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« Wilson trending | Main | Story time at the Guardian »

McKibben's mindpoop

Here's a tweet from Bill McKibben

And here's an excerpt from Wikipedia about the same lake.

When the water level of Titicaca Lake drops below 3,810 m, the flow of Desaguadero River is so low it can no longer compensate for the massive water losses due to evaporation from the surface of Poopó Lake. At this point, the lake volume begins to decrease. At its maximum in 1986, the lake had an area of 3,500 km2. During the years that followed, the surface area steadily decreased until 1994 when the lake disappeared completely. The time period between 1975 and 1992 is the longest period in recent times with a continuous existence of a water body.

And here's a research paper too:

The lake seems from the records of Marin & Quitanilla (2002) to have been dry between 1939 and 1944, and nearly dry in 1970–1972.

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Reader Comments (28)

Mckibben doesn't do history. Only climate fantasy.

Jan 13, 2016 at 4:07 PM | Unregistered CommenterRud Istvan

I find McKibben's tweet inspiring.
As long as there idiots like him around who only open their mouths to change feet there is hope for the end of this climate inanity.

Jan 13, 2016 at 4:43 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

There is a distinct tendency for all environmental science to assume that the best situation is the norm and not just an outlier.

Jan 13, 2016 at 4:45 PM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

Oh your god! What precedented times we live in.

Jan 13, 2016 at 4:47 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlan Reed

that should read 'sciences' to indicate all branches of the science and not all of environmental science.

Jan 13, 2016 at 4:48 PM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

With historical evidence that this has happened before, in climate science this is unprecedented.

There is no YouTube footage of this, which is all the proof of unpredentedness that the Green Blob require for a BBC exclusive.

Jan 13, 2016 at 4:49 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Cherry-picking facts comes naturally to Bill McKibben. Why should Lake Poopó be an exception?

Jan 13, 2016 at 5:14 PM | Unregistered CommenterCurious George

All that water must have ended up in the Atacama

"The Atacama desert is experiencing a rare springtime bloom of flowers after El Niño brought the heaviest rainfall in two decades earlier this year. The desert is usually one of the driest places on Earth. Flowers normally bloom every five to seven years but this year’s showing has been one of the most spectacular."

Jan 13, 2016 at 6:06 PM | Unregistered CommenterMartyn

Martyn, give it a week and the Atacama Desert being in flower will be the clearest unprecedented evidence of global warming evah!

Jan 13, 2016 at 6:16 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Lake Poop sounds rather appropriate for McKibben's outpourings.

Jan 13, 2016 at 6:35 PM | Unregistered Commentermike fowle

Lake Poopo, 1000Km2, is a heavily saline lake which clearly suffers regular massive evaporative drying.

Meantime, Australia's largest (usually dry) Lake Eyre, 9500km2, is rapidly filling-

To use Lake P's behaviour as an indicator of CAGW seems to me a trifle.. overstated?

Jan 13, 2016 at 7:58 PM | Unregistered Commentermothcatcher

While I tend to the Mike Jackson interpretation - it is symptomatic of the public discussion that McKibben's voice is one of the widely quoted ones - not really a reassuring facet of the whole game when much play is made of the supposed science.

Most folk - who aren't a little bit obsessed by the whole thing (you likely wouldn't be here otherwise) allow bilge like this to "wick in" to their perception of the subject and add to the agitprop spewed by the usual suspects... which is crafted to dissuade the casual observer (the science is settled).

The prattlings of a deluded incurious obsessive millenarian getting widely disseminated by the faithful like this should concern us all - as should the source of Bill's stipend.

Jan 13, 2016 at 8:27 PM | Registered Commentertomo

Lake Poopo dried up because of solar panels:


Jan 13, 2016 at 9:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhil R

Um, Columbia's 2nd-largest export altogether dried up in the last months. Because--sniff, snort

Come on weepy Bill, you are better than this

Jan 13, 2016 at 9:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterEternalOptimist

String Theory and Climate Science both demand a redefinition of science.
A word has a meaning therefore what is composed of words is composed of meaning.
Obviously that statement is self-evidential -- proof of itself.
String Theory and Climate Science are composed of words and therefore self-evidential.
What is is is self-defining.

O Brave New World

Eugene WR Gallun

Jan 14, 2016 at 1:26 AM | Unregistered CommenterEugene WR Gallun

I think the Telegraph's website used the same ridiculous photograph, of the forlorn fisherman, complete with stereotypical poncho and generic Andean hat, as if this heavily saline lake had had a healthy stock of tuna only five minutes before.

Bolivia's Andes are a bit famous for the weird and entirely natural goings-on in their lakes, or inland seas. The Salar de Uyuni, for instance, is claimed to be the world's biggest salt pan: another place where the water ran out, but too long ago for McKibben's mayfly memory. (They refine and sell the salt at Uyuni, but turning up at Heathrow with a one-kilo packet of Bolivian white powder is not altogether recommended.)

Jan 14, 2016 at 3:23 AM | Unregistered CommenterOwen Morgan

Is Bill relevant to the real world ? cos only 1 in 1,000 of his Twitter followers retweeted this month old photo ..164 retweets from 176K followers
Half of those 164 will be media/PR people so it seems fewer than that actually believe him and they'll just be "climate cultists"
- It's a Reuter's picture from at least 26 days ago (Euronews report 19/12/2015)
so if someone checks, it has perhaps already rained on the lake
OK let me use Spanish in Google for the Oruro region

Primeras lluvias causan inundaciones en Oruro
Radio FmBolivia-Jan 9, 2016

Las primeras lluvias que cayeron con intensidad, durante los últimos días, provocaron inundaciones en diferentes barrios de la ciudad,

...El Barrio Plan 3.000 se convirtió en laguna

The first rains of the season have come with intensity in last few days and flooded different's become a lake !
(floods happen every year due to wet season.. El Nino may make wet/dry season differences bigger)
.. Is his name Bill McHeuvon ?

Jan 14, 2016 at 5:38 AM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

These rains will start to replenish Lake Poopo, but no news yet
but another news story gives additional reasons for the low level : mining , low level of feed in river (but authorities deny closing the sluice gates)

"These data show that by 1930 the lake has been in an even more critical than it has today situation, but we did not know it and so now our attention," he said.

BTW it's a saltwater lake

Jan 14, 2016 at 5:44 AM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

Meanwhile over at Lake Eyre in South Australia (often dry), the latest news is that there is minor flooding in the Diamantina, moderate flooding in the Georgina, Goyder Lagoon is flowing, the Warburton Crossing is closed at Kallakoopah and there is minor flooding at Warburton. There is a moderate flood at Macumba and Walkers Crossing is closed. It is flowing at Neales.

Belt Bay is 1.8 metre deep and rising, there is heavy rain in most of the Lake Eyre catchment and Belt Bay is navigable
Water is seen from the Oodnadatta Track. Madden Gulf is at 2 metre. deep.
It is a wet year at Lake Eyre.

Let's see what weepy old Bill McKibben has to say about that.

Jan 14, 2016 at 7:39 AM | Unregistered Commenternicholas tesdorf

Re: "Because--you know".

He thought it was Lupus? It's never Lupus.

Jan 14, 2016 at 8:56 AM | Unregistered CommenterPete Austin

McKibben, Monbiot. Lynas, and on and on with them - all disturbed, demented, deranged by vivid imaginings and keen that their sufferings be shared far and wide. And thanks to a facility with words, they achieve that.

Jan 14, 2016 at 10:05 AM | Registered CommenterJohn Shade

These climate narcissists believe that history began when they were born, and also that they represent the end of history. Or, in Facebook-speak "Anyone before me was a mistake, anyone after me is a downgrade."

Jan 14, 2016 at 11:30 AM | Unregistered CommenterRick Bradford

Come on, everyone - its 'unprecedented....'

Never mind that its happened before....

Jan 14, 2016 at 1:07 PM | Unregistered Commentersherlock1

McKibben has never and will never let facts , honesty or good science get the way of his claims .

Jan 14, 2016 at 1:12 PM | Unregistered Commenterknr

"Bill McKibben is delerious..." I'm sorry, let me read that again, "Bill McKibben is now delirious about the discovery of a hurricane in the Atlantic."

"Fun! Tropical Storm Alex is now Hurricane Alex! In the Atlantic! In January! "

Jan 14, 2016 at 5:57 PM | Unregistered Commenterbetapug


It's the second one this month .

Jan 15, 2016 at 9:22 PM | Unregistered CommenterRussell

McKibben is as alien to the truth as he is to his alleged Native American background. I used to think he was merely a pathetic climate obsessed fool. Now I think he is a clever parasite hunting for money by lying about climate and himself.

Jan 18, 2016 at 5:02 AM | Unregistered Commenterhunter

dried up due to mining...

and what type of mining, is it.. Lithium perhaps, for all those electric cars..

Jan 22, 2016 at 11:56 AM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

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