Global Warming Update: September Was a Heater; A Man Obsessed With the Oregon Trail


Global Temp Anomaly Sept 2008

Global Temp Anomaly Sept 2008

We had anywhere from a half inch to the north to 1.6 inches from Louisville and points south from our first good rainmaker in some time. I think that last time we had an inch or more of rain in the area was late July. We had a precip deficit in January, a big surplus in Feb, Mar, Apr and May followed by monthly deficits ever since. I bet the end of the year will be average. But averages can be deceiving. In this case, the average will not reflect the feast or famine nature of the year. Look for great conditions through the weekend. Cool lows and warm afternoons. After Thursday, we’ll be in the 80’s each day through the middle of next week.

It was Hot around the World in September: The Global Climate Report is in for September from the University of Alabama Huntsville and it reports a global spike in world temperatures. That is a bit of a oddity for this year as there have been below the 20 year average for four months, including 3 of the previous 4. August had an anomoly of -.01. June was -.114, May -.18 and January -.046. The other 4 months were all up less than .01. But September skyrocketed by +.161. What I have been noticing is that the southern hemisphere has been decidedly cooler for most of the past year but this difference this month was that the southern hemisphere joined the northern hemisphere as being warmer than the 20 year average, hence, the big spike. So, the headline for the papers will be that September was the warmest of the year. The should cool the heels of the global warming skeptics and stoke the fires of the Global Warming Doomsdayers who have had a rough go of it for the better part of a year. Here is the September 2008 Global Climate Report summary from the UAH. I’ve referenced these guys for some time now and so you may find it useful to find out more about the methodology and who is behind the UAH research team by CLICKING HERE.

Global Temperature Anomaly from 20 year avg through Sept. 2008

UAH
2008 January -0.046
2008 February 0.020
2008 March 0.094
2008 April 0.015
2008 May -0.180
2008 June -0.114
2008 July 0.048
2008 August -0.010
2008 Sept. 0.161

John Jacob Astor

John Jacob Astor

On This Date in History: I’m sure many people have heard of the Oregon Trail but probably aren’t familiar with where it is except Oregon. In the early 19th Century, Lewis and Clark gained the blessings and financial support (Probably Not Constitutional) of President Jefferson. That paved the way for commerce with John Jacob Astor leading the way in the American fur trade. Again, it was Thomas Jefferson who encouraged Astor, who formed the Pacific Fur Company. Astor sent a man named Wilson Price Hunt to establish a base of operations and in 1811, Hunt followed the trail of Lewis and Clark to the Dakotas and then cut over land through Jackson Hole and eventually to the mouth of the Columbia River. They called the place Fort Astor.

The War of 1812 broke out and the Crown sent a warship to seize the fort. The guys in the fort figured out that they were in trouble so, being good businessmen, they sold the town to their British competitors. The North West Company purchased the fort, renamed it Fort George and the British gained control without firing a shot and presumably John Jacob Astor got some money for his trouble.

Did Ogden Have a Neck?

Did Ogden Have a Neck?

Just before the Brits took over the fort, a group of men led by Robert Stuart left Fort Astor for St. Louis. That party in 1812 was the first follow the Oregon Trail, though they did it in reverse. About 10 years later, the Northwest Fur Company merged with the Hudson Bay Company and a hellion with the Company named Peter Skene Ogden was used as a inspector of operations in the far west. He got the position probably to keep him out of the offices because in the past, he had tried to incinerate a campanion for fun, nearly beat a company officer to death and led an entire outpost in a mutiny. Ogden ended up knowing more about the west than anyone except for mountain man Jedediah Smith. Ogden’s explorations made its way to cartographers who made maps that paved the way for settlers to emigrate west over the Oregon Trail. I suppose that Ogden Utah got its name from this rough and nasty man of the west.

Ezra Meeker 1906

Ezra Meeker 1906

Ezra Meeker and Friend 1910

Ezra Meeker and Friend 1910

So, a bunch of people went west following the Oregon Trail. One was Ezra Meeker who took his family along the trail in 1852 and moved into the Washington Territory. What makes Meeker stand out was in an attempt to keep the history of the trail alive and honor the men who blazed it, Ezra Meeker got an ox and wagon and took the trail again, stopping often to give speeches and promote its importance in history. Meeker at the time was 75 years old. It was a tough trip and the ox died, but not Meeker. So enthused with his efforts, he did it again in 1910. In 1915 he traveled the route by automobile. And on this date in 1924, Ezra Meeker once again followed the trail that he first set out on 72 years earlier. This time he was 93 years old and this time he made the 1300 mile journey like a bird. He traveled by airplane. At age 98, he attempted to travel the trail by car again with the support of Henry Ford, but he died on December 3, 1928.

Recognize This View From Kindergarten Cop?

Recognize This View From Kindergarten Cop?

Fort Astor is today known as Astoria, Oregon and was the setting for the movie Kindergarten Cop. Meeker had his last oxen team slaughtered and mounted by a taxidermist and can be found today on display, still hooked to the wagon, at the Washington State Historical Society Museum in Tacoma. A commemorative coin was struck in the 1920’s and 30’s to commemorate Meeker and the trail. In the 1980’s, a computer game company put out “The Oregon Trail” game and had a default feature that listed Ezra Meeker in 5th place on the all-time scorer list with a score of 2052. Why they picked that score is a mystery to me.

I’ll tell you what…in the dictionary under “obsession” should be a picture of Ezra Meeker.

2 Responses

  1. That’s so cool that you wrote about that. My name is Danielle and Ezra Meeker is my great great great great great grandfather so thank you for posting this story. I’m always trying to learn more about him.

  2. I love getting replies like this Hey, if there is anything else you need or want to find out some sourcing material, feel free to write.

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