The View From The Golden Dome

Views on the week's events plus some of mine.

Les Berman Weekly 5-18 Sagarmatha. Everest. Serengeti. Otzi. Political Corruption… and more

So, there are legions of people throughout the world who say that we are not going through a period of global warming. You know I’m not an expert on the subject but you also know that I will comment on it regardless.


Although you may live in North America (which is different from America), there are other areas of the world that have very threatening signs of warming. I just read an article in National Geographic that reported a recent study done in Sagarmatha National Park detailed that the snowline had receded upwards by 590 feet approximately. And in neighboring Mount Everest, the glaciers have shrunk by 13% in the last fifty years.


My naiive thinking said – hey, it’s Mount Everest. There’s lots more snow and ice. But here’s the reality – the Mount Everest snowpack, along with the rest of the Himalayas, are the major water sources for thegreat rivers of Asia – the Yangtze, Mekong, Yellow, and Ganges. And those rivers provide the water for two billion people – about one third of the world’s population. As the rivers are impacted, the economies of all of those countries will be severely impacted. (As the Sierra snowpack impacts California farmers and Los Angeles city).

Interestingly, the report, which has not yet been published, did not establish a firm link between the Everest warming and greenhouse gas issues. However, those who did the study, suspect there is a close relationship. This study was presented at the American Geophysical Meetings last week.


And you may recall that several years ago, in the Alps, the frozen body of a 5000 year old man was discovered. The information gleaned from him has been amazing – foods he ate, clothing, weapons etc. While the snow melt across the world may reveal similar archaeological finds, stuff that I would find fascinating, I wonder if there is anything that can be done to either slow down the warming, or to turn the refrigeration unit back on. You can look for Otzi on the web. And you have to know that this guy is much older than our renowned 2000 year old man !


Meanwhile, moving a little further south, to Africa, I had the opportunity to have a conversation with a doctor who was a founder of Global Physicians, the group that provides free medical services to villages in parts of Tanzania and Ethiopia. Knowing that the doctor has been to Tanzania several times, I had to ask about the Serengeti. The Serengeti hosts the largest terrestrial mammal migration in the world, which helps secure it as one of the Seven Natural Wonders of Africa, and one of the ten natural travel wonders of the world.


I have watched numerous documentaries about the animal migrations, how the animals move according to the availability of pasture and water, and the life and death cycles of the animals. I asked the doctor if she had gone to the Serengeti on any of her trips, and of course, she had. The first time she went, she was excited to see the variety of animals. And as that trip continued, she said that there were so many animals, she wondered if they would ever get past them all. It seemed as if the herds were unending. . They were told that they were safe in the vehicles, but if they got out, they could be someone’s afternoon snack. So they stayed in the vehicles.Of course, I have added the Tanzania trip to my bucket list. (and if you want more information about the Global Physicians, click here).


Now, we are on the move again. Asia, Africa… where do you want to go? Did you know that there are lists published of the safest places to visit – and this list shows the rankings by degree of public sector corruption in the country. To start off, #176, at the bottom, on the list of the most corrupt countries is Somalia. I wasn’t thinking about going there anyway. Were you thinking about Argentina? They are tied with Gabon and Tanzania in the middle at #102. Here are some random rankings: Trinidad and Tobago is tied with Serbia and China at #80; Spain and Botswana tied for #30; France #22; USA #19; Germany #13; Canada and Netherlands #9; and tied for #1 as the least corrupt countries are Denmark, Finland and New Zealand. This list is published by Transparency International. If you want the list, send me an email

The lesson here is that we should not be surprised when public officials get arrested for having their hands in the till, or your pocket, or both.

In other news, be sure to check out the links above my signature. I’m sleeping better, feeling better, and actually shedding some of the excess baggage. If you want to know how, click the link.

Mortgage rates have been extremely volatile in the last 10 days. I don’t think we have seen the end of the low rates, but we may have seen the end of the super low rates. Call and ask – pick up the phone – now.818.305.4695 .What are you waiting for? oh – is that you calling?

And I certainly hope that I win the Powerball or Mega lottery today! And I know you wish me the best too !

Have a better week !


Berman’s Factoids of the Week:

I can’t remember the last time I wasn’t at least kind-of-tired.

Bad decisions make good stories.

You never know when it will strike, but there comes a moment at work, or at home, when you know that you just aren’t going to do anything productive for the rest of the day.


Can we all just agree to ignore whatever comes after Blue Ray? I don’t want to have to restart my collection…again.


I’m always slightly terrified when I exit out of Word and it asks me if I want to save any changes to my ten-page technical report that I swear I did not make any changes to.




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 Les Berman CMC
Real Estate Loan Specialist
NMLS ID 227675
Voice: 818.305.4695



May 18, 2013 - Posted by | business, general interest, humor, real estate, stuff, Uncategorized, whimsy | , , , , , , , ,

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