The Coldest Journey Gets Colder

Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach

I was saddened to get the news that Sir Ranulf Fiennes, OBE, has gotten frostbitten. As a result, he has been forced to give up his dream of a winter crossing of Antarctica, an expedition entitled The Coldest Journey. His public support of CO2 alarmism has led to perhaps somewhat deserved public laughter at the idea of someone worried about global warming suffering frostbite, and to be sure there is the aura of the “Gore Effect” about it. (The “Gore Effect” refers to the oddity that many times when Al Gore has gone to speak somewhere, it has been unseasonably cold, and sometimes unreasonably so.)

roald amundsen 1Figure 1. Roald Amundsen, who imitated his beloved Eskimos of the Arctic in dress, style, and methods to lead the first team to the South Pole in 1911-1912. Check out the man’s eyes …

Fiennes is the oldest Briton to summit Everest, he’s a “because it’s there” kind of guy. I like to see that, I’ve taken on physical challenges to measure myself against the real world. It’s worth doing, although I prefer physical challenges that make me money instead of costing me money, but that’s just me.

I bring this up for two reasons. First, it appears that the man they call “Ran” suffered the frostbite as a side effect of incipient adult-onset diabetes … ironic given his lean physique. And for this man, as for Roald Amundsen, his hands and feet are more than just where he hangs his shoes and gloves. In some sense they are also where he hangs his life. So cut him some slack, send him some good wishes for his life and limbs …

The second reason is a bit more complex, and involves climate science.

Let me compare and contrast Amundsen’s exuberant dash to the South Pole with the current Fiennes expedition.

amundsen plus dogs

The photo above of a member of Amundsen’s expedition illustrates the following.

• For clothing Amundsen and his men used what the Eskimos used—a cunning, specific combination of different types of furs and other materials which allow heavy exertion in sub-zero weather without becoming encased in dangerous frozen sweat.

• For materials transport they used what the Eskimos used—dog sleds and sled dogs.

• For human transport they used what the Eskimos used—skis.

• For energy for materials transport they used what the Eskimos used—frozen seals.

• The only difference was, for energy for cooking, they used kerosene.

On the other hand, from The Coldest Journey’s web site, here’s their plan:

coldest journey machinesNow, I can understand why they are taking the vehicles. No way you’d live through all those Antarctic winter nights in some pathetic tent, not happening. But that puts the fuel use into the stratosphere. You need to tow a big fuel tank, here’s the full rig:

landtrain the coldest journey

The proposed trip is about 2,000 miles. That crawler probably burns eight gallons per hour. Here’s their estimate from their site:

An estimated 20,000 litres will be required during the initial static phase at Novo, and 26,000 for cargo work, setting up the camp and establishing a fuel depot at 75°S. A further estimated 100,000 litres will be required for the traverse itself for the static phase at the end of the traverse. [total 39,000 gallons]

Then there’s the ships and planes to transport them and all of their gear and about forty thousand gallons of fuel to Antarctica and bring them back. By the end they will burn well over their estimated forty thousand gallons of eevil fossil fuels on the expedition, hundreds and hundreds of times what Amundsen used per man … and for what?

They give two answers: charity, and science. They’re looking to raise bucks for charity, perhaps they will, perhaps not. But under that rubric you can justify anything, as if the ends really did justify the means.

And they also claim that there will be valuable scientific measurements taken, although that seems like a bridge too far to me. According again to their web site, their plan is to take elevation measurements and snow samples … be still, my beating heart.

So I don’t buy it at all when Ranulph says:

“The science content of the Expedition is unique, global and genuine. The thought that we will be potentially doing something ground-breaking in man’s attempts to understand climate change is, for me, one of the most exciting and rewarding aspects of The Coldest Journey.”

Sir Ranulph Fiennes OBE

A string of one-off elevations and snow samples taken at a certain place and time are certainly unique, no doubting that.

And I suppose they’re genuine, in that they are real samples and elevations.

But “global”? “Ground-breaking”?? Don’t make me laugh. It’s a paltry handful of observations in one of the most atypical places on the planet. In the world of climate science, that’s neither global nor ground-breaking.

Here’s my problem. I have no difficulty with someone burning thousands and thousands and thousands of gallons of fuel on a dangerous publicity stunt. That’s their business, and I wish them well. I have no problem with CO2.

But my goodness, if you’re going to do that, if you plan to burn huge quantities of fossil fuels doing something totally un-necessary just because it’s there, then don’t lecture me about climate change!

And in particular, don’t try the bogus justification that your expedition is going to provide some kind of valuable contribution to climate science.

Amundsen was the first to the South Pole, and he and his men surveyed and measured and took temperatures, he did real science that was of value for his time. It was ground-breaking, with global implications.

In this expedition, a few elevation measurements and snow samples by some dilettantes a century too late, after weather and snow and elevations have been measured all over Antarctica for decades, are nothing of the sort.

I have no problem with the expedition, it sounds like fun, heck, I’d go. And they can burn all the fossil fuel they want, also no problem for me.

It’s the moralizing and the bogus justification that ring false. I don’t need them telling me it’s OK that they burn tens of thousands of gallons fossil fuel because they’re doing “global, ground-breaking” climate science work. That’s both untrue and it’s special pleading, and I find it ugly and base in an adventurer like Sir Ranulf Fiennes, OBE.

I didn’t need any such justification for Sir Ranulf’s expedition to climb Everest, nor apparently did he. I’d suggest he do the same here, tell people he wants to make a midwinter Antarctic crossing simply because it’s there.

And above all, I wish him a speedy and complete recovery from the frostbite.

Regards to all,

w.

 

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Hari Seldon

Well said Wills. It sounds as if time has finally caught up with ‘Ran’ as it has and will to all.

Espen

For those who haven’t noticed: There have been several crossings of Antarctica on skis only – even without dogs for the sledges. For instance, Liv Arnesen skied as the first woman solo and unsupported to the South Pole in 1994, and in 2001 she crossed the whole continent together with Ann Bancroft.

John Trigge

This is the same hypocritical “Do as I say, not as I do” that Al, Patchy, Film Flannery and co constantly espouse with no indication that any of them have the sense to see the disconnect.
Perhaps the UN could ban the importation of these enormous quantities of fuel (pollution?) to this pristine environment.

Brian Johnson UK

Some people just don’t know when to say ” I think I might finally stop making a compete arse of myself!”
Brave man, full of derring do but you can’t beat Old Father Time RF….. You have done more than most in pushing the limits of exhaustion.
A picture of RF alongside the ‘ground breaking’ bulldozer isn’t going to capture hearts and minds.

I’m not as magnanimous as you, Willis. I’m afraid I’m with the serve the campaigning prig right group. What diabetes sufferer in his or her right mind would travel hundreds, maybe thousands of miles beyond medical assistance and risk frostbite to limbs that can quickly turn gangrenous thanks to poor circulation? Or did he have a MASH unit in tow too?
I think “Ran” has seriously lost the plot. It seems to be a major character flaw with warmists.

Kurt in Switzerland

Well put, Willis!
I wish Sir Ranulph a quick recovery from his frostbite, but more importantly – a return to realistic assessment of climate projections vs. actual measurements.
Kurt in Switzerland

Robertv

One of Britain’s leading polar explorers has told Sky News that decades of campaign efforts to get people engaged with climate change have failed.
Robert Swan, who was the first man to walk to both the North and South poles, was speaking in Argentina on the eve of the launch of his latest expedition to Antarctica – one which he hopes will help turn the tide of public apathy towards green issues.
Mr Swan will be leading a group of 80 young people from 28 countries across the world to the Antarctic Peninsula.
http://news.sky.com/story/1059311/uk-explorer-green-campaigning-has-failed
Antarctic Peninsula Brilliant idea
http://nsidc.org/data/seaice_index/images/daily_images/S_bm_extent_hires.png
Antarctic Peninsula Brilliant idea
http://www.ospo.noaa.gov/data/sst/anomaly/2013/anomnight.2.28.2013.gif
ftp://sidads.colorado.edu/DATASETS/NOAA/G02135/south/daily/data/SH_seaice_extent_nrt.csv

Willis Eschenbach

UK Sceptic says:
March 4, 2013 at 12:47 am

I’m not as magnanimous as you, Willis. I’m afraid I’m with the serve the campaigning prig right group. What diabetes sufferer in his or her right mind would travel hundreds, maybe thousands of miles beyond medical assistance and risk frostbite to limbs that can quickly turn gangrenous thanks to poor circulation? Or did he have a MASH unit in tow too?

From what I understand, he knew that he had incipient diabetes but had never had any circulatory symptoms. The frostbite was totally unexpected, usually that kind of circulation impairment doesn’t show up until much later.
I wouldn’t mind seeing him get his comeuppance from the Gore Effect if there were no physical impairment … but I’m sad that he’s gotten frostbite. My grandmother had it in both feet, and it caused her pain for years. I wouldn’t wish that on anyone, and particularly on an active outdoorsman like Fiennes, regardless of their view on climate.
w.

Patrick

Interesting article. And what’s more interesting is the number of sponsors that are involved with supplying technology that uses energyor fossil fuels directly. But one that made me laugh was “Warmawear”.
“Warmawear are a leading worldwide manufacturer and supplier of heated clothing. The Warmawear range has been developed to gently circulate heat around the body using the latest battery technology. Our heated insoles and glove liners will be adapted to run off a strong central battery unit which will help to protect the explorers during the expedition.”
No kidding!

Joe Public

Oh the irony.
The Nature Geoscience report:
“Central West Antarctica among the most rapidly warming regions on Earth”
http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/v6/n2/full/ngeo1671.html

J Broadbent

Could have sat in a cold room and read ‘Crevasse Roulette’ , Jon Stevensons account of the Fuch expedition in 1956.
Saved fuel and learnt about the traverse at the same time.

Sera

Sponsored by: Fluorocarbon Co., Arctic Trucks, British Airways, Coleman®, Fuel Proof, Holdan UK, MHB Motorcycles, Millers Oils, Plastic Extruders Ltd., TATA, and the list goes on. Of course, I am sure that these have nothing to do with ‘Evil Oil’ in any way.

Willis Eschenbach

J Broadbent says:
March 4, 2013 at 1:03 am

Could have sat in a cold room and read ‘Crevasse Roulette’ , Jon Stevensons account of the Fuch expedition in 1956.
Saved fuel and learnt about the traverse at the same time.

Thanks, J, that’s interesting … not much new under the sun, here’s what the Fuchs expedition used:

except that Fiennes planned to do it during the (six month) night, not during the day.
w.

“For human transport they used what the Eskimos used—skis”.
I don’t think Amundsen consulted the Eskimos about skiing. He didn’t have to look far. Skiing has deep roots in Norway, and had become an important part of Norwegian identity in the late 19th century. When Norway got a king again in 1905, a Danish prince, Nansen’s advice to the new king was to ski regularily in order to win the hearts of the Norwegians. So the royal family did, and it worked.

Patrick,
“Warmawear’ wouldn’t have its batteries recharged by solar, by any chance? 😉

Looks like “Gaia” gave Sir Ranulf Fiennes a slap on the wrist. I hope he’s paying attention.

Willis Eschenbach

Steinar Midtskogen says:
March 4, 2013 at 1:30 am

“For human transport they used what the Eskimos used—skis”.

I don’t think Amundsen consulted the Eskimos about skiing. He didn’t have to look far. Skiing has deep roots in Norway, and had become an important part of Norwegian identity in the late 19th century. When Norway got a king again in 1905, a Danish prince, Nansen’s advice to the new king was to ski regularily in order to win the hearts of the Norwegians. So the royal family did, and it worked.

True that, and at that time, the Norwegians in general and Amundsen and his team in particular were among the best skiers on the planet.
w.

Bruce Robbins

Ran is one of my heroes so I’m going to cut him some slack. He’s achieved some significant successes man-hauling massively laden sledges across snowy wastes much in the style of Amundsen and so has proved he can do it the hard way. He is, I think, a member of the UK Independence party and a libertarian. He’s also a brilliant and canny fundraiser for his expeditions and I’m wondering if his warmism isn’t just a ruse to tap into a deep funding seam. From reading his books, it’s clear that the personal challenge is always what has driven him with scientific/charity work taking a back seat.

DirkH

Joe Public says:
March 4, 2013 at 1:01 am
“Oh the irony.
The Nature Geoscience report:
“Central West Antarctica among the most rapidly warming regions on Earth””
That looks like the paper manufactured to vindicate Steig, where the researchers “corrected” data from a broken sensor with what they thought could have been the data, and arrived at TWICE the warming Steig got from A SINGLE THERMOMETER.
“In early 2013, David Bromwich, a professor of polar meteorology at Ohio State University, and a team including Antarctic weather station experts from the University of Wisconsin, published a paper in Nature Geoscience showing that the warming in central West Antarctica was unambiguous — and likely about twice the magnitude estimated by Steig et al. The key to Bromwich et al.’s work was the correction for errors in the temperature sensors used in various incarnations of the Byrd Station record (the only long record in this part of Antarctica); miscalibraiton had previously caused the magnitude of the the 1990s warmth to be underestimated, and the magnitude of the 2000s to be overestimated. The revised Byrd Station record is in very good agreement with the borehole temperature data from nearby WAIS Divide.[16]”
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antarctica_cooling_controversy
So, they doubled the bogosity of Steig which is quite an achievement.

Willis Eschenbach says:
March 4, 2013 at 12:54 am
Willis, my elderly mother has Type II diabetes and is very susceptible to low temperatures. She, and many others like her, are struggling to cope with spiraling energy bills because of crusading fools like Fiennes. Some have already fatally succumbed to hypothermia. So no, I’m not inclined to sympathise with his misfortune. I hope he learns a valuable lesson from it though. Cold is a killer.

David Chappell

Bernd Felsche says:
March 4, 2013 at 1:31 am
Patrick,
“Warmawear’ wouldn’t have its batteries recharged by solar, by any chance? 😉
Piped down from the Arctic, presumably

View from the Solent

“As a result, he has been forced to give up his dream of a winter crossing of Antarctica, an expedition entitled The Coldest Journey.”
Willis,
You seem to have overlooked that February is the height of summer in the southern hemisphere.

Phil Ford

Personally, I’m happy to see this ill-advised, shamelessly self-serving expedition fail. Yet another lunatic who hides behind the window dressing of CAGW to justify his incipient egomania and raise huge amounts of money…because, ‘science’, right?
Hopefully this is the last time we might see such blatant grandstanding in the name of ‘man-made climate change’, but I doubt it very much, indeed…

Geoff Barnes

Duh! I don’t know about you, but I think you’ll find it’s been summer in Antarctica for a few months now!

son of mulder

Not to worry, he will be back soon to get the team more publicity and the other team will be able to explain how anthropogenic CO2 is causing an increase in frostbite.

a jones

What fascinates me is the protective clothing. You might assume, I did, that modern materials and techniques are far better than those of yesteryear. Not so apparently, a while back a practical trial was done to compare current types with those of a hundred years ago, and found there was very little difference in terms of protection, weight and convenience: good tweed it seems is quite a match for the modern stuff. Sorry I can’t seem to find the link.
Note too how far back the art of protective clothing goes. Otzi, the iceman preserved in the alpine ice for over five thousand years was superbly equipped to handle the conditions: from his leaf cloak to his birchbark gloves and his shoes about which there is some debate. However quaint it might seem today his clothing was the product of a very technically advanced civilisation as were his tools and weapons, note particularly he carried different weights of arrows, light ones for small game heavier ones for bigger animals etc.
Indeed being old fashioned I wear tweed suits for the countryside although after some experiments I now have mine made with a Goretex interlining which works very well once my tailor had discovered how to sandwich the Goretex between very light rayon to stop the crackly, rustling noise. Protection against even the heaviest squall is superb. Even better than Drizabone.
Needless to say I have no connection to either manufacturer.
Kindest Regards
.

Rupert Bravery

And why did he get diabetes we all wonder? Look no further than the Guardian….
http://www.guardian.co.uk/sustainable-business/blog/diabetes-diseases-climate-change-inequality

Hector Pascal

Good point about the clothing and sweating, Willis. Getting wet in sub-zero temperatures can be deadly. Also dehydration. Your nose/lungs use water to heat the incoming frozen air, then you breathe the moisture out. Doing work you get dehydrated very quickly. Read any account of early polar/Everest expeditions and any time spent not-moving/sleeping was spent melting snow.

johnmarshall

I do wish RF well though at his age something gentler may be better. The only real payback is Cat getting information about their equipment working at -80C and high altitude. And how these ”snowflake” samples will travel is a big question, unless research is carried out in situ.

Willis Eschenbach

View from the Solent says:
March 4, 2013 at 2:07 am

“As a result, he has been forced to give up his dream of a winter crossing of Antarctica, an expedition entitled The Coldest Journey.”

Willis,
You seem to have overlooked that February is the height of summer in the southern hemisphere.

Geoff Barnes says:
March 4, 2013 at 2:11 am

Duh! I don’t know about you, but I think you’ll find it’s been summer in Antarctica for a few months now!

I’m a fool, guys, but I’m not stupid. Not only that, I know a bit about preparing for a difficult journey.
What you seem to have overlooked is that if you want to make a winter crossing of Antarctica, and you need to pre-position forty thousand gallons of fuel, and test your machines and all the rest … you better not start on the first day of winter …
Please read the links I provide, folks, this is all explained on the Expedition’s web site, they have a timeline there.
They plan to leave on March 21st, the fall equinox in the Southern Hemisphere. They plan to arrive at the opposite coast six months later, on September 21st, the spring equinox in the Southern Hemisphere.
I call that a winter crossing … what do you call it?
w.

J Broadbent

Willis
Love your stories and Joi de vivre.
The tractor photos are I believe, The Kiwi Sir Edmund Hillary’s expedition to set up supply dumps for the International Geophysical Year’s Bombardiers & Snowcats doing the crossing. Stevenson was part of the team that set up supply points from the other direction. This included the use of dog teams. These teams over-wintered in preparation for the traverse. A great read!

Paul M

I saw an interview with Ranulph Fiennes on the TV just before he left. I wasn’t paying close attention but I am sure that he said that the tractor and the shelter that it is pulling were imposed on them by the British Government as conditions for getting permission to cross the Antarctic in winter. I’m not sure we they need permission but he had wanted to do it on foot.
Their crossing will start on 21st March and a winter crossing has never been attempted before. Temperatures can drop as low as -90C and the average temperature is -49C.

mikemUK

I may be mistaken, but I seem to recall that RF had previously suffered frostbite, with a loss of fingers, on an earlier expedition; no one can say he’s not intrepid, even if misguided on science!

tty

“I don’t think Amundsen consulted the Eskimos about skiing. ”
True. Amundsen was one of the best long-distance skiers in Norway (=World) long before his arctic travels. But he did stay an extra winter during his voyage through the Northwest passage in 1903-06 in order to learn more about Eskimo techniques (dog sleds, hunting, clothing, igloo-building etc) from the Netsilingmiut who were, even then, the only Eskimos that were completely uninfluenced by Europeans. Incidentally Eskimos historically have used snowshoes, not skis, presumably because there is no wood suitable for making skis where they live. Skis are an invention of the taiga-dwelling peoples of northern Eurasia.
As for modern arctic clothing not really being superior to traditional ones it is worth noting that Nordenskiöld brought wolf-fur jackets for the voyage through the Northeast Passage in 1878-79, but found that they were really to warm to use, even in winter in northeastern Siberia.

At the end of his life Mark Twain was a bit cynical, but retained his sense of humor, when he said, “You cannot outrun death.”
However that may not be the coldest journey, if fraud concerning the hockey stick winds you up in the place ending in double hockey sticks.

An article says they are planning to go on without Fiennes. Scary thing is that they are using Cat D6 tractors -, diesel engines in Antarctica. Diesel fuel gels at temperatures a lot higher than they’re going to encounter. Taking precautions against it, but still rolling the dice.

Luther Wu

“I call that a winter crossing … what do you call it?”
w.
____________
Fiennes’ Folly?

Jimbo

I hope Fiennes has a plan to offset his King Kong sized carbon footprint. It’s odd that as they worry about the ice they spew out all the black carbon which isn’t too cool for the ice.
Now, what I want to know is if he does get “unique” samples / research then what will it be compared to that will help climate scientists?

Having never been attempted, the expedition will also provide unique and invaluable scientific research that will help climatologists, as well as forming the basis for an education programme that will reach up to 100,000 schools across the Commonwealth.

These people are hell bent on showing a problem in Antarctica while its extent laughs in their faces.
Imagine this today. Ngashing and grinding of teeth would occur.

The Telegraph-Herald – Dec 15, 1959
“……And Antarctica is seemingly warming up, at least at Little America. Average temperature there is about five degrees warmer that 45 years ago.
If all this ice melted, oceans would rise 200 feet or more, drowning great seaports, towns and hamlets around the world…..”
http://tinyurl.com/c7zcxf7

Patrick

“Bernd Felsche says:
March 4, 2013 at 1:31 am”
After wading through the list of sponsors, I could not be bothered looking any further at Warmawear, well not beyond their “mission statement” anyway. And as David Chappell says @ March 4, 2013 at 2:07 am, the sun would have to be piped down from the Arctic (LOL). But it would be rather hillarious if that was one of their product lines. Or will they do what they do (Did?) in Spain with solar power at night and use diesel powered generators?

Patrick

“Mike McMillan says:
March 4, 2013 at 3:20 am”
Indeed it does. In fact diesel froze in injectors in the UK cold winter of 1982/83 as I recall. Still am sure they can use their “Warmaware” solar powered tank warmers.

Tim Groves

If Sir Ranulph sets off on this winter crossing, I fear there’s a good chance of him having a “just going outside and may be gone some time” moment.

Bojan Dolinar

=According again to their web site, their plan is to take elevation measurements and snow samples … be still, my beating heart.=
I’ve just read the Science section on their website and I find the planned science impressive and much needed. It’s ok if some technicalities, e.g. Cryostat 2 and IceSat calibration, don’t give the author arrhythmia. We’re not all scientific minded. But why that kind of attitude should deserve a place on a scientific blog completely beats me. This is scientific blog, right?

Jakehig

I too admire RF’s spirit but find this latest venture pure PR.
For my money, in this context, nothing beats “The Worst Journey in the World”. It is Cherry Apsley-Guise’s account of a journey by 3 members (he was one, on his first polar trip) of the last Scott expedition. They went out for 6 weeks in the depths of the Antarctic winter to find the rookery of the Emperor penguin and bring back some eggs. They succeeded despite temps down to -70C, permanent darkness, blizzards, etc..
That said, accounts of the Shackleton expedition are equally enthralling and astounding.
Amundsen was a total professional, acquiring the skills and knowledge he needed over years. It is bitterly ironic that his team got back from the Pole in good shape, indeed some were heavier, where Scott and his men were mainly doomed by starvation and malnutrition. On the other hand, Scott’s expedition did produce extensive reference material on many aspects of Antarctica, far more than Amundsen. As reflected in the famous quotation:
“Scott for scientific method, Amundsen for speed and efficiency but when disaster strikes and all hope is gone, get down on your knees and pray for Shackleton”.

Sigmundb

To elaborate on Midtskogens comments (sorry, saw tty’s to late):
Norwegians ski, eskimoes used snow shoes or stood on the sled.
Amundsen learned a lot from the inuit People during his previous expedititons to the Arctic but in the end a lot was his own adaptations. He made his own pemmican (main expedition food) recipee and used antarctic seal blubber/meat for dog Food. Since he travelled light and fast he was not troubled by scurvy and didn’t need fresh meat to prevent it (Vitamine C was not indetified back then). The English competing expeditions, without skis and pulling the sleds themselves, by design combined scurvy and backbreacking physical work.
My understanding is dogs are no longer allowed in the Antarctic since they represent an forreign/invasive species. That means you nowadays either fly, drive or ski to the south pole. During the Antarctic winter you don’t get there, it’s so cold and windy there are no flight in and out of the US base on the pole. The novelty of the Fiennes expedition must have been traversing the antarctic continent during this period. Just getting him of the continent and back to proper care in a reasonable time will be a challenge. I would not wish this on my worst enemy and any hint there is some poetic justice in this is just cruel. Political differences aside we should all hope for the best for him.

Amos McLean

Yes, Fiennes has lost parts of his fingers to frost bite – he cut the ‘stumps’ off himself on a previous expedition. This time I understand he took his gloves off to adjust straps on his skis or snow-shoes because he couldn’t do it with his gloves on. It goes to show even the most experienced ‘explorer’ can make mistakes.
As for the expedition, it seems they will carry-on, but I do wonder how they are going to tow their containers etc.. across ravines, not too mention cope with winter storms. I don’t thing Antartica has taken much notice of the “rampant global warming” that we are supposed to be sufferring from!
Sadly it has all the hall marks of a tragedy waiting to happen.

tgmccoy

Willis said:
“But my goodness, if you’re going to do that, if you plan to burn huge quantities of fossil fuels doing something totally un-necessary just because it’s there, then don’t lecture me about climate change!”
Well said..
I might believe Al Gore when he trades the jet in for a Clipper Ship…
Or John Kerry trades the ”Flying Squirrel ” for a Conestoga.
(the Airplane that is..)

Annie

Absolutely brilliant Willis. You have put, far better than I ever could, exactly how I feel about this expedition. Each time I have seen anything to do with this expedition, my reaction has been ‘Flaming hypocrites!’. Like you I wish Fiennes a good recovery.

Annie

To those who commented on the season in the Antarctic, yes, it has been summer. However, he was in training for the winter ahead.

Robertv

And if something goes wrong who is going to save them?

Jenn Oates

As someone who has the same last name as a famous Antarctic explorer (hey, reflected glory is better than no glory at all, right?!), I say hear hear, Willis! As Glenn Reynolds is wont to say, I’ll believe it’s a crisis when they start acting like it’s a crisis.