Climate Craziness of the Week #1

I think single-handedly, artist, photographer, and intrepid dirt pile explorer Alex Hartley has launched a new WUWT feature. A fine addition to his list of accomplishments I think.

nowhere_island_man

"Gosh, there's no ice or snow on this dirtpile in the sea, I must show the world (and charge admission)."

His project: show the world that the arctic is melting by loading up the tiny island onto a barge and hauling it around.  From nowhereisland.org:

THE PROJECT

nowhereisland is the winning Artists Taking the Lead project for the South West of England. As part of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad, nowhereisland will arrive in July 2012.

Artist Alex Hartley will bring an arctic island to the South West of England. He discovered the island in the High Arctic archipelago of Svalbard as part of the 2004 Cape Farewell expedition. The island was revealed from within the melting ice of a retreating glacier and Alex was the first human to ever stand on it. It is about the size of a football pitch, consisting of rubble and moraine around a small amount of bedrock. The Norwegian Polar Institute has recognised the island and it is named and included on all maps and charts subsequent to its discovery.

A portion of the island will be transported to South West England through international waters and whilst en route it will apply for micronation status. The new ‘micronation’, nowhereisland, will navigate the entire 702 miles of coast around the South West region, visiting its ports and harbours, accompanied by a travelling embassy support vehicle. nowhereisland will embark from Poole and arrive in Weymouth and Portland for the duration of the Olympic sailing events, before continuing west and ending its journey in Bristol, the same port from which John Cabot set sail to search for the fabled North West passage.

This artwork seeks to poetically explore issues of climate change, land ownership, national identity and the exploitation of the earth’s remaining natural resources.

Citizens will be sought to participate in all aspects of this virtual new nation.

At the end of the island’s journey around the south west coast, the winning entrant of an international architectural competition to design a small island habitation will be chosen. The small building will be erected on the island for Alex Hartley to live in.

Some time after the end of the Olympic year, nowhereisland will return to the Arctic to be made whole again.


Here’s what to expect when Alex brings it up the Thames:

nowhere_island_man_barge

Uh…just a few things ill considered:

  • Do you have absolute proof  you are the first human to set foot on it? What about the indigenous people? The Arctic has seen melting before you know.
  • No mention of the carbon footprint hauling tons of dirt around might generate. WUWT?
  • Is it OK to tear up Gaia to save Gaia?
  • Permission from Norway to dig up their island and haul it away?
  • Where’s the environmental impact report?
  • What happens if you run out of money and can’t get the island back? Burial at sea?

T shirt sales should ensure success:

https://i1.wp.com/rlv.zcache.com/got_dirt_tshirt-p235956293313752137t5gn_400.jpg?resize=305%2C305

h/t to Tony B

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79 thoughts on “Climate Craziness of the Week #1

  1. While certainly bizarre, this seems to set a relatively low hurdle for “Climate Craziness of the Week”.
    REPLY: I wanted to make sure it was open to everyone. “No craziness left behind” is the motto. – A

  2. Gosh, I don’t know if they even deserve the prize this week.
    .
    I mean, we had the “Eat Your Pet, Save the Planet” news this same week.
    REPLY: I thought about that one too. But the effort expended to write a book versus digging up an island, hauling it around, charging admission, and putting it back seemed to be the clincher. -A

  3. The small building will be erected on the island for Alex Hartley to live in.
    If that is the real island in the Arctic, rather than the pile of dirt he is hauling around, and in winter, I’d say he is a slamdunk for the next Climate Craziness of the Week award. That is if the award is made posthumously.

  4. This is just stupid, why not just take some pictures and video and leave the poor little island alone. I still do not know how bringing dirt back from the Arctic has any sort of impact on people, it is dirt, how about a frozen Caveman or animal or something? This is a pile of dirt that he could have found anywhere, this just proves the environmentalists have more money than brains.
    I was in a room full of Arctic Dirt (drill samples at a Exploration Junior) recently, So what? Big Deal.

  5. Well he didn’t ask me for permission…..
    If he still thinks it is an island, it still belongs to Norway. So he must obey Norwegian law while on it and show his passport everytime he leaves/enters the Kingdom.

  6. I wonder when his house is finished, if he’ll have room for a few of his mates.
    Maybe the “few breeding couples” Lovelock was on about.

  7. Yes, and the sceptics take a large piece of ice from Antarctica, haul it to Europe and show everyone a piece of ice that is added to the antarctic ice

  8. The project could pay for itself depending on how much coal is on the island.
    The islands were settled mainly due to the high quality coal deposits so I imagine the island was warmer at one time.
    Coal mining is the biggest economic activity of Svalbard (although polar bears were also a prominent export at one time).

  9. “… this just proves the environmentalists have more money than brains.” Climate Heretic
    Bingo! Which begs the question who is funding them and why? Also, how did someone so stupid or evil get and keep that kind of money? Government is one possibility. Government privilege is another.

  10. Reminds me of the garbage barges that are towed out to sea everyday from the Eastern Seaboard Megalopoli. Those microterrains usher from the same ports that Sebastian Cabot, the gentleman’s gentleman, viewed through the windows of his master’s (Brian Keith’s) penthouse in the fabled sitcom Family Affair.
    Yes, history. You can take it or make it, but nothing beats baking it.

  11. Norway is benefitting by the global warming with the attendant increase in land area. They should be penalized with and required to pay an Island Tax Credit.
    They should be forced to donate half of the land to Tuvalu and pay reparations.

  12. If he wants to declare his portable island a micronation, can I declare microwar on it and take it over? There’s precedent, you know …

  13. “He’s a real nowhere man
    Sitting in his nowhere land
    Making all his nowhere plans for nobody”
    A bit obvious, I know, but it seems appropriate. 🙂
    Just a thought: If it’s floating, is it still an island? 😉

  14. “The small building will be erected on the island for Alex Hartley to live in.”
    He should be in trouble with Norwegian law if he does that 🙂
    http://www.lovdata.no/cgi-wift/ldles?doc=/all/nl-19850614-077-004.html&17-2
    Ҥ 17-2. Ban on construction in the 100-meter belt along the shoreline
    Building, construction, installation or enclosure may not be listed closer to the sea than 100 meters from the shoreline measured in the horizontal plane of ordinary high tide, and existing buildings can not be changed significantly.”

  15. Hmm.. Portable nations, whatever next. Not entirely convinced all the legal issues regarding a mobile micronation have been thought through, or if they have this could be a novel way to annex an oil field.
    For UK folks seeking to escape our government, I keep thinking there may be some mileage (and acreage, publicity and even subsidies) in turning rubbish into land. Worked for the US off NY and other places, could work for us to. Now to find a Wave Erosion for Dummies book 🙂

  16. I knew a very British woman and her Husband.He was a retired Lockheed engineer.
    She was quite a fan of British eccentricity.She would’ve loved this. Just hope his little island doesn’t get washed away by a North Sea storm.
    Being a Python fan I give Anthony four “dead Parrots” award on this one.

  17. I’ve heard about this discovery before. He actually wrote a letter to the Governor of Svalbard to claim the island for his own as a republic, which of course was politely rejected. The Svalbard Treaty is clear:
    “The High Contracting Parties undertake to recognise, subject to the stipulations of the present Treaty, the full and absolute sovereignty of Norway over the Archipelago of Spitsbergen, comprising, with Bear Island or Beeren-Eiland, all the islands situated between 10° and 35° longitude East of Greenwich and between 74° and 81° latitude North”
    So any discovery of a new island in this area belongs to Norway.
    As for the discovery itself, so what? Svalbard is heavily glaciated, which means that the landscape changes rapidly and maps have to be updated regularly. About half of the glaciers are of the surge kind, which means that they retreat for many decades, then suddenly surge several km in a couple years, and the cycle repeats. The normal state of such glaciers is retreat, so the retreat doesn’t necessarily prove warming. And glaciers tend to respond slowly to climate. A current retreat due to warming might rather be a response to the warm period in the 30’s and 40’s rather than to the exceptionally warm years in the past decade.

  18. The very large amount of money being wasted on this insanity comes from my pocket and the pockets of every other tax payer in this Socialist Paradise formerly known as the United Kingdom.
    Art it is not. Sick-making it most definitely is!

  19. He is not as stupid as you might think. There will be 12 projects and the total budget is just under £7,000,000. If the budget is divided equally he is going to get almost £600,000 for this. Even after expenses it will be “a nice little earner”.
    Needless to say it is all public money. £6,000,000 from the government and another £950,000 from the Lottery – which was set up to raise funds for supporting good causes and charities, but a lot of the money has been diverted to the Olympics.

  20. ‘What happens if you run out of money and can’t get the island back? Burial at sea?’
    He won’t run out of money. He has been given £500,000 of public funds for his groundbreaking^Wgroundmoving project. I reckon the winner of Climate Craziness of the Week #2 should be Britain’s Arts Council, which, in the middle of the longest recession since records began, decided that towing a pile of dirt around the Cornish coast was (a) art, (b) a good way to combat climate change and (c) worth more than fourpence of anyone’s money, let alone public subsidy.
    I am currently looking into applying for an Arts Council grant to sit at home and drink cider for five years. This extraordinary project will question the meaning of cider in a knowingly unglobalized context that will allow issues of climate change, land ownership, national identity and the exploitation of the earth’s remaining natural resources to bubble to the surface of my addled artist’s noodle. If all goes well, I hope to win Climate Craziness of the Week #52 or thereabouts.

  21. Nowhere Is Land, huh ?
    I wonder what the Norwegians think of some dude swiping some of their glacial till.
    If he’s applied to the U.N. for nationhood status, the barge will probably have a contingent of blue-helmeted peacekeepers aboard by the time it gets to England. Then he’ll get the bill for back dues from the international body, which he’ll have to pay before he can be considered for economic assistance.
    This is all contingent, of course, on his not being hijacked by Somali pirates along the way.

  22. As Vinny Burgoo says, it is the Arts Council-funded by British Tax payers- who are funding this lunacy- of which much more here.
    http://press.artscouncil.org.uk/content/detail.aspx?ReleaseID=881&NewsAreaID=2
    I suspect it was earmarked for the West country as sailing events will take place here and the Met Office Hadley centre can no doubt help to cheer on the antics from their Exeter HQ
    Incidentally the email address of the press officer is at the foot of the link above, so if you want to tell her what you think please do so.
    Tonyb

  23. I’ve figured out what got Gore and Hansen going about the weather way back when. They both watched “Our Man Flint” (James Coburn, 1966 ), which featured 3 “scientists” that could control the weather, volcanoes, etc. , and thought it was a documentary. 🙂

  24. Oh, noes — the portion he dug out contained the only summer breeding crevice of the uber-endangered Svalbard Spotted Midge!
    The subsequent disappearance of which from the sediments of Norwegian ponds will be used in 2012 as proof of — global *cooling*…

  25. It seems the media person at the Arts Council dealing with this has wisely decided to go away.
    Here is the new contact if anyone wants to protest.
    “I’m on leave until Monday 2 November.
    If you are a journalist requesting information about Alex Hartley’s nowhereisland project or if you have a general media enquiry, please contact one of my colleagues:
    Mon toThu contact Rebecca.turner@artscouncil.org.uk 01392 229211.
    On Friday contact our national media relations team on 0207 973 6890
    For urgent weekend and out of hours media enquiries please call 07989 430881.
    For all general enquiries, please call 0845 300 6200.
    You can find information for the media at our virtual press office: http://press.artscouncil.org.uk

  26. This is reminiscent of ‘Warming Island’ of a few years ago.
    http://web.archive.org/web/*/http://warmingisland.org
    http://tvnews.vanderbilt.edu/program.pl?ID=874613
    http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/climate-change/an-island-made-by-global-warming-445966.html
    Then Pat Michaels noticed:
    http://www.worldclimatereport.com/index.php/2008/03/31/warming-island-another-global-warming-myth-exposed/
    Unfortunately CNN has apparently removed the article from the ‘Planet in Peril’ series which was one of their crown jewel reports.
    The ‘Warming Island’ website was removed last year, but still offered cruises to those concerned about helping Shmidt inform the world at a 503c (a little tax joke) price of $5,745 + air
    http://www.betchartexpeditions.com/antarctica_warmIs.htm
    These days Betchart Expeditions have surrendered their core values and now offer cruises all over the world without mention of climate change, emitting copious amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere in the process. It seems capitalistic greed has got the best of them 🙂

  27. PaulH:
    “The fool on the hill” springs into my mind.
    “Day after day,
    Alone on a hill,
    The man with the foolish grin is keeping perfectly still
    But nobody wants to know him,
    They can see that he’s just a fool,
    And he never gives an answer”

  28. Updated lyrics
    He’s a real nowhere man,
    Sitting in his nowhere land,
    Making all his nowhere plans
    For everybody.
    Stuck on a point of view,
    Knows not where he’s going to,
    Not a bit like you and me?
    Nowhere man, please listen,
    You don’t know what you’re missing,
    Nowhere man, the world ain’t at your command.
    He’s as blind as he can be,
    Just sees what he wants to see,
    Nowhere man can you see me at all?
    Stuck on a point of view,
    Knows not where he’s going to,
    Not a bit like you and me?
    Nowhere man, don’t worry,
    Take your time, don’t hurry,
    Leave it all till somebody else
    Lend you a hand.
    He’s a real nowhere man,
    Sitting in his nowhere land,
    Making all his nowhere plans
    For everybody.

  29. This is a good choice, but my vote still goes with the edible pets story.
    I suggest a different format. Nominations made on the weekend and closed by Sunday, reader polls taken during the week with awards and prizes being distributed on Friday. God knows there are many more climate crazies out there deserving of nomination.
    BTW, love the Beatles references!

  30. Send all the far-left, far-right activists and their financial supporters to go live on this nowhereisland. Then get the French to bomb it. The French can get away with things like that.

  31. “I am currently looking into applying for an Arts Council grant to sit at home and drink cider for five years. ”
    That’s got the British welfare system. Many leftists, winos, chavs, single mothers of chavs, Islamists and illegal immirants swear by it.

  32. Mike McMillan (12:04:35) : “This is all contingent, of course, on his not being hijacked by Somali pirates along the way.”
    That… would be funny. I don’t know why. It just would!
    Anyway, I don’t know how many people would know what I’m talking about, but this story reminds me of that part in the movie ‘Brewster’s Millions”, where some guy tries to sell Richard Prior an iceberg.
    Swindler: And it’ll only cost [millions]! Well, wuddya think?!
    Richard Prior: (staring at the ridiculous, wind-up model iceberg rolling about on his desk)… I don’t know WHAT I think!
    Exactly, Rich. I don’t know WHAT to make of this crazy story, except someone call Guiness… There’s a new record for the amount of sheer insanity packed into a single human brain.

  33. I would love to see this guy try to put a digger onland in Svalbard, or even better to damage part of a highly restricted/proteced nature on Svalbard. Well he could try to perform his environmental? show inside a jailcell, I hear they are not very comfortable in Longyearbyen..

  34. Some here may be missing the gravity of the statement being made here. This is about mourning “The Lost Seed.” Let me explain. Svalbard, the home of the “Doomsday Seed Bank” administered by Norwegian authorities, harbors the “seed” of the world. It is a modern Noah’s ark anticipating doomsday predicted by gloom and doomers. Alex Hartley, knowing the deep psychic scar this may carve in the subconscious of others, is bringing a proxy of The Lost Seed home.
    Fortunately Norway has negotiated to preserve the island’s sovereign status and after a respectful period of sturm und drang – will rightly demand its return. Although appearing frivolous, a good scrub of the conscience may do the old Bailey good.

  35. Hey, Carsten, how about some Stones?
    “Hey, hey you, get off ‘o my dirtpile”.
    He’s stealing your Norweigan landmass and taking it to England.
    Now, that’s what I call Real Estate Piracy.
    Does he have a Bill of Lading for International Waters?

  36. Well we had a group of Artists I believe a little while back. Putting a Fake Iceberg floating in the Wellington Harbour here in New Zealand as part of another moronic Climate Change Publicity Stunt.
    So this guy is another Climate Change moron pulling another stupid publicity stunt.
    If he’s so concerned about the lack of ice in the Arctic. Wouldn’t a better publicity stunt would be using some snow and ice making equipment and spending all his time trying to re terraform the Arctic. He might be doing something useful then. Of course he better watchout for one of those poor hungry drowning Polar Bears 🙂

  37. From another contender in the Idiot of 2009 Competition:
    “An artist plotting his own “field of dreams” has won a £460,000 grant – to create a full-size football pitch in a secluded part of a Scottish woodland.
    Craig Coulthard, 28, has been selected to create one of 12 artworks across the UK to help celebrate the staging of the 2012 Olympics in London.
    The artist, who lives in Edinburgh, will spend the best part of 18 months creating a football pitch in the Borders – which can only be seen from the Edinburgh-London flight path. But the pitch will only be in use for one day – just before the Games – before being left to be “taken over by nature”. The games will be played by volunteers who have gained British citizenship since the last Olympics.
    Mr Coulthard said: “It’s not the kind of project you do without a substantial grant or subsidy, so I was delighted to hear I’d won.”
    Half a MILLION pounds for ONE game of soccer??? WTF???

  38. Congrats, British taxpayers and punters. Seasoned citizens can’t get a jab, but there’s seven million available for this stunt. That’s as crazy as Obama care.

  39. I say there should be a sinking pool. We toss in a buck and predict the date she goes under. Closest to the date it swamps gets the pot.

  40. The last person to leave Britain won’t need to turn off the lights because they would have been long since extinguished.

  41. If you think that is good, just wait ’til you see what I have planned for the 2010 Winter Olympics; being held at Whistler. A scant 60 miles or so north of me. I intend to fly my compost heap over the coastal mountain range, stopping to refuel in Spuzzum on the way. (It’s just beyond Hope) I will also be Landing briefly in Squamish to take on provisions. (Mostly banana peels, egg shells and coffee grounds) I will circle the peak during the downhill events, showering the revelers below with the good, clean Earth of my loins. For the closing ceremonies, I will climb to 35,000 feet, put the heap into a steep dive and plunge headlong into Green Lake! Ejecting, of course, naked, at 3000 feet to deploy my chute which is painted in full Olympic colours. Then float down onto the stage to roars of appreciation.

  42. How come an Island appears when the arctic melts? Arent the islands supposed to drown with the rising sea levels? Is this message right for global warming?
    Maybe he should take his pet dog along and eat it to the cheering crowds watching from London Bridge, then have some poor starving Polar Bear come up and eat him, to the roars of the crowd, as grand Finale.

  43. Brian Johnson uk (14:51:45) :
    “Surely that is Pen Hadow isn’t it?”
    Looks more like Martin Hartley.
    Both associated with Rochdale, they may be brothers.

  44. INGSOC (17:54:40) :
    “If you think that is good, just wait ’til you see what I have planned for the 2010 Winter Olympics; being held at Whistler. A scant 60 miles or so north of me. I intend to fly my compost heap over the coastal mountain range, stopping to refuel in Spuzzum on the way. (It’s just beyond Hope) I will also be Landing briefly in Squamish to take on provisions. (Mostly banana peels, egg shells and coffee grounds) I will circle the peak during the downhill events, showering the revelers below with the good, clean Earth of my loins. For the closing ceremonies, I will climb to 35,000 feet, put the heap into a steep dive and plunge headlong into Green Lake! Ejecting, of course, naked, at 3000 feet to deploy my chute which is painted in full Olympic colours. Then float down onto the stage to roars of appreciation.”
    What!? No parrot on your shoulder? Well, well. I just don’t know if that will do at all with no parrot…

  45. Douglas DC (11:20:57) :
    Being a Python fan I give Anthony four “dead Parrots” award on this one.
    Ah, but not just any dead Parrots! If you remember the skit, it’s Norwegian Blue Parrots…pining for the fjords. How appropriate!

  46. On the emerging Monty Pyhton theme I expect the Graeme Chapman ‘General’ character to burst into the Climate conference in Copehagen and send everyone on their way wth the words:
    “This is a very silly sketch- stop it immediately!”
    As the delegates hurry away shame faced one or two can be heard muttering wistfully:
    “Well it was really good fun while it lasted” and
    ‘But we felt ever so important. My wife will expect me to wash the dishes now.”
    AGW is indeed a very silly sketch that has gone on far too long
    Tonyb.

  47. What is his immigration policy? I may be interested in living there. Do I need a visa to visit? What about schools, infrastructure? I’ve heard the weather’s variable.

  48. Did you know that you too could get Arts Council funding for your ‘project’? All you have to do is apply here:
    http://www.artscouncil.org.uk/about-us/contact-us/
    It’s really easy, you just fill in the details in the box, and they’ll send you a cheque!
    Here’s my application:
    “Re; money for the Arctic Island.
    Hello. I would like some money, actually quite a lot please, actually £500,000. My ‘project’ is to purchase an Aston Martin DB9 Volante. I also want to hire Katherine Jenkins to be seated in the passenger seat. My plan is to drive it around a great deal. Obviously, you will have already realised that this is to be a roving exhibition of beauty and refinement – and the car might get some looks too. I just know that you’ll see the artistic merit in this, and being as you’ve given more than this amount to some bloke who is boating around with a pile of dirt then I feel sure that you’ll also see how this DB9/Jenkins Moving Exhibition will greatly add to the public’s conception of art in the UK today. Thank you.
    PS. Cash or cheque is good for me.”
    I would urge others to apply while there’s still money left. I don’t think it matters if you’re not a UK citizen, as we give money to governments all over the world in aid – even Zimbabwe and China. No, I’m not joking we actually do give money to China – £37 million in 2007 when China spent £20 billion on their Olympics. So, as you can see, we’ve evidently got so much money that your application is bound to pass. Please enjoy our money.

  49. Hell_Is_Like_Newark (10:55:55) says –
    What happens if they dig up the island and discover oil and / or natural gas?
    They will, they will. Under the crapper.

  50. I hope that dirt goes through quarantine before being hauled around internationaly. It’d be a real dumb act to transport bugs to other shores.

  51. Britain is such a very rich country it can afford to waste 7 million quid on ‘art’. We are so rich we can afford to give money to all sorts of other nations. Each individual Briton is filthy, stinking rich. I’m so rich I’m going out in a minute and, damn the expense, I’m going to buy a newspaper!

  52. It was really sporting of us to give aid to India too, so they can have enough money to have a space program. Something we could never afford. Really sporting.

  53. MStewart: ‘I say there should be a sinking pool. We toss in a buck and predict the date she goes under. Closest to the date it swamps gets the pot.’
    I’m waiting for the sweepstake on the date the Plastiki’s 12,000 plastic bottles break loose and get recycled as part of Great Pacific Garbage Patch the Plastikinauts are protesting about.

  54. Surely this is theft? An island belonging to Norway being dragged off somewhere else?
    “Is that the man who stole your island?”
    “No he was taller…”

  55. Someone should declare war. Conquer the place and enslave the population.
    Where are those Somali Pirates when you need them?

  56. I personally want a grant . . . and a large one, to study the effects of excessive use of alcohol and smoking tobacco over, say, a 10 year period. I promise to record the various parameters of health of myself; weight, ability to do 12 ounce or weightier curls, number of colds and the like on a weekly chart.
    I will also keep careful records as to my progress in learning German in various states of imbibing;
    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-8737852462170088568&ei=lJ3kSvW9HZXdlQf1-vGtBQ&hl=en#

  57. Could be useful. He could tow it down to the Maldives and they could use it as a sort of life boat when they finally sink.

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