Has Chris Turney lied about his support by institutions?

Chris Turney and his now infamous Ship of Fools are looking more and more foolish as evidence mounts as to the real purpose and backing of their little trip of fancy to the ‘ice-free’ waters of the Antarctic.

When this debacle unfolded people started rummaging through their website. One page, that of their supporters, raised alarm bells.

It appears that taxpayers funds may have been used to promote this little warmist holiday camp on ice.

The Taxpayers Union followed up by contacting the New Zealand organisations listed and found some pleasant news…for taxpayers…and not so pleasant news for Chris Turney.

Following the well publicised case of global warming scientists being stuck in record pack ice in Antarctica (ironically the expedition was intended to study the dwindling sea ice) and the efforts to rescue them, the Taxpayers’ Union began enquiries late last year to find out precisely how much taxpayers’ money the NZ Government “supporters” listed on the exhibition’s website had contributed.

It appears that thankfully New Zealand taxpayers’ haven’t forked out the huge amounts feared. In fact, it appears that the Australasian Antarctic Expedition (AAE) is claiming at least one ‘supporter’ it doesn’t have…

The expedition’s website lists expedition supporters the Department of Conservation, Landcare Research, and the University of Waikato.

Despite asking the AAE leader (via email and his very active twitter account), and the media contacts at the University of New South Wales, no one would tell us how much kiwi taxpayers had contributed via the three agencies.

On 1 January we lodged Official Information Act requests with DoC, Landcare and the University of Waikato.

To DoC’s credit it responded by 8 January, stating that DoC were not participants in the expedition and therefore the information (i.e. what financial and non-financial support was given) does not exist.  

Well, that is pleasing news. It appears there is still no answer from Landcare Research and University of Waikato though.

However, given that the Department of Conservation was very quick, for a government department over the holiday period, to distance themselves from the Spirit of Mawson claims of support, one has to wonder how many of the other “supporters” are actually ghost supporters like the Department of Conservation.

It seems that Chris Turney has time to tweet about all manner of things except answering valid questions about his claims in all respects of his expedition from go to woe.

We await answers from Chris Turney and from the other organisations as to what qualified them for inclusion on the Spirit of Mawson website as “Supporters”.

Meanwhile the embedded journalists from The Guardian and Radio New Zealand seem to be avoiding asking similar hard questions of their expedition leader.



The Department of Conservation appears to be very concerned meanwhile with their Director of Policy phoning the Taxpayer’s Union himself to clarify:

Last night DoC’s Director of Policy Jeff Flavell called me and confirmed that the Department not being ‘a participant’ in the expedition was intended to mean that DoC did not provide any support to AAE at all. In fact he seemed surprised that DoC was listed as a supporter on the AAE website and that he would ask his officials whether it was known that the AAE was using the DoC logo and claiming support.

One thing is becoming abundantly clear, the Spirit of Mawson expedition and Chris Turney appear to be less than honest in answering questions about their expedition. This is now proven categorically by the Depart of Conservations official reply to legal queries under New Zealand’s Official Information Act.

Chris Turney needs to immediately clarify these details in a much more forthcoming manner than he has previously displayed. Unlike the selection of his team…this is not a laughing matter.


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  • Pete

    It will be interesting to see how this can of worms opens up, come on Turney, answer the questions, you seemed to revel in the limelight on the ice, so just answer a few simple questions then you can carry on saving the planet !

  • Sym Gardiner


  • 1951

    “Answer questions? You can’t expect answers from ‘The Ruling Class’….”

  • pukakidon

    This once again highlights the standard Green Mantra – If first you don’t succeed, lie lie lie again.

  • LesleyNZ

    NZ media – start investigating like proper trained journalists should do.
    A new comedy TV series in the making called “Hi-de- Hi Ice” – extreme camping with the Ship of Fools. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ADwLN586vw

  • Salacious T Crumb

    How much CO2 being released by his pants on fire?

  • Col

    Anything that comes out of a Green mouth is full of poison, just full of shit, and never can back it up, and here Turney is bullshitting as all Greens do.

  • cows4me

    Just like his ideology, based on a steaming pile of horseshit. These pricks could have used any name of some large organisation or government department as supporters. How many working for DOC would see this website and question their involvement. Usually in these large government departments the right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing. And Turney and his band of demented imbeciles would be cheeky enough to try and add as many names as possible, it makes the noddys look like they have some sort of credibility.

  • Vlad

    If you look on the Spirit of Mawson website you will find this statement under “The Science Case”:

    “All our science work has been approved by the New Zealand Department of Conservation, the Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife Service and the Australian Antarctic Division. We are incredibly grateful for all their help and support.

    For more information, do feel free to contact us. We hope you can join the team.

    Professor Chris Turney and Dr Chris Fogwill”

    This goes even further than putting up the DOC logo as supporters, it names DOC as officially endorsing their work.

    • Vlad

      Giving him the benefit of the doubt, and assuming he just hyped up a necessary piece of bureaucracy into bullsh*t about help and support… I imagine you need a permit to go hooning around Antarctica poking sticks into the ice and annoying penguins. So he got a permit. Hardly makes them a “supporter” except in Turney’s world of spin.

    • dumbshit

      hope the “fogwill” lift sometime soon!

    • axeman

      Aww come on. The Prof did some SERIOUS research!

  • Other_Andy

    You lot, including Cameron, are all looking in the wrong place.
    At the centre of this web is Chris Turney and a company called Carbonscape.

    Chris Turney is a Professor of Climate Change at the University of New South Wales where his team and is focussing on climate change caused by anthropogenic CO2.
    Chris Turney is also the inventor and a founding Director of Carbonscape, a carbon refining company which has developed technology to fix carbon from the atmosphere and make a host of green bi-products, helping reduce greenhouse gas levels (anthropogenic CO2) to combat climate change.
    His family has a 25% stake in the company.
    This whole project was a way to boost interest in his company.

    Now the supporters
    One of the supporters who Joined Carbonscape is the disgraced former the Chief Commissioner of the Australian Climate Commission and global warming activist Tim Flannery.

    The Kauri Museum and Landcare Research
    The Kauri Museum was the first Museum in the world to be certified carbon neutral. The Museum has then offset this by planting kauri trees, and until the trees are large enough, has made the commitment to purchase carbon credits from Ebex21, who undertake native forest restoration throughout Aotearoa.
    Now who runs EBEX21®?
    The Emissions-Biodiversity Exchange (EBEX21®) project is
    run by Landcare Research executive officer Ian Turney.
    Ian Turney has a 16% stake in Carbonscape

    Dig deeper and you will probably find connections with the others supporters and Carbonscape and its shareholders.

    • GazzW

      Well done Andy.

      Hence the seemingly whacky proposal to plant umpteen kauri trees in Northland to offset the enlarged carbon footprint caused by the rescue vessels.

      A quick scan of the Carbonscape structure reveals a lot. There are three NZ registered companies with numerous shareholders here and in Australia, Japan,USA & the UK. Amongst the anonymous trustee companies there are wellknown NZ figures such as Vicki Buck & Jeanette Fitzsimons. Carbonscape Ltd also has a very significant shareholding in the British Virgin Islands.

      Carbonscape Ltd
      Carbonscape Holdings
      Carbonscape Steel Technologies

      I rather suspect that it will take much more than a routine OIA request to get to the bottom of this empire. This is a project for the forensic accountants in our midst. It’s certainly way beyond my plateau of competence.

      • 1951

        That’s some creepy sh.t going on out there while the MSM are navel gazing. Christopher Monckton (ironically) wasn’t wrong when he referred to these people as the ‘Ruling Class’. I think the Deans of these Universities that need to be held to account as well. Well done Andy & Gazz for being such good ferrets.

    • LesleyNZ

      Very, very interesting Other Andy….. the plot thickens? So are Ian Turney and Chris Turney related or is it coincidence?????

      • Other_Andy

        Looks like it.
        Ian Turney has a Google+ account with one link “intrepid Science” which is the Google+ account of Chris Turney.
        Then there is Catherine Turney who has linked to the same account.
        All of them shareholders in Carbonscape.
        Now of course, it could be that they are all different Turneys and not family.
        You decide….

        • philbest

          Wow, this whole thread is what I call “new media”…!!!

          GO, WhaleOil and the Army……!!!

          • GazzW

            It’s actually ‘old media’ Phil when journalists didn’t just regurgitate spin statements as if they were gospel. Isn’t it ironic that those old journos had no access to the internet yet managed to research the backgrounds of their columns so thoroughly? I don’t know where Andy got his info from but mine was all secured from public sources within five minutes – I’m no rocket scientist.

      • Andy

        Ian Turney used to be at Landcare, who were involved in the first part of the Spirit of Mawson trip to Campbell Island

        I would hazard a guess that Ian and Chris are brothers, since both are from the UK and have the same name and work in the same field, and are roughly the same age.

        This article on Radio NZ is worth read

        It answers some of the questions about what the research was about, and this article focusses on the part of the trip to Campbell Island

        “The World’s Loneliest Christmas Tree” is a lone Sitka Spruce on the island.

        During the first leg of the Spirit of Mawson expedition, Jonathan Palmer (left), who is part of the University of New South Wales’ palaeoclimate consortium, took a core sample from the tree in the hope that its tree rings would reveal climate information for the past century

        I think Campbell Island is an NZ protectorate managed by DoC (hence their “approval”).

        Jonathon Palmer is a dendrochronologist, which is someone who studies tree rings to try to recreate past climatic conditions

        The audio from Radio NZ is worth a listen. It spends a lot of time discussing whether this lonely Sitka spruce is happy or not.

        • 1951

          Nice little travelogue we helped pay for. Shame it is only ‘The Entitled’ (you know triple degrees in BS ) that are allowed to go to such places.

    • That Alok Jhau whoever from the Guardian is also in with Turney, since he was the “journalist” who was promoting carbonscape in a puff piece prior to its formation. Back then it was stated that it would be formed in the UK, but that plan was clearly abandoned. And now here we are two years later and Alok is on the ship of fools.

      In terms of the kauri planting, it’s clearly symbolism and PR rather than real carbon capture since any carbon capture vegetation has to be guaranteed for 100 years, each plant needs to be at least one metre tall, and there needs to be previous scientific research on the percentage chemical makeup, survival prospects, life cycle analysis and replacement tree strategy in place. Ironically all the rules put in place for VOLUNTARY carbon certificates, which is all this is, were put there to shut normal people out of micro systems that they could have traded- and these rules, the only existing rules for the carbonscape type scheme, show that carbonscape’s plans are OUTSIDE those rules.

      As for the negating of carbon footprint by use of forestry certificates- there is no longer any tradeable certificate and no market, no mechanism, no UNFCCC projects underway that have completed the process. So that aspect is redundant and false as well.

      In terms of the microwave biochar invention- there is no literature on it, no methodology and modality package used for it, nothing. So it can’t generate certificates of any type. And if it could, it would fail the life cycle analysis methodological tests. Mainly because the microwave machine could not possibly run on renewable energy, and if it does adding that renewable energy is not part of the process that would be analysed in the baseline methodology.

      And so on.

  • AnonWgtn

    Looks as though the Management at DOC have been conned by backroom persons.
    A proper Audit is in order please so that the Management can see that this has not gone on behind their backs – would not surprise me.
    Glad to be wrong in that they have not really funded any of this stupidity.
    What do you expect from a third rate so called University like Waikato ?
    Landcare only care for themselves – where is the answer please.

    • Ian Hawthorn

      Waikato has one prof on the expedition, so maybe that is why they are listed as supporting it. But then Victoria has two people and they are not listed, so go figure.

  • wazsah

    Feel for Prof Chris Turney who seems to be rationed to one tweet per day
    Turney expedition on box pattern voyage off Casey at 66°S
    Like the Flying Dutchman – doomed to sail the frigid wastes –
    well until winds ease at Casey anyway. Two days plus and counting now.
    Fascinating too that journos with him on the AAE are silent.

    • Day Day

      They must deliver the supplies to Casey. So they gotta stick around for as long as that takes.

  • Day Day

    From what I understand Turney is under instructions to cease all contact with media. I also understand he has trouble keeping his mouth shut.

    • wazsah

      The AAD certainly understand about the media.

      In Oct 2012 The AAD ship Aurora Australis was blocked by ice for a bit and to blanket that news this odd story appeared like magic –
      “Stale Antarctic melting ice story from last summer suddenly goes viral on Fairfax media all over Australia”
      Tiny glimpse into workings of our pinko media helping to cover up the ship stopped in ice news. No hamlet across Oz was missed out. You have to pinch yourself, hard to imagine what people in Merredin thought as this hit their local rag front page?? Worth remembering that this is the magnitude of media manipulation we can expect around these issues.

  • Michelle Burrows

    Tony Fleming, director of the Australian Antarctic Division tells Louise
    Maher the AAD wasn’t linked to the Australasian Antarctic Expedition
    despite an implication by the expedition head that he had an “official
    stamp of approval”. https://soundcloud.com/666abccanberra/australian-antarctic-division