#spiritofmawson ship of fools apologize for mess, face recovery costs

ANTARCTIC expeditioners rescued by an Australian icebreaker have apologised for an operation that could cost taxpayers up to $2.4 million.

Fifty-two passengers rescued from a Russian ship trapped in sea ice have arrived in Hobart aboard the Australian Antarctic vessel Aurora Australis, nearly three weeks after the emergency began.

“We’re incredibly grateful to everyone who’s come out to help us,” leader of the privately funded expedition, Professor Chris Turney, told a media conference in Hobart.

“We are terribly sorry for any impact that it might have had on fellow colleagues whose work has been delayed.

“Any experienced Antarctic scientist knows that’s an inherent risk.”

Australian Antarctic Division (AAD) director Dr Tony Fleming said costs were still being determined but could range from $1.8 million to $2.4 million.

Costs associated with delays to scientific programs, including a major study of ocean acidification scheduled for next year, were harder to pin down, Dr Fleming said.

“The government will be pursuing all avenues to recover costs and minimise the burden to the Australian taxpayer,” he said.

More at The Australian here

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Meanwhile Steve McIntyre points out that it is getting harder and harder for them to wiggle out of culpability:

The Sydney Morning Herald reports that the University of New South Wales is a signatory to the sub-charter of the Akademik Shokalskiy.

I don’t know how liability for rescue costs is allocated. However, the fact that the University of New South Wales is a party to the sub-charter places its potential liability in a new light. However, in most legal proceedings, plaintiffs look for the party with the deepest pockets, which, in this case, would be the University of New South Wales.

In another story, New Details on the Ship of Fools Steve writes:

The precise chronology of the Ship of Fools on December 23 has been a topic of interest on skeptic blogs, including my recent post demonstrating the falsity of Turney’s excuses. However, up to today, this chronology had received zero media coverage, despite several reporters from major media on the Ship of Fools.

Today, there are two stories (BBC and Sydney Morning Herald , both of which contain damning information (especially the latter.) Note embedded link in latter article h/t Bob Koss, with important details not reported in the main article.

Turney’s defenders have attempted to transfer blame from the expedition to the Russian captain. However, Mortimer (though not Turney) squarely acknowledged that the delays were the “responsibility of the expedition team, not Captain Kiselev.”

It looks as if the press is starting to ask questions:

Antarctic cruise routes face scrutiny

Antarctic authorities want more say over where private expeditions venture after revealing a rescue mission this summer could cost Australian taxpayers $2.4 million.

Permits for a group whose chartered Russian ship became trapped in sea ice last month were issued without considering its proposed course.

More: http://au.news.yahoo.com/a/20931702/rescued-antarctic-passengers-arrive-home/

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SkyNews has video here: http://www.skynews.com.au/topstories/article.aspx?id=944004&vId=4312511&cId=Top%20Stories

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UPDATE: This SMH story pretty well nails it. Excerpt:

“Everyone on board was keen to make the journey across the fast ice to the Hodgeman Islands,” said one passenger.

A weather forecast predicted 25-35 knot winds reaching 40 knots late in the day.

“Despite the wind and extreme cold, the scenery on the journey was spectacular – it seemed unreal, as though we were on a movie set,” said the same passenger.

About 2.30pm the weather deteriorated. At the same time Captain Kiselev saw slabs of sea ice moving into the open water channel from which the ship had entered the area. He called for everyone to return.

A passenger standing near Professor Turney overheard the voyage leader, Greg Mortimer, telling him over the radio to bring passengers back to the ship so it can leave.

But minutes later, Professor Turney drove six more passengers into the field.

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105 thoughts on “#spiritofmawson ship of fools apologize for mess, face recovery costs

  1. So the allegation is now that Mortimer, who was in charge of the logistical operations of the voyage, ordered everyone off the ice and yet Prof Turney still decided to go off in the Argo with a load of passengers.
    That is quite a strong allegation against the judgement of Prof Turney and the organisation of the tour.
    Someone competent should have been in charge.
    And everyone should have known who that personwas.

  2. Anthony: Thanks for moving the Recent Posts list upward so it’s much closer to the top of the page. This new location makes site navigation easier.

  3. A good quote to remember in cases like this, generally attributed to Napoleon Bonaparte:

    Never interrupt your enemy when he’s making a mistake.

  4. Loving it…shove that up your travel section, warmist Fairfax media.

    And Janet Rice, Greens MP and “climate change” science assistant on the Ship of Fools, always finding new ways to Greek-style the Australian economy, even when on holidays.

    Still, her information, albeit unwitting, has proven useful in the hunt for the Christmas Turkey.

  5. Phil’s Dad says:
    January 22, 2014 at 3:13 am
    What you propose may possibly be both unfair and illegal.
    Depending upon the terms of the charter, individual passengers, who were possibly only present as fee-paying tourists and not as charterers may not be jointly and severally liable for any additional expenses incurred due to irresponsible behaviour by other passengers, whether tourist or scientist.
    It may be that if those passengers, who heeded the instructions of the captain of the ship and returned to the ship, promptly can verify that they returned, when instructed, then they can reasonably claim that they were not to blame for the requirement that a rescue effort be undertaken and that the blame for this rests entirely with those who irresponsibly chose to ignore the orders of the captain and unnecessarily delay the ship’s intended departure from the hazardous area.
    Perhaps the costs for the rescue effort and any additional expenses resulting from the ship’s delayed departure may be the sole liability of those irresponsible passengers, who disobeyed the orders of the ship’s captain, and their official sponsors.
    Additionally, if any children were aboard and ignored the orders of the ship’s captain and thereby contributed to the requirement that a rescue mission be performed, then that is the sole responsibility of the parents of the children, not other passengers.
    Natural justice requires that those who are guilty should be punished, but not those who are innocent of any wrong-doing or irresponsibility.

  6. Since the gross domestic product of Australia is 1/10th that of America, this amounts to a $24M fiasco. But wait, why would taxpayers owe even a single dime instead of earn money by billing them at a reasonable rate?

  7. *I Heard dr Fleming on ABC radio…the written word does NOT express what his voice did..
    a rather angry man, polite, soft spoken but angry!

  8. This just in from our reporter, Heidi T. D’Cline, at the Ship of Fools enquiry:

    Question One. Professor (sic) Turney – what gave you the slightest prospect of conducting a successful expedition when official records, available throughout your planning, show Antarctic sea ice extent has been, and is, more than 2 standard deviations higher than the 1981 – 2010 average?

    http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/2013/12/

  9. Travel insurance doesn’t cover personal decisions of any type. Read the fine print on page 89.2, sub paragraph k-something, of any policy.

    If you willingly go anywhere on a conveyance, it’s a personal decision to take a risk, and the insurance companies can wriggle their way out, as easy as pie.

    Getting sick, likewise, if you eat something. Eating something is your choice.

    These people are going to have trouble with their travel insurance.

  10. “We are terribly sorry for any impact that it might have had on fellow colleagues whose work has been delayed.

    Hmm, I thought his pride was too big for him to swallow.

    “Any experienced Antarctic scientist knows that’s an inherent risk.”

    That’s more like it.

    I don’t recall him talking about risk before or early in the trip. Perhaps he wasn’t experienced then.

  11. Turney’s Exhibition might be the last hurrah for CAGW:

    21 Jan: BBC: Matt McGrath: ‘Burnt out’ EU likely to curb climate goals
    Binding national targets on renewable energy are expected to be dropped from new EU proposals due to be unveiled on Wednesday.
    The UK has lobbied hard to have the mandatory 2030 target watered down, saying it would drive up energy bills…
    But green groups said the proposals lacked ambition and were the acts of a “burnt out” Commission…
    With huge government subsidies, installations of renewables soared…
    “It makes no sense to impose artificial constraints on how individual countries meet emissions targets,” said a spokesman for the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC).
    “We are determined to keep people’s energy bills as low as possible and that means having the flexibility to cut emissions in the most cost effective way”…
    “We are moving from an ambitious targets and timetables approach to a classical muddling through approach,” said Dr Oliver Geden from the German Institute for International and Security Affairs.
    “It is a changed world, it is not just about the financial crisis, it is also the result of changes in international climate policy.
    “There is not the ‘we can change the world’ optimism, they are retreating a little.”…
    With European elections due this Spring and a new set of Commissioners to be selected in the Autumn, there is a sense among some critics that the incumbents are very keen to agree a new set of proposals.
    Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard has been singled out by some green groups for making too many compromises to achieve agreement.
    “That’s a burned out commissioner, she’s achieved practically nothing over the past four years,” said Brook Riley from Friends of the Earth.
    “She wants a political win in the last few months in office, she’s almost desperate, that’s not the frame of mind you want to try and steer through something as important as this dossier.”…
    The price of carbon has collapsed over the past year due to an excess of carbon permits…
    The Commission’s proposals will go forward for consideration at heads of government meetings in March and June this year.
    Some critics believe that the climate and energy plan may be watered down even further at these meetings.
    “There is this huge rift within the EU on energy and climate policy. Since 2010, they haven been able to decide on anything substantial,” said Dr Geden.
    “The member states don’t like what they have to do now and the less ambitious states are in a better position.”

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-25828181

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  12. A global warming PR stunt that went bad and backfired. The world is left with thousands of images of climate scientists [surrounded by curious penguins!] stuck in sea ice that extends from horizon to horizon [in the middle of summer!]. Now we learn that gross negligence of the scientist in charge led to the life threatening situation.

  13. hilarious how bbc’s report makes it seem like Andrew Luck-Baker just happened to be on the Shokalskiy & the Guardian’s report states it’s by “Alok Jha, science correspondent, in Hobart”, when they were actually EMBEDDED with the Expedition!

    BBC Media Centre: Discovery: Return To Mawson’s Antarctica
    Over four weeks in December and January, BBC World Service’s Discovery will be embedded with a team of Antarctic researchers on board an ice-breaker retracing the route of the first Australasian Expedition to Antarctica.
    The 2013 Australasian Antarctic Expedition aims to repeat many of Mawson’s investigations around Commonwealth Bay and Cape Denison in East Antarctica where the original team set up their base. This remote area hasn’t been studied systematically for 100 years, so the expedition will reveal any changes that have taken place as a result of climate change.
    The BBC’s Andrew Luck-Baker and Science journalist Alok Jha join the 26-strong scientific team led by Professor Chris Turney of the University of New South Wales. They study penguins, record the underwater songs of seals and deploy a robot submarine to sample the rich sea life under the ice…

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/mediacentre/proginfo/2013/51/ws-antarctic-1.html

  14. Russel Klier: that image you’ve highlighted of ‘climate scientists [surrounded by curious penguins!] stuck in sea ice that extends from horizon to horizon [in the middle of summer!]’ is the perfect symbolic antidote to the faux image of a polar bear on dwindling ice floes.

  15. That $2.4 million does not advance their cause one bit – or feed the poor. It is pure incompetent waste – which appears to be the trademark of the movement.

  16. Dr. Flemming said “The government will be pursuing all avenues to recover costs and minimise the burden to the Australian taxpayer.”

    Then Steve McIntyre said: “I don’t know how liability for rescue costs is allocated. However, the fact that the University of New South Wales is a party to the sub-charter places its potential liability in a new light. However, in most legal proceedings, plaintiffs look for the party with the deepest pockets, which, in this case, would be the University of New South Wales.”

    Given that the University of New South Wales is a public institution, the Australian taxpayer will be on the hook either way.

  17. @ John (January 22, 2014 at 3:38 am)

    Of course I accept all you say – I had assumed they were all in the same boat.

    OK pun intended; what I mean is that I assumed every one who went on this jaunt, media, “scientist” and wealthy hanger-on alike, had the same access as all of us to the knowledge that ice was increasing in the south. That they decided to go anyway makes them at least partially responsible when it all went “pear-shaped”. It was a know risk; if you take the risk anyway the outcome is your responsibility.

    What I can’t understand is why those who disobeyed the Captain (leaders or followers) are not now behind bars.

  18. Phil’s Dad says: January 22, 2014 at 3:13 am “Divide the cost by the number of adults rescued and send them the bill.”

    Aye, therein lies the rub. As the numerator approaches zero the value of the ratio approaches infinity. There may not have been any adults rescued, modus ponens “adult.”

  19. Australian taxpayers pay this woman’s (Leigh Sales) wages!

    (VIDEO & TRANSCRIPT)22 Jan: ABC: Leigh Sales: Ice-bound ship ‘inherent risk’ says expedition’s leader
    The leader of the Antarctic expedition whose ship got stuck in ice says that was one of the risks of that kind of work, and he disputes that the incident is evidence against climate change.
    CHRIS TURNEY, EXPEDITION LEADER: Well, hello and lovely to be back in Australia. The Australasian Antarctic Expedition was a multi-disciplinary program of research going into an area of enormous environmental and global climate change, using the latest information – the satellite data, the weather observations and forecasts. The final part of a research program suggested we were working in clear area. We’d been hugely productive up to that time. We were heading back out north and unfortunately got caught by this massive breakout of sea ice. Now, unfortunately that has had an enormous knock-on effect to some teams, apparently. We’re terribly sorry about that and we’re hugely grateful to the large international effort, including the Australians, primarily, and the Chinese, who helped get the team home safely…
    LEIGH SALES: Who paid for the scientific expedition and then who ultimately is responsible for the rescue costs?
    CHRIS TURNEY: So, we had a variety of different corporations that supported and basically we sold berths to the public, much like Scott and Mawson and others had done 100 years ago, to actually get those team members onboard and embed them in the science team. With regards to paying for the actual recovery, for the help and the return of the team back to Australia, the expedition vessel and individuals were all fully sponsored and that’s being worked through with insurance now.
    LEIGH SALES: Your mission has been subject to ridicule in some quarters…This editorial from (Murdoch’s) The Australian pretty well sums up the tenor of it…
    CHRIS TURNEY: That’s quite interesting. Well, we’ve been living in a bubble for the last couple of months and just talking to people. I had heard there was an editorial. I haven’t read it…
    Ultimately, I think this actually is a reflection of how as a scientific community we need to engage perhaps more explaining the science method rather than just the results. It sounds a bit like the wonderful quote from Carl Sagan where he said, “If we don’t communicate the science method, how is the public meant to know the difference between pseudo-science and science?”…
    LEIGH SALES: Were you able to gather much research data before the boat became stuck and so was the trip worth it in that regard?
    CHRIS TURNEY: Oh, look, it was hugely productive. In the six weeks or five weeks that we were operating, we’ve got a wealth of information from the sub-Antarctic islands, crossing the Antarctic convergence, we’ve left drones and floats in the ocean which are broadcasting their position and the temperature and saltiness over time and will continue to do so for many years. We got into Cape Denison, we pioneered a new route into the old Mawson hut, travelling across 65 kilometres of sea ice. We got into that location, delivered the conservators to the Mawson hut, collected data on the impact of changing sea ice on the penguins, collected evidence, or samples – 80 kilos of samples, actually – to show the former extent of the ice sheet. The only constraints we’ve got for over 2,500 kilometres.
    LEIGH SALES: Chris Turney, thank you so much for your time tonight.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-01-22/ice-bound-ship-inherent-risk-says-expeditions/5213910

    ——————————————————————————–

  20. Bob Tisdale queries the amount. I have to agree – £2m doesn’t really sound enough for the original charter delay and both the Chinese and Australis rescues, including helicopters!

  21. Turney says: “how is the public meant to know the difference between pseudo-science and science?”
    I think we already do…

  22. I’m becoming more and more confused about this debacle. No matter how this keeps getting described, each and every passenger was a paying guest of the tour operator. The boat was chartered ( I think this time ) by Australian company Aurora Expeditions ( the boat is chartered by numerous outfits throughout the year ) and any remuneration should be down to the tour operator and their insurers to work out.
    Calling this a ‘privately funded’ expedition just clouds the issue. It was a planned vacation that the company regularly offer and tickets are on sale to anyone with the means to purchase. 54 of them if I recall. No space is set aside to add ‘scientific expeditions’ or anything similar. It’s just a cruise for the wealthy. they happen all the time and there are many on sale now on many other boats.

  23. So, basically, it was a wilful act on Chris Turney’s part, setting off with passengers in an Argo AFTER the order had been given for everyone to return to the ship immediately, which fatally delayed the ship’s departure…

  24. Just read this again. Turney ‘sold tickets to the general public?’ Unless he owns the company who chartered the vessel then no, he didn’t. He may have resold berths that he paid the charter company for but that’s a different matter.

  25. @ zootcadillac (January 22, 2014 at 5:30 am)

    Except that (some of – John) those paying customers disobeyed a direct order from the Captain. For that they alone are responsible.

    Here’s a quote from one of the earlier links.

    “Mortimer repeated that everybody needed to get back to the ship.
    The passenger was stunned by the conversation, even more so when, a few minutes later, Turney loaded an Argo with six passengers and drove off towards the Islands.” [away from the ship]

  26. The general non-specialist public does NOT know the difference between science and non-sense. See homeopathy.

  27. “We are terribly sorry for any impact that it might have had on fellow colleagues whose work has been delayed.”

    “Any experienced Antarctic scientist knows that’s an inherent risk.”

    Jeez, even at this stage he gives a politicians -conditional- apology. Where’s the “might have” if other’s work has been delayed.”

    Then he continues with the “inherent risk” that his attempted propaganda effort took like it makes it any better.

    Unbelievable.

  28. @Phil’s dad. Oh I totally understand that. I’ve already had that discussion with a number of people. I own and operate a sailing ship. On board I would be described as ‘the Master’ yet at all times once the vessel has left the berth it is the captain who is in charge. I’m amazed the captain let Turney behave the way he did. I know people who would have had him forcibly dragged back to the ship and tied in his bunk for endangering the ship’s company. If things happened as reported that is. Again, the whole episode is becoming murkier as more tales are told.

    In my comments above I’m trying to make it clear that Turney and his expedition were paying guests of a tour operator who does this thing regularly and it irks me that some reports are trying to paint it as something different.

    I could also get into his ridiculous comments about the type of ice and it’s behaviour. But I’m an old man. I don’t have the room in my head to be angry about too many things at once.

    Would you like to go yourself? Feel free and the best of luck if you can call it a scientific expedition and get some poor sap to pay the bill :) http://www.auroraexpeditions.com.au/

  29. That [story] from the Mercury was most telling. The Captain was in charge but Turney sent more people out despite the orders to get everyone back to the ship.

  30. @ zootcadillac (January 22, 2014 at 5:50 am)

    I would have trouble persuading the wife and kids I think. They do like to be warm.

    On your main point; it may be that the Prof T. presents it this way as he would have found it difficult to persuade his sponsors to pay for his holidays.

  31. Prof Turney, most responsible for the fiasco, will probably end up being the one paying the least.

  32. Leon Brozyna says:
    January 22, 2014 at 6:27 am

    “Prof Turney, most responsible for the fiasco, will probably end up being the one paying the least.”

    Wait until you see his approved departmental budget for next year. That’s the way you know how badly the University decides to judge him.

  33. M Courtney says January 22, 2014 at 3:19 am:

    “Someone competent should have been in charge. And everyone should have known who that person was.”

    Well, of course, the someone ‘competent’ who was in charge is demonstrating the same level of competence as the ones who are making the trillion dollar decisions about how they combat CAGW. We’re all doomed.

  34. Turney says: “We got into Cape Denison, we pioneered a new route into the old Mawson hut, travelling across 65 kilometres of sea ice.” (my bold)

    A new route, ha!! And when the sea ice disappears or moves off the ‘new route’ goes with it! And this guy is a Professor??? Duh!

  35. RichardLH:

    At January 22, 2014 at 6:33 am you say of Turney

    Wait until you see his approved departmental budget for next year. That’s the way you know how badly the University decides to judge him.

    I agree.
    If they increase his budget and give him an award then they think he was as guilty as sin. That is how universities cover their backsides when one of their own is seen to be a ‘wrong ‘un’.

    Richard

  36. Stacey says: @ January 22, 2014 at 5:23 am

    Hello, I’m a novice when it comes to this stuff. I’m trying to figure out how some studies claim there is a pause in global warming while others, like the one below, say it’s a record year of warmth. Can someone please explain?
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    The pause means the RATE of warming is ZERO. This does not mean it is not warm.

    Think of climbing a hill. along the slope you are climbing up the elevation is increasing. The rate of change in your height is increasing. When you get to the top of the hill the rate of change in the elevation is zero but you are still high up.

    You might want to take a look at this too. link

  37. Richard:
    Aye, you have the right of the situation. It’s known through the organization that he’s a problem and the easiest way to finalize and fix the ‘true’ problem is to place him in a position of success or failure. First step, give him plenty of rope.

  38. Second step; if he managed his department to success, any level of success, sell him off to be somebody else’s problem. If he bungled it, fire him quietly.

  39. zootcadillac says:
    January 22, 2014 at 5:30 am

    I’m becoming more and more confused about this debacle. No matter how this keeps getting described, each and every passenger was a paying guest of the tour operator. The boat was chartered….
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    The responsibility of the Captain is for the boat and when the passengers are on the boat. The leaders, Turney and Mortimer are responsible for when the people are NOT on the boat.

    For example:
    If my club rents a bus to take us skiing, the driver is responsible for the bus. If he warns us that a blizzard is coming in that evening, we have been warned. If he then radios the club leader that the blizzard is coming in at noon and get back to the bus ASAP he has done his job. If the club leader decides to continue on so they can get pictures at the spot they were headed to an hour away and as a result is four hours late returning stranding the bus in a snow drift, then that is not the bus drivers fault.

  40. Costs associated with delays to scientific programs, including a major study of ocean acidification scheduled for next year, were harder to pin down, Dr Fleming said.

    “The government will be pursuing all avenues to recover costs and minimise the burden to the Australian taxpayer,” he said.
    <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Well, now, this is an interesting statement. Does this Dr. Fleming know what he is talking about?

  41. sherlock1 says:
    January 22, 2014 at 5:31 am

    So, basically, it was a wilful act on Chris Turney’s part, setting off with passengers in an Argo AFTER the order had been given for everyone to return to the ship immediately, which fatally delayed the ship’s departure…

    AND failing to answer the calls on his satellite phone from the ship. (AKA turning a deaf ear.)

  42. CaligulaJones says:
    January 22, 2014 at 6:37 am

    Libs/progressives are only generous with other people’s money, never their own

  43. I was originally told that the ship was chartered by Australian operator ‘Aurora Expeditions’. This may be incorrect and the ship was chartered by New Zealand operator ‘Heritage Expeditions’ ( these companies operate closely together in this area, it can be a little confusing ).

    My points about it being a scheduled tourist trip remain.

    Interestingly the Akademik is currently returning to the Southern ocean on a similar trip laden with fee-paying tourists. https://maps.google.co.nz/maps?source=embed&ie=UTF8&q=-66.74783,175.67484&ll=-62.186014,177.539063&spn=12.363649,26.367188&z=4&vpsrc=6&oi=map_misc&ct=api_logo

  44. I have been following this story with great interest. I am one of the many people who is not a scientist but who has scientific knowledge (I have A levels in Physics and Chemistry). I was educated at a time when it was being confidently predicted in sensationalist paperbacks that the world would end in ice for reasons to ridiculous to go into. When Global Warming first reared its head in its present form in the 1980’s I assumed the scientists, being actual scientists not the kind of fanatics who believed Amon Ra had arrived on a comet, might well be onto something.

    In succeeding years I have watched with horror as the scientists and fanatics have become impossible to distinguish; and the debate about whether or not whatever its called this year might need an economic revolution has intensified to the point were its only real predictive power is to the political orientation of the protagonists.

    I had in fact given up the study of science for philosophy and I was even more alarmed when this particular and new branch of “science” exited Popper and paradigm shift methodologies for something that fused models as predictors of reality (or magic to give its proper name) and ideology, in which any reluctance for the facts to fit in with the model or the beliefs resulted in ad hoc re-namings, or post hoc re-modellings very reminiscent of Ptolemys epicycles, or the heresy culture of the early catholic church.

    I noticed at the same time that many of my more passionate friends with liberal arts backgrounds had suddenly discovered a surprisingly emotional attachment to increasingly millennial interpretations of the future of the climate. Convictions made even more vehement because they were untroubled by any real knowledge or understanding of the science. Any discussion with them about the basis of their passionate new commitments tended to result in them suggesting I had extreme political views or actively wanted to see the destruction of the ecosphere for selfish reasons.

    Suddenly, after 9/11 it seemed to me, the millennial fever surrounding the whole envenomed debate exploded. Various public bodies (especially the BBC) took it up as crusade. Ones children started turning out the lights and agitating for all manner of hairshirt lifestyle adjustments – until you suggested unheating their bedrooms and holidaying in Margate by foot. Maniacs with apparently exalted positions in a new scientific elite appeared everywhere passionately and increasingly violently denouncing scientists and politicians who were trying to function as such. The general population were threatened with hellfire and damnation. Dissent was the subject of electronic mob violence. The noble word sceptical became an insult.

    Anyway my point is that this particular story has exposed in a particularly lurid manner the nature of the people involved in this terrible pseudoscientific folly. The mediocrity of their intellects; and suspect nature of their attainments outside a self-referential system. The arrogance. The lack of humour. The belief that restraint and sacrifice were for others not for the priesthood.

    Even the wagon circling by the usual suspects is not looking good. The very social media many of these people have used to construct their empires betrays the scurrying of snow shoe shod rats rushing for the lifeboats.

    Sorry for the length and apologia like quality and what a great website you run; even btl its on the whole measured and reasonable. I remember when science used to be the same.

  45. Stacey: Hello, I’m a novice when it comes to this stuff. I’m trying to figure out how some studies claim there is a pause in global warming while others, like the one below, say it’s a record year of warmth. Can someone please explain?

    Gail Combs: Think of climbing a hill. along the slope you are climbing up the elevation is increasing. The rate of change in your height is increasing. When you get to the top of the hill the rate of change in the elevation is zero but you are still high up.

    To add to what Gail Combs said, if you start from the assumption that we have already reached “unprecedented” levels of warming, and that the rate of warming is going upward at unprecedented speed, the real question to ask yourself is why every year isn’t the warmest year on record. If we’re at the top, and it’s warming fast, every year (or nearly every year) should be the warmest on record. However, we never seem to be warmer than 1998.

  46. Another failed AGW quest. The only thing that kept this one from being a complete disaster is a body count or the loss of the ship.

  47. rogerknights says:
    January 22, 2014 at 8:14 am

    I was after a full transcript rather than the bits reported. Still, plenty of time for that to show up in public. I do not think they will be able to keep it under wraps for long.

  48. And from Canada:

    http://life.nationalpost.com/2014/01/21/where-icebergs-are-born-getting-schooled-in-the-ways-of-canadas-north-on-an-arctic-cruise/

    “We were supposed to visit three or four towns in Nunavut before sailing across the Davis Straight to Greenland, but there was fog, and ice, and we couldn’t get to more than two.

    Matthew Swan owns Adventure Canada and was along for the ride on this July sailing aboard the Arctic Explorer. “There’s a reason we call this an expedition and not a cruise,” he says with a smile to the hundred or so of us in the lounge during one of his afternoon talks.”

  49. Mr. Turkey has slipped and slided to get away from being held responsible. Some people on previous threads tried to blame the captain, the only problem is that if a captain asks for everyone to get on board quickly and they don’t, then it’s not the captain’s fault. Look back to Mr. Turkey.

    [PASSENGER] (After 1 am on December 24) Janet Rice
    “The third drama of the day is the one which is still unfolding. Because of the Argo mishap we got off late, and had one less vehicle to ferry people to and fro. I’m told the Captain was becoming rather definite late in the afternoon that we needed to get everyone back on board ASAP because of the coming weather and the ice closing in. As I write we are continuing to make extremely slow progress through what looks like a winter alpine snow field – it’s yet another surreal part of this journey that we are in a ship trying to barge our way through here! I’m sure the Captain would have been much happier if we had got away a few hours earlier. Maybe we would have made it through the worst before it consolidated as much as it has with the very cold south- easterly winds blowing the ice away from the coast, around and behind us as well as ahead.

    http://www.janetrice.com.au/?e=98

    And why didn’t they get away earlier? Only Mr. Turkey has the answers.

    The needs to be a government inquiry into this Antarctic farce.

  50. Just as a side note, I wonder how much insurance is carried, in aggregate, by all the passengers and responsible parties.

  51. Sadly it will be the taxpayer who is stiffed with this bill – Turkey can’t pay, so his university will pay, and in Australia, universities are mostly funded by taxpayers.

  52. Surely they took out holiday insurance to cover all possible delays etc.
    If not send the organiszers an Invoice.

  53. Richard, I am a scientist who studies philosophy as a hobby so I can empathize with your exasperation at the current state of climatology and how the media-supported part has atrophied into a fanatic religion. It’s much worse than Popper’s “pseudoscience” because there are no more observable facts – only “data” from computer models to delude the believers and their media enablers further.

  54. pat says:
    January 22, 2014 at 5:18 am

    Pat, I also listened to Leigh Sales impression of giving a member of the clan a hard time but you cut the full explanation to where did all the ice come from:

    LEIGH SALES: Your mission has been subject to ridicule in some quarters. This editorial from The Australian pretty well sums up the tenor of it: “We have to feel a touch of sympathy for the global warming scientists and others stuck in impenetrable ice in Antarctica. The mission they so confidently embarked on to establish solid evidence of melting icecaps resulting from climate change, embarrassingly abandoned because the ice is in fact improbably thick.” What’s your response to that kind of commentary?

    CHRIS TURNEY: That’s quite interesting. Well, we’ve been living in a bubble for the last couple of months and just talking to people. I had heard there was an editorial. I haven’t read it.

    LEIGH SALES: There was quite a bit of commentary along these lines.

    CHRIS TURNEY: There’s obviously a – oh, no, there’s obviously misunderstanding with regards the impact of climate environmental change. This was not a climate change issue. It’s clearly a misunderstanding between continental ice and sea ice. This was an issue where the sea ice had broken out from another part of Antarctica and then moved by weather. And we communicated that as soon as we knew that, with satellite information, we’ve put that on the blog. Before the expedition and during the expedition we were communicating daily what we were finding and it seems unusual to draw that conclusion from the information we were providing. Ultimately, I think this actually is a reflection of how as a scientific community we need to engage perhaps more explaining the science method rather than just the results. It sounds a bit like the wonderful quote from Carl Sagan where he said, “If we don’t communicate the science method, how is the public meant to know the difference between pseudo-science and science?”

    Full interview and link to video here:

    http://www.abc.net.au/7.30/content/2013/s3930425.htm

    Don’t know how the general public re-acted to this but my 8 yr old grand-daughter was rolling about the floor laughing her head off.

  55. { CHRIS TURNEY: Ultimately, I think this actually is a reflection of how as a scientific community we need to engage perhaps more explaining the science method rather than just the results. }

    Hey Buckaroo, tweet that to Mikey Mann. He might learn something.

  56. It’s quite obvious that Mortimer is trying to distance himself from Turney and Fogwell by siding with the Captain of the A.S. It would also seem that some measure of private or public collaboration has occurred between those passengers siding with Mortimer against Turney.

    Fortunately for Mortimer, (who has a reputation to protect) details of the truth have already started to emerge. If the Argos were only 20 minutes from the ship and it took several hours after the recall to get underway, Mortimer can rightly argue that he implemented a sound recall strategy; which, unfortunately, was ignored by Mr. Intrepid Science. Likewise, with the Captain of the A.S., as he had no recourse but to wait for the lollygagging passengers to return.

    The lawyers must be foaming at the mouth for this one and I’ll bet you five to one we will be able to count the number of people sticking with Turney and Fogwell on one hand when the dust settles. Turney fans needn’t worry, as there always plan B; where Turney tries to convince us to feed entire forests into his microwave ovens.

    In the final analysis, assignment of negligence will likely hinge on whether or not the court believes the A.S. would have escaped the ice if Turney had promptly responded to the recall order.

  57. 23 Jan: SMH: Andrew Darby: Plan to curb Antarctic expeditions after costly rescue of trapped ship
    The Australian government is pushing to rein in private operators in the Antarctic after the multimillion-dollar rescue of a University of NSW expedition that became caught in pack ice.
    A new law adopted by Australia, but yet to come into force through the Antarctic Treaty, requires all such expeditions to be fully insured for search and rescue, and have their own emergency plans…
    ”We’re having discussions with the insurers of the ship and the insurers of University of NSW, which chartered the ship,” Dr Fleming said. ”It’s up to those discussions where we will be pursuing it next.”
    He said Australia’s Antarctic program might need to be readjusted or delayed for next season.
    The Akademik Shokalskiy rescue costs were also faced by the governments of China, France and the US, which sent ships to help…

    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/plan-to-curb-antarctic-expeditions-after-costly-rescue-of-trapped-ship-20140122-3191c.html

  58. Rob Ricket says: @ January 22, 2014 at 12:17 pm

    ….In the final analysis, assignment of negligence will likely hinge on whether or not the court believes the A.S. would have escaped the ice if Turney had promptly responded to the recall order.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    The ship was able to get under way and move before finally getting trapped so it looks like the delay was critical.

    I’m told the Captain was becoming rather definite late in the afternoon that we needed to get everyone back on board ASAP because of the coming weather and the ice closing in. As I write we are continuing to make extremely slow progress through what looks like a winter alpine snow field – it’s yet another surreal part of this journey that we are in a ship trying to barge our way through here! I’m sure the Captain would have been much happier if we had got away a few hours earlier. Maybe we would have made it through the worst before it consolidated as much as it has with the very cold south- easterly winds blowing the ice away from the coast, around and behind us as well as ahead.

    http://www.janetrice.com.au/?e=98

    …”Decision taken that pax [passengers] would move quickly to Hodgeman Islands and either return immediately or return on next rotation of transport ie approximately 45 minutes later.” he wrote….

    http://www.smh.com.au/interactive/2014/stuck-in-the-ice/

    So do the math.

    They had 15 people five miles away/25 minutes and two Argos (and two quad bikes) that could haul five or six people. The trip was 45 minutes or say 1 hour round trip. Because Prof Christmas Turkey disregarded the recall taking a load of people out and then stayed out for an hour and a half they lost at least two hours in escaping the ice.

  59. given this has quotes from another australian CAGW hotspot, CSIRO, which came out with the “El Ninos to double” story recently, might as well post this here:

    22 Jan: SMH: Peter Hannam: Tipping El Ninos harder as Pacific sensor array output ‘collapses’Floating sensors that have predicted extreme weather events for decades and saved lives in the process have been left to “collapse” amid vandalism and US budget cuts.
    The United States and Japan set up the Tropical Pacific Observing System – made up of about 70 buoys – after a large El Nino event in 1982-83 caught forecasters unaware…
    But the performance of the moored devices, which take atmospheric readings and monitor conditions down to 500 metres below the sea’s surface, has fallen to about 40 per cent since 2012, according to the the climate observation director of the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, David Legler…
    That is affecting the ability of forecasters and climate modellers, including those in Australia, to predict extreme weather patterns…
    “The collapse in the data return from the array has happened very rapidly,” head of CSIRO ocean-observing research Susan Wijffels said. “That has taken the community by surprise.”…
    Scientists from around the world will gather at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego, California next week, to discuss how to sustain or replace the array…

    http://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/tipping-el-ninos-harder-as-pacific-sensor-array-output-collapses-20140122-318q4.html

  60. “We are terribly sorry for any impact that it might have had on fellow colleagues whose work has been delayed.

    “Any experienced Antarctic scientist knows that’s an inherent risk.”

    .

    Ahh, the non-apology apology….luvvit.

  61. Notice how so few times the words “University of New South Wales” have been mentioned in the reports. It has taken days/weeks for Fairfax and the ABC to even acknowledge the involvement of UNSW, let alone that Professor Chris Turney is a Professor of Climate Change at the Climate Change Research Centre of that university.

  62. Stacey says:
    January 22, 2014 at 5:23 am
    “Hello, I’m a novice when it comes to this stuff. I’m trying to figure out how some studies claim there is a pause in global warming while others, like the one below, say it’s a record year of warmth. Can someone please explain?”
    Does this help? http://www.thegwpf.org/nasa-noaa-confirm-global-temperature-standstill-continues/
    If you want to claim something that ain’t so it helps to ignore error bands and cherry pick data.

  63. Gail, I had considered as much and the fact that the ship was able to initially move is a good starting point, but I suspect experts will be called in to interpret satellite data.

  64. Whilst Turney’s actions are undoubtedly going to come under heavy scrutiny, I think the actions of the Russian captain may also be closely examined, not least the questionable decision to issue a mayday call as later on the captain declared that he considered that the ship was not in danger or need of help, as did the Chinese ship.

    Though, on the other hand perhaps with tourists onboard and the distance from a safe harbour he may have felt he had to take the safest option.

    • @J Martin – sorry this is so late, but if that is the only evidence against the Captain, I think he will be exhonerated. You call for help when you see the situation becoming untenable. To wait until the ship is sinking would be malfeasance.

  65. Don’t worry about the cost of rescuing the passengers and crew. If the numbers are like other such published numbers in the past they are misleading. They most likely include costs that would have been incurred in any case, like salaries of crews involved, an allocation of the costs of operating the ship, including depreciation, fuel, land-based support, etc. The fact is, the crews were going to paid anyway, the costs of the ship were not going to be avoided, and even the costs of fuel might have been incurred. After all, without a real rescue they might have gone on some sort of training mission.

  66. …And then, like the bogus award, there is the pre-loaded media that the operation’s spin doctors had ready on the hero’s triumphant return…

    From michael hart:
    January 23, 2014 at 8:24 am

    If there is anybody who is a customer/employee of the Commercial
    Bank of Australia then they might want to have a word with them to spare
    their blushes:

    http://blog.commbank.com.au/your-bank/sub-antarctic-experience/

    CommBank sponsored the Doodle-4Google prize expedition which was won
    by Lisa Baddock. Proud Dad, Wayne Baddock accompanied his daughter to
    Antarctica. According to the blog they interviewed Wayne just after he
    returned. The problem is, they dated the article 17th January 2014,
    several days before the ship returned.

    An honest typographical error? Or the interview was done much earlier by internet or telephone?

    Well, when asked the question:

    ‘The unknown’ is often the core of adventures. What surprised you most about your trip?

    Wayne is reported as replying:

    “The isolation from the rest of the world. It really
    gave us the opportunity to connect with the environment around us. We
    didn’t encounter another vessel throughout the expedition.”

    :) And they say you couldn’t make these things up….

    I’ve saved it and blogged it. I firmly believe the memory hole will swallow this entire event without firm steps taken to prevent it.

    And for the record- that PR post by the bank is blatant lying. No mistake.

  67. Jimbo says:
    January 22, 2014 at 9:33 am

    The needs to be a government inquiry into this Antarctic farce.

    Jimbo: I really appreciate the thought and knowledge you put into your many contributions to WUWT, but I’m going to disagree with you here. Not everything needs to turn into a government inquiry, even if it involves hoist-on-their-own-petard climate scientists.

    Nobody died; nobody was seriously injured; as far as I know nobody was even mildly injured. Nobody’s national security was threatened, etc., etc.

    A chartered trip ran afoul of conditions and required assistance, rendered at some cost by three other vessels. This is routine maritime law stuff and the lawyers for the various parties will hash it out. It appears from reports we have that a certain amount of questionable judgement was involved, which means the lawyers will have more to argue about and therefore more billable hours. Happens all the time.

    What is the point of a government inquiry?

    Eventually the liability claims will be settled. If some liability falls on the University of New South Wales, that is no different in nature from all the other liabilities they already have, for example when their staff operate UNSW motor vehicles on the public roads. Do you demand a government inquiry whenever a UNSW truck sideswipes a parked car? If they end up getting stuck with a significant judgement in this instance it will no doubt get their attention.

    If you still want a government inquiry, I suggest we direct it towards the question of why we (the seafaring nations on this planet) permit public charter vessels to go into risky conditions when we appear to have an inadequate fleet of polar-capable vessels to render effective aid should they get in trouble. Neither the French, Chinese, nor Australian ships could reach the Akademik Shokalskiy and free it, although all three are rated as light-duty “icebreakers”. The US Coast Guard icebreaker Polar Star most likely could have effected a rescue if required, but was more than 4 days out at maximum speed. And right now the Polar Star is the only icebreaker the US has with those capabilities. The Russians have a lot more, but their big nuclear ones are restricted to the Northern polar oceans. Considering the number of research stations in Antarctica, it seems to me the fleet of vessels operable in extreme polar conditions is inadequate. When you add the potential demands of adventure tourists, we simply don’t have enough.

    I believe in a free society people have a right to “adventure tourism”. I don’t hear anyone demanding Richard Branson stop offering seats on Virgin Galactic spaceflights — even more expensive than Antarctic cruses, and much more exclusive bragging rights. What do you think a rescue effort will cost if something goes wrong in low earth orbit?

    If you don’t like Chris Turney’s science, then criticize the science. Don’t turn everything into a government inquiry, and please don’t suggest that some authority needs to act as a gatekeeper to insure than only “real” scientists go to the Antarctic.

    I’m all in favor of adventure tourism, although my personal taste is places with warm oceans and interesting coral reefs to explore with scuba gear. I just can’t see paying a lot of money go someplace where everything in the environment is conspiring to kill me, but to each his own.

    Once again Jimbo, I say this with the greatest respect and appreciation for your views. Make all the fun of Turney you want, but I don’t see that a government inquiry is either warranted or beneficial.

  68. No doubt they can take the money out of UNSW’s climate change research budget. It’s not as if they’re publishing anything useful.

  69. Hear hear Susie. Anyone who ventures into the Antarctic on a cruise, knows of the problems they might expect and it seems the Russian ship did get out anyway. It would be good to see who was the principal architect who financed this climate change fiasco. And they should pay.

  70. “We’re incredibly grateful to everyone who’s come out to help us,” leader of the privately funded expedition, Professor Chris Turney, told a media conference in Hobart.

    “We are terribly sorry for any impact that it might have had on fellow colleagues whose work has been delayed.

    “Any experienced Antarctic scientist knows that’s an inherent risk.”

    And any experienced Antarctic explorer knows Turney was simply unprofessional in his actions. To the critical reader his entire stream of communications was too mixed-up to create an appearance of basic integrity.

    John

  71. “We are terribly sorry for any impact that it might have had on fellow colleagues whose work has been delayed.

    “Any experienced Antarctic scientist knows that’s an inherent risk.”

    “Naturally, my sponsors and I will financially compensate all adversely affected parties, to the value of whatever additional expenses they have incurred, due to my irresponsible behaviour.”

  72. It took several hours for the people visiting the Hogdeman Islands, including the two expedition leaders, to return to the ship, passengers said. Four hours passed before the ship retreated for open water. “The captain and his staff up on the [ship’s] bridge did not look happy,” said one passenger, who asked to remain anonymous.

    …the good Capt. Kiselev should have left them on the ice. Raw, frozen penguin isn’t half-bad when you are starving….

  73. J Martin says:
    January 22, 2014 at 2:48 pm

    Whilst Turney’s actions are undoubtedly going to come under heavy scrutiny, I think the actions of the Russian captain may also be closely examined, not least the questionable decision to issue a mayday call as later on the captain declared that he considered that the ship was not in danger or need of help, as did the Chinese ship.

    I saw a report within the past day that said that he was worried about two large icebergs that appeared on the horizon — he feared the wind might blow them into him, thru the pack ice, holing his ship below the waterline.

  74. @John “Natural justice requires that those who are guilty should be punished, but not those who are innocent of any wrong-doing or irresponsibility.”

    But that’s not how the left-thinking mind works! That’s how we’ve ended up with home invaders successfully suing their intended victims for injuries sustained during the commission of their crimes and the ages long problem of schools punishing the victims of bullies for fighting back instead of simply punishing the bullies.

    It’s also how the left-thinkers believe that passing more and more laws will reduce crime – when all they’re doing is defining more things *as crime*, and they cannot believe the simple fact that criminals do not obey laws.

    And it’s how they can continue to holler “Earth is getting hotter!” even though it’s laughably easy to prove the opposite. It’s like the leftists believe every day is opposite day!

    “Natural Justice”, ha! Would be nice if such common sense was actually applied.

  75. For those wishing to draw the tour boat Captain into the mess, he didn’t issue a mayday he issued a pan-pan. And it was not a shipwreck emergency evacuation, it was a “normal” evacuation. Serious but much less serious. A “state of urgency”.

    And the evacuation was necessitated by the sub-charter, the ship of fools expedition, not the ship owner or the charterer. It is 100% down to the warmists and their media co-conspirators.

    Pity they’ll never get that documentary scarefest aired now.

  76. Galane says:
    January 22, 2014 at 9:26 pm
    I believe that leftists/progressives/socialists/communists/re-name-du-jour fall into two categories: cynical sociopaths, who seek solely to destabilise, then destroy the existing society, rejecting all of its values and who lie in order to exploit the gullibility, ignorance and greed of their followers and gullible, ignorant and greedy followers, who disguise their self-aggrandizing agenda, by spurious claims of helping the needy and pursuing undefined social justice.

  77. Gives one an idea for a sequel to Ice Station Zebra about believers sabotaged in their desperate race to get Antarctica to look like it is melting. One might call it Ice Station Jackass.

  78. Coach Springer says…
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Darn it, now I have to clean my monitor and key board again.

    Maybe we can get Mel Brooks to produce it.

  79. This may seem a little harsh, but why didn’t the captain just leave them there? They disobeyed a direct order and put not only the crew and other passengers on their own ship in danger, but also the crews of the rescue ships and helicopters.

  80. J Martin says:
    January 22, 2014 at 2:48 pm

    Whilst Turney’s actions are undoubtedly going to come under heavy scrutiny, I think the actions of the Russian captain may also be closely examined….
    Though, on the other hand perhaps with tourists onboard and the distance from a safe harbour he may have felt he had to take the safest option.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Do not forget he had a gash in the hull of the ship early the morning on the 24th and the weather forecast predicted 25-35 knot winds reaching 40 knots late in the day on the 23th.

    ….The leaders were also receiving daily weather forecasts from three sources, the Bureau of Meteorology’s forecasters at Casey station, a private forecasting company in Europe and the ship’s onboard weather station. From this information Mortimer estimated the team had 15 to 18 hours before the weather deteriorated, and 24 hours before a more serious change was expected….

    By 3am the next morning, Christmas Eve, the Shokalskiy was stuck. It also had a hole pierced through its portside bow, about three metres above the water….. It took the crew two days to repair….

    At some point on Christmas Eve the captain became concerned about two icebergs floating near the ship. While sea or pack ice travels with the wind, icebergs, which hold 90 per cent of their mass below the surface, move with the current.

    At 8.30am on Christmas morning the captain sent a distress message….

    On Christmas Day and Boxing Day, 50 knot winds, gusting up to 70 knots, from the south-east battered the ship….

    http://www.smh.com.au/interactive/2014/stuck-in-the-ice/

    So I do not think the Captain was off in calling a may-day. Actually the Ship of Fools was darn lucky. A bad storm/winds and the icebergs shifting the wrong way and they could have lost the ship.

  81. Kathryn says: @ January 23, 2014 at 6:29 am

    This may seem a little harsh, but why didn’t the captain just leave them there?
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    The captain would have had to have proved the ship was in immediate danger. It was not.

    By 3am the next morning, Christmas Eve, the Shokalskiy was stuck….

    At 8.30am on Christmas morning the captain sent a distress message.

    When Kielev spoke to the agency that manages search and rescues in Australian territorial waters, the Rescue Co-ordination Centre, a short time later he explained the Shokalskiy required an icebreaker to set her free. At the time, the ship was between two and four nautical miles from open water.….

    http://www.smh.com.au/interactive/2014/stuck-in-the-ice/

    So the captain almost made it out to open water. It wasn’t till later that they were surrounded by 20 miles of ice.

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