Sunday, March 29, 2015

On Top of Old Everest, All Covered in Pooh...

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"On top of old Everest, 
all covered in pooh,
I lost my own Sherpa, 
when he fell into goo...
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On top of old Everest,
I went there to boast,
One wrong step backwards,
My guide? Now he's a ghost "
 (Apologies to Burl Ives, and to the Boy Scouts of America)

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Do you ever want to get away?  You know, do you ever want go somewhere that few others will ever see and experience the majesty which is Gaia, our Mother, our Planet, this planet - Earth???  Well, good for you!!!  I hope you have a great trip, and remember to send me souvenirs because, well, I'm not going with you.  
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I've already been to New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Washington (D.C.), AND Florida, seriously, how much more of the Earth is left to be seen?  And, listening to all these Global Climate Change folks speak about the impact of MAN on the Earth, I'm thinking that the Earth can't be much larger than the size of Texas, right?  Otherwise, how can we have such a detrimental effect on the planet?  I mean, people are so very small, and Texas is like, um, really freaking HUGE.  Writing about it here, I hereby decree that we are all Texans, and between you and me, I want my hat, boots, and guns.  Please, no horse, as I am more partial to cows.  Thank you.  
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Now, we re-join our post, already in progress...
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An unknown climber relieves himself while admiring Mount Everest
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KATHMANDU, Nepal (AP) — Human waste left by climbers on Mount Everest has become a problem that is causing pollution and threatening to spread disease on the world’s highest peak, the chief of Nepal’s mountaineering association said Tuesday.
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The more than 700 climbers and guides who spend nearly two months on Everest’s slopes each climbing season leave large amounts of feces and urine, and the issue has not been addressed, Ang Tshering told reporters. He said Nepal’s government needs to get the climbers to dispose of the waste properly so the mountain remains pristine.
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Hundreds of foreign climbers attempt to scale Everest during Nepal’s mountaineering season, which began this week and runs through May. Last year’s season was canceled after 16 local guides were killed in an avalanche in April.
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Climbers spend weeks acclimatizing around the four camps set up between the base camp at 5,300 meters (17,380 feet) and the 8,850-meter-high (29,035-foot-high) summit. The camps have tents and some essential equipment and supplies, but do not have toilets.
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“Climbers usually dig holes in the snow for their toilet use and leave the human waste there,” Tshering said, adding that the waste has been “piling up” for years around the four camps.
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At the base camp, where there are more porters, cooks and support staff during the climbing season, there are toilet tents with drums to store the waste. Once filled, the drums are carried to a lower area, where the waste is properly disposed.
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Dawa Steven Sherpa, who has been leading Everest cleanup expeditions since 2008, said some climbers carry disposable travel toilet bags to use in the higher camps.
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“It is a health hazard and the issue needs to be addressed,” he said.
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Nepal’s government has not come up with a plan yet to tackle the issue of human waste. But starting this season, officials stationed at the base camp will strictly monitor garbage on the mountain, said Puspa Raj Katuwal, the head of the government’s Mountaineering Department.

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The government imposed new rules last year requiring each climber to bring down to the base camp 8 kilograms (18 pounds) of trash — the amount it estimates a climber discards along the route.
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Two questions at this point:

  1. Shouldn't the government of Nepal require that climbers bring down MORE trash (feel free to use the words 'Poopsicles' and 'Frozen Whiz' here) than they discard along the route?  How else will they be able to reduce the amount of waste resting comfortably in the frozen ravines up there?  If they EXPECT you to generate 18 pounds of waste / trash, you'd better be hauling about 22 pounds back down with you, you know, since you really love the planet / want to experience the grandeur of nature and all...
  2. Why would anyone WANT to go to Mount Everest?  Sure, the photos are PRETTY, but given the option of eating BBQ Beef Brisket while watching a wild West show (since we're all in Texas now) versus getting Freezer Burn on your Winkie while relieving yourself on the side of a frozen mountainside with a -47 degree windchill?  I'm thinking, um, NO.  Sign me up for the BBQ, and now that I live in Texas, I still want my boots, hat, and guns, please...
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Parting thoughts:
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Okay, so you got that?  You rich, private-jet-flying, money-to-burn, and having-not-enough-personal-survival-instinct-to-stay-at-home World-Class travelers planning on going to Mount Everest - you'd better plan on taking your crap with you when you leave.  Both figuratively and literally.  
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And if you're one of those Richest 1% of Vegans who only eat green leafy veggies, sprouts, something called Quinoa, and tree-bark chip bars, you'd better plan on carrying some of your buddy's crap down too, because your 'leavings' are much lighter than the rest of our 'meat-eater' diets are.  And if you DON'T, the government of Nepal is going to fine you for not having enough crap of your own.   
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You want to know who your REAL friends are?  Just ask them to carry your personal 'discharges' in freezing-cold-weakened Ziplock bags down a mountainside in their backpack surrounded by their best Eddie Bauer outerwear.
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Yes, World Traveler, you KNOW who your true friends are...  
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They are the people who tell you to go to TEXAS or FLORIDA on vacation, NOT to travel across the planet to the side of a ice-jacketed mountain of snow and rock littered with the 'droppings' of thousands of other morons who just had to 'go' there because it's 'there'.
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I am your friend.  Listen to ME, and trust only ME.  Now go grab a corned beef sandwich or something substantial and turn off your computer or mobile device, we've got work to do.  I hear John Kerry is negotiating with Iran just in time for Congress to go home for a few weeks, and it looks like we'll have a whole lot of crap to deal with HERE and in Iran for the next few decades.  
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Thanks President Obama, as if there's not enough crap on Everest, we get to carry the 'droppings' of your administration's crap with us forever right here at home - thanks so much for that.      
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I have THIS much of a clue as to what I am doing in these negotiations...

 

 
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