair’s blog, titled THANKS FOR THE GOOD TIMES SUCKERS:

    Margaret Pomeranz reflects on her many years of public broadcasting:
    There are … things she dearly misses from the movie review shows she co-hosted for SBS and then the ABC. One of the biggest is the annual trip to France for the Cannes Film Festival.

    “Cannes is really expensive. How I afforded it when we were at SBS, I’ll never know. Everybody is being squeezed these days in terms of cost of production. A crew over there is US$1000. Accommodation is through the roof. It’s too expensive unless you have the taxpayers’ money,” Pomeranz said.

    Anything is affordable if someone else is paying.

    221

  • #
    King Geo

    Dr Strydom’s passing is very sad. I admire her for achieving her PhD – I achieved one also although I over 30 (33). But one thing I have learned is that the secret of life is “Staying Alive”, ie echoing the words of that brilliant late 1970′s Bee Gees disco song. Basically Maria took too many risks. She is not alone. Many folk rock climb, surf/dive in shark infested waters etc. These pastimes are dangerous and this should have been pointed out by the “ABC National News Broadcast”. Glorifying “risk takers” sends out the wrong message to society. “Life is too precious”.

    220

  • #
    Manfred

    Merely an hyperbolic ABC case report with a tragic ending, that of a person suffering from Orthorexia Nervosa.
    In some ways little different from the ship of fools under the eco-tutelage and hypnotic leadership of Professor Chris Turney of UNSW, which had many of the elements of a cult suicide in the making. They were saved from their own stupidity, Maria Strydom was a victim of her mono-ideation, to prove to the world that vegans could climb Everest.
    Such a pointless, vacuous and myopic waste that does not deserve laudatory comment from the ABC.
    Instead, it can really only be a precautionary tale.

    200

  • #
    TdeF

    The ABC tribe is mourning one of their own but deadly altitude sickness can strike randomly with anyone, even after many trips. It is a very common cause of death at altitudes half that of Everest and hotels keep oxygen bottles ready. This is a serious risk every visitor to altitude takes. I doubt diet is important. At 9km the air pressure is only 33%. You have to have a special fitness to survive on 1/3 of the air during hard exercise. Then you have the very low temperature, which is also devastating to lung function. It is all about the tribe.

    130

  • #
    Sonny

    I hate to say it but i believe that this post is in very poor taste.
    Why use the tragic death of two people to make a political point about the ABC?
    I think more compassion is called for here.

    310

    • #

      I want more compassion too. 50 people have died already this year in workplace accidents in Australia. When guys die who have worked 40 years to pay tax and support a family the ABC doesn’t interview their friends and report the facebook comments for two minutes of national news.

      The ABC makes political points with deaths through editing choices. They are silent on some deaths while lauding others for “getting a PhD before 30″. I’m sure Maria’s family are in a place no one wants to be in today, and they probably found great comfort in the news piece. That’s a good thing, but ask if our $1b news program ought to spend more time on policies that affect most Australians instead. This is about our national debate. The ABC called it “the ultimate goal”. Think of all the stories the ABC could have put on for 2.5 minutes that didn’t get asked.

      241

      • #

        The ABC weren’t too loud or probing over the death of their (and Fairfax’s) renowned cricket commentator a few years back. Maybe Tony Abbott ate an onion with the skin on that day, which would have kept them far too busy to cover anything else.

        110

      • #

        quick question… I’ve heard work place accidents including deaths reported on the ABC this year. Do you want me to drag up all the links I can find (for some there wont be links to local stories that ran for a day) or do you want to provide evidence that the ABC didn’t run those stories and that the ABC ran fewer than other media outlets. Another piece of data missing is the comparison with other media on the Everest death. Was the ABC any different? It certainly has been on par with other outlets regarding Michelle Payne’s race fall that Tony seemed to think was unwarranted.

        Jo, do you eat meat these days?

        05

    • #

      Thanks Sonny. I had to rebuild this post due to some software glitch. So I’ve sharpened the focus against the ABC, and blunted it in reference to the unfortunate Strydom.

      50

      • #
        Another Graeme

        Hi Jo, While you make a fair point in this post, I thought much the same as Sonny when I read it last night. That being said, you are to be commended for taking Sonny’s comments on board and amending the post (Won’t see that on the ABC!). Cheap point scoring followed by stubborn self righteousness are hallmarks of the other guys. I’ve always been proud of the fact that skeptics hold themselves to higher standards and actually posses a moral compass. Softening the post was the right thing to do. Well done.
        Graeme

        50

    • #
      John Watt

      Sonny, couldn’t agree more . This is serious “no-go” territory. So the ABC has a bias. Try the far right on Fox if you need rebalancing.

      14

  • #
    Mike

    Off topic. In my travels ordering pies or pasties from shops the conversation is often like this…

    Me: “Do you have any vegeatable pies?”
    Bakery sales person: “You must mean a ‘Vegetarian Pie?”
    Me: “No, a Vegetable Pie, or you would have to label your Meat Pies as Carnivorous Pies” :)

    Carnivorous Pie. Meat Pie.

    Vegetarian Pie/pastie. Vegetable Pie

    Vegan Pie. Vegetable Pie Without Cheese.

    Omnivorous Pie Meat and Vegetable Pie.

    Vegan Black Metal Chef Episode 20:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nAgovVdAJ_o

    71

    • #
      TdeF

      Certainly off topic except for vegetarian.
      I heard in India last year they have a special vegetarian, more extreme than Vegan. These people do not eat vegetables which are grown in the ground, like potatoes. So fruit I guess. Monkey people. Extraordinarily I noted that people, even young people in Tamil Nadu, Southern India were some of the fattest I had every seen. Vegetarian does not automatically mean skinny, healthy, long lived. I suspect that sugar and fructose as in corn syrup is a bigger risk than cheese.

      140

      • #
        Mike

        Yep.
        You need an electron microscope to read what’s in a packet of food and a degree to understand it these days.
        High fructose corn syrup is diabolical stuff. An Trans fats.

        ” Hydrogenation: transform liquid oil into solid fat ”
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oqdDWA9-DSY

        From: http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Breatharianism
        “Breatharianism is the old/new age idea that one can live without food and drink, and subsist only off of “pranic light.” According to practitioners, pranic light is accurate, channelled information from a huge invisible spaceship hovering over North America.[1] ”

        There is even an idea that there are three main foods elaborated in a human being through three means: The food that is eaten through the mouth, the air that is breathed, and the impressions that are received from the senses. A human can go without the first food like pies and pasties for a few weeks, the second food air, for a few minutes and without impressions for less than a few seconds in general.

        70

  • #

    There is quite a lot of variability among people in relation to hypoxia. Being fit and acclimatisation to high altitudes helps. In aviation 12,500 Ft. is the limit without oxygen (or pressurisation) and symptoms such as being light headed, loss of concentration and the ability to reason start to manifest.

    50

    • #
      AndyG55

      ” being light headed, loss of concentration and the ability to reason”

      we are talking about at sea level, aren’t we.

      82

    • #
      James Murphy

      I visited Jungfraujoch in Switzerland, (who hasn’t?) which is around the 3400-3500m mark. With a medium-sized hangover, and little sleep, this altitude was… interesting to experience, though not so terrible that I felt the need to leave.

      Despite knowing that the air is thinner, and expecting to feel some effects, it was still a bit of a shock to realise just how much puffing and panting was involved when climbing a simple staircase.

      60

      • #
        KinkyKeith

        An amAzing place James.

        Very cold outside when we visited there in Summer.

        Also got out of the train at the station up from Klein Scheidegge and walked around the bottom of the North face of the Eiger.

        20

      • #
        Annie

        Actually, I haven’t! I have been up the L’Aiguille du Midi twice however, about 12,000 ft. I can verify the feeling of weakness and ‘jelly legs’, especially the first few minutes. You stagger slowly up open framework stairs, well aware of the immense drop down the mountainside below. The views are stunning and include Mont Blanc.

        10

    • #
      James

      The US regulations are interesting. For a pressure altitude of 12500 to 14000′ the pilots can go without supplemental oxygen, if the duration at that pressure altitude is less than 30 minutes. The pilots have to use supplemental oxygen at all times above 14000′. You do not need to supply passengers with supplemental oxygen until you get to 15000′. I am not sure how the passengers feel, once the pilots start using oxygen, and the passengers are left to gasp for air, as the plane is not above 15000′.

      The thin air will cause problems with eyesight. I have been told that things will appear foggy when they are not foggy, as well as causing problems with reasoning.

      40

  • #
    AndyG55

    ““loved pushing her limits””

    A woman has to know her limitation… but she didn’t.

    72

  • #
    George

    Sadly, if she had eaten a proper balanced diet she would probably have survived.

    62

  • #
    David Maddison

    I’m surprised they didn’t work in a climate change angle.

    And being vegan is not a natural diet. Humans wouldn’t have evolved their large energy hungry brain if early humans hadn’t learned to harvest energy rich meat.

    I have also been to both Annapurna and Everest base camps and was always cognisant of altitude sickness. Fortunately, I didn’t get it.

    That being said, my condolences to the family.

    111

    • #
      TdeF

      Humans were carnivores and then hunter gatherers. Only since the discovery of agriculture merely 10,000 years ago did the human population explode. The idea that our ancestors lived entirely on plants is a fantasy like breatharians. Just feel the pointy canines.

      80

  • #
    GrahamP

    Spare a thought for the poorly paid Sherpas who risk their own lives rescuing these self indulgent twits.

    https://www.thesaturdaypaper.com.au/culture/film/2016/03/26/jennifer-peedoms-sherpa-shows-everest-through-different-eyes/14589108003037

    150

  • #
    ROM

    Lets try and put a few things in perspective on Maria Strydom’s death from altitude sickness and the usual ABC over the top lamentations when somebody or something who orbits exclusively in the leftard ABC’s universe fails in any number of ways.

    Way back some 50 years ago now I reached 23,600 feet in a wood built glider in western Victoria’s Grampian’s mountain wave systems.
    I used a “borrowed” hospital O2 system and a set of tables with the O2 flow adjustments for height.
    I started from Horsham airfield at 450 feet, did not have any a climatisation period but was up there for only a couple of hours.

    And it wasn’t even an Australian height record for gliders even then.
    That was held by an then Alice Springs glider pilot who flew to well over thirty thousand feet inside of a thunderhead.
    The world record height or gliders stood at 47,000 feet in the Sierra Mountain wave systems in western USA for some 3 or 4 decades and was only recently broken when a two seat glider was flown to just over 50,000 feet in the same Sierra Mountain’s wave systems.

    A friend of mine and my partner in a fibreglass glider had his controls freeze up when the lubricating grease froze solid in the extreme cold air while he was climbing through 24,000 feet in the Grampians wave.

    Climbing Mount Everest might be impressive primarily due to the physical effort demanded of the climbers but the Mt Everest altitude pales into a “so so” realm when one takes a look at the Perlan project which is now reaching the real testing time of the whole project.

    The European Airbus Industry backed Perlan Project is a project that has already built a highly specialised pressurised cabin glider designed to operate at stratospheric levels up to 90,000 feet altitude.

    The Perlan glider flew late last year on its test flight in the USA.

    The highly dedicated developers, builders and crew, one of whom, Morgan Sandercock has flown at annual Horsham Gliding competitions during the last couple of years and is a member of one of the NSW gliding clubs, will hopefully take a glider to 90,000 feet in the stratosphere altitude jet stream polar vortex air flows around Antarctica.

    That 90,000 feet will, if achieved, be world record for sustained flight at altitude.
    The legendary American supersonic jet, the Lockheed SR71 Blackbird currently holds the world “sustained flight at height” record at just over 85,000 feet.

    The “Perlan Project” will be based in southern Argentina during this winter so as to be able to fly the immense Andes wave systems where a distance of over 3000 kilometres in a glider was unofficially set after 13 hours flying time and at around a 35,000 feet altitude and and above in the Ande’s Mountain wave systems some years ago.

    From the southern Andes wave systems over Patagonia they will try to enter the stratospheric wave systems in the Polar Vortex jet stream from where they hope to be able to then climb to their 90,000 foot altitude goal.
    The 100,000 altitude brought a whole new set of problems so the goal and the glider was designed and built to suit the conditions of around 90,000 feet.

    There is a huge amount of meteorological interest in these stratospheric altitude attempts by glider pilots as the atmospheric regions around 100,000 foot altitude let alone the conditions inside of the polar vortex jet stream has very little data as nobody has yet achieved long duration sustained flights in this altitude region of the atmosphere.

    The glider will have to maintain speeds of 200 plus, plus KPH just to hold position in the wave system against the speed of the Polar vortex jet stream winds.

    [ From one of those back of the envelope thought bubbles, they calculated that from the 90,000 foot altitude over Patagonia, the crew have figured that if the Perlan glider headed down wind in the west to east flowing Polar Vortex jet stream they would possibly make the Falkland Islands way out in the South Atlantic. ]

    And Airbus industries also will gain some very valuable data on structures and paints and other items that will be of considerable benefit as airliners are designed to fly ever higher and faster [ the current holder of the world altitude commercial and FPR constructed glider is a structural write off due to the intense cold at 5,000 feet destroying the paint and some of the laminated structure

    The "Airbus Industry's site" on the Perlan Project

    And the Perlan Project site which I can't resolve with my very elderly Mac
    ----------------

    Now after all that I wonder just how many Australians know anything at all or have ever heard of this research project that is a very high risk project personally for the pilots; [ they will be wearing NASA astronaut suits ] who will be pushing a long way beyond what is known today of the conditions up there at those stratospheric altitudes and in the actual Polar vortex jet stream.
    They will likely be bringing back a lot of very valuable and never recorded previously scientific and meteorological data that will be of very considerable benefit to meteorology and weather and Antarctic weather and climate prediction forecasting.
    They have already developed some technological advances in aviation technologies and structures far beyond anything currently known previously.

    And a lot of this is due to an Australian glider pilot who became and is one of the major backers of the Perlan Project and got the whole project back onto the development rails again after the death of Steve Fosset, the original backer of the project, when it had almost lapsed due to lack of backers and funding and before Airbus industries and other backers came in.

    You will never likely ever hear anything from the ABC about this extraordinary project to fly a glider to 90,000 feet, three times the height of Mt Everest and arguably a damn sight more dangerous than climbing Everest today.
    They will be flying in one of the most extreme aviation environments ever seen and where if something goes wrong they are 27.5 kilometres straight up distance from any help.
    Nor will you hear of the men and women who will be both flying and running the experiments and data collecting around this whole project.

    The project volunteers are white males of european descent, a couple of whom are very wealthy plus a couple of white women scientists.

    And they are all just straight out stock standard decent people who are trying in their own way to reach for the star.

    I doubt any of them are vegans or any other progressive orientation and life style and they probably mostly vote conservative so we can’t possibly have the ABC giving them any publicity now can we?!

    252

    • #
      David Maddison

      Fascinating. Thanks ROM.

      70

    • #

      I added a pointer in the post. Thanks ROM. Very interesting.
      There was some local ABC coverage in Newcastle:
      http://www.abc.net.au/local/stories/2015/07/22/4278844.htm
      http://www.abc.net.au/local/videos/2015/09/28/4320796.htm

      Can anyone find a national story on this?

      40

    • #
      ATheoK

      “…Climbing Mount Everest might be impressive primarily due to the physical effort demanded of the climbers…”

      An effort that Civilization based folks can only make on the backs of a multitude of sherpas.

      No one today does the Mallory stroll up the mountainside methods of summit achievement.
      Today, people achieve the base camps and summits by sheer power of technology, money on the backs of local labor.
      They’re flamboyant tourists in a strange land.

      http://everesthistory.com/everestsummits/summitsbyyear.htm
      As of 2005 there are 186 recorded deaths.

      “…By the year 2005 a recorded total of 186 people died from attempting to climb Everest. This is not counting the many unidentified or lost victims. While the recent avalanche claimed 13 victims in one fell swoop, Everest has a few years where the cumulative death toll rose higher than this. In 1996 Mount Everest stole 15 lives and in 1982 the mountain laid claim to 11. Some of the most iconic landmarks of the mountain are dead bodies. Green boots, an unidentified climber who froze to death on the mountain in 1996, marks a close proximity to the summit. At 8,000 meters high, ironically the height reached by record-breakers in 1922, is what climbers call the “death zone;” 200 plus bodies of Everest’s victims are littered here.

      Dead bodies are not all one will find on a climb to the top of Everest. Unfortunately, many climbers leave behind trash and equipment; there is also remnants of a helicopter that crashed into the mountain years ago. Due to the dangerous nature and expenses of making a climb, no one follows after climbers to pick up left equipment or trash. Everest mostly sees wealthy individuals; a single climber will spend upwards of $30,000 to attempt the feat…”

      On the backs of sherpas: http://www.foxnews.com/world/2016/05/22/dutch-australian-climbers-die-after-reaching-everest-summit.html

      “…Two of their companions who fell sick were being helped down the mountain, Sherpa said. About 30 climbers have developed frostbite or become sick near the summit in recent days.

      Most of the sick climbers suffered frostbite while attempting to reach the summit or on their descent, Mountaineering Department official Gyanendra Shrestha said. Favorable weather has allowed nearly 400 climbers to reach the summit from Nepal since May 11, but the altitude, weather and harsh terrain can cause problems at any time.

      Several Sherpa guides carried one sick climber from the highest camp, at nearly 8,000 meters (26,240 feet), to Camp 2, at 6,400 meters (21,000 feet), where attempts were being made to pick her up with a helicopter, said Pemba Sherpa of the Seven Summit Treks agency in Kathmandu. Seema Goshwami of India had frostbite to her hands and feet at the South Col camp and was unable to move.

      “It took a big and risky effort, but we were able to save her,” Pemba Sherpa said, adding that an Iranian climber identified only as S. Hadi had been brought to Kathmandu and was recovering in a hospital.

      A Norwegian woman, 45-year-old Siv Harstad, suffered snow blindness and was helped down from the summit on Saturday, the Norwegian news agency NTB said.

      The two climbers who died were on the same expedition team. It was undecided when and if their bodies will be brought down from the high altitude and it will depend on the team and family members, Pasang Phurba of the Seven Summits agency said. Carrying bodies down Everest takes at least eight Sherpa guides, since they become frozen and heavier than normal…”

      National news, it is not. It is a very sad tale of people who pay large sums to risk their own lives along with the lives of workers.
      Since the risk is so great, when they succeed in killing themselves, it only rates a Darwin mention.

      400 climbers have reached the summit since May 11th; 36 per day plus failed attempts.
      3 dead, 2 missing plus 30 sick; in war those would be referred to as casualties, 35 casualties.
      One in eleven rich dilettantes will be a casualty.

      Smart? I don’t think so.
      Doctorate degrees don’t infer brains or common sense.

      110

  • #
    david smith

    loads of people have died on Everest in the 21st Century. Note how many of them are sherpas. They risk life and limb to help westerners, but their deaths rarely get a mention. Obviously they are not vegan enough and probably don’t give a stuff about Al Gore or Mikey Mann.

    Yan Gen-hua May 21, 2000  China
    Babu Chiri Sherpa April 29, 2001    Nepal
    Peter Ganner May 23, 2001  Austria
    Mark Auricht May 24, 2001  Australia
    Aleksei Nikiforov May 24, 2001  Russia
    Sándor Gárdos October 17, 2001  Hungary
    Peter Legate April 30, 2002  United Kingdom
    Zoran Miletic May 19, 2002  Yugoslavia
    Marco Siffredi September 8, 2002  France
    Bhim Bahadur Gurung May 27, 2003    Nepal
    Jan Krzysztof Liszewski May 25, 2003  Poland
    Arnaud Saulnier May 8, 2003  France
    Karma Gyalzen Sherpa May 24, 2003    Nepal
    Joon-Ho Baek May 18, 2004  South Korea
    Min Jang May 18, 2004  South Korea
    Mu-Taek Park May 18, 2004  South Korea
    Nils Antezana May 18, 2004  United States
    Hristo Ganchev Hristov May 20, 2004  Bulgaria
    Shoko Ota May 20, 2004  Japan
    Mariana Prodanova Maslarova May 23, 2004  Bulgaria
    Sean Egan April 28, 2005  Canada
    Michael Corey O’Brien May 2, 2005  United States
    Marko Lihteneker May 21, 2005  Slovenia
    Sirigereshiva Shankarappa Chaitanya May 30, 2005  India
    Dieter Kramer June 4, 2005  Germany
    Robert William Milne June 5, 2005  United Kingdom
    Tuk Bahadur Thapa Magar Sherpa April 7, 2006    Nepal
    Ang Phinjo Sherpa April 21, 2006    Nepal
    Lhakpa Tseri April 21, 2006    Nepal
    Dawa Temba April 21, 2006    Nepal
    Jacques-Hugues Letrange May 6, 2006  France
    Srikrishna May 14, 2006  India
    David Sharp May 15, 2006  United Kingdom
    Tomas Olsson May 16, 2006  Sweden
    Vitor Negrete May 19, 2006  Brazil
    Igor Plyushkin May 22, 2006  Russia
    Thomas Weber May 25, 2006  Germany
    Yoshitomi Okura May 16, 2007  Japan
    Maurizio Pierangelo May 17, 2007  Italy
    Oh Hee-joon May 17, 2007  South Korea
    Lee Hyun-jo May 17, 2007  South Korea
    Uwe Gianni Goltz May 21, 2008   Switzerland
    Lhakpa Nuru May 7, 2009    Nepal
    Veslav Chrzaszcz May 18, 2009  Czech Republic
    Wenhong Wu May 19, 2009  China
    Frank Ziebarth May 21, 2009  Canada
    László Várkonyi April 26, 2010  Hungary
    Tom Jørgensen May 19, 2010  Denmark
    Peter Kinloch May 26, 2010  United Kingdom
    Rick Hitch May 1, 2011  United States
    Shailendra Kumar Upadhyaya May 9, 2011    Nepal
    Takashi Ozaki May 12, 2011  Japan
    John Delaney May 21, 2011  Ireland
    Hiroaki Kino September 15, 2011  Japan
    Dawa Tenzing April 5, 2012    Nepal
    Karsang Namgyal Sherpa April 19, 2012    Nepal
    Ramesh Gulve April 20, 2012  India
    Namgyal Tshering Sherpa April 21, 2012    Nepal
    Shriya Shah-Klorfine May 19, 2012  Canada
    Eberhard Schaaf May 19, 2012  Germany
    Song Won-bin May 19, 2012  South Korea
    Ha Wenyi May 20, 2012  China
    Juan José Polo Carbayo May 20, 2012  Spain
    Ralf D. Arnold May 20, 2012  Germany
    Piseth Lim October 19, 2012  Cambodia
    Mingma Sherpa April 7, 2013    Nepal
    DaRita Sherpa May 5, 2013    Nepal
    Sergey Ponomarev May 5, 2013  Russia
    Lobsang Sherpa May 7, 2013    Nepal
    Alexey Bolotov May 15, 2013  Russia
    Namgyal Sherpa May 17, 2013    Nepal
    Seo Sung-Ho May 21, 2013  South Korea
    Sajal Khaled May 21, 2013  Bangladesh
    Unknown climber May 22, 2013    Nepal
    Mingma Tenzing Sherpa April 2, 2014    Nepal
    Mingma Nuru Sherpa April 18, 2014    Nepal
    Dorji Sherpa April 18, 2014    Nepal
    Ang Tshiri Sherpa April 18, 2014    Nepal
    Nima Sherpa April 18, 2014    Nepal
    Phurba Ongyal Sherpa April 18, 2014    Nepal
    Lapka Tenjing Sherpa April 18, 2014    Nepal
    Chhiring Ongchu Sherpa April 18, 2014    Nepal
    Dorjee Khatri April 18, 2014    Nepal
    Then Dorjee Sherpa April 18, 2014    Nepal
    Phur Temba Sherpa April 18, 2014    Nepal
    Pasang Karma Sherpa April 18, 2014    Nepal
    Asman Tamang April 18, 2014    Nepal
    Tenzing Chottar Sherpa April 18, 2014    Nepal
    Ankaji Sherpa April 18, 2014    Nepal
    PemTenji Sherpa April 18, 2014    Nepal
    Aash Bahadur Gurung April 18, 2014    Nepal
    Daniel Paul Fredinburg April 25, 2015  United States
    Marisa Eve Girawong April 25, 2015  United States
    Thomas Ely Taplin April 25, 2015  United States
    Pemba Sherpa April 25, 2015    Nepal
    Dawa Tsering Sherpa April 25, 2015    Nepal
    Maila (Milan) Rai April 25, 2015    Nepal
    Chhimi Dawa Sherpa April 25, 2015    Nepal
    Pema Yishi (Hissi) Sherpa April 25, 2015    Nepal
    Pasang Temba Sherpa April 25, 2015    Nepal
    Krishna Kumar Rai April 25, 2015    Nepal
    Zhenfang Ge April 25, 2015  China
    Renu Fotedar April 25, 2015  Australia
     India
    Tenzing (Tengien) Bhote April 25, 2015    Nepal
    Vinh B Truong April 25, 2015 Vietnam
    Lhakpa Chhiring Sherpa April 25, 2015    Nepal
    Shiva Kumar Shrestha April 25, 2015    Nepal
    Scott Stark April 25, 2015  United States
    Unknown climber April 25, 2015  ?
    Unknown climber April 25, 2015  ?
    Unknown climber April 25, 2015  ?
    Yomagato Horoshi April 27, 2015  Japan
    Jangbu Sherpa May 1, 2015    Nepal
    Phurba Sherpa May 19, 2016 Nepal
    Eric Arnold May 21, 2016  Netherlands
    Dr Maria Elizabeth Strydom May 22, 2016  Australia
    Subhas Pal May 22, 2016  India

    80

    • #
      Mike

      All of this needless mortality could be avoided by bulldozing a few hundred meters off the top of it.

      70

    • #
      Mjw

      One in four people who attempt to climb Everest become “heroes” and a lot of them take up permanent residence.

      30

  • #
    AndyG55

    OT…

    2015.16 El Nino 3.4 back to near zero, already.

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2016/05/23/say-goodbye-to-the-201516-el-nino/

    113

    • #
      David Smith

      How can two people red thumb your comment?
      It’s just a statement of fact!

      40

      • #
        AndyG55

        I have two or three red thumb stalkers who give me red thumbs whatever I say…

        … but are always too shy to respond.

        Hi, small-minded little red-thumbs. !. :-)

        61

        • #
          ROM

          .
          AndyG55 @ #23.1.1

          Andy, try changing your “Icon”.

          Your red thumbers probably aren’t capable of figuring out where you might have gone if they don’t have your current Icon to identify you!!

          31

  • #

    For some inexplicable reason I posted a new note about an Archibald Speech coming in Perth and the two posts merged briefly. I’ve sorted it out. But for a while the text disappeared above. I’ve slightly edited it since I had to repost it.

    El Gordo and other. I moved your comments which appeared to be related to that, from this thread to the defence thread.

    40

    • #
      Egor TheOne

      Somehow my post here ended up on your next thread by mistake Jo .
      sorry if my mistake !

      20

  • #
    Anton

    The vegan diet is (unlike many vegetarian diets) nonviable without certain supplements. She’d never even have got to Everest without those. I’m sorry she didn’t come back though.

    51

  • #
    Radical Rodent

    Thank you, Ms Nova, for putting so much of what is pumped out of that box in the corner into proper perspective.

    50

  • #
    Mike

    “Everest safety under scrutiny as third climber dies in as many days”
    http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2016/05/23/everest-safety-under-scrutiny-third-climber-dies

    30

  • #
    Egor TheOne

    Time to wind up the Marxist infestation at the ABC with a 100% defunding bill .

    We are supposed to be a free democracy , and as such do not require a state funded propaganda outlet at a cost of 1200 million per year feeding us such biased shows as ‘the dumb’ and ‘Q&BS’.

    As far as the death at Everest goes , climbers die there all the time .
    Above 8000 meters is not called the death zone for no reason .
    At that height ,the human body starts to die , regardless of fitness level.
    It’s not a holiday destination on ‘Getaway’, it’s the most hostile and challenging environment on the planet with zero chance of rescue if something goes wrong.

    There have been many that have died up there , and there will be many more .
    I am sorry to see that she failed her quest as nobody would wish that upon anybody , but it is not us that has flogged this event to death ….it is the ABC .

    There was another death there on Friday , and yet barely a mention of that by the ABC propaganda machine .

    40

  • #
    Egor TheOne

    Time to wind up the Marxist infestation at the ABC with a 100% defunding bill .

    We are supposed to be a free democracy , and as such do not require a state funded propaganda outlet at a cost of 1200 million per year feeding us such biased shows as ‘the dumb’ and ‘Q&BS’.

    As far as the death at Everest goes , climbers die there all the time .
    Above 8000 meters is not called the death zone for no reason .
    At that height ,the human body starts to die , regardless of fitness level.
    It’s not a holiday destination on ‘Getaway’, it’s the most hostile and challenging environment on the planet with zero chance of rescue if something goes wrong.

    There have been many that have died up there , and there will be many more .
    I am sorry to see that she failed her quest as nobody would wish that upon anybody , but it is not us that has flogged this event to death ….it is the ABC .

    There was another death there on Friday , and yet barely a mention of that by the ABC propaganda machine .

    20

  • #
    Reed Coray

    Jo, you’ve pointed out an important fact regarding most liberal journalistic outlets: “They control the narrative by deciding what to print.”

    40

  • #
    Mjw

    before her death Dr Strydom told how she and her husband wanted to dispel the belief that vegans were ‘weak’ or ‘malnourished’ by taking on the climb.

    That’ll learn ‘em.

    40

  • #
    Owen Morgan

    Altitude is a killer. So, unfortunately, is stupidity.

    70

  • #
    J.H.

    It’s not that there’s “less oxygen” at 8000m that gives it the “Death zone” monika, its the fact that there is not enough gas pressure for adequate combustion processes. Remember, respiration is a combustion process. It is not “height”, it is “pressure”… or more exactly, the lack of it that is killing you. The air is as well mixed up there as it is down here, it’s just that all the molecules are farther apart.

    But being an ex commercial fisherman who never finished high school…. I might have it all mucked up. ;)

    12

    • #
      Roy Hogue

      I would think it’s the lower air density, not as much oxygen in what you inhale to keep you going. You can’t breathe fast enough to get enough and it’s downhill from there (no pun intended). But the same percentage of oxygen is there, ~20%. The Apollo command module cabin was adjusted to 60% oxygen and 40% nitrogen at sea-level pressure: 14.7 psi (101 kPa). During ascent the cabin rapidly vented down to 5 psi (34 kPa), releasing approximately 2/3 of the gas originally present at launch. The astronauts did just fine at a pressure that would cause anyone breathing our surface 20% O2 mixture to pass out because of the 3 times greater percentage of O2 they were inhaling. If the O2 is there it will exchange for CO2 in your lungs as far as I know. Human metabolism isn’t pressure dependent but you need enough oxygen in every breath to keep you going.

      The full Wiki article from which I got these numbers is here. The original design had the crew on pure O2 at normal atmospheric pressure and that killed 3 astronauts when a fire started and in the presence of pure O2, went off almost like a bomb.

      00

      • #
        Roy Hogue

        The principle is the same one that makes high altitude flying in unpressurized aircraft possible. You add extra oxygen to keep the O2 percentage higher but you’re breathing it at whatever the pressure is at you flight altitude, maybe as high as 20 or 25,000 feet. The density of the air is still what it would be at that altitude but you’ve put more oxygen in it.

        There is an altitude above which even pure O2 will not sustain you and Everest is very close to that limit. And above it for many climbers. It’s a dangerous environment for anyone, and deadly for those who overstep their limit by even one step. In the U.S., pilots of unpressurized aircraft are required to go on oxygen at and above 12,500 feet above sea level. And that’s way below the real danger level but it’s where you start to not function at your best — also deadly when flying.

        10

  • #
    William

    A PhD by the time she was 30????
    BFD!!!!
    I got my PhD in Chemistry by the time I was 25. In graduate school I had plenty of company of people of similar age; most achieved their PhD’s by the time they were 25, and all before they were 30.
    Seems that in ABC land, their standards are as warped as their ethics.

    50

    • #
      ianl8888

      But your PhD is in a strand of hard science, not some aspect of sociology … so it just doesn’t count.

      10

  • #
    Roy Hogue

    And so it always goes with anyone who has any kind of celebrity status while the common man living just about anywhere can die without notice.

    I’m sorry to hear of anyone’s death, even taking a considerable risk such as climbing Mt Everest. I remember reading something about the trails (I think there are 2 routes to the top) being somewhat crowded these days. I suspect the challenge is irresistible for many. They must climb it just because it’s there.

    My condolence to Australia on the loss of one of your own. And I’ll say the same thing about the sad state of the ABC. I’m sorry to hear about both.

    At 29,029 feet elevation you’re rubbing elbows with the big jets and O2 is so thin I marvel that anyone ever made it, much less the considerable number who have. At that altitude, even well below that altitude, you’re near oxygen starvation even with supplemental O2.

    According to Wiki, “Over 280 people have died trying to climb it.”

    20

  • #

    Climbing Everest is like playing Russian Roulette but with slightly better odds. Stupid. Pointless risk of life for silly bragging rights. Please do it before reproducing so we can “think of it as evolution in action”.(thanks to Niven and Pournelle for that one, “Oath of Fealty”)

    I’m of the same mind about the flying gliders to 90,000 feet thing. So you get a world Altitude Record which is going to be hard to beat. So what?
    The other “benefits” mentioned such as Mars airplanes are a severe stretch. We already know enough about the Martian atmosphere to design aircraft. Powering them is another matter. Paint durability? Really? Balloons routinely fly at those altitudes and super pressure balloons can stay there for long periods so the atmosphere can readily be sampled at those altitudes and not just where the wave occurs. If it does. I’ve asked in another forum about that and got ONE example of alleged occurrence of wave at those altitudes. I’d sure as hell want more before spending a couple of million dollars building a special glider. AFAIK the crew AREN’T going to wear pressure suits because they have a pressure cabin. IF they get above 50,000 feet, with a LOT of luck nobody will get killed.
    If anybody wants to argue, I’m a nearly 50 year, 2700 hour glider pilot,former National Champion, 1100 hours in single engine light aircraft, most in a homebuilt Experimental, aviation meteorologist and glider and industrial instrument systems engineer, designer and manufacturer for that last 38 years.
    I built the variometers that were in the Fossett/Enevoldson aircraft for the current record.
    They made just above 51,000 feet after 3 years of trying and the AFAIK the limit was the wave system, not the aircraft. I’d be more impressed if they broke the record several times and had to pull the divebrakes to get down because the lift was increasing and the aircraft became the limit.
    After nearly 50 years I’ve also got a long list of former friends and acquaintances who are no longer with us because they died in aircraft, including one of my instructors although I did have the pleasure recently of taking my 81 year old spin instructor to lunch. He still flys too.
    I’ve also had the pleasure of talking to a former U-2 pilot and another U-2 and SR-71 pilot.
    The Airbus Euroweenies sponsoring this are nuts IMO.

    20

  • #

    I forgot to add:around 60 years ago, gliding had duration records. These were abandoned after a fatality when it became clearly obvious that the ability to stay awake was more important than any meteorological and soaring skills.

    10

  • #
    Ed Bo

    This story reminds me of my (US) thermodynamics professor in the 1970s, who in those “we’re running out of fossil fuels” days, loved to point out that a Sierra Club member climbing Everest consumed more energy on that single trip than a Nepalese peasant consumed in a lifetime.

    10