Expedition Fiasco Leader Professor Chris Turney Fibs Yet Again: Now Claims Akademik Shokalskiy Is An “Icebreaker”!

Journal Nature can no longer be bothered to check facts anymore. Bad enough that they rarely subject global warming climate papers to real, rigorous peer-review, and so now even the most obvious rubbish gets by.

In a Nature comment, Professor Turney seems to be responding in part to harsh articles published by Cambridge University News and the The Mail on Sunday. Both these media outlets cited veteran polar explorer Robert Headland, who said “an ice-strengthened ship was totally unsuitable for the area where Turney conducted his expedition“.

Headland also accused Turney of carrying out the expedition “on the cheap” and that he had “needlessly taken many risks“.

In Turney’s Nature reaction to all the criticism, This was no pleasure cruise, Turney writes the following (my emphasis):

For the past six weeks on board the Russian icebreaker MV Akademik Shokalskiy, my colleague Chris Fogwill and I have led a team of scientists, science communicators and volunteers on a voyage from the New Zealand subantarctic islands to the East Antarctic Ice Sheet.”

Turney claims that the ship is an icebreaker when clearly it is not. That’s a falsehood, if not an outright lie. The fact is that the Akademik Shokalskiy is simply reinforced for travel in icy areas and has only the lowly UL rating, meaning it is suitable for “independent navigation in the Arctic in summer and autumn in light ice conditions and in the non-arctic freezing seas all the year round“, see www.globalsecurity.org.

In the Nature comment Turney also writes:

That is the reality of polar science. It is difficult. Almost every season, ships get caught in sea ice, teams lose communications and planes are sometimes tragically lost.”

All the more reason for taking a real icebreaker – which he didn’t. Gee, the whole time I thought it was an icebreaker!

Turney is proving to be a basket-case

The Turney story is becoming ever more comical. What we have here is a humiliated scientist who wants everyone to believe the Antarctic is melting away, yet claims he went down there in what he thinks is an ice breaker to break through ice; says he knew that conditions there were treacherous, yet took his family and tourists along anyway; says that conditions there are unpredictable, but claims that the sea ice and wind unpredictability caught him by surprise; says the expedition was no pleasure cruise, yet had a fully-stocked bar and we saw pictures of partying almost daily.

Even funnier is that Turney is now trying to fool himself and others into believing that he has done the whole world a huge favor in that he created a “remarkable rekindling of public interest in science and exploration” and that he will wow the world with “the quality of the research“.

After this fiasco (even Andy Revkin of the New York Times calls it just that) it’s clear that Turney is someone who is incapable of acknowledging errors. Worse, and even scarier, he and Nature seem to be telling us that he deserves a medal for what he has done.


27 responses to “Expedition Fiasco Leader Professor Chris Turney Fibs Yet Again: Now Claims Akademik Shokalskiy Is An “Icebreaker”!”

  1. John F. Hultquist

    You need the word “no” in the first line of the post.

    * no longer *

  2. John F. Hultquist

    Someone from the new world order wannabees with lots of money ought to write a check and pay all the costs of cleaning up Turney’s mess – and then see that he shuts up. They could hide him in part of Maurice Strong’s Beijing penthouse. For this advice they can send me a big check.

    This is the CAGW cruise that just keeps on giving up points.

  3. questioner

    I’ll bet you a million dollars that next time Professor Turney applies for money, his lame excuses in Nature appear in his cv as a a paper in Nature.

  4. Mindert Eiting

    So this was a science expedition good enough for Nature.

  5. Neill

    Where’s Mitchell with an icebreaker retort? Trying to make one up myself but it’s exhausting work…..

  6. stan stendera

    Every blog and news story keeps misspelling his name. It’s TurDney.-+–

  7. DirkH

    Nature, that’s published by Holtzbrinck Group from Stuttgart, the Green capital of Green Baden Wuerttemberg. The president of the land is the green, formerly maoist Kretschmann. So; that’s what you get from Nature. Just saying.

    1. DirkH

      I forgot the scare quotes around “formerly”…

    2. Mindert Eiting

      Quite a chain of inferences. I assume that the board of editors of Nature has an editorial statute. In stead of speculating that the owner violates that statute, we should better stick with the present editorial policy of Nature. If a group of scientists, journalists, tourists, and children do some fun research, it cannot be called a scientific project. If this were a scientific project, there must be a grant document listing the scientific objectives. This is Turney’s crucial sentence in the interview: ‘ This was no pleasure cruise. The science case took two years to develop, and was approved by the New Zealand Department of Conservation, the Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife Service and the Australian Antarctic Division’. Where is the document that got the approval? How much did these organisations contribute to the research?

      1. tankred

        It’s a straight lie on Turney’s behalf. The AAD approved his environmental impact statement. That is in no way an approval or endorsement of the research, as is made clear. He has passed the line between hyperbole and lie.

      2. DirkH

        “Quite a chain of inferences.”

        I’m not saying Kretschmann influences Nature; I want to point to the deeply red-green ideology permeating today’s Stuttgart. Holtzbrinck might be staunchly conservative, I don’t know. But they might see a need to play to what they perceive in the society around them as the Zeitgeist nevertheless.

  8. DirkH

    EU plans to outlaw criticism. I mentioned several times that as it perishes the EU will become very rabid, and a very dark place to live in.
    German writeup:

    While the goal of the offensive is to protect the Frankfurt School grievance group activists – currently feminists, the sexually deviant and muslims – this could easily be used by the climate-scientific complex as well – excerpt from the EU working paper:

    “Group libel” means: defamatory comments made in public and aimed against a group as defined in paragraph (a) – or members thereof – with a view to inciting to violence, slandering the group, holding it to ridicule or subjecting it to false charges. ”

    So – “government scientists are crooks” or “Michael Mann is a rent-seeker” – are right out. Notice that “ridicule” is already enough.

    Search keywords:
    „A European Framework National Statute for the Promotion of Tolerance“;
    (Link: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/meetdocs/2009_2014/documents/libe/dv/11_revframework_statute_/11_revframework_statute_en.pdf )
    „EU-Toleranz-Ausschuss“ a.k.a. European Council on Tolerance and Reconciliation.

    Please refrain from saying anything that deviates from official EU policies; read the PDF, there are some gems of hilarity where they try to pretend they’re not totalitarian. I liked this one: “This is a delicate matter, inasmuch as there is no intention to censor the media.” Yeah sure, we never.

    1. JP

      An example of a national law corresponding to this framework is at the final stage of reading in the House of Lords:


      1. DirkH

        Monbiot fails to see that such empowerment laws will be used against Euroskeptics. See recent conviction of EDL members, mail online, 2 years w/o bail for wearing a t shirt and participating in an EDL demo. 7 members convicted so far, didn’t participate in fighting, as the judge has been told, but “appeared threatening and violent”.

        So look peaceful. Praise diversity; that should suffice to keep you from jail; for the time being. Conditions may vary.

        1. DirkH

          Ah, link
          “The judge was told none of the seven men were involved in fighting with police officers, but they were threatening and aggressive.”

          If we would use the same measuring yard against black bloc and participants, 7,300 people would have gotten 2 year sentences 2 weeks ago in Hamburg. Only difference I see is, Black Bloc demands what the EU wants; EDL demands the opposite.

  9. JP

    Both the Akademik Shokalsky and the Xuelong are free from the ice.
    One wonders why this transplanted Brit and his coterie had to be freed so quickly.
    Surely they could have waited?


    1. Mick J

      The ships store had run out of Banana smoothies so things were getting desperate. 🙂

      Irony is, as the Australian ship is to unload its cargo before returning to Australia, staying on the Russian ship may have been a quicker solution for the tourists to return home.


      1. DirkH

        They payed to not be at home. So, if they get to stay away longer, shouldn’t they be charged for it?

  10. Bengt Abelsson

    “Sitting in the ship’s lounge of the Australian icebreaker Aurora Australis, safe with friends and colleagues and heading back to civilization, I can say it has been a remarkable journey.”

    A: Not an icebraker.
    B: Wife and kids not mentioned.

    Just an observation.

  11. Shellie Correia

    The fact that anyone takes these people seriously, shows that there needs to be an immediate halts to the global warming lies. Some people really believe the crap these people come up with. If we were to outlaw anything, it would be the lying scammers, trying to fool the world into going along with the corrupt, and inhumane, Agenda 21. These people are despicable!

  12. Bengt Abelsson

    Too much ice to break – I should have cited one more sentence.

  13. Mindert Eiting

    I wrote in a comment above:

    ‘This is Turney’s crucial sentence in the interview: ‘ This was no pleasure cruise. The science case took two years to develop, and was approved by the New Zealand Department of Conservation, the Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife Service and the Australian Antarctic Division’. ‘

    Just getting approval doesn’t say anything. Approval of a scientific project implies a subsidy. In an article today (8/1/2014), referenced below, Tuney said

    ´The work on the six weeks of the expedition was permitted by the New Zealand Department of Conservation, Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife and the Australian Antarctic Division´.

    This is another wording, saying that these organisations only permitted his work on Antarctica and had nothing to do with grants.

    In the same article under the heading about aim and funding

    ´Inspired by Mawson’s efforts, we decided to use a funding model that brought the public and science together. One hundred years ago, Antarctic science expeditions funded their programs by an inspired range of schemes, including lotteries, sponsorship and selling berths to the public. The expeditions of old managed to excite the public in science and exploration and, in doing so, fund work in a remote region that national programs were not able to support.

    Taking this original, but largely unused model of funding research, we offered berths on the expedition vessel, the MV Akademik Shokalskiy, for science volunteers, managing in the process to fund a large multidisciplinary project in a remote location of global significance. Importantly, many of our projects had numerous international partners´.


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