American Cross Country Skier Andrew Newell along with 104 other Sochi Winter Olympians endorsed a statement decrying climate change. The Protect Our Winters manifesto urged world leaders to take action on climate change and prepare to commit to a UN Framework Convention on Climate Change to be held in Paris in 2015. These environmental activist athletes came from the U.S., Canada, Switzerland, Norway,Sweden, Estonia, France, Germany, Italy and Australia.
To bolster his support of the POW Manifesto, Newell pointed to a study from the University of Waterloo (Ontario, Canada) which worries about the future of Winter Olympics in a warmer world. The Waterloo researchers claim that six of the last nineteen Winter Olympics host cities will be cold enough to host the games as you can't ski safely or successfully in slush.
This Protect Our Winters message seems to resonate through the warm weather conditions in Sochi, Russia for the XXII Olympiad to reinforce the message about global warming (although this snow job is somewhat diminished when digging out of the snowy Nor'easter on the Eastern Seaboard). Low information voters who only pay rapt attention when it is a Presidential election, or during the Olympics when Curling and the Luge dominate the airwaves, may unquestioningly buy this progressive propaganda.
Global warming has now been rebranded climate change, since there was not global warming for 16 years (between 1997 and 2012). Progressive apologists hotly dispute this challenge purporting that climate change "deniers" do not look to the right sources and are all funded by fossel fuel think tanks. Ironic, isn't it that the unproven theory which has driven much of the global warming debate originated from the East Anglia University hockey stick model, in which data was intentionally manipulated and there was a cover up lest their research funding be imperiled.
There is some question as to whether the climate change is anthropogenic (man made). The data that global warming was arrested for 16 years, without significant attainment of the ambitious Kyoto Protocol goals, gives cause for pause. But even if , for the sake of argument, there is a question as to what difference would it make. Danish Environmentalist Bjorn Lomborg, author of The Skeptical Environmentalist (1998), points out that even if European Union implemented Carbon Tax to achieve the 20-20 goal, it would cost $7 trillion over the course of the century achieving a miniscule 0.05oC reduction in temperature and lower the sea levels by a trivial nine millimeters. This does not account for third world nations (including Russia, India and China) which were exempt in the 1997 Kyoto Protocol and would not seriously implement costly environmental curtailment, especially if it sacrificed national economic growth. Then there is the inconvenient truth that implementing environmental abatement in the wrong way can be counterproductive.
It is worth recognizing linkage of the warm Sochi weather with an environmentally endangered Winter Olympics as a false flag down the slippery slope of big science. Ed Morrissey wrote in a Hot Air a piece which debunks warm Winter Olympic weather worriers. Morrissey points out that Sochi is on the Southern-most part of the Russian Federation and was a controversial choice by the IOC in 2007
Arguably, Sarajavo (1984) and Innsbruck (1964, 1976) are not that much further North than Sochi. But Innsbruck is located in the Austrian Alps and has an elevation of 1886' and Sarajevo is in the Dinaric Alps with an elevation of 1699'. The problem is that Sochi is at sea level and temperate weather can impact the Caucus mountain sites. Typically, Sochi has an February average of 42.8 degrees, with a high of 49 degrees and a low of 37. That's a rather poor choice for a Winter Olympic locale. But it probably was a political move at the behest of Russian leader Vladimir Putin.
Between the questionable science on man-made climate change and the poor choice of Olympic host cities, it is sad that activists athletes are given a platform to pontificate such poppycock. As Robert Heinlein lamented: “The United States has become a place in which professional athletes and entertainers are mistaken for people of significance.”
In this case, maybe Newell should shut up and ski. Newell failed to medal in the three disciplines he skied at Sochi, at best coming in 4th in the Mens' Cross Country Sprint