There are a lot of news items in major media starting to appear about the folly of Professor Chris Turney’s tourism disguised as science expedition. Turney is now backpedaling on the idea that “climate change” caused them to get stuck. Perhaps the laughter has finally reached him. A roundup and video follows.
First, from the NYT:
Stranded Antarctic Ship Story, Like the Ice, Will Not Let Go
By CHRISTINE HAUSER
A team of rescuers from a Chinese icebreaker may need to be rescued themselves, soon after they plucked dozens of people from the Antarctic ice aboard a ship that had been stranded for more than a week.
Chris Turney, a leader of the expedition whose members were evacuated by the Chinese vessel Xue Long’s helicopter on Thursday, shared more photographs of the mission and then an update on Twitter about the unexpected turn of events in the rescue ordeal.
Here is a video of the rescue operation in progress:
From the Guardian, authored by Turney himself, who links to WUWT in the article:
Antarctic expedition: ‘This wasn’t a tourist trip. It was all about science – and it was worth it’
Chris Turney, leader of the Australasian Antarctic Expedition, says his critics are wrong: the team was prepared, the risks were known, and much was achieved
The last 24 hours have been sobering. I am sitting in the comfort of a cabin on board the Australian icebreaker the Aurora Australis, one day after evacuating the Australasian Antarctic Expedition from our Russian-crewed vessel, the MV Akademik Shokalskiy. After sleepless nights thinking about keeping everyone safe, it is a relief to know everyone is on board the Aurora and well.
There is relief, but there is also frustration over what appears to be a misrepresentation of the expedition in some news outlets and on the internet. We have been accused of being a tourist trip with little scientific value; of being ill-prepared for the conditions; putting our rescuers at risk; and making light of a dangerous situation. Others have remarked on what they describe as the “irony” of climate researchers stuck in unexpected ice.
Let’s be clear. Us becoming locked in ice was not caused by climate change. Instead it seems to have been an aftershock of the arrival of iceberg B09B which triggered a massive reconfiguration of sea ice in the area.
[See story below on the statement -Anthony]
Note: This bit of justification in the article from Turney (bold) about the cost is laughable, he’s only off by a factor of 5-6. So much for scientific precision.
The aim of the Australasian Antarctic Expedition (AAE) is to lead a multidisciplinary research programme in one of the most scientifically exciting regions of our planet, straddling the Southern Ocean and East Antarctic. Using the latest in satellite technology, we are beaming images, movies and text in an attempt to excite the public about science and exploration, inspired by one of the most scientifically successful efforts in the Antarctic: the Australasian Antarctic Expedition of 1911-1914, led by British-born Sir Douglas Mawson. Starting out at the unbelievably young age of 28, Mawson managed to raise £39,000 in a year – equivalent to some $20-25m today. With this he kitted out an entire ship to discover what lay south of Australia.
Umm, I don’t know where Turney gets those numbers, but using the calculator provided by the Reserve Bank of Australia here: http://www.rba.gov.au/calculator/annualPreDecimal.html
$4.2 million is sure a long ways from $20-25 million, but I suppose when you are always using other people’s money, being accurate doesn’t matter.
The article with Turney’s calc is saved here as a PDF Turney-spiritofmawson-and it was worth it _ Science _ The Observer -Anthony
Turney Backpedals! Now Says Getting Stuck In Sea Ice NOT Due To Climate Change”!
By P Gosselin on 4. Januar 2014
It appears that now even Professor Chris Turney admits blaming his expedition mishap on global warming was an astronomical stretch after all.
Yesterday I reported here, quoting flagship Swiss daily (NZZ), that his communication director Alvin Stone blamed global warming for the vessel getting trapped in ice. The whole world laughed.
I couldn’t believe it myself so I wrote an e-mail to Stone asking if they really believed this.
Stone answered circa 9 hours later:
That is not quite the quote that I gave.
This is my understanding from talking to Chris and other glaciologists.
- The 120km long ice berg B09B that is grounded in Commonwealth Bay broke away from the continent three years ago, very likely as a result of climate change.
- B09B collided with the Mertz Glacier, smashing a large ice tongue that released the ice into that area.
- It was a mix of this ice that was blown across the path of the Shokalskiy, which led to it being trapped and explains why much of the ice surrounding the ship is old ice.
Australian taxpayers will pay $400,000 cost for climate scientist’s ship stuck in ice. Total cost “millions”.
The saga just keeps going. The Chinese Icebreaker is now also stuck, and has asked for help so the Aurora Australis with 52 extra passengers rescued from the Russian Charter boat have to stay nearby to help. Twenty two Russian sailors are still trapped on board the Russian boat — the Akademik Sholaskiy. Plus other scientists in Antarctica still don’t have their equipment. Costs for everyone involved are continuing to rise. Though there is a free-for-all on social media…
Antarctic Debacle Probably Biggest Setback For Campaigners Since Climategate
- Date: 03/01/14 Christopher Caldwell, Financial Times
The debacle in the Antarctic ice is probably the largest setback for global warming campaigners since Climategate scandal in 2009.
When a Chinese helicopter rescued 52 passengers from a Russian climate-science cruise ship trapped in ice off Antarctica, it was a skilfully managed end to an ordeal that had begun on Christmas Eve. It was also a debacle for climate change activists. The 233-foot Akademik Shokalskiy, a Russian meteorological ship leased by the Australian tour outfit Aurora Expeditions, had been on a mission called the “Spirit of Mawson”. It aimed to replicate part of a gruelling voyage the explorer Douglas Mawson had made in 1912. The ship carried 22 scientists looking to perform various experiments, led by Chris Turney, a professor of climate change at the University of New South Wales. They were joined by 26 tourists paying for the adventure, along with journalists for The Guardian, BBC and The Sydney Morning Herald.
This speaks for itself, now the USA is involved:
Even NYT’s Andrew Revkin, who has been on such expeditions himself, is calling it a fiasco:
As are the French:
French Polar Chief slams SpiritofMawson fiasco
This really has been a PR debacle of amazing proportions. The ship stuck in ice has captured something larger than I would have expected. Methinks the timing must be apropos.
Good scientists are distancing themselves from the publicity hungry climate lightweights and commentators on both sides of the fence are agreeing in their criticism.
A third effect we are barely starting to see may ripple on for months — that’s when mass-media victims realize that the “Russian Tourist ship” was really a boat load of Australian and New Zealander scientists, paid for mostly by taxpayers and loaded and advised by supposedly “expert” climate scientists. This misinformation was despite the boat having BBC, and Guardian media on board, and Fairfax press in one of the rescue icebreakers. Today I see evidence of the first two effects.
From Skynews. The French chief of polar science calls the Spirit of Mawson trip “pseudo-scientific” and laments the effect it is having on real research.
The head of France’s polar science institute has voiced fury at the misadventures of a Russian ship trapped in Antarctic ice, deriding what he called a tourists’ trip that had diverted resources from real science.
This animation is hilarious:
ACM on Chris Turney and the Akademik Shokalskiy fiasco