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Green propaganda can be dangerous

Via Barry Woods comes this story from It seems that a number of yachts have been attempting the North West Passage, no doubt some of them with a view to "raising awareness of global warming", but have come unstuck as this year's melt has been much smaller than expected freeze has come early.

The Northwest Passage after decades of so-called global warming has a dramatic 60% more Arctic ice this year than at the same time last year. The future dreams of dozens of adventurous sailors are now threatened. A scattering of yachts attempting the legendary Passage are caught by the ice, which has now become blocked at both ends and the transit season may be ending early.

Apparently there is a cruise ship which may be in need of assistance too. Disturbingly, nobody seems to be quite sure if there is an icebreaker in the vicinity.

Read the whole thing.

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Reader Comments (115)

A little knowledge is dangerous. A complete lack of knowledge, which these sailors evidently have, can be fatal.

Aug 30, 2013 at 12:00 PM | Registered CommenterPhillip Bratby

... have come unstuck as this year's freeze has come early.

If I was a pedant I'd suggest unstuck is exactly what they were foolishly assuming. :)

But what a tragic story. Let's hope the polar bears aren't too hungry, as we've all been told.

Aug 30, 2013 at 12:04 PM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

"after decades of so-called global warming"


And yet at about 12:20 this morning, the news on R4 mentioned the "rapidly warming Arctic". It sounded like Harrabin...

Aug 30, 2013 at 12:12 PM | Registered Commenterjamesp

Too much to hope that they're insured with Catlin, I suppose...


Another link

Watts's piece contains the immortal line, "The sea-ice in the surveyed areas is apparently thicker than the researchers had suspected". Not just the ice, it would seem.. :-)

Aug 30, 2013 at 12:17 PM | Registered Commenterjamesp

I wonder what impact the ice breakers have on Arctic ice extent?

I realise that the actual path and area of ice they break up is relatively small, but are there other impacts?
For example, they effectively cut off large swathes of ice from being anchored to the shore line early in the melting season and prevent it from forming later on in the season. Does this have any sort of measurable impact?

I suspect it doesn't have any measurable (or significant) impact but is there any research about it out there?

Aug 30, 2013 at 12:18 PM | Unregistered CommenterTerryS

Rumours of the Arctic Death Spiral have been greatly exaggerated. Pen Hadlow's 2009 Epic Failure ought to have sent out the message to all explorers.

I blame Damian 'Vanishing Arctic ice is the planet's white flag of surrender' Carrington of the Guardian.

The most famous explorers to have successfully reached the North Pole in recent years were Jeremy Clarkson and James May.

Aug 30, 2013 at 12:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterBen Pile

But an increase in Arctic ice is not inconsistent with CAGW! As the religious multitudes would say.

Aug 30, 2013 at 12:21 PM | Unregistered CommenterConfusedPhoton

theres jet skiers, kayakers, two row boats, sail boats, and some nice looking yachts.

None of the pictures show them as particularily ice worthy.

Some, like Arctic Joule, are there to raise climate awareness. They made it half way, complaining of the weather and cold the entire way.

The Babouska is not on that list, but they are hybrid ice and water catamaran. They left Barrow, heading for Svarlbard, going over the pole. They left early July, and are now at 82 deg N. They too, are complaining of the bitter cold, and have suffered frost bite already. I worry about this one. They could be beyond help if they need it. They have travelled just over 1000 km, and have nearly 2000 more to go.

Aug 30, 2013 at 12:21 PM | Unregistered CommenterLes Johnson

Well one hopes they will all be rescued safely.

If one or more were to perish (which God forbid), then they should be counted as additional victims of the Great Climate Change Delusion.

Aug 30, 2013 at 12:24 PM | Registered CommenterMartin A

An interesting blog on the topic with a scary video of what happens to towed yachts

hint: the ice breaker doesn't pulverise the ice

Aug 30, 2013 at 12:44 PM | Registered Commenteromnologos


no doubt some of them with a view to "raising awareness of global warming"

Well, let's hope their predicament will help to "raise awareness" that global warming is not quite what it's often reported to be.

Aug 30, 2013 at 12:53 PM | Unregistered CommenterScottie

STAN ROGERS - Northwest Passage

Ah, for just one time I would take the Northwest Passage
To find the hand of Franklin reaching for the Beaufort Sea;
Tracing one warm line through a land so wild and savage
And make a Northwest Passage to the sea.

Westward from the Davis Strait 'tis there 'twas said to lie
The sea route to the Orient for which so many died;
Seeking gold and glory, leaving weathered, broken bones
And a long-forgotten lonely cairn of stones.


Three centuries thereafter, I take passage overland
In the footsteps of brave Kelso, where his "sea of flowers" began
Watching cities rise before me, then behind me sink again
This tardiest explorer, driving hard across the plain.


And through the night, behind the wheel, the mileage clicking west
I think upon Mackenzie, David Thompson and the rest
Who cracked the mountain ramparts and did show a path for me
To race the roaring Fraser to the sea.


How then am I so different from the first men through this way?
Like them, I left a settled life, I threw it all away.
To seek a Northwest Passage at the call of many men
To find there but the road back home again.

Aug 30, 2013 at 12:56 PM | Unregistered CommenterGaspe Broken-Record

Green Sand posted a link to this too, on Unthreaded, which is where I saw the link from. Wow, no more whinging about cold weather in Summer in the UK from me!

Aug 30, 2013 at 12:59 PM | Registered CommenterJeremy Harvey

The sea ice may be thick, but it looks like the sailors are thicker.

Aug 30, 2013 at 12:59 PM | Unregistered Commenterpesadia

"complaining of the bitter cold"

The warmist propaganda clearly gets taken seriously by some. Damn that empirical evidence.

Aug 30, 2013 at 1:09 PM | Registered Commenterjamesp

I am having great difficulty dredging up any sympathy for these people.

Despite instantaneously updated weather reports, active radar and satellite ice tracking these brave explorers manage to get caught by the ice like any 19th century sailor.

And they are calling in the Canadian Coast Guard, which means my tax dollars will be used for their rescue. Nice.

I could hope that they are rescued and their craft get crushed by the ice, but then up go the insurance rates.

Aug 30, 2013 at 1:11 PM | Unregistered CommenterJeff Norman


I used to sing this, but thankfully, it's not on YouTube...

It was homeward bound one night on the deep
Swinging in my hammock I fell asleep
I dreamed a dream and I thought it true
Concerning Franklin and his gallant crew

With one hundred seamen he sailed away
To the frozen ocean in the month of May
To seek a passage around the pole
Where we poor seamen do sometimes go

Through cruel hardships they came alone
Their ship on mountains of ice was thrown
Only the Eskimo with his skin canoe
Was the only one that ever came through

In Baffin's Bay where the whale fish blow
The fate of Franklin no man may know
The fate of Franklin no tongue can tell
Lord Franklin along with his sailors do dwell

And now my burden it gives me pain
For my long lost Franklin I'd cross the main
Ten thousand pounds I would freely give
To say on earth that my Franklin do live

(Learned from a John Renbourn LP)

Aug 30, 2013 at 1:15 PM | Registered Commenterjamesp


"Well one hopes they will all be rescued safely"


Aug 30, 2013 at 1:17 PM | Registered Commenterjamesp

I can't wait for the Beeb to report this.

Aug 30, 2013 at 1:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterDavid Porter

From the catamaran site, 19 august:

"The coldness in the Arctic is unthinkable, even in the summer."

Aug 30, 2013 at 1:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Silver

Ben Pile:

The most famous explorers to have successfully reached the North Pole in recent years were Jeremy Clarkson and James May.

And didn't their yachts look suspiciously like 4x4s?

Aug 30, 2013 at 1:25 PM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

Edward Lear, The Jumblies
They went to sea in a Sieve, they did,
In a Sieve they went to sea:
In spite of all their friends could say,
On a winter's morn, on a stormy day,
In a Sieve they went to sea!
And when the Sieve turned round and round,
And every one cried, 'You'll all be drowned!'
They called aloud, 'Our Sieve ain't big,
But we don't care a button! we don't care a fig!
In a Sieve we'll go to sea!'
Far and few, far and few,
Are the lands where the Jumblies live;
Their heads are green, and their hands are blue,
And they went to sea in a Sieve.

They sailed away in a Sieve, they did,
In a Sieve they sailed so fast,
With only a beautiful pea-green veil
Tied with a riband by way of a sail,
To a small tobacco-pipe mast;
And every one said, who saw them go,
'O won't they be soon upset, you know!
For the sky is dark, and the voyage is long,
And happen what may, it's extremely wrong
In a Sieve to sail so fast!'
Far and few, far and few,
Are the lands where the Jumblies live;
Their heads are green, and their hands are blue,
And they went to sea in a Sieve.

The water it soon came in, it did,
The water it soon came in;
So to keep them dry, they wrapped their feet
In a pinky paper all folded neat,
And they fastened it down with a pin.
And they passed the night in a crockery-jar,
And each of them said, 'How wise we are!
Though the sky be dark, and the voyage be long,
Yet we never can think we were rash or wrong,
While round in our Sieve we spin!'
Far and few, far and few,
Are the lands where the Jumblies live;
Their heads are green, and their hands are blue,
And they went to sea in a Sieve.

And all night long they sailed away;
And when the sun went down,
They whistled and warbled a moony song
To the echoing sound of a coppery gong,
In the shade of the mountains brown.
'O Timballo! How happy we are,
When we live in a Sieve and a crockery-jar,
And all night long in the moonlight pale,
We sail away with a pea-green sail,
In the shade of the mountains brown!'
Far and few, far and few,
Are the lands where the Jumblies live;
Their heads are green, and their hands are blue,
And they went to sea in a Sieve.

They sailed to the Western Sea, they did,
To a land all covered with trees,
And they bought an Owl, and a useful Cart,
And a pound of Rice, and a Cranberry Tart,
And a hive of silvery Bees.
And they bought a Pig, and some green Jack-daws,
And a lovely Monkey with lollipop paws,
And forty bottles of Ring-Bo-Ree,
And no end of Stilton Cheese.
Far and few, far and few,
Are the lands where the Jumblies live;
Their heads are green, and their hands are blue,
And they went to sea in a Sieve.

And in twenty years they all came back,
In twenty years or more,
And every one said, 'How tall they've grown!
For they've been to the Lakes, and the Torrible Zone,
And the hills of the Chankly Bore!'
And they drank their health, and gave them a feast
Of dumplings made of beautiful yeast;
And every one said, 'If we only live,
We too will go to sea in a Sieve,---
To the hills of the Chankly Bore!'
Far and few, far and few,
Are the lands where the Jumblies live;
Their heads are green, and their hands are blue,
And they went to sea in a Sieve.

Aug 30, 2013 at 1:28 PM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

ok guys enough poetry now...lest we all end up at The Warrior's Call: A Public Pagan Ritual to Protect Albion from Fracking:

Albion is in peril. Her sacred sites threatened like never before. Chalice Well and the Goddess Sulis (Bath's geothermal springs) are in danger of becoming toxic. The Great Mother's flesh is to be cracked open and drained dry, uncaring for consequence to bird and beast, land or life.

All those of good intent are summoned hither – regardless of age or gender, colour or creed – to gather at noon on Saturday the 28th of September at the bottom of Glastonbury High Street. From there, we will walk in mass pilgrimage to the base of the Tor and engage in group magickal working for the betterment and protection of this sacred landscape.

Bring with you percussion instruments of all kinds to assist in the ritual.

Blessings be upon all who heed the Warrior's Call!

Aug 30, 2013 at 1:31 PM | Registered Commenteromnologos

I have ZERO sympathy with any of them. Detailed info has been available from the start of their voyages. They have no excuses and, IMHO, should not be rescued or, at the very least, should face a crippling bill for services rendered.

It will take several idiotic deaths before people start to attack the greenie beenies so these sailors can be the martyrs to the cause of saving the human race from the enviromentalists.

Aug 30, 2013 at 1:41 PM | Unregistered CommenterStephen Richards

Serves them right- but let's hope they come out chastened by their experience, rather than recipients of a "Darwin Award" (

Speaking of the congenitally stupid- how about this lot?

Aug 30, 2013 at 1:48 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Keiller

About half a lifetime ago, I spent a summer on a climbing and canoeing expedition in Arctic Greenland, and what a glorious adventure it all was. So I have some sympathy for any of those folks if they too were off in search of the same, and had sufficient competence to make a go of it. But I think some of them are there for vain-glory, being up themselves with the drama of saving the planet, and too soaked in the propaganda to see clearly. I hope the Arctic is not becoming a playground for such publicity-seekers.

Aug 30, 2013 at 1:51 PM | Registered CommenterJohn Shade

Add 'Global Warming makes people Dumber' to the list.


Aug 30, 2013 at 1:56 PM | Unregistered CommenterBad Andrew

omnologos: Ah, you see, Glastonbury again :)

But I have to disagree with you on the usefulness of the poetry. Edward Lear could be the veritable poet laureate of this lot. At last we've found an artistic voice to do full justice to their tragic plight.

Aug 30, 2013 at 1:57 PM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

Actually Clarkson and May went to the magnetic north pole, a point Top Gear oddly omitted to make.

Aug 30, 2013 at 2:00 PM | Unregistered Commenteragouts

1:48 PM | Don Keiller

hmm I got dosed with that by BBC Wolrd Service the other night ...

All I'll say is:
Hurricane Montford and Typhoon Tallbloke might invoke the law of unintended consequences

bring it on

Aug 30, 2013 at 2:14 PM | Registered Commentertomo

As anyone who has tried to passage plan on the back of the UKMO forecast knows, don't trust your life to climate scientists.

Aug 30, 2013 at 2:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterNW

"Well one hopes they will all be rescued safely."

Why? The publicity of the warmists effectively killing people might stop our grannies from dying this winter due to government misguided policies.

Aug 30, 2013 at 2:26 PM | Unregistered CommenterRightwinggit

Michael Hart/Richard Drake

Nice to see the whole piece. It certainly seems apposite - have our intrepid explorers accidentally fetched up in the Torrible Zone..?

Aug 30, 2013 at 2:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterJames P

Dunno how relevant this is, but the ad accompanying this piece has a brunette babe whose glorious golden apples are suppressed by a t-shirt that reads, "anything unrelated to elephants is irrelephant".

I thought I'd just throw this out there to break some ice.

Aug 30, 2013 at 2:43 PM | Unregistered CommentersHx
Aug 30, 2013 at 3:01 PM | Unregistered Commenterssat

The frostbite is also getting much better. Seb has now fully recovered feeling in his toes and their color is back to normal. And while they continue to suffer from the cold much more than expected, their passion and commitment carry them onward in battle. Soon they will make it and we will see our ESPRIT logo live from one of the two webcams installed at the North Pole. Go, Seb and Vince, go!

(my bold) - should someone tell them that if they find the webcams, they are a long way off course!

Aug 30, 2013 at 3:10 PM | Registered Commentersteve ta

Are these Greenies suffering from multi year thickness like the ice?

Aug 30, 2013 at 3:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterPeter Whale

Break it gently!
I may be off-course myself here but if someone can explain how they can guarantee that that webcam will be where they expect it to be then I will have learnt my new fact for the day!
As far as I can see, none of these eco-wizards, environmental geniuses, intrepid explorers appears to be aware that you don't "install" something on an ice floe no matter how big that floe might be and expect it still be at the same Lat/Long when you come back.
Worse still if you shove it on a raft in the open sea.

Aug 30, 2013 at 3:21 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

Philip Bratby: It may well be that a 'little knowledge' is useful, but the pedant in me suggests that it is a 'little learning' that is dangerous. Then again, you can tell children not to put their hands in the fire; not to touch wet paint; and not to play with the North West Passage...

Aug 30, 2013 at 3:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterSnotrocket

I don't know whether it would be any easier trying the North East Passage instead of the North West one, but Greens don't have to worry about getting stuck there - thanks to the efforts of the Russian Navy!

Russians Force Greenpeace Ship to Leave Kara Sea

Aug 30, 2013 at 3:28 PM | Unregistered CommenterRoy

More candidates for a Darwin Award?

Aug 30, 2013 at 3:42 PM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic man

Met Office seasonal outlooks of September Arctic sea ice cover for this year and recent years are here.

In 2010 and 2011, the median outlook for ice cover agreed pretty well with observations. Last year, the outlook overestimated the actual ice cover (indeed the actual cover, 3.6 million km2, was rather less than even the lowest end of the outlook range).

This year, the outlook median (4.1 million km2) was for more ice in September than was observed last year, with a large range (from 3.4 to 6.0 million km2)

Aug 30, 2013 at 3:45 PM | Registered CommenterRichard Betts

Jet-skiers? Well we're better off without them, for sure.

otoh I see "Dodo's Delight" is mentioned as being in the area...somehow I think Bob Shepton will manage alright.

Aug 30, 2013 at 3:52 PM | Unregistered CommenterPeter MacFarlane


"The frostbite is also getting much better"

In which case, it isn't really frostbite...


Aug 30, 2013 at 3:55 PM | Registered Commenterjamesp


So why does Greenpeace have an ice-breaker..?

Aug 30, 2013 at 3:57 PM | Registered Commenterjamesp

@don keiler

"Speaking of the congenitally stupid- how about this lot?"

I just signed their petition, using an appropriately named character from Game of Thrones (Edric Storm - geddit?). I encourage all Mickey Mouses, Elvis Presleys, Lord Lucans etc. to do likewise. ;)

Aug 30, 2013 at 4:09 PM | Unregistered CommenterTurning Tide

"Well one hopes they will all be rescued safely."

Why? The publicity of the warmists effectively killing people might stop our grannies from dying this winter due to government misguided policies.
Aug 30, 2013 at 2:26 PM Rightwinggit


Because they are, as I see it, also victims of the Great Delusion, albeit willing victims.

As I understand it, you think they deserve to die for their foolishness. I think there are Delusionists much higher up the food chain, including all but around about six MP's, but I'm not sure that even they deserve to die, even though what they have done has caused deaths and will probably cause additional future deaths.

Aug 30, 2013 at 4:43 PM | Registered CommenterMartin A

"Via Barry Woods comes this story from It seems that a number of yachts have been attempting the North West Passage, no doubt some of them with a view to "raising awareness of global warming", but have come unstuck as this year's freeze has come early."

Not only green propaganda can be dangerous but untruths can be also, how can you claim " this year's freeze has come early" when nothing of the sort has happened.

Refreezing is not likely to start for at least 2-3 weeks at those latitudes, Current weather along the NW passage ?

above freezing and sea ice starts to refreeze roughly at -2C depending on how old it is etc.

Why let facts and science get in the way of a good story though. And you guys constantly bash the scientists with what they do.

Those in glasshouses ( greenhouses ? :p ) should not throw stones.


Aug 30, 2013 at 5:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterAndy

Jet-skier Steven Moll:

“I know the guys think, ‘Oh, we’ll handle the bears,’ but polar bears will smell you from 35 miles away and you’re just another piece of meat. I don’t like the idea of them. It’s the polar bears that worry me. I don’t like them. We’ll put Pat [Patrick McGregor, the group’s medic] on all night watch with a Taser,” he said.

Somehow I feel that does not bode well. Is a Taser enough, or will it just annoy the bear?

Aug 30, 2013 at 5:34 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlex Cull

Arctic temperature here.

Aug 30, 2013 at 5:42 PM | Registered CommenterPhillip Bratby

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