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Monday, January 6, 2014

Quote of the Week at WUWT: Taking Precautions with Roald Amundsen

Sou | 4:11 PM Go to the first of 8 comments. Add a comment

Anthony Watts has put up a Quote of the Week, attributed to Roald Amundsen (archived here, latest update here).  It's quite a good quote:
“Victory awaits him, who has everything in order – luck we call it. Defeat is definitely due for him, who has neglected to take the necessary precautions – bad luck we call it” 

As Anthony Watts indicated, "Roald Amundsen, led the expedition to first reach the South Pole (Dec, 1911) and captained the Gjøa, which was the first vessel to sail through the entire Northwest Passage (1903-06)"

What else did Roald Amundsen do?  He was an adventurer more than an explorer or scientist. His first attempt to reach the South Pole failed, but undeterred Amundsen tried again the following spring. The following is all based on material from Wikipedia:
"Amundsen’s expedition benefited from his careful preparation, good equipment, appropriate clothing, a simple primary task (Amundsen did no surveying on his route south and is known to have taken only two photographs)."
Not science and not surveying then.  It was a simple goal to reach the South Pole.  Pure adventure.

Amundsen had quite a bit of bad luck.  He "spent two winters frozen in the ice without having achieved the goal of drifting over the North Pole".  The goal was to get the ship frozen in ice and drift over the North Pole.

He failed in an early attempt to fly over the North Pole.

He also went bankrupt at one stage.

He died while on a rescue flight - his plane probably crashed in fog on the Barents Sea.

His ship Gjøa was returned to Norway in 1972.  I don't know how much it cost to do so :)

Roald Amundsen was a great adventurer and explorer and through his expeditions he and his team did contribute quite a lot to the world's knowledge and science.  And I expect he did attempt to plan as well as possible, just like most people taking a trip into dangerous territory.

But I wonder, was Anthony wanting to hold up Roald Amundsen as a risk avoider who never encountered bad luck because of his excellent planning?  The same Anthony Watts who cowers at the thought of attending a science conference a couple of hours travel from his home in safe, sunny California.  (The same Anthony Watts who cadged funds from his followers to pay for the trip and more - and did he end up paying for attendance or did he get in for free and pocket the change?)

From the WUWT comments

There are only three so far, including this one from an uber-conspiracy theorist of the Tim Ball kind, rogerthesurf, who says:
January 5, 2014 at 8:25 pm
No section for Agenda 21 issues which is the parent of AGW as well as global web of UN non benign issues?
I cover some of them in my posts at but the issue is larger than that and miles larger than AGW which is only one of many side shows.

If you're curious about what occupies rogerthesurf 's mind, I've archived his latest article here. He is afraid. Very afraid.

With the updated archive there are more gems, including these, with a congrats to Anthony for his OWG/NWO conspiracy articles:

jdseanjd says (excerpts):
January 5, 2014 at 11:21 pm
Quite agree roger. Can’t leave it all to Christopher Monckton.
Too many people want to argue minutiae, while ignoring the bigger picture.
Fair play to Anthony, he has published some of my rants re UN Agenda 21 on WUWT. And he’s just published an article on overpopulation, the fallacy behind the fallacy of global warming, so he’s getting there, in his steady scientific way.

jdseanjd has more to say (some excerpts from a longer comment, equally bad):
January 6, 2014 at 1:37 am
Rogerthesurf hi.
Just clicked on your link, & I’m staggered by how deeply embedded the commie bureaucracy is, & how ruthless they are. & also how dumb they are.
Some facts which may help you. There are 3 city states on this planet which :
1) pay no taxes.
2) have their own police/army.
3) are not subject to the laws of the lands in which they are situated.
These are :
1) The Vatican = Vatican Bank, run by Jesuits, & owns Bank of America.
2) The City of London = Bank Of England = Rothschilds, (& Royal Family) = ‘The Crown’
3) DC in Washington = The FED = Rothschilds + Warburgs + Schiffs + Rockefellers, etc.
...In particular, ‘The Crown’ is a corporation, owned by anonymous private Central Banksters, which owns Canada & New Zealand & Australia. Even The Queen Of England has to ask permission of The Lord Mayor of London to set foot in The City Of London, which shows you who’s in control.
...What I believe is happening is that technology & population numbers have made such huge progress in the 20th century that the 1%s have grown afraid of losing the control they have hitherto enjoyed. In particular they fear losing control of Energy, because cheap & plentiful energy is the basis of all progress in society.
...Back to UN Agenda 21. It’s the Control Freak Coward 1%s desperate play to hang on to control in the face of exponential technological progress. They have decided to cut back world population to approx 500,000,000, from its present ~ 7 billion. That means “disposing of” 13 out of 14 people now alive.
They have also decided to abolish private property, & the family. You are seeing what huge progress they have made in Christchurch. In the UK, most of our politicians, bureaucrats & Govt departments have been heavily infiltrated by Communist front organisations, led by a shadowy group known as “Common Purpose”. In the US, I believe it’s “Common Core”. They are not above using totally vile techniques, such as bribery & blackmail, to suborn people to their cause.
...The irony is that these mad plotters will be redundant once the entrepreneurial & middle classes have been squeezed out of existence, leaving just the 1%s & an agrarian serf class of only ~ 500,000,000 to service their needs. Tricky Marxist plotters will be surplus to requirements, & will be disposed of.
It’s all totally mad, of course. Ron Paul,one of the very few politicians I respect, spent 20 of his 23 years a a Texas Congressman trying to arrange an audit of the FED. He failed, which amply demonstrates where true power lies in our nominally “Democratic” society. He has now retired, having handed the cudgels to his son Rand Paul. He now focuses on homeschooling, ie getting kids out of the dumbing down brainwashing system we call our state schools. He has resigned himself to the sane survivors having to pick up the pieces, & start again, after the “Catastrophe” he predicts the mad 1%s will cause....


  1. Our parks and gardens are full of statues of gentlemen explorers who financed their trips through fund raising. We have named electoral districts and towns after these two who were so poorly organised they died on the journey.

    They were lucky they were not climate scientists.

  2. AGU Press Passes were definitely free - I know as I had one.

    1. And I thought deniers were very hot on public accountability :(

      It was quite a luxurious WUWT-funded holiday for Anthony, with nothing to show for it except a video interview with Steve Mosher and co., some photos of slides and snapshots of laptops, his packed up video camera and various signs.

      He promised any $$ left over would be spent on a slap up Christmas dinner for him and his moderators and favoured commenters, which he didn't write about in the end. I wonder did he hold it?

  3. I used to play Go a lot, and there was a proverb: "Strong players tend to have better luck". Which meant: when the fighting spread from one area of the board to another, in unexpected ways, it would "just happen" that the stronger players stones in the remote area were better placed to survive / receive / whatever. And this would happen again and again. OTOH, it didn't mean that they always won; so you can't apply it to a single event.

    In fact there's an antient latin tag about "not reasonning from singular events" but I can't find it now.

    1. I can't remember to whom which golfer it is attributred (Palmer/Player I think although attribution is a bit dodgy) but "The more I practice, the luckier I get" is a good summary.

    2. "In fact there's an antient latin tag about "not reasonning from singular events" but I can't find it now."

      Are you thinking of "one swallow does not make a spring", from the greek philosopher Aristotle? Excerpt from the Nicomachean Ethics, itself inspired by one of Aesop's Fables, The young man and the swallow.

  4. Would Tony and his troupe of flying monkeys know the difference between Roald Dahl and Roald Amundsen? Delirant isti illiterati! (Those illiterati are crazy!)

  5. Amundsen used Fridtjof Nansen's Fram on the South Polar expedition precisely because it had been frozen in during Nansen's attempt to reach the North Pole by freezing in and launching a dash to the pole from as far north as the ship would drift.


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