Update - I've added the result of an enquiry by a HotWhopper reader - Thanks, Rattus Norvegicus. You will need to read the rest of the article to see the context. (3 January 2014)
Rattus Norvegicus January 2, 2014 at 1:05 PM
At the suggestion of a poster above I emailed Dr. McGillivary. Here are the bullet points.
1. They were discussing contingency plans should they be called up.
2. Needed long term forecast.
3. Usual sources all on vacation, so called Scott.
4. Forecast was provided (and misreported on KUSI piece).
5. Polar Star's mission is resupply of McMurdo.
6. They have not been asked to participate in rescue.
7. The Akademik Shokalskiy is in no immediate danger.
8. Polar Star just arrived in Sydney....
It would appear that more than a few things are messed up in the reporting by WUWT and KUSI. It appears as though he was looking for confirmation of his forecast that winds would turn around. This was confirmed by information from KUSI and a sea ice expert who got back to him (apparently). The forecast as reported by KUSI seemed to be far more dire.
BTW, from Sydney to the Mertz Glacier/Cape Dennison area is about two weeks sailing, so the situation would have had to go on for quite some time before they could be of any use.
To summarize, Scott provided a forecast (long term?) which was used for discussion of contingencies in case they were called to assist in the rescue efforts.
It can be tough reading stuff at WUWT. One needs a very strong stomach at times.
I've just been alerted to a complete about face at WUWT. Anthony Watts has girded his loins, put on his shining armour, saddled his white steed and ridden to the rescue of the stranded ship in the Antarctic. In one fell swoop and swish of his cape, Anthony has decided to shift sides and can prove it, on television no less. Now he's an "ethical" and "professional" hero, gallantly putting aside his science denial to rescue the
What KUSI-TV reported
Actually, what happened was that Anthony got a call from a John Coleman of KUSI-TV who said he got a call from Dave Scott of KUSI-TV who got a call from someone on the Polar Star (a US coastguard ice breaker) asking for weather information. Then Anthony did a television interview via webcam for a TV station in San Diego without a hint of the mockery, derision or conspiracy theorising he wrote on his blog. (I've got to say the TV presenters at KUSI-TV are masters of overstatement, something that hasn't yet percolated here to quite the same degree, thank goodness. For example, they claimed the Polar Star is "standing by". But it's not. The Polar Star said in a statement that it will consider any request by the Australian Government for assistance, but it hasn't promised anything and is not "standing by" in any normal sense of the phrase, according to its statement aired on KUSI-TV.)
Anthony Watts' Spin
Anthony's spin is different though. He claims that he got a call from John Coleman (so far so good) but then diverges from what Dave Scott reported:
Then to my surprise, he relayed a conversation he had just had; a person on the Akademik Shokalskiy had reached out, because they didn’t have adequate weather data on-board. At first, I thought John was pulling my leg, but then as he gave more details, I realized he was serious.Not according to Dave Scott of KUSI-TV, who said he received the original phone request from his friend on the Polar Star for the Polar Star. There was no mention that anyone on the MV Akademik Shokalskiy asked for weather information. They'd have access to Antarctic weather information from BoM and other sources closer at hand.
Publicity-seeking Anthony Watts
Anthony must have figured that getting deliberately stuck in ice was such a terrific "publicity stunt" that he wanted to be part of it. I doubt you'll see a better example of hypocrisy.
The new hero image doesn't mix well with the old anti-hero image, best change it
There is shift in the WUWT comments now. Some of his followers are very well-trained monkeys. Let's see how the comments evolved over three articles.
First a few of the really nasty ones that Anthony allowed on his blog:
Stephen Richards says, after quoting another commenter who suggested "toning it down":
December 30, 2013 at 1:37 amGail Combs says (excerpt):
Can we all start jumping for joy after they die ?? then (archived here)
December 29, 2013 at 5:35 pmMichael Ronayne says:
I really do not care if people who wish me and others to live short, nasty brutal lives end up earning Darwin Awards. However I do care if those who went to the rescue of these idiots are hurt. (archived here)
December 30, 2013 at 10:47 am
Question: What do you call a ship load of trapped Global Cooling Deniers who are in danger of freezing to death?
Answer: A good start! (Archived here)
Then some plain ordinary mockery WUWT-style.
December 29, 2013 at 11:12 am
You can’t make this stuff up – the AGW dude stuck in ice along with the Australian Green Party senator and their ilk. Priceless! (Archived here.)
Mac the Knife says (excerpt):
December 29, 2013 at 11:53 am
At last – true Environmental Justice in action! In the most direct and immediately tangible terms, the expanding ice pack surrounds them with blunt and massive evidence that their beliefs are wrong. Yet, they continue to preach the AGW dogma, even as the antarctic climate tries to kill them. If that isn’t a hallmark of religious environmentalism, I don’t know what would be! (Archived here)
Now that Anthony is heroically rescuing the stricken vessel, he and some of his trained monkeys have done an about face, as per Anthony Watts' instructions (archived here):
Despite the irony and folly of the situation, I’m sure readers will join me in the hope that everyone makes it off the ship safely, whether it is by helicopter or by the ship being freed from the ice.
Janice Moore says:
December 31, 2013 at 11:42 pm
Good for you, An-thon-y! They went to the best.
That you have been given the opportunity to come to the aid of your “enemies” (v. a v. truth in science), can only be God’s providence. And, yes, I have been and will pray that God gets them out of there (they are certainly not going to get out without God’s help).
Your admiring fan,
P.S. Yet another resounding blow for free markets over socialism: During Hurricane (a real one) Katrina, it was privately owned Home Depot who got the supplies and equipment through; when 33 Chilean miners needed rescuing from the bowels of the earth, it was private companies in the U.S., Germany, and other capitalist countries (sorry, forgot all of them) who had the drill bit and cable and who flew in the supplies (U.P.S.); and now, it is you and Joe, two American free market entrepreneurs and genuine scientists’ turn. WAY TO GO!
Mark and two Cats says "warmunists! this is called ethics" - It's not my ethics, Mark
December 31, 2013 at 11:46 pm
“My first thought was that no matter how much we’ve been criticizing the expedition for its silliness, that if such a request had reached all the way from Antarctica to me, I’d do everything I could to help.”
See all ye warmunists! This is called “ethics”.
Try to get some.
albertalad decides to join in the alleluia chorus and says:
January 1, 2014 at 12:17 am
The speed and professionalism of Anthony and friends was magnificent, indeed the best of humanity itself. Thank you to all involved! God speed to those in peril on the sea this night!
January 1, 2014 at 12:03 am
Civilized professionalism at its finest, and a PR coup too.
Mac the Knife changes his tune somewhat and says:
January 1, 2014 at 12:42 am
Serendipity makes for strange bed fellows, doesn’t it? May God bless you for doing the right thing. While we can laugh at the self-induced predicament of the ship of fools, we all should pray for their survival… and help, if it is in our power to do so.
December 31, 2013 at 11:54 pm
Anthony – you are a person of extreme character and great industry. What an exemplary way to start off the new year, bridging the bitter divide between climate alarmism and skepticism in a time of uncommon and dire need. Hopefully this will lead to some bridge mending.
MrX doesn't read WUWT comments and says there should be no doubt (about the good intentions of Anthony and all at WUWT) - Huh?
January 1, 2014 at 12:23 am
Of course everyone wishes a safe return for all those out at sea. I don’t think there should ever be any doubt of that. Yet I’ve just had a discussion about this with my liberal friends and they don’t see the irony at all. In fact, they resent my suggesting it. This won’t change a thing. Those who believe the globe is warming due to human influence won’t let being surrounded by ice deter them.