French Le Monde Follows Revkin…Blasts Turney’s Antarctic Joy Ride For Disrupting Real Antarctic Science!

Le Monde here has an article which in large part re-iterates what NYT journalist Andrew Revkin wrote 3 days ago. The selfish, adolescent follies of the Turney expedition are seriously disrupting the supply of serious scientific operations in the Antarctic. A number of scientists worldwide have not found Turney’s charade amusing at all.

The piece is titled: “Scientists angered by cruise trapped in Antarctica“.

After describing how the botched expedition and the ensuing helicopter rescue, Le Monde writes how the relief operations are now “endangering several major research programs being conducted on different scientific bases of the sixth continent.” There’s only a 3-month window available for supply ships to make vital deliveries. Time is of the essence when it comes to logistics in Antarctica.

On the Turney expedition, Le Monde quotes Yves Frenot, the French Director of the Polar Institute Paul Emile Victor (IPEV):

It is a tourist pseudo-scientific expedition. It’s a little ‘cruise fun’.”

Glaciologist Jérôme Chappellaz of the Laboratoire de Glaciologie et de Géophysique de l’Environnement, who is still at the Casey Antarctic base, said:

The expedition was presented as being scientific, but there are tourists on board who paid to go on a trip.”

Because of the distress call coming from the Turney’s chartered expedition vessel Akademik Shokalskiy, Le Monde writes: “Vital supplies comprising hundreds of tons of food, fuel and equipment could not be fully discharged from the Aurora Australis, which was requisitioned in emergency.”

The supply disruption is not the only thing that irked scientists on other Antarctic bases in need of vitally important supplies, but they later had to watch booze-cruise, spring break like going-ons onboard the ice-bound Akademik Shokalskiy. Le Monde quotes Mr. Chappellaz:

At Casey, when the colleagues learned the ‘Australis’ had been requisitioned, there was a little panic. What was most shocking was the manner in which the members on the Shokalskiy expedition communicated: on screens we saw them partying, singing, etc. – without at any time seeming to ask what they were putting in peril.”

Le Monde also quotes glaciologist Joe McConnell (Australian Antarctic Division) in the New York Times, who stated the rescue operations will also likely cause considerable disruptions for French and Chinese programs because their vessels had also also been diverted.

Le Monde writes that the cost of the Chinese and Australian ice breakers are close to $80,000 per day – each! And that doesn’t include the crew! Right now the Chinese Xue Long is trapped in ice and no one can say how long before it will get out.

M. Chappellaz vents:

It is not normal that this expedition, which uses science as a pretext for adventure-tourism, is jeopardizing multi-annual research programs.”

Finally Le Monde raises concerns that the pictures of a stranded “climate science vessel” trapped in deep ice may be leaving a long lasting false message on the subject of global warming in the minds of the worldwide public.

Finally, perhaps these two reports from the New York Times and Le Monde provide hope in that in the future they will start to distinguish between the sophomoric alarmist climate scientists who want to change the world in a rush, and those that are truly serious about doing real science.


20 responses to “French Le Monde Follows Revkin…Blasts Turney’s Antarctic Joy Ride For Disrupting Real Antarctic Science!”

  1. DirkH

    Le Monde is a huge Franco-EU policy mouthpeace (see its recent Big Oil smear against skeptics). Obviously the EU “serious scientist” warmists are not amused by the Ozzy warmist joyride; it damages the cause.

    1. JP

      Over the decades, the politics of Le Monde have varied. Nevertheless, it used to cover world issues quite comprehensively, and offered a different point of view that one might expect from a country that produced de Gaulle.

      In the last 10-15 years, its quality has dropped tremendously, to the point where many articles are simply poorly translated (sometimes even auto-translated!) from US English, it is full of spelling mistakes, anglicisms, etc. And that is just the form; if anything, the quality of the content has dropped faster.

      1. DirkH

        “Over the decades, the politics of Le Monde have varied.”

        I would hazard a guess that since the renaming of the EC to EU in 1994 or latest with the Lisbon treaty 2009 a national organ like Le Monde – or for that matter the German conservative-in-name-only Die Welt – can ONLY exist as a pro EU mouthpiece. (And is not permitted to be anything other)

        1. JP

          My German not being good enough for serious reading, I will have to take your word for it. But the French press does seem to correspond to your guess. The contempt shown for the average French Euro-sceptic, whether they consider themselves left or right wing, from the mainstream press, has now reached the level of vitriol.

          Gone are the days of the meeting of de Gaulle and Adenauer at the Reims cathedral fifty years ago.

  2. JP

    The phrase «La croisière s’amuse» (which you translated as ‘cruise fun”) is the French title for the 1970s-1980s American series “The Love Boat”.

  3. George Alexander

    Essentially all of the conventional media sources that I have been listening/watching have left out the ‘global warming research’ part of this expedition. If Dr Turney was leading a ‘tourist’ expedition, then his ability to lead a tourist expedition is in doubt. If it was a research expedition, then his abilites to lead a research expedition is in doubt and would give supporters of further ventures some cause for hesitation.

    As Dr. Turney’s expedition would have required some serious funding applications and the like, it would sure be nice to see what he submitted to the agency(ies) involved. This would answer the question: tourist or research? Indeed, I would well imagine that a significant number of goals would have related to gathering data related to his vision of global warming and, thus stated, would provide a document that discribes the research nature of the expedition and could be paraded to the press (or one’s friends, if need be).

    At the very least, on a personal level, it would provide a confirmation of media bias or self-censorship. Something we believe often happens but are always told doesn’t happen in the West.

  4. Schrodinger's Cat

    Well done, Pierre. You are the trail blazer on reporting the fallout of this climate expedition madness.

    This is my first comment but I have visited here usually daily and recently several times per day.

    I have not been disappointed.

  5. Stephen Richards

    «La croisière s’amuse»

    Actually means (approx) the crossing (cruise) enjoys himself. More appropriately, the cruise of fun

  6. Paul in Sweden

    Strong language! Shocking… Science Communication is an emerging, increasingly populated, highly touted and well funded field of umm… ‘science’ (granted that field may be somewhere off on the horizon that many cannot see. But we have been ensured by National Science Foundations, Gold Standard Intergovernmental Organizations and on nightly broadcasts of our news programs of their importance and the need for their re-branding of the Climate ‘science’ cause). While I can see that some resident Antarctic Scientists have apprehension that they may or may not be adequately resupplied for the upcoming season; I cannot think that there may be some professional jealousy. Can there not be some compassion for these ‘science’ communicators who have been on the ‘frozen’ ice this summer ‘playing/interacting/researching’ with penguins without any hope of having a banana peanut butter milkshake for days maybe weeks into the future? After all, these Climate ‘Science’ researchers and communicators we have been told are risking their lives for no monetary gain and little glory in order to help save the planet.

  7. ME Wood
    There are in fact many scientists in Antarctica who travel down from Christchurch Airport in New Zealand in the the early summer. Supplies are also airlifted down. these are for scientific projects and to stock up for those wintering over.The Xue Long itself stocked up in Lyttelton Christchurch recently The scientists are no dilettantes, unlike the Media Persons on this particular Antarctic Cruise.
    The cruises are quite common and leave from Australian ports usually but maybe not this time. perhaps it left from Bluff, NZ I’m not sure. This cruise was diverted however for a spot of research along with the holiday making. a fatal choice.
    The planes are American Airforce and have been taking down their own scientists and other nationalities too, for many years. The supplies on the vessel which has taken the “Mawson explorers”on board will also be supplying that base for wintering over. They should not be hindered by these Media Persons or people’s lives will be put at risk in the coming antarctic night..

    M E Wood Christchurch.

  8. Pethefin

    In the meantime, real scientist discover inconvenient facts concerning the lack of melting of the Antarctic sea ice:

    No wonder the Turney Expedition turned out the way it did.

  9. Michelle

    Does anyone know if the person from NSW Uni who approved the funding for this folly is aboard this research and recreation voyage?

    Also, who is responsable for the decision to stick around loading the equipment instead of just getting everyone on board and getting the heck out of there? The Captain was getting panicy about getting iced in so why didn’t they leave their gear and get the hell out while they could?

    1. DirkH

      That would have been littering.

  10. DavidH

    “there are tourists on board who paid to go on a trip”

    Don’t get me wrong – I’m in no way saying this voyage wasn’t a total fiasco. But non-scientists paying to collaborate on a research project isn’t wrong per-se. In the 90’s, I went on an Earthwatch expedition: “Okavango Elephants”. We volunteers tramped the bush making estimates of tree sizes and damage (elephant/lightning, new/old) which the project leader used as input to calculate the total available biomass for elephant consumption, which was in turn input to deciding on elephant cull numbers. OK, most people on the expedition were there in the hope their effort would show no culling was needed. Me, I was there for the adventure of being allowed to walk in the open African bush. Still, we contributed – apart from financially – as science “grunts”.

    Anyway, I’m just saying the presence of “tourists” on this SS Minnow shouldn’t be necessarily be a matter for criticism. Turney and his fellow experts on the other hand …

    1. Mindert Eiting

      Turney’s marriage still OK?

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  12. Brian H

    Now that the “Mayday” obligations have been withdrawn (check out the more appropriate “Panpan” alternative), the Aurora is resuming its vital deliveries. With the unwilling Ship of Fools escapees along for the ride. They have been “confined to quarters”! I’d have preferred the brig, but they’d probably overflow it.


  13. Jim Kross

    The Aussie, French and Chinese ships cost about $80k-per day to operate and the US Polar Star well over $100k. Combined, the total cost of the “rescue” will be multiple millions and there is no discernible scientific value to be had. Why should our governments pay for Turney’s cruisers?

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