Global Warming Activist, Journalist, Perish in Antarctica
(Punta Arenas, Chile) Famed global warming activist James Schneider and a journalist friend were both found frozen to death on Saturday, about 90 miles from South Pole Station, by the pilot of a ski plane practicing emergency evacuation procedures.
"I couldn't believe what I was seeing", recounted the pilot, Jimmy Dolittle. "There were two snowmobiles with cargo sleds, a tent, and a bright orange rope that had been laid out on the ice, forming the words, 'HELP-COLD'".
One friend of Prof. Schneider told ecoEnquirer that he had been planning a trip to an ice sheet to film the devastation brought on by global warming. His wife, Linda, said that she had heard him discussing the trip with his environmental activist friends, but she assumed that he was talking about the Greenland ice sheet, a much smaller ice sheet than Antarctica.
"He kept talking about when they 'get down to chili', and I thought they were talking about the order in which they would consume their food supplies", Mrs. Schneider recounted. "I had no idea they were talking about Chile, the country from which you usually fly or sail inorder to reach Antarctica".
Apparently, while all of Prof. Schneider's friends were assuming that the July trek would be to Greenland, during Northern Hemisphere summer, his plans were actually to snowmobile to the South Pole - which, in July, is in the dead of winter.
Mr. Dolittle related how some people do not realize that, even if there has been warming in Antarctica, the average temperature at the SouthPole in July still runs about 70 degrees F below zero. "Some people think that July is warm everywhere on Earth."
"And I was surprised to see how close they got to South Pole Station. They ran through all of their gas supplies for the snowmobiles",explained Doolittle. "They had cold weather gear and clothes, but during this time of year you just don't go outside unless it is an emergency."
"At least James died for something he believed in", said Mrs. Schneider. "He died while trying to raise awareness of the enormous toll that global warming is taking on the Earth."
This is the height of irony. It's also a good example of cognitive dissonance. Notice how his wife justifies his idiocy. It's hard to understand how someone could be planning a trip like this and have such a MAJOR miscommunication about it with virtually all of his friends and family. (Chile the country, not the spicy stuff with beans.) Are they all suffering from the same dementia?
From wikipedia ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cognitive_dissonance ):
Cognitive dissonance is an uncomfortable feeling caused by holding two contradictory ideasmotivational drive to reduce dissonance by changing their attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors, or by justifying or rationalizing them. simultaneously. The theory of cognitive dissonance proposes that people have a  It is one of the most influential and extensively studied theories in social psychology.
Dissonance occurs when a person perceives a logical inconsistency in his beliefs, when one idea implies the opposite of another. The dissonance might be experienced as guilt, anger, frustration, or embarrassment. The idea of "sour grapes"—from the fable The Fox and the Grapes by Aesop(ca. 620-564 BCE), where the fox decides that the grapes he is unable to reach are probably not ripe enough to eat anyway—illustrates an example of cognitive dissonance: desiring something, then criticizing it because it proves unattainable, a phenomenon that Jon Elster calls "adaptive preference formation."
A powerful cause of dissonance is an idea in conflict with a fundamental element of the self-concept,such as "I am a good person" or "I made the right decision". The anxiety that comes with the possibility of having made a bad decision can lead to rationalization, the tendency to create additional reasons or justifications to support one's choices. A person who just spent too much money on a new car might decide that the new vehicle is much less likely to break down than his or her old car. This belief may or may not be true, but it would reduce dissonance and make the person feel better. Dissonance can also lead to confirmation bias, the denial of disconfirming evidence, and other ego defense mechanisms. [emphasis is mine]