Science Junket? “Musicologist”, Others, Jet To Ecuador On “Expedition Anthropocene” …And For Lots Of Hiking

Monster carbon footprint: Six German researchers fly all the way to Ecuador to study how humans are impacting the earth during the Anthropocene – and do lots of hiking at the expense of the public – on a 17-day “expedition”. Some of them, including a musicologist, are of questionable scientific disciplines. 

Chimborazo in Riobamba, Ecuador, Photo David Torres Costales, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikipedia here.

In spring 2020, six members of Die Junge Akademie from the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities and the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina from a range of disciplines – departed on “Expedition Anthropocene”.

“One of the focal points of the expedition,” the website says, “is climate change and its consequences for the environment as well as the transition of a region over the past 200 years.”

“In this, humans are consistently viewed as the instigators, those affected and the observers of these events.”

Lots of hiking

Their research took them to Ecuador and the volcanic mountain Chimborazo. Due to its location close to the equator, the summit of Chimborazo is the highest point on the planet when measured from the Earth’s center.

Impacts from “advancing climate change”

According to the six German researchers, “Together with our local partners, we go in search of traces of human activity in this environment” by using “methods from glaciology, biology, chemistry, acoustic ecology, computer science and medicine, we will investigate the human impact on Chimborazo at different altitudes – from advancing climate change and its consequences for humans, glacial retreat and biodiversity, to acoustic ecological changes and the question of whether microplastics can be detected in the snow and ice.”

A junket disguised as science?

But already some are criticizing the expedition. Not only because of the carbon footprint the long travel and extensive accommodation, but because of it has the appearance of a junket disguised as a scientific expedition.

“The first stop on our expedition is Quito, the capital of Ecuador and the world’s highest capital city. We will spend a few days in the city to give ourselves time to acclimatize to the altitude, and set out from here on our first day trips,” the site explains.

Locations to be studied by among others,  a musicology professor. Chart source: Expedition Anthropocene.

The team were planned to hike to the active volcano Pichincha and the inactive volcano Chimborazo – the highest point above Earth’s center – as well as to the Ambato and the Llanganates National Park where they would “spend a few days in a complementary vegetation zone to the mountainous regions of the Andes.”

Not a single climate-related scientist – one musicologist

Of course long hikes to sites are all part of many expeditions and thus perfectly legitimate. But controversy swirls concerning the background of members of the German team.

Many have nothing or little to do with climate science. German science site Die kalte Sonne here noted: “No single geologist, geographer or glaciologist is involved. Instead there is a musicologist, a medical doctor (okay, maybe because of the altitude), a computer scientist and (EVEN!!) a physicist. The physicist comes from the PIK!”

“Six young people simply claimed that they would study the consequences of climate change and without further ado they jetted off to Ecuador. A nice example of a real-life satire: young up-and-coming artists (some of them really artists) are “researching” climate change in South America in Humboldt’s footsteps,” Die kalte Sonne writes.

14 responses to “Science Junket? “Musicologist”, Others, Jet To Ecuador On “Expedition Anthropocene” …And For Lots Of Hiking”

  1. Roman

    The highest located capital city is La Paz, Bolivia a d not Quito, Ecuador!

  2. P Mielgo

    Sir, Quito is NOT the highest capital city in the world. Normally, when referring to altitude, we mean altitude above sea level. Quito is located at 2800m above sea level, while La Paz, capital city of Bolivia, is at 3600 masl (on average, since it is spread over the sides of mountains).
    Perhaps there has been a mistake due to your mention that the Chimborazo is the “highest” point in the world, meaning, the most distant point from the Earth’s center.

    truly yours

  3. Science Junket? “Musicologist”, Others, Jet To Ecuador On “Expedition Anthropocene” …And For Lots Of Hiking — NoTricksZone - Climate-

    […] über Science Junket? “Musicologist”, Others, Jet To Ecuador On “Expedition Anthropocene” …And F… […]

  4. Petit_Barde

    What those clowns are supposed to find as an piece of evidence of the anthropocene epoch there ?

    Tortillas ?

  5. Jorge Costa

    Sorry, there is a problem, the Capital of Bolivia according to the bolivian Constitution is Sucre no La Paz!!!!
    Yes,the President and the Legislative Power reside in la Paz, but legally the Capital is SUCRE…

  6. drumphish

    Looks like a pyroclastic maneuver took place on that mountaintop sometime a long time ago.

    1. Jim

      The way I read the altitude, was, distance from the center of the earth. Because of the equitorial bulge at the equator. This would also vary. But a musicologist, a drum banger? To a volcano, all they missed was the ” virgin” to toss in.

  7. Graeme No.3

    The height of Chimborazo was first measured in the 1820 by the now forgotten scientist Joseph Pentland, who climbed it (and other mountains) with a barometer.
    Pentland discovered the major ore for nickel (subsequently named Pentlandite).
    He also discovered (during a subsequent stint as Consul to Bolivia) a genus of cacti, 2 types of Tinamou (birds classified as ratites despite some ability to fly).
    He served (on 2 occasions) as assistant to Baron Cuvier – and wrote a letter still extant to William Buckland re what is now known as Megalosaurus. The earlier date shooting down the BBC’s (politically correct) effort to promote Gideon Mantell as the ‘discoverer’ of dinosaurs.
    And he has a crater on the moon named after him. I think it is unlikely any of these tourists will match his achievements.

  8. pochas94

    You’ve gotta hand it to these kids. They sure are enterprising.

  9. John F. Hultquist

    We will spend a few days in the city to give ourselves time to acclimatize to the altitude …

    Translation: We will check out the locals and hit a few pubs for a few days.

    From elsewhere:
    ” Current clinical research suggests that 10 days is the shortest “ideal” period for acclimating, although even if you only have a couple of days to acclimate you can still take several tangible actions . . .”

  10. bonbon

    What complete fools ! Have they even checked what COVID is doing in Ecuador?

    Ecuador Health Minister Juan Carlos Zevallos told BBC, “[W]e can’t hide the bodies.” There are about 150 deaths a day in Guayaquil, and there are efforts to recruit medical students, rural doctors and other specialists to come to work in Guayaquil. He admits that only 12,000 tests have been performed in the country thus far, although he expects a large shipment of test kits soon. In comparison, Chile performs 7,000 tests daily.

    These “enterprising” kids may well find themselves locked down in a disaster.

  11. Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #406 | Watts Up With That?

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