“Argentinian geoscientist faces criminal charges” for not committing scientific fraud in glacier survey.

Guest post by David Middleton

George Orwell on steroids…

Argentinian geoscientist faces criminal charges over glacier survey

Government researcher Ricardo Villalba stands accused of shaping a study to benefit mining interests.

Jeff Tollefson &

Emiliano Rodríguez Mega

A prominent geoscientist in Argentina is facing criminal charges over accusations that he manipulated a government survey of glaciers at the behest of mining interests.

On 27 November, a federal judge in Buenos Aires charged Ricardo Villalba, the former director of the Argentinian Institute of Snow, Ice and Environmental Research (IANIGLA) in Mendoza, with abusing his authority and violating his duty as a civil servant. Villalba appealed against his indictment on 4 December — but if he loses, the case will go to trial. In the meantime, the court has ordered Villalba to stay in the country, and has authorized the seizure of his assets up to 5 million pesos (US$289,000).

The case hinges on the definition of a glacier as viewed from space. When Villalba began the government survey in 2011, he determined that it would include glaciers of 1 hectare or larger — following international norms for satellite analyses. But environmental activists in Argentina’s San Juan province argue that he excluded some smaller glaciers to prevent tougher regulation of adjacent mines operated by the Barrick Gold Corporation of Toronto, Canada. Villalba’s scientific colleagues in Argentina and abroad say the charges against him are baseless and political.

International support

“It’s surreal and kind of ridiculous,” says Bruce Raup, a glaciologist at the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colorado, who co-authored a letter of support for Villalba.







WHAT IS A GLACIER? A glacier is a body of snow and ice of sufficient size and mass to move under its own weight. Glacier movement may be detected by the presence of crevasses, cracks that form in the ice as the glacier moves. In Glacier National Park (GNP), USGS scientists define glaciers according to the commonly accepted guideline in which a body of ice has an area of at least 0 .1 km2 (100,000 m2), or about 25 acres. Below this size, the ice is generally stagnant and does not move, unless it is on a steep slope. Glaciers are dynamic , changing in response to temperature and precipitation. A glacier forms when winter snowfall exceeds summer melting. Glaciers retreat when melting outpaces accumulation of new snow.


25 acres ~ 10 hectares


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The new normal in the climate ‘science’ world. If someone doesn’t agree with you, throw them in jail.


It’s the new normal for everything. Folks who commit thoughtcrime are persecuted in every way the SJWs can muster. link They would prefer that you die, but short of that they are happy to deprive you of your livelihood.

Randy K

Galileo’s persecution comes to mind…


Galileo got off easily since he retracted, but Giordano Bruno (dominican friar, mathematician, theoretical astronomer/cosmologist, philosopher and poet) did not, and was burned alive on a trumped up religious charge.


I can absolutely verify that.

(Short story)

The local “CareNazis” insist we have a hospital bed and a lifting hoist for my wife – even though there’s no room (bed = 7 ft long, Hoist = 7 ft high) and she’s not that far “gone” that she needs either.- they are insist JUST to tick the box on their “Health and Safety Mandate”.

I refused… and now they are hounding the crap out of me – even to the point of turning up on Saturday AND Sunday with two police in tow.
I refused them all entry (my right, they had no warrant) (and I;d have let the police in if they had one but still within my rights to refuse the CareNazi).

KNOW your rights and USE them… don’t be a sheep!

So, YES, SFW and “Social Worker” is just a modern term for “fascist”.


Their ignorance of history is evident. What goes around eventually comes around.


Of course the Left does this. Scott Adams (creator of Dilbert) now calls the DNC “The Party of Hate”. Look at what they are doing, they are motivated by hate in everything they do:
* they hate the economic powerhouse of Enlightenment Civilization (often called “Western” Civilization)
* they hate people living the way they want without the Left controlling them
* they hate tasty foods that normal people eat
* they hate normal people and call them “Deplorable”
* they hate national sovereignty of the First World, but demand it for everybody else
* they hate Christianity and prefer barbarous Sharia Supremacism
* they hate actual science and prefer their climate cult eschatology over observed reality
* they hate the citizens they advocate using State force to steal from, and give to non-citizens
* they hate citizens who are victims of crimes of non-citizens
* they hate traditional cultures of Europeans, but love every other culture
* they hate Free Speech and label the truth ‘hate speech’
* they hate being proven wrong on anything, and double-down with insane statements
* they hate mentally normal people, and project their mental instability on them.
* they hate the traditional family
* they hate christmas
* they hate white people, especially white men
* they hate classical art and music and prefer bizarre and ugly styles instead
* they hate actual virtue and prefer the counterfeit ‘virtue signalling’ instead
* they hate quiet humility about accomplishments and prefer to brag to their herd instead
* they hate Individual Liberty and will always defer to the Herd and the Herd Leaders instead.

Look at what the Left, their SJW zombies and their Antifa and BLM thugs do. Are they motivated by a desire the situation of everyone? or are they acting because they have a target of HATE ?

Unfortunately, there are many on the Left who are good people who cling to what the Left was decades ago, and refuse to see what it has become now it is dominated by the explicit “Post Modern” rejection of reason and all aspects of Enlightenment Civilization (“Modernism”) today.

Andy Pattullo

And if science done properly doesn’t provide the answer you want, hide the result and find a politician or judge who will act as if you did get the result you want.


Actually it is not as new as one my believe. In the early 1980s an international fisheries management organization held a workshop here in the USA. Both government scientists presented their work as did university and private institutions. Governments presented their landing records and whether they were meeting quotas, etc. A Brazilian university scientist whose team had measured every billfish landed in one of the major ports presented his findings. He said nothing about the obvious substantial discrepancy between the numbers of fish in his data and the government’s official landings records. The next day the Brazilian government canceled his passport, froze his bank accounts, credit cards, and cut off all telephones going to his extended family in Brazil. He spent several months living with American scientists’ families. Brazil finally let him back in the country basically after they were embarrassed in the US scientific community. I don’t know what happened after he got back.

Santa Baby

IT just proves that the science here has been politicized?


Or a law suit.


As the Italian case with earthquake experts that failed to predict an imminent earthquake demonstrated, scientists are no longer seen as above reproval and legal responsibility. If their professional opinion carries weight, it also carries responsibility and they should be able to justify it.

I don’t have an opinion on this. It is just the way it is. Doctors and priests have gone through the same process. Tribunals will find a way to judge scientific cases as they did with medical cases.


In this case its not about the the science, its about fraud and the takeover of science by political interests.

Same as in most of South America, powerful interests protect the underlying system of unequal ownership of land by various methods, and often use socialist-style revolutions and moral crusades as a front to protect a corrupt land-owning elite, and stop people from being educated and becoming private owners themselves, whether of property or industry-in this mining. (Look at Venezuela, Argentina is only a few notches up from the situation there). They essentially don’t want mining companies to make profits, because it gives people wealth and ownership, and upsets the unequal caste-style land ownership system, so they even distort glacial surveys in order to try and undermine the mining companies. You can read as much in Niall Ferguson’s book-Civilisation-South America will never develop its resources properly or reduce political corruption until it addresses the unequal and flawed caste-style land ownership within the political system.


Every story has two sides. That’s why we have tribunals to decide. I usually abstain from opining when I don’t have enough information.

Obviously everything works better if you live in a country that abides by the empire of the law.


A glacier is by definition a moving body of ice. A one hectare glacier equals to 100 x 100 meters. Such small bodies of ice are simply too stiff to flow, ergo not glaciers. This is a generally accepted limit.

Ben of Houston

Even if he used an unusual restriction, as long as he was explicit in the methodology and did not destroy data, there is no basis for a criminal charge.


In the case of the Italian earthquake experts, they didn’t just fail to predict, they went on TV to assure the people that no earthquakes were imminent.

Exactly and they also rejected/ rubbished accurate forecasts. I’d say the judge is vindicated by the international seismologist coming and saying you can’t predict earthquakes. If those scientists had wanted to defend the Italian scientists they had to say government forced them to make no doubt rubbish predictions- something that would destroy the position of every government senior scientist.

Walter Sobchak

I think Argentina went after some economists a few years ago for publishing papers that said the true rate of inflation was far above the governments “official” rate.

At the beginning of the 20th century Argentina had achieved European levels of prosperity. Since then poison politics have so hamstrung it, that it has dropped way behind.


Yes indeed. A review of Argentinian recent history proves that out. This is the peril of indoctrination of Marxist policies, and later, Marxist retribution. It has been very brutal in Argentina in some recent decades, after having been at the forefront of stability in South America.

Here in North America, after the usual grade and middle schoool indoctrination by unionist activist teachers aligned in leftist policies, the English professors take over in the first year of university and plant the seeds for all further Marxist indoctrination. So beware of anything said by a lit major.


As a result of politically-inspired manipulation of the INDEC – the statistics office – the Economist took the unusual move of stopping the publication of Argentina’s official inflation statistics in February 2012. A leader article stated

What seems to have started as a desire to avoid bad headlines in a country with a history of hyperinflation has led to the debasement of INDEC, once one of Latin America’s best statistical offices. Its premises are now plastered with posters supporting the president, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner. Independent-minded staff were replaced by self-described “Cristinistas”. In an extraordinary abuse of power by a democratic government, independent economists have been forced to stop publishing their own estimates of inflation by fines and threats of prosecution. Misreported prices have cheated holders of inflation-linked bonds out of billions of dollars.

The manipulation was not small. Inflation in 2008-13 averaged about 10% a year, between a third and half of private estimates.
If only President Trump would try to de-politicize Gistemp and the NOAA temperature data post Karl et al 2015, as President Mauricio Macri has achieved in the last two years with the official inflation statistics.


argentine is just an off shore province of Italy


Don’t cry for me Argentina.

Mark - Helsinki

Didnt they try similar in Canada with Friends of Science.

Gary Pearse

Bruce Raup may think its ridiculous, and he’s correct, but is he aware that had Hillary got in, similar risks to honest scientists would be rife. Remember a civil servant named Carlin who was hounded out by the Obama admin for arguing against the official calculation of the cost of carbon. Remember the former admin added tiny intermittent creeks and farmers dugouts for cattle watering to the list of ‘navigable waters’ so they could regulate every puddle in the USA to intrude on land ownership (the prime target of global gov control). This nonsense in Argentina was directly inspired by Europe and North America ridiculousness. Besides, a fun word like ‘ridiculous isn’t appropriate for this terrible Kafkaesque nightmare that Vilalba finds himself in.

Frederik Michiels

LOL Gary Maybe that was the idea of the USA, but in europe not every puddle or creek is labeled as navigeable water” nor are they all regulated.

the only regulation that exist are for some zones at their banks but that is to create flood zones, so that at every exceptional rainfall not half of the cities are flooded.

the delta works do fit into that regulation as well: result? severe windstorm Eleanor… unlike before no flooding


Remember a few years ago when a warmist called for jailing those who don’t support global climate change? Well, I guess they decided to start in Argentina first.


“Remember a few years ago when a warmist called for jailing those who don’t support global climate change?”

A certain Professor Parncutt of the University of Graz, Austria actually called for them to be killed.

“In this article I am going to suggest that the death penalty is an appropriate punishment for influential GW deniers. But before coming to this surprising conclusion, please allow me to explain where I am coming from.

I have always been opposed to the death penalty in all cases, and I have always supported the clear and consistent stand of Amnesty International on this issue. The death penalty is barbaric, racist, expensive, and is often applied by mistake. Apparently, it does not even act as a deterrent to would-be murderers. Hopefully, the USA and China will come to their senses soon…

GW deniers fall into a completely different category from Behring Breivik. They are already causing the deaths of hundreds of millions of future people. We could be speaking of billions, but I am making a conservative estimate.”

Kurt in Switzerland

This will backfire on the eco-maniacs. They are apparently so frustrated that mining (an ‘obviously’ evil industry) is allowed to continue that they have turned to labeling anyone who doesn’t attack mining interests to be their enemy.

[The mods request you reserved square brackets for the mods. .mod]

AGW is not Science

The real irony will come when they try to ban the mining of the rare Earth metals necessary for the batteries they want to cram down everyone’s throat as internal combustion engine substitutes. And when it happens, I’m sure the irony will be lost on the Eco-Fascist faithful, who signed a “dihydrogen monoxide” ban in droves.


Maybe that’s the plan. If they get rid of mining, there goes renewables and we get “pre-industrial” life, with people too stupid to know how to use a hammer and tape measure. No cell phones, no internet. What could wrong with that utopia?

Gary Pearse

Rare earths are for field mags for windmill turbines.Lithium is for batteries – It is not a rare earth, but rather an alkali metal (Li, Na, K, Rb, Cs, Fr).


Unfortunately all too common in South America against mining companies. And a proxy for the state of the country in general….

Bro. Steve

A hectare is about two and a half acres. And something that small is classified as a glacier?

No wonder we’re always hearing about glaciers melting. Little ice patches the size of a city block will melt away with the slightest warm spell.

A hectare is about 0.92 football fields.

Kurt in Switzerland

garymount: would that be a Canadian or an American football field?
Or do you mean a soccer field?

easier: a Hectare is a square measuring 100 m x 100 m (about 110 yards x 110 yards).

“: a Hectare is a square measuring 100 m x 100 m (about 110 yards x 110 yards).”

Does it have to be square?


It’s a unit of area measure. It can have any shape your heart desires (even twisted 3 dimensional surfaces).
American football fields are 120 yds (counting end zones) x 55.33 yds or 109.7m x 48.7m. The American football filed is .53 hectares. So it would take slightly less than 2 American football fields to equal one hectare.

Steve Fraser

What is this in Wadhams?

Kurt in Switzerland

No, gary, it does not have to be square.


The actual field of play is half of a hectare.
The flat ground area you see from the stands (or on TV) is about one hectare.

“Your Honer, please visualize the ground behind the goal line as ice free. Now visualize the ice running the length & sides of the field and extending up into the stands to the first row seats. That visualized area is about the size of the accepted standard minimum to meet the definition of a “glacier”…. Please have the plaintiff tell the court how much of the field we should be using instead, as the minimum defined area.”


“What is this in Wadhams?”

1ha = 10 ^ (-8) wadhams

Trying to be trick, may not work….. 1ha = 10⁻⁸ wadhams


or ¹/₁₀₀₀₀₀₀₀₀ wadhams


But what is it in Bomb Cyclones?


Technically, the ice has to be moving to be considered a glacier. Otherwise it is just an ice field (or snow field).

Ian W

This was my thought too. A Glacier has a length as it flows from its origin; two and a half acres is ridiculous and it is an international standard? Can some glaciologist on the board justify such a classification?


It is convenient for warmists to include these 1 hectare-sized glaciers among the, normal sized glaciers so that during a warming spell they can say, “40% of glaciers have disappeared over the past X number of years.” This scenario resets during a colder period when all of the hectare-sized glaciers come back, so that warmists can repeat their mantra when the next warm period melts them. — Wash, Rinse, Repeat!

AGW is not Science


Spot on. They’ll just keep moving the goal posts until everything is a “goal.”

Ben of Houston

Well, it’s small relative to most glaciers, but if you want a comprehensive count, including a hectacre as the smallest thing that can be called a glacier isn’t unreasonable. It’s small on world stage, or even a county, but it’s big enough that it is meaningful in a small town. Plus, since it’s an existing unit, the standard is an easily comprehensible round number. The next reasonable size up, a square kilometer, would miss a very large amount that most of us could state to be a glacier. If you want, you can call everything between a hectacre and a square km to be a “miniglacier”.

However, we can state with confidence that anything significantly smaller than a hectacre is too small to call a glacier. We don’t want to have “glaciers” the size of a breadbox.


Well actually the definition of a glacier is a moving body of ice. How large a body of ice needs to be to move depends on slope, thickness, type of underlying sediment and a number of other factors, so to be certain one would have to place a number of stakes and record their exact position and come back to check at least a full year later. Since this isn’t practical a 1-hectare (10,000 square meters) cutoff is (almost) universally used. I say “almost” because there have been some obvious faking going on in Bolivia where small, thin patches of frozen snow have been claimed as “disappearing glaciers”.

AGW is not Science

“there have been some obvious faking going on in Bolivia where small, thin patches of frozen snow have been claimed as “disappearing glaciers”.

As in why all alarmist claptrap “headlines” should be universally ignored – unless it’s to poke fun at them and heap upon them the derision they so richly deserve. ;-D

michael hart

I can put a stake in pretty much any body of snow on a slope and guarantee that it will move downhill, not uphill, by some fractional amount.


Every patch of ice is now to be considered a glacier.


I was under the impression that the glacier had to be somewhat permanent in that it persists over several seasons if not more. If area were the only measurement, then currently most of the eastern United states would currently be covered under a glacier, and every winter farmers would see the glaciers retreat.
It would seem to me that a glacier should also encompass a certain mass of ice/snow to actually effect the local topography with the forces it imposes. A mere snow field 2 feet deep on the side of a hill won’t have any impact other than melt water run-off.
Perhaps if the photographs were taken in the summer season, when mere snow fields will have melted this could be defendable.


A lot of snow patches survive for several years or even several decades, but they aren’t glaciers unless thick enough and large enough to compress to ice and to start flowing.

Note that such long-lasting snow patches can even affect the morphology of the ground by forming nivation hollows, but they still aren’t glaciers.

Also note that a glacier that has ceased flowing is no longer a glacier. It is “dead-ice” (yes that is a legitimate glaciological term).


…..And not to be flowing rapidly as to be confused with an avalanche. .


Darn, I just put 15 – 20 glaciers in my glass to cool my tea!


I thought all glaciers were melted anyway ?


Almost. 🙂


There’s a little poem I read once, but cannot find right now, that extolls the beauty and virtues of Argentina, but ends with the exception that “God peopled it with Argentines.” Can anyone find a reference to it?


“Can anyone find a reference to it?”

No, but it reminds me of a story I heard in Guatemala once:

“When God had created Guatemala he also created the first two Guatemaltecas and put them down in the new country. They looked around and then went back to God and asked: “we are just two ordinary sinful people, why did you give us a country that is so much more beautiful and fertile compared to others?”

And God answered: “Because you will need it, wait till you see the politicians you are going to get.”


It’s not a poem, but some version of this may be what you are referring to:

Argentina, a nation with abundant natural resources, has an population that is almost totally of European immigrant roots. But the country has been unable to harness those resources and unite its people to move into what many Argentines consider their rightful place in the industrial world.

A joke frequently repeated by Argentines to newly arrived foreigners is that after God created Argentina, other nations complained of its disproportionate bounty, so He peopled it with Argentines to balance the score.


Call in Trump to whack them up side the head and knock some sense into them.

Walter Sobchak

Roger Graves

Don’t cry for me Argentina – most memorably played by a band at the dockside in Portsmouth while the Royal Marines were embarking during the Falklands War in 1981.


“O.K., we’re here and we’re taking over”

“Wha’ da ya want?”

“First, quit driving on the wrong side of the road. Second, … oh shit … we’re outta here”

Jud Taylor

“rocketscientist January 5, 2018 at 7:22 am
It’s a unit of area measure. It can have any shape your heart desires (even twisted 3 dimensional surfaces).”

Nonono. It can be a 2D surface on a 3D object, but the hectare itself is definitely not 3D!

Around here, anyways.

Also, what is the area of a circle with radius 3.5m?

David G

“Also, what is the area of a circle with radius 3.5m?”




“Also, what is the area of a circle with radius 3.5m?”


Rather, 11.0 m^2, to one significant digit. (The original (implied) level of available knowledge ~ accuracy/precision is one decimal.)

But only for very small values of 2.

Usually, for an assumed flat surface enclosed by a circle, A=pi*r^2 . For a very crumpled, tilted or wrinkled mountainous surface like West Virginia, Chile, Western Canada, and the Rockies, surface area may be substantially different than "projected flat circular geometric surfaces" …

(The original (implied) level of available knowledge ~ accuracy/precision is one decimal.)


If you want to use that many decimals you must specify the gravity field. The figure you give applies only in a purely euclidean space, i. e. zero gravity field.


Jud, I work with twisted surfaces all the time that have no solid body associated with them. They are merely mathematical constructs, but are measured in units of “area”. Surfaces on solid objects do not have to be 2 dimensional (unless it is completely planar). Don’t sphere’s have surfaces?
As to your circle question do you refer to the area enclosed within the perimeter, the thickness of the line width, or something else? Circles are by definition 2 dimensional. Pi x r^2 works for most of us to determine the enclosed area. if its the first then, 38.48451 m2 is usually close enough for rocket science.


Jud, I think I see your confusion. You may be confusing surface are with “projected area”. This is useful in determining geologic land usage because a hectare measured as the lateral area of a hill side doesn’t say much on how you build dwellings upon the land as we tend to rely on gravity vectors to determine habitable buildings, however such an area measurement is far more useful if you need to determine how much concrete you will need to pour to build a spillway down the face of the hill.

Ah, the thread pedants corner. rocketscientist obviously meant that the surface may be twisted through three dimensional space – say for example the surface of a Möbius strip. Clearly rocketscientist did not mean that the surface itself was three dimensional because that would be just plain silly now wouldn’t it. Wouldn’t it Jud.


Yes, thank you for the clarification. Surfaces, by definition, have no volume.


If you are using the term hectare, you are (reasonably) assuming a projection; not the krinkly surface.


Such is the norm when dumbing down terms for the average schmo.
You might want to be a bit more specific when you actually plan to do something with the land, like determine the amount of sod it will require to cover it.
When making clothing, the tailor is going to come up short if he only plans using a silhouette of the model to determine the amount of fabric.


In terms of hectares (or a % thereof), that would be a big-ass model 🙂


They prefer to be called “Plus-sized”.
Obviously you haven’t been keeping up with the latest’s season of “Project Runway”. 😉

Michael 2

“what is the area of a circle with radius 3.5m?”

A circle encompasses an area defined as pi*r^2, so the correct answer is 10.5pi

AGW is not Science

“But environmental activists in Argentina’s San Juan province argue that he excluded some smaller glaciers to prevent tougher regulation of adjacent mines operated by the Barrick Gold Corporation of Toronto, Canada.”

Should read:

But environmental activist Eco-Fascists in Argentina’s San Juan province argue that he failed to kowtow to Eco-Fascist propaganda and include some smaller ice fields that do not meet the definition of “glaciers” according to internationally accepted standards, thereby preventing unnecessary over-regulation of mines adjacent to these non-glaciers operated by the Barrick Gold Corporation of Toronto, Canada.

There. Fixed it for ’em.

Ian H

Consistent with the EPA notion that every puddle is a protected wetland.


I was going to go to that analogy too.

(hire five different wetland consultants to map your (wetland inclusive) property. Don’t tell ’em there are others involved or they won’t play the game. You will get five very different outcomes. the outcomes will correlate very well with their personalities.)

Aarne H.

The story is a bit more complicated than what has been been reported in (English)MSM. I’ll have to track down some of the links for a full background on the story. It revolves around the definition of what falls under the category of “glacier”. iirc the governing agencies had come to an agreement on terminology.

Aarne H.

Below is the Glacial protection Law that was passed in Oct 2010, before Villalba started his inventory.

It is not surprising that Greenpeace is involved in the “Jachal No Se Toca” campaign. The existing anti-mining movement in the area went into over-drive after the 2015 wastewater spill from the Veladero mine.

Michael 2

“ARTICLE 2 – Definition. For the purposes of this law, glacier is understood as a mass stable or slowly flowing perennial ice, with or without interstitial water, formed by recrystallization of snow, located in different ecosystems, whatever their form, dimension and state of conservation. The material is a constituent part of each glacier rocky detritic and the internal and superficial courses of water.”

Ron Long

Argentine politicians put into place the Law of the Glaciers, and they did so specifically to give environmentalists a club to beat mining companies over the head with. In Argentina environmentalists are useful fools (tontos útiles in spanish) that corrupt politicians like to have in front of them. Imagine “I would like to help you with your mining permit but I will need to fight some environmentalists so need a contribution of 5 million dollars to finance the fight”. Barrick got so tired of the loonies attacking them at their Veladero gold mine that they sold half to Chinese mining interests, and I’m guessing how complaints will be handled now. This Argentine Scientist just wrote down the truth and the system does not like that, ergo, shut him up. Anyone that wants to can look at the Veladero gold mine on Google Earth and see for themselves if any glaciers are threatened. Short answer is no.


Additional needed qualifying definition:

If you can threaten it then it is not a glacier. If it can threaten you then it IS a glacier.

Ron Long

DonM, way too simple. For instance the Law of Glaciers even included frozen ground. When your intent is to stop mining, like in Oregon or Argentina, you just make up some stupid laws that the environmentalists can work with and stand back. Venezuela has the large Kilometer 88 gold deposit waiting for development, and they desperately need the jobs, taxes, and investment money, but no way.


Nature : “…a law enacted in 2010 that was designed to give extra protections to Argentina’s glaciers, which provide the bulk of the country’s water.”
Nature is parroting this harebrain argument invented by the gang Green, how any more stupid could it be???
What do the enviros really want, glaciers that do NOT melt or glaciers that “provide the bulk of the country’s water” (and then melt)?

Smart Rock

Barrick Gold’s Pascua Lama project is on the border between Chile and Argentina. It straddles the continental divide at an altitude of 4,500 metres (14,750 feet) It’s been attacked by environmental activist groups in both countries and also an indigenous group on the Chile side, and this has been going on since at least 2005. Glaciers, and the supposed damage to them (perhaps they couldn’t find an “endangered species” in the area) have been one of the main topics that the Argentinian activists have used as a weapon of choice. It appears that Argentina was well on the way to approving the project, so they’ve ramped up to this, the latest and nastiest round in a long running battle.

In Chile, which is generally a mining-friendly country, the tactics of choice have been challenging Barrick’s title to the property and “concerns” about acid mine drainage (which can be a real problem at older mine sites) but now the technology to control it is very well established.

IIRC Barrick has put the project on hold and written off most of the money it spent on exploration and development. It is beginning to look as though those 17 million ounces of gold and 635 million ounces of silver will stay in the ground for a long time. These people never go away, and with spineless bureaucrats and politicians in charge, they usually win.

Ron Long

Good comments Smart Rock, but one newer event. Barrick has advanced a plan to go underground at Pascua Lama and extract the high-grade gold/silver heart, process it into a concentrate, and then abandon the project. As you stated miners have learned to control acid mine drainage. Barrick’s attitude seems to be “if you want stupid here is some”, but in their defense they have tried mightly to do this right.


The future is black. Behold this example of a Chinese blacklist. Why worry about AI when we already have the technology to make Stasi jealous?

Gerald Machnee

New definition: If it is melting it is a glacier. If it is increasing in size it must be your imagination.

Joel Snider

Progressive methods. Go figure.

Bruce Cobb

I just wish the glacier on our driveway, which has been there for about 3 weeks now would go away.


I believe we saw the same sort of manipulation of reality under the Obama administration, with their attempt to define every puddle in the driveway of a farm as a body of water, which they were, of course, committed to regulating.


I am reading this right. Ricardo Villalba, as defending mining interests by glaciers as bodies of ice as covering 1 hectare or greater. The climate activists claim it should be smaller, whilst in the US it is defined as 10 hectares or greater. The charge should be one of promoting Government Regulation at the expense of jobs and the wider economy.

Randy Bork

— “USGS scientists define glaciers according to the commonly accepted guideline in which a body of ice has an area of at least 0 .1 km2 (100,000 m2),” and Villalba was counting everything a hectare [10,000 square meters] or larger. So it seems he was using a definition one tenth the size of the USGS standard. And the greens accused him of “shaping a study to benefit mining interests” ?!

His mistake was in bending way too far over for the Green Mafia in the first place. His definition is one-tenth the size of the accepted measure. Should have been either the accepted measure – or “Do we see an ice cube there?”


Please Mr Climate-Scientist, if it snows a bit less yet the temperature does not change, then how can the consequent reduction in ice thickness be called ‘proof’ of global warming?

Roger Knights

“Glaciers retreat when melting outpaces accumulation of new snow.”

And transpiration (evaporation from a solid state).

Roger Knights

Thanks. I was worried that I had the wrong word.

Philip Mulholland

Letter of Support for Dr. Ricardo Villalba in his capacity as former Director of the Argentinean Institute of Snow, Ice and Environmental Research (IANIGLA) and of the National Glacier Inventory of Argentina

The Reverend Badger

One expects nothing less from Agentina. They invaded the Falklands, haven’t paid the full price of doing so and still express a desire to have it. Their government and much of society is infested with corruption and has been for longer than my lifetime. Mind you their alpacas were only $200 when some were selling in the USA at Auction for $200K+ so at least they aren’t stupid.

Peter J Kenny

(1/10) kilometer squared is 10,000 sq. meters, not 100000! Do the math.

Al Hopfer

Most scientists and others agree that the planet is nearing the end of an interglacial period with the next ice age (the known 9th) in a few thousand years. The question is, is the few thousand years correct or much sooner?

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