This will be a top “sticky” post for awhile since interest is high – new stories will appear below this one – Anthony
UPDATE: Josh channels the boat people
UPDATE2: Another irony is discovered, this one doubly deep. See update 2 below.
(It’s off again, then now its on again, with report the helicopter has landed)
UPDATE5: All the passengers (tourists and scientists) are off the ship
UPDATE6: Tough questions need to be asked
UPDATE7: Trouble on the rescue ship – reaching open water not so easy
As we reported previously on WUWT here and here, the saga of the “climate scientists/tourists trapped in ice” continues to fascinate many. Now a second ship has given up on rescue, after the Chinese ship “Snow Dragon” gave up two days ago. The Aurora Australis has abandoned rescue of the trapped Russian “research”vessel in Antarctica and a helicopter evacuation in now being ordered. This episode has taken on a heightened comedic fiasco-like quality.
Now, with such a fantastic failure in full world view, questions are going to start being asked. For example, with advanced tools at their disposal (that Mawson never had) such as near real-time satellite imaging of Antarctic sea ice, GPS navigation, on-board Internet, radar, and satellite communications, one wonders how these folks managed to get themselves stuck at all. Was it simple incompetence of ignoring the signs and data at their disposal combined with “full steam ahead” fever? Even the captain of the Aurora Australis had the good sense to turn back knowing he’d reached the limits of the ship on his rescue attempt. Or, was it some sort of publicity stunt to draw attention? If it was the latter, it has backfired mightily.
One might argue that with photos like the one below, this whole “Spirit of Mawson” research expedition, is little more than a media stunt.
Source: [ http://twitter.com/GdnAntarctica/status/412977161323036672 ]
Even after the ship was trapped, these reporters still had a party like atmosphere going on:
Source: [ http://twitter.com/GdnAntarctica/status/416881634273525761/photo/1 ]
Yesterday, Andrew Revkin tweeted something that I agreed with, especially since so many of the people trapped in the ice on the ship seem to have a nonchalant, almost partly-like atmosphere going on.
Yes, the cost and risk is significant. These folks trapped on-board don’t seem to be cognizant of that issue, following the #spiritofmawson Twitter feed, it’s like watching reports (with pictures and video) from a high school class party.
And here’s the kicker. Even the public saw through the charade at the beginning. Trying to get crowd funding from the public for this trip failed miserably as this Indigogo campaign shows:
Maybe it had to do with the ridiculous image of Professor Chris Turney in full cold weather gear standing in the midst of a tropical forest.
Right after the ship got stuck and there was a realization that the world was watching, one scientist on-board, Dr. Chris Fogwill, of the University of New South Wales, decided that it would be an opportune time to hit the public for money again:
And again, the public has seen through this, and today, the campaign remains stuck at $1000 with just a few donors. People are realizing that there’s no real science being done on this trip, and that it seems to be little more than a chartered party boat for Antarctic enthusiasts and media.
Now, with the ship to be evacuated via helicopter, will the Akademik Shokalskiy join the list of recent ships that have been sunk in Antarctic waters?
Ships that have sunk in Antarctic waters in recent years (h/t to David Archibald)
The Brazilian yacht “Endless Sea” sank in Maxwell Bay, Ardley Cove on Saturday 7th April, 2012. It was used for “scientific and educational expeditions”.
The sunken remains of the 76-ft Mar Sem Fin, aka “Endless Sea”, which sunk on April 7, 2012, lies at a depth of about 9 meters (30 ft) in Ardley Cove, Antarctica.
In November 2007, the Linblad Explorer hit sea ice and sank.
In April 2013, the Chinese factory fishing ship Kai Xin caught fire and sank near Bransfield Strait at the Antarctic Peninsula.
And there are others, these are just a few recent ones.
With so much concern for the pristine environment of Antarctica, one wonders how much environmental damage these sinkings are doing.
And when the trip is nothing more than a party for your friends and media, disguised as a “scientific expedition”, one wonders if there shouldn’t be some moratorium on such trips.
Richard Tol summed it all up nicely with one sentence:
The #spiritofmawson hashtag is now getting competition from the hashtag #ClitanicDisaster in honor of the trapped climate scientists that the MSM won’t mention as being climate scientists.
reader Aphan writes on 2013/12/31 at 7:16 pm
I don’t know if anyone was posted this yet, but the IRONY just gobsmacked me.
The British “explorers” on board the MV Explorer who were “commemorating the Spirit of Shackleton” found themselves repeating HIS adventure when their ship struck a piece of submerged ice and then SANK in the Antarctic in November of 2007! None of the passengers or crew were lost. But HOW AMAZING is it that both the “Spirit of Mawson” trip AND the “Spirit of Shackleton” cruise trips ended in disaster from sea ice?????
I mean…come on. What are the odds?
- Saving the Antarctic scientists, er media, er, activists, er tourists trapped by sea ice (wattsupwiththat.com)
- Antarctic rescue mission fails to reach trapped ship (theguardian.com)