Monday, September 08, 2008

Idiots abroad

Although it is no longer news, we cannot let pass without comment the idiotic escapade of Lewis Gordon Pugh, the "intrepid" explorer who planned to kayak all the way to the North Pole to expose just how quickly the ice cap is melting and thus draw attention to "global warming" – or is it climate change?

Anyhow, a few days ago, before abandoning his madcap venture, he was reporting: "We are still struggling to get beyond 81° north." His fossil-fuelled support boat, the MV Havsel, was continuing to push east in the hope of finding a break in the ice so the idiot and his companion could paddle further north. However, it was to no avail. They were right up against the edge of the ice wall and got no further.

It has to be recorded that Pugh did not even get as far as the expedition in 1922 when a team sailed as far north as 81° 29' in ice-free water, giving the lie to any claims that there is anything exceptional in the current meltback. Furthermore, that expedition was in August with perhaps a month to go before the ice retreat stopped with the onset of winter.

From the same school of incurable idiots, we have Dr Rajendra Pachauri, chair of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, prattling on about not eating meat "to help combat the effects of climate change". Typically, the brain-dead Daily Telegraph describes him as "the world's leading expert on global warming" – which he is not. He is just a sad little apparatchik at the head of an intensely political UN institution.

What is great fun though is the comment thread on Watts up with that, where little Pachauri's pretensions are shredded, with enormous humour.

If the likes of Pachauri realised what laughing stocks they were becoming, they might perhaps crawl back under their stones and leave us alone. But, as long as the media keeps taking them seriously, they will keep coming back. To that, of course, there is an obvious answer.