Mark Steyn on the Ship of Fools

Mark Steyn comments on the hapless Ship of Fools in his latest column.

Yes, yes, just to get the obligatory ?of courses? out of the way up front: of course ?weather? is not the same as ?climate?; and of course the thickest iciest ice on record could well be evidence of ?global warming?, just as 40-and-sunny and a 35-below blizzard and 12 degrees and partly cloudy with occasional showers are all apparently manifestations of ?climate change?; and of course the global warm-mongers are entirely sincere in their belief that the massive carbon footprint of their rescue operation can be offset by the planting of wall-to-wall trees the length and breadth of Australia, Britain, America and continental Europe.

But still: you?d have to have a heart as cold and unmovable as Commonwealth Bay ice not to be howling with laughter at the exquisite symbolic perfection of the Australasian Antarctic Expedition ?stuck in our own experiment?, as they put it. I confess I was hoping it might all drag on a bit longer and the cultists of the ecopalypse would find themselves drawing straws as to which of their number would be first on the roasting spit. On Douglas Mawson?s original voyage, he and his surviving comrade wound up having to eat their dogs. I?m not sure there were any on this expedition, so they?d probably have to make do with the?Guardian?reporters. Forced to wait a year to be rescued, Sir Douglas later recalled, ?Several of my toes commenced to blacken and fester near the tips.? Now there?s a man who?s serious about reducing his footprint.

But alas, eating one?s shipmates and watching one?s extremities drop off one by one is not a part of today?s high-end eco-doom tourism. Instead, the ice-locked warmists uploaded chipper selfies to YouTube, as well as a self-composed New Year singalong of such hearty un-self-awareness that it enraged even such party-line climate alarmists as Andrew Revkin, the plonkingly earnest enviro-blogger of the?New York Times. A mere six weeks ago, pumping out the usual boosterism, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported that, had Captain Scott picked his team as carefully as Professor Chris Turney, he would have survived. Sadly, we?ll never know ? although I?ll bet Captain Oates would have been doing his ?I am going out. I may be some time? line about eight bars into that New Year number. ?

Heh, he really doesn’t hold back does he?

The AAE is right: the warm-mongers are indeed ?stuck in our own experiment?. Frozen to their doomsday narrative like Jeff Daniels with his tongue stuck to the ski lift in?Dumb and Dumber, the Big Climate enforcers will still not brook anyone rocking their boat. In December 2008 Al Gore predicted the ?entire North Polar ice cap will be gone in five years?. That would be December last year. Oh, sure, it?s still here, but he got the general trend-line correct, didn?t he? Arctic sea ice, December 2008: 12.5 million square kilometres; Arctic sea ice, December 2013: 12.5 million square kilometres.

Big Climate is slowly being crushed by a hard, icy reality: if you?re heading off to university this year, there has been no global warming since before you were in kindergarten. That?s to say, the story of the early 21st century is that the climate declined to follow the climate ?models?. (Full disclosure: I?m currently being sued by Dr Michael Mann, creator of the most famously alarming graph, the ?hockey stick?.) You would think that might occasion a little circumspection. But instead the cultists up the ante: having evolved from ?global warming? to the more flexible ?climate change?, they?re now moving on to ?climate collapse?. Total collapse. No climate at all. No sun, no ice. No warm fronts, except for the heaving bosoms in Rajendra Pachauri?s bodice-rippers. Nothing except the graphs and charts of ?settled science?. In the Antarctic wastes of your mind, it?s easier just to ice yourself in.

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