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.


THANK YOU for being a subscriber. Because of you Whaleoil is going from strength to strength. It is a little known fact that Whaleoil subscribers are better in bed, good looking and highly intelligent. Sometimes all at once! Please Click Here Now to subscribe to an ad-free Whaleoil.

  • Andy

    Yes I saw this earlier. Brilliant skewering from Mark Steyn.
    He still has an open law suit against him from the hockey stick Mann

  • Ahhh the Hockey Stick Model. The one Warmists love to use, and the one the University taught how to debunk in Geography classes rather fast.

    I should return to University and do my Masters papers in Climatology :P

  • Macca

    Once again the unsuspecting public has been hoodwinked by the MSM with their own left leaning agenda by omitting the fact that this was a climate change expedition by a bunch of troughers and not a tourism ship as they keep repeating.
    Is there such a thing as propaganda by omission?! Surely this blatant omission of the truth must be construed as falsifying facts by the media?!

  • Reid

    Amazing how many to most conservatives are completely across AGW propaganda bollocks and have always seen it for what it in fact always has been, and yet when it comes to ‘war on terror’ propaganda bollocks, they behave toward that meme like warmists do to AGW. And many to most lefties are vice-versa.

    Isn’t that interesting. It’s like you can play most people like a violin half the time, but you can’t play most people like a violin all the time.

    • Blokeintakapuna

      You must be a General with all those generalisations…

      • Reid

        How can you analyse politics with generalising? Sure, it’s a blunt and inaccurate tool but it’s all we have, isn’t it.

        • LabTested

          Clearly you are new here or you would realise that most people think the War on Terror is a load of Bollocks as well.

          Which pretty much sums up your whole argument

    • Mr_Blobby

      Don’t forget the ‘War on Drugs’ propaganda bollocks.

    • Cowgirl

      I admit I was hoodwinked by the climate change propaganda, but I was never suckered by the ‘war on terror’ or “WMD’ bullshit. However I am now extremely sceptical of both so what does that make me? Centrist?

      • ropteron

        Why it just makes you a Cow, girl. lol

  • LabTested

    ‘Climate Collapse’ I hadn’t heard that one before. Brilliant. What’s next Climate Apocalypse?

    • Bunswalla

      Ecopalypse was the term he used. It’s hard to say the first couple of times, but I like it.

      • Cowgirl

        I have learned several words/terms from this article that I like and will be using again. ‘Warm-monger’ was another goodie.

    • OT Richter

      Climate Prolapse, because apparently we are fu*cking it up the arse.

  • Tom

    “‘Several of my toes commenced to blacken and fester near the tips.’ Now there’s a man who’s serious about reducing his footprint.”


  • Bunswalla

    I think in 30 to 40 years’ time people will look back on this whole alarmist scam and realise it was very much like the “Millennium Bug” and the whole repressed-memory and ritual satanic abuse bullshit of the 1990s.

    As Steyn points out so eloquently, virtually every weather or climate scenario can be attributed to “climate change” as if the climate has hitherto never changed, and only us pesky humans with our Remuera tractors are suddenly knocking it off it’s laser-like path over the last 4 billion years.

    I recall during the ridiculous trial of Peter Ellis when one of the self-styled ritual abuse experts described every behaviour of one of the kids as “being consistent with having been sexually abused.” Was he happy? Yes – that means he was abused. Was he sad? Yes – same thing. Eventually the defence lawyer asked in all seriousness whether there was any example of a 3 or 4-year old’s behaviour that was inconsistent with being sexually abused, and with a straight face she said “No.”

  • Eddie Nunns
  • cows4me

    Mark is on to it, the greatest insult that can be given to these wastrels is to mock the pricks. They are nothing but free loading, troughing scum that have been getting away with highway robbery for too many years now. Why must the taxpayer be forced to waste their hard earned money supporting aholes. When will there be a political party with the gonads to kick these pricks in the nuts and say no more, if you want to push this shit you are on your own, best of luck.

    • Don W

      Hasn’t Tony Abbot scrapped their carbon scheme?

      • cows4me

        He’s trying but there is still some deep seated mould in the system that isn’t that keen on unemployment.

        • Don W

          At least he is showing some common sense, about time J Key did the same

    • Mr_Blobby

      We would get better value for money if we just put hem back on the dole.

  • thor42

    Good ol’ Captain Oates! *There* was a hard man!

  • Salinger at it again here:

    Peddling the same crap after he gets fired from NIWA, his predictions and models debunked and the Hockey Stick model destroyed (although he did not create it he does cite it enough).

    From Salinger:

    “It is not possible to reach such a temperature record due to natural climate variations alone. In simulations with no increases in greenhouse gases, none of the more than 13,000 model years analysed reach the record temperature observed in 2013.

    Hmmm okay 13,000 years ago we were coming out of the Grand Ice Age which started 26,000 years ago and peaked around 18,000 years ago (with a bit of help from Lake Taupo – apparently).

    Also this:

    We go up in temperature and we go down in temperature. Sometimes fast and some times slow and not all with help of a volcano or meteorite. Point? Its normal folks – DEAL WITH IT…

  • Rick H

    Even the Timaru Herald yesterday had a big piece of this “Salinger Nonsense” including photos etc.
    My first thoughts – why are they still printing this rubbish?