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A Metaphor on Ice

The winter has thus far been viciously cold around here, with ice and snow and howling arctic winds that blow through our layers of clothing to chill our bones, but our hearts are somehow warmed by the travails of the Spirit of Mawson.
In case you haven’t been following the antipodal news lately, the Spirit of Mawson is a ship that has been stuck for the past nine days in Antarctic ice. It’s a maritime disaster worthy of Joseph Conrad’s most profound prose, far worse than anything our light and rear-wheel-driven Mazda Miata has endured on the icy streets of Wichita, so we really should be feeling nothing but pity for the poor souls aboard, but even so we can’t help savoring the delicious irony that the Spirit of Mawson’s foolhardy journey into the supposedly melting Antarctic ice was intended to publicize the theory of anthropogenic global warming.
Even if you have been following the antipodal news lately, this key detail of the story might have escaped your attention. Most of the national press and network reports have omitted any mention of the Spirit of Mawson’s mission, leaving the reader or viewer to wonder why anybody would be sailing around such a godforsaken portion of the planet. This omission must have been painful for all those writers, as even the lowliest journalist aspires to the heights of literature that such an hilarious metaphor might aspire, but apparently the sacrifice is necessary to spare the theory of anthropogenic global warming any further embarrassment. The same imperative requires that the reporters not ask any troublesome questions about why a ship that is not an ice-breaker was chosen, or why it failed to heed readily available information about weather conditions, or why non-essential women and children were brought along, or who will be stuck with the cost of the rescue of the passengers and of the other ship that got stuck in the ice during an earlier rescue attempt, or whether such incompetent boobs as these are typical of the anthropogenic global warming theory’s advocates.
The gnostic anthropogenic global warming advocates at The New York Times were sufficiently embarrassed by the whole fiasco to indignantly disassociate themselves from the Spirit of Mawson, so perhaps some of the movement has the common sense to come in out of the ice, but we note that a couple of reporters from London’s notoriously left-wing The Guardian were on the ship and that most of the media are content to ignore all the implications of mission. This doesn’t disprove the anthropogenic global warming theory, of course, but it does rather undermind its advocates’ claims of intellectual superiority.
As we write this the crew of the Spirit of Mawson is still awaiting rescue, and we wish them well. More honest reports indicate that they don’t speak the same language as their passengers, which is thought to be yet another ill-planned aspect of the trip, and it’s therefor possible they’re just trying to make a honest living rather than a dishonest political point, but in any case we hope they’re soon back in warmer climes and feeling less certain that the planet is overheating.

— Bud Norman

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