Ed Driscoll

Ice Station Amnesia

“All 52 passengers on board a ship trapped in sea ice for nine days off the Antarctic coast have been airlifted to safety in a five-hour operation,” the London Telegraph reports:

A Chinese helicopter ferried the scientists and tourists from the Russian ship MV Akademik Shokalskiy to an Australian icebreaker.

The operation came after days in which blinding snow, strong winds, fog and thick sea ice forced rescuers to turn back time and again.

Three icebreakers were sent to try to break through the ice surrounding the ship, but all failed. The Aurora Australis came within 12 miles on Monday, but fierce winds and snow forced it to retreat to open water.

The passengers were shuttled off the ship and on to the helicopter in groups of seven or eight, with each journey taking up to 45 minutes.

Say….why were they there in the first place? Perhaps because elsewhere in the Telegraph today is a story headlined, “World’s climate warming faster than feared, scientists say,” the reader has to make it past at least ten paragraphs, a video, and three photos in the story of the rescue mission before this passage:

One of the aims of the expedition was to track how quickly the Antarctic’s sea ice was supposedly disappearing.


But then, the London Telegraph isn’t the only major news outlet to play coy with the “researchers'” Monty Python-esque mission, as Ed Morrissey writes at Hot Air:

The nine-day crisis unfolded a bit like a Monty Python sketch. A Chinese ship attempted to rescue the MV Akademik Shokalskiy, only to get stopped by the ice as well. A third ship arrived, but could not reach the stranded researchers, either. The rescuers finally used a helicopter when researchers were able to build a crude heliport on the ice that surrounded them, but a barge brought in to move them outside the ice couldn’t reach the Chinese vessel intended for their transport — so the helicopter landed on another ice floe near an Australian ship that arrived.

Oddly, the CNN reports seem to be missing something fairly important to understand the reason why the researchers were out in the Antarctic seas in the first place:

At least the word “climate” appears once in their web report, although not as an explanation. It doesn’t appear at all in the CBS report. The Associated Press report similarly avoids this key data point. Scott Johnson called this expedition the “ship of fools,” and perhaps that can be applied to these reports on the denouement, too.

In a Web or newspaper article, it’s easy to bury the reason why the “researchers” were there deep into the body of the article. But when it comes to TV news segments, Mike Ciandella of Newsbusters estimates that “Forty out of 41 stories (97.5 percent) on the network morning and evening news shows since Dec. 25 failed to mention climate change had anything to do with the expedition:”

In fact, rather than point out the mission was to find evidence of climate change, the networks often referred to the stranded people as “passengers,” “trackers” and even “tourists,” without a word about climate change or global warming.

Chris Turney, the expedition’s leader, is a professor of climate change at the University of South Wales. According to Turney’s personal website, the purpose of the expedition is to “discover and communicate the environmental changes taking place in the south.”

Twenty-two crew members stayed with the ship for the time being, as the scientists and researchers were rescued. According to CNN, the ship has enough supplies for “a very long time.”

Three rescue attempts had been thwarted by growing levels of sea ice and weather conditions.

Glenn Reynolds really sticks the shiv in the rescue mission at Instapundit. Linking to a New York Times story titled, “Chinese Helicopter Rescues 52 From Ship Trapped in Antarctic Ice,” Glenn adds, “The story does not discuss the carbon footprint.”

Once again, leftwing warmists want to deny your access to air travel, but they’ll happily use its benefits when it suits their needs.

And once again, 2008-era Al Gore could not be reached for comment:

[jwplayer config=”pjmedia_eddriscoll” mediaid=”69688″]

Finally, an exit question: