Saturday, January 20, 2018

Turkey's Operation "Olive Branch" is ongoing in Syria

Interesting name Turkey has chosen. Should we interpret that as an olive branch to Syria?
It surely would have been carefully selected as to deliver the right tone or message

a branch of an olive tree used to symbolize peace. any offering of peace or conciliation.

"The command of the Russian group of troops in Syria has taken measures to ensure security of Russian servicemen located in the district of Afrin, where the Turkish Armed Forces launched a special operation against the Kurdish armed groups," the statement read.
It was reported yesterday the Russian troops has either entirely exited or partially exited Afrin.

 The Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim stated that the country's warplanes have bombed YPG, PYD targets in the Syrian city of Afrin.
Explosions heard from Afrin after Turkish jets cross Turkey-Syria border, reported Anadolu.
Turkish war jets hit PYD/PKK observation post in Syria's Afrin.
Free Syrian Army troops begin entering PYD/PKK occupied areas in Syria's Afrin.
The Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim stated that the country's warplanes have bombed YPG, PYD targets in the Syrian city of Afrin.
The senior Turkish official also declared that the Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army had started a military advance in the territory of the Kurdish-populated Syrian city of Afrin.
"From this moment, the heroic Turkish Armed Forces have launched an air operation to destroy the PYD/PKK and Daesh elements in Afrin", Yildirim announced.
The start of the advance has been confirmed by the country's Armed Forces, which declared that the "Olive Branch" operation has been launched at 05:00 p.m. local time (02:00 p.m. GMT).

It's been reported that Tillerson contacted Turkish officials. 

Not much on what was said. Though I'd reported yesterday that the US was not pleased with the Turkish move- suggesting their border force creation was just misunderstood.

I did two posts on this situation yesterday:

Friday, January 19, 2018

Lavrov on Afrin: US Trying to Create Alternate Gov't On Swathes of Syrian Land

Following up on:

Russian Forces Exit As Turkey Begins Afrin Operation?

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov speaks during a news conference at the United Nations in New York, U.S., January 19/2018


 The US is working to create alternative government systems on large parts of Syrian territory, which goes against its promises to respect the country’s territorial integrity, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said.

Responding to a question posed by RT’s Caleb Maupin at Friday's briefing at UN Headquarters in New York, Lavrov commented on America's role in the crisis in northern Syria, which escalated into a new Turkish-Kurdish conflict after news of Washington’s plans to create a “border force” comprising of Kurds. 
 Despite the US backtracking on its statement, and saying they were misunderstood, Ankara, which considers the Kurdish-dominated YPG force terrorists, said it was launching a military operation against the Syrian Kurdish enclave. Lavrov, however, said the developments were only a part of the pattern of US policy in Syria.
 “It’s a fact that US forces are seriously involved in creating alternative government bodies on vast part of the Syrian territory. And this, of course, absolutely contradicts their own obligations, which they committed to on numerous occasions, including at the UN Security Council, on maintaining the sovereignty and the territorial integrity on Syria,” Lavrov said.
 Washington's inconsistency on Syria is also “quite characteristic of modern US diplomacy, including the reasons for the American presence there, and the reasons for the actions of the coalition, which they command,” Lavrov added
Rex Tillerson told me many times that the only reason for their presence there [in Syria] is defeating Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISL). Now they have some much more long-standing plans,” Lavrov said. “We will have to take this into account and look for solutions that won’t allow the destruction of Syrian sovereignty.”

The US was misunderstood? I don't think so. 
Their intent has been very very clear in my opinion.

"Oh lord please don't let me be misunderstood!"


I've embedded the above map so we can grasp the locale
From earlier today it was reported that Russian forces had exited Afrin, relocating around Nubl.  Idlib is close by. Below is an article that talks about a planned pincer.

Newspaper details Turkey's planned "pincer attack" on Afrin

The Turkish pro-government newspaper Yeni ┼×afak has published a detailed forecast of the planned military assault of the Syrian-Kurdish enclave of Afrin, northwest of Aleppo.
Ankara has been making preparations to strike Afrin since news hit headlines last Sunday of plans to establish a U.S.-backed border force including fighters from the Kurdish People’s Protection Units, considered terrorists by Turkey.
The operation will be take the form of a “flanking maneuver” conducted by two brigades of “specially trained” Turkish soldiers, according to the report.
The Afrin region is flanked to the north and west by Turkish territory, while the Turkish military is occupying regions along the Syrian-Turkish border to the east. Turkish-backed Syrian opposition militias have already begun engaging Kurdish forces in the nearby town of Azaz, according to reports on Friday.
The Turkish assault, which is to be commanded by 2nd Army commander Lt. General Metin Temel, will be conducted mainly by Turkish special forces and infantry due to the rocky terrain around Afrin, Yeni ┼×afak reported. Around 5,000 troops from the Free Syrian Army will serve as a vanguard in the operation, which will reportedly target the airports at Tel Rifaat and Minnigh as two of its main objectives.
The offensive will be supported by the Turkish air force, while armed drones are conducting intensive surveillance of the region.
The frequent announcements by Turkish politicians and military leaders about the planned operation have been made “in order to lead the citizens in Afrin to abandon the city so that they do not get harmed during the operations”, said the report.

Russian Forces Exit As Turkey Begins Afrin Operation?

 If early reports are accurate, clearly Russia is on board with this. I would assume Syria is also accepting of this move despite whatever words are uttered in opposition. Talk is cheap.

 Daily Sabah
The Russian military started to withdraw its forces from Syria's Afrin Friday as Turkey prepares to carry out a military operation against the PKK-affiliated People's Protection Units (YPG), Anadolu Agency reported Friday.

The Russian security forces deployed in northeast Kafr Jana region of Afrin city started leaving the area, according to reliable sources in Afrin.

Some of the Russian security assets have reached Nubl and Zahra towns, on the outskirts of Afrin, which were currently held by the Assad regime.

The reports came shortly after Turkish Defense Minister Nurettin Canikli said that Russia informed Turkey about its plans to pull out its military assets from the Syrian district.

The minister said talks between Turkish and Russian officials regarding the operation will continue.

An operation in Afrin -- a region bordering Turkey's Hatay and Kilis provinces -- is widely expected in the wake of Turkey's successful seven-month Operation Euphrates Shield in northern Syria, which ended in March 2017.
After Turkey issued several severe warnings of an imminent operation, the terrorists in Afrin are now hiding out in shelters and pits in residential areas there.

Doubtful the Turks will use a whole lot of air power- Rather I suspect we’ll be looking at boots on the ground

The US is NOT part of this move. The US has made clear they don’t want the double crossed Turks to attack the US backed terror crowd.


“We would certainly call on Turks not to take any action of that sort,” US State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert said at a press briefing on Thursday in response to a reporter’s question about Turkey’s preparations for what is believed to be an imminent invasion.

Turkish Chief of General Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar and National Intelligence Organization (MIT) Undersecretary Hakan Fidan on Thursday paid a visit to Moscow at the invitation of Russia’s chief of general staff, Valery Gerasimov where regional issues, recent developments in Syria and the Astana-Geneva processes, related to the Syrian settlement, were discussed.

Daily Mail

"The Afrin operation will take place," Defence Minister Nurettin Canikli told A Haber television.
"The presence of all the terror lines in northern Syria will be removed. There's no other way out," he said.
Turkish troops fired on several YPG targets in Afrin to prevent the formation of a "terror corridor" on the border, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported.
Army howitzers in the frontier Hatay province launched at least 10 rounds of artillery fire, targeting the "terror nests of the terror organisation in Afrin," Anadolu said.
A military convoy of 20 buses carrying Syrian opposition rebels backed by Ankara also crossed over into Syria, Turkish media reported.
Canikli said with the shelling "in fact, the operation has de facto started."
Asked about the timing of a ground incursion, Canikli said: "It could be tomorrow, it could be in the evening. What we say is that this operation will take place."


Thursday, January 18, 2018

Tillerson: The Way Forward In Syria is Military Occupation & Regime Change

Along with recognition of ill gotten Syrian territory as a separate entity.
 'Scuse me for being completely underwhelmed and absolutely not shocked by any of  this. I've written for years now about this plan to reshape the region, including a push for some form of Israel 2.0/Kurdistan, under the guise of fighting ISIS.

Rice and Tillerson- Bookends for the regional remake?

Interesting that he shared the stage at Stanford with Condoleeza Rice. She of the "birth pangs of a new middle east" fame. I've quoted her many times here at the blog.

 Some excerpts from his prepared speech. Undoubtedly carefully crafted.

“United States will maintain military presence in Syria, focused on ensuring ISIS cannot re-emerge,” Tillerson said. “Ungoverned spaces, especially in conflict zones, are breeding grounds for ISIS and other terrorist organizations … The fight against ISIS is not over (…) Similarly, we must persist in Syria to thwart al-Qaida, which still has substantial presence and base operations in northwest Syria.”

“Once Assad is gone from power, the United States will gladly encourage the normalization of economic relations between Syria and other nations,” Tillerson said. “This process will take time. But we’re patient in the departure of Assad and in the establishment of new leadership.

Relinking some previous posts. 

One from as far back as 2011 mentioning the Kurdish wild card as it pertained to Syria.

Kurds: The Wild Card in Syria- November 2011

As I mentioned in the previous post, some of the Kurds have substantial military ties to Israel.
I wonder just how much of a role those Kurds tied to Israel have already been engaged in the destruction and destabilization of Syria?

Then I come across this today!
From Michael Weiss of the Henry(Scoop) Jackson Society.

You have been introduced to the Henry (Scoop) Jackson Society in previous posts. Interesting to note, the agenda being pushed:Will Kurds Determine Syria's Fate?

Turkey & Syria

Kurd/ ISIS Symbiosis - The Impending Destruction of Turkey. November 2014

Last week there was an article in WSJ One of many in the WSJ, but this one really caught my attention.   

Headline: Kurds Fight Islamic State to Claim a Piece of Syria  

Sub-heading: A Kurdish paramilitary group will help the U.S. expel Islamic militants in exchange for a stretch of northern Syria to build its vision of utopia

Oh, does anyone find it odd that the US can just give another nations territory away?    Anyone think that strange? Of course Israel sees this as perfectly acceptable because they were given land inhabited by other people. Northern Syria is not just occupied by Sunni Muslim Kurds. There are others resident in those areas. Do they want to live in this Utopia? Is anyone considering them?

Part 2- Kurd/ISIS Symbiosis - The Impending Destruction of Turkey- November 2014

 Many suspect that Erdogan supports ISIS? But does he?
I mean, yes, support of ISIS could explain why he refused to join the coalition against ISIS?
But, I don't think it does.  With all the new information I have come across lately it seems vastly more plausible that Erdogan would not join the fight against ISIS because he knows, as I have written, that the fight against ISIS is a fight to create Kurdistan. And that ISIS is a pretext created by the West specifically for that reason. In other words Turkey is not going to participate in it's own downfall
Kurdistan: NATO's New Southern Flank- November 2014

If all goes well for NATO, Israel and the Kurds.  Turkey will be supplanted as NATO's Southern Flank. It seems to be just a matter of time.....I hold the opinion that Turkish leadership has become aware of what looks to be it's impending betrayal
“Especially if the export of Kurdish oil and gas through Rojava and the Mediterranean Sea is implemented. In this situation, Kurds must be politically and economically independent. Now, Kurds have a good opportunity and they must play their political cards wisely,” added Penjweni.

Kurds must be united in their national interests to protects Kurdistan and Kurdish people,” concluded Penjweni.

 August 2015: P5+ 1 is a Distraction -Early Seeds of Iranian destabilization cross the Turkish border
The seeds of an Iranian destabilization are being  sown-
All the while the destruction of Turkey by Kurdish forces is on full display, for those with eyes to see. 
 April 2016: Iran's Forgotten Kurds Step Up The Struggle- So the Media Promotion Begins
 Consider this news item the beginning of your war mongering, perception managing, main stream media indoctrination to explain why Iran is bad. Oppressive. Tyrannical. And needs to be attacked by NATO force for Sykes Picot 2 and Israel 2.0/ Kurdistan. That is if you allow yourself to be manipulated and indoctrinated?

May 2016: Kurds on Attack in Iran as Predicted

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

The Human Farm Goes High Tech

CBC: Smart Cities, Personal Information Collection, Privacy, Control and Profits
The L-shaped parcel of land on Toronto's eastern waterfront known as Quayside isn't much to look at. There's a sprawling parking lot for dry-docked boats opposite aging post-industrial space, where Parliament Street becomes Queens Quay. To its south is one of the saddest stretches of the Martin Goodman trail, an otherwise pleasant running and biking route that spans the city east to west.
But before long, Quayside may be one of the most sensor-laden neighbourhoods in North America, thanks to Alphabet's Sidewalk Labs, which has been working on a plan to redevelop the area from the ground up into a test bed for smart city technology.

Alphabet's Sidewalks Labs = Google

It's being imagined as the sort of place where garbage cans and recycling bins can keep track of when and how often they're used, environmental probes can measure noise and pollution over time and cameras can collect data to model and improve the flow of cars, people, buses and bikes throughout the day.
"It's being imagined".... as opposed to it's a nightmare of surveillance.
Generally speaking, the idea is that all of this data — and the newfound insights its analysis could yield — will help cities run more efficiently and innovate at a faster pace than they do today. 
The effort is one of a handful of broad initiatives underway across the world in places such as Dublin, London, Dubai and Seattle. The Canadian government is soliciting pitches for more smart cities across the country, and has promised up to $80 million to communities competing in its Smart Cities Challenge prize.
Sidewalk Labs is basing its smart city proposal on this post-industrial stretch of Toronto known as Quayside

But when it comes to the data these cities gather, not everyone believes the tradeoff is worth it. Although governments already collect lots of data on their citizens, it's becoming clear that current privacy laws aren't going to be enough to deal with the realities of what most of these visions propose — data collection on a scale that far surpasses what's happening today.
"I think in some ways what we're facing here is a situation where none of this is very much like anything we've seen before," says David Murakami Wood, an associate professor at Queens University, who studies surveillance in cities.
He's not the only one who's skeptical that the law can keep up.

'You can't rely on legislation'

Anyone who's used an app or online service is probably familiar with the concept of consent. It's a legal requirement that companies or public organizations that want your electronic personal information should not only ask first, but explain in detail what they want to collect, what they plan to do with it, who they might share it with and why.
But in a smart city, consent "goes out the window straight away," says Murakami Wood. It's already hard enough to get people to read the terms of service for the apps they use, and experts are skeptical we could expect any better of someone crossing into the boundary of a smart city neighbourhood.
Smart cities, after all, take data collection and analysis to a new, previously unimagined extreme. And with so many different sensors and so much data being collected and analyzed, how could anyone be expected to understand, much less consent to it all?
"You can't rely on legislation," says Ann Cavoukian, the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario from 1997 to 2014. She's being paid by Sidewalk Labs to advise the company on its approach, which sounds straightforward enough: Don't collect any personal information at all.
The whole point of a smart city is that everything that can be collected will be collected - Al Gidari, director of privacy, Stanford University's Center for Internet and Society
Sidewalk Labs and Cavoukian agree not only should as little data be collected as possible, but any that is collected be stripped of all personally identifiable information, or de-identified. Given that smart cities are designed to track people's habits — information that has the potential to be deeply personal and revealing — they believe disassociating that data from the person who generated it is the biggest thing they can do to sidestep privacy concerns.
"Where you get into the realm of privacy is when you get into the realm of what can be traced back to you as an individual," says Rit Aggarwala, Sidewalk Lab's chief policy officer.
Cavoukian, a self-described "eternal optimist," doesn't buy the argument that smart cities are inherently tools of surveillance. She's helping the company build privacy into the design of Quayside, an approach she developed in the late 1990s. It dictates that the best way to protect people's privacy is to think about it during the design and development stage, rather than as an afterthought.
"My job is to make sure that this does not become a city of surveillance, where everybody's activities are tracked," she says.
The eternal optimist is of course spinning the sunny side of all this surveillance cause that's her job!

How much data is too much data?

Still, there are many privacy scholars who are dubious that you can have a smarter city and keep your privacy, too — even if the data being collected isn't personal.
"The whole point of a smart city is that everything that can be collected will be collected," says Al Gidari, the director of privacy at Stanford University's Center for Internet and Society in California. He argues that if smart cities wanted to give people more control over their privacy, by default they wouldn't collect any data. Instead, current proposals tend to put limits on the use of data only "after it's already been collected and the damage is done," Gidari says.
Whether residents and visitors see this as a violation is another matter, and there will inevitably be some who won't want any information collected at all, personal or otherwise. But Aggarwala argues that if Sidewalk Labs can demonstrate the value of that exchange — if you give up a bit of your data, we can improve a service that you love, for example — it can sell people on the idea.
"If people directly see value to having more information collected about them, they will be willing participants," Aggarwala says.
Given the value of that data, experts have argued that privacy is only part of a larger discussion. Open government advocates like Bianca Wylie think we need to start with conversations about who owns the data in the first place. Is it the private companies and equipment operators who run the smart cities, or the cities themselves?
 "Who owns the data in the first place. Is it the private companies and equipment operators who run the smart cities, or the cities themselves?"

Of course this ties right back into the carbon control agenda. The total corporatization, privatization and profiteering from the control of your life. High tech human farm.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Russia, Turkey & Syria Condemn US Creation Of Kurdish “Border Force”

I covered the “border force” creation January 7/2018 US Plans to Recognize Annexed Syrian Territory as Kurdish. And had actually thought about doing a reminder post yesterday on this news, but, decided against it out of fear of being to repetitive.
 Clearly the US is making preparations to officially recognize the annexed Syrian territory- which was always THE PLAN! As has been stated here repeatedly.  No gibberish about a plan a/plan b was presented here- THE PLAN has been to remake the region. Balkanize Syria.
Replaying Kosovo.

“Last week, it was reported that a new 'North Syrian Army' which included SDF formations and backed by the US-led coalition, was being created to carry out 'border security duties' in territories under their control.”
Damascus has voiced its opposition to the US presence and operations on Syrian territory, including Rojava, saying that it does not accord with the principles of international law, including respect for Syria's territorial integrity. The Syrian government has insisted that US operations inside Syria are illegal, since they were never invited into the country by Damascus.

Go back to December 30/2017: 

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis Sees U.S Civilian Presence Increasing in Syria

Mattis said :"What we will be doing is shifting from what I would call an offensive, shifting from an offensive terrain-seizing approach to a stabilizing [effort]'ll see more U.S. diplomats on the ground," Mattis told reporters at the Pentagon. "Shifting from an OFFENSIVE, TERRAIN- SEIZING APPROACH...."

Penny said:  Land grabbing. As stated for years now. For that Greater Israel..

 The term “border force” is a manipulative, perception management term chosen to obfuscate the fact that the US is creating an occupying army to hold on to the Syrian territory annexed by the PKK/YPG terrorists and the USrael.

Onto the latest.
Chronicle Herald

 Russia, Turkey and the Syrian government on Monday denounced the U.S.-led coalition plans to form a Kurdish-led border force to secure the areas along Syria's international border to the north with Turkey and to the east, with Iraq.

And the southwest with Syria. Not reported because the chronicleherald is obfuscating or hiding reality.

The core of the force is to be made up of fighters from the existing Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces, the coalition's main ally in the fight against Islamic State militants. The SDF currently controls nearly 25 per cent of Syrian territory in the north and east”
“Assad's government on Monday also condemned the U.S. plans for the border force, calling it "a blatant encroachment upon the sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity of Syria" and a violation of international law.”

Recall Turkey's leak last year about American bases in Northern Syria?

Turkey and Russia blast US backed Syrian Force as a “terror army”

Which is, in fact, what it is!
- Russia, Turkey and the Syrian government on Monday denounced the U.S.-led coalition plans to form a Kurdish-led border force to secure the areas along Syria's international border to the north with Turkey and to the east, with Iraq.
I have been ostracized for pointing out the obvious fact, years ago, that the PKK/YPG  Kurdish militias were backed by the US and  they were displacing Syrians and annexing territory?  There is post after post of evidence here demonstrating this reality. Instead the media alt and 5 eyes cheered the US backed terrorists on! It's easy to be the best fighter against ISIS when your on the same team! Hence my creation of the term KurdIShIS!


BEIRUT/MOSCOW (Reuters) - Syria, Turkey and Russia responded vehemently on Monday to new U.S.-backed plans to set up a 30,000-strong “border force” inside Syria to protect territory held by Washington’s mainly Kurdish allies.

The Syrian government vowed to drive the U.S. presence from the country. Turkey, an increasingly estranged U.S. ally within NATO, accused Washington of setting up a “terror army” on the Turkish border, and said it would take steps to protect itself.

Russia, the main ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, said the U.S. plans revealed a plot to partition Syria.
Yes, it does reveal the plot to partition Syria. 

Recall this map from an older post?

The Pentagon was forced to go into full public relations mode late last month amid fresh allegations by the Russian General Staff that US instructors were providing training assistance for some 350 ex-Daesh (ISIS) militants at the US Army's al-Tanf garrison in the southern Syrian province of Homs. Chief of Staff General Valery Gerasimov accused Washington of intending to use the militants to create a so-called 'New Syrian Army', a military formation aimed at further destabilizing the war-torn country after Daesh had been defeated.

From yesterday:

Back Into the Chill- Last Extreme Cold Snap Can't be Blamed on Climate Change


Sunday, January 14, 2018

Back Into the Chill- Last Extreme Cold Snap Can't be Blamed on Climate Change

Before we get to the main topic of this post,  I'd like to remind everyone that other cold snaps which were sold as being attributed to man made global warming, as they were occurring,  we're later clarified to be not connected to AGW- It's always wash, rinse, repeat for the lies.
March 29/2015:  AGW/Global Warming DOES NOT CAUSE EXTREME WINTERS!

Cold snaps like the ones that hit the eastern United States in the past winters are not a consequence of  (global warming AGW) climate change. Scientists at ETH Zurich and the California Institute of Technology have shown that global warming actually tends to reduce temperature variability
 Repeated cold snaps led to temperatures far below freezing across the eastern (central) United States (and Canada & parts of Europe etc...) in the past two winters.
 Obviously warming cannot equal cooling unless one has cognitive dissonance. In 2015, despite two frigid winters- the carbon cult was initially claiming that warming would cause cooling. But scientists stated very clearly and quite sensibly that warming would reduce temperature variability.
Apparently Mother Earth didn't get the memo!
Presently- We are in the freeze again- For how long? I don't know. Hopefully just a couple of days? We had a very brief thaw. Less then a week
 Friday January 12/17 "Rain has changed to snow and temperatures are expected to plummet behind the front" Tonight - 11 C or 12 F 
Saturday's temps were :  Max: 14.0°F / Min:1.8°F  Max: -10.0°C Min: -16.8°C
Lowest  same day temperature in the past ten years occurred in 2015: (2006-2017) -10.3°F 2015 
Sunday January 14/2017 at 8:00 am it was  - 3F or -19.4 Celsius
I know some parts of Ontario were, again, under extreme cold warnings-  

Saved this from CBC the other day- Recent Cold Snap Can't Be Blamed On "Climate Change" 

This article is, other then the acknowledgement that the two week long extreme cold can’t be blamed on climate change, still spin and rubbish for the most part

First the admission of fact:

“A quick study of the brutal recent cold snap in Canada and the U.S. found that the Arctic blast really wasn't global warming but a freak of nature.”

 Obviously the deep freeze wasn’t global warming! Since cold does not equal warm! But was it a “freak of nature”? Or was it just weather? Nature? Climate? The planet doing what it does? Sheesh, does the spin cycle ever cease!

Now, onto the rubbish!

“The cold snap that gripped the East Coast and Midwest regions of the U.S. and much of Central and Eastern Canada was a rarity that bucks the warming trend”
 What trend is being bucked here? Let’s go back to look  at the past 5 years of  Great Lakes Ice Cover.  This present winter (2017/2018) seasonal coverage had already surpassed the expected level this year. Covered here

Ice coverage retreated briefly, but, is back in full growth and expansion cycle. And will keep freezing all this week. Total Great Lakes Ice Coverage is back up to 24.8 percent, as of January 13/2018,  up, very quickly from 18 percent coverage due to the brief thaw- Here

UPDATE: Great Lake total ice coverage is up to 29.8 percent as of January 14/2018
UPDATE #2: Great Lakes total ice coverage has increased to 32.1% as of January 15/2018
 TWO consecutive frigid winters- Just 3 and 4 years ago.

2014 - The Ice Coverage over the entire Great Lakes System was 94.5 percent

2015- Ice Coverage over the entire Great Lakes System was 88.8 percent

Those two winter seasons were absolutely frigid!  How can it be claimed these cold snaps are the rarity? "Bucking the trend" When we’ve had three of four recent winters, including the winter of 2017/18 so far featuring extended periods of really extreme cold.

The ice caves started forming at Crystal Beach earlier this month

In 2014 we had spectacular ice caves at Crystal Beach- Hubby and I went to seem them as did tens of thousands of people from Canada and the US- Heck there were people there from Europe visiting family who just had to see them too!

If I can dig up my images I'll post one! See below

Yup, me in an ice cave at Crystal Beach

2015- frigid weather posts covering  deadly cold for man and animal alike-  great lakes ice coverage, ships stuck in ice and more

2014: Where the AGW? Or  Chillin' in the Polar Vortex

2013: Antarctica Low Temp Records

A shot of an icy cave ceiling
As aside; we were lakeside today talkin' with another couple who had also gone to see the ice caves that same year- we all agreed they were really special-