Not all that cutting

Cut and Paste is supposed to provide an ironic take on the news. A few capsule comments with the final one adding an absurdist touch. The first place I go in The Australia. So what are we to make of these from today’s paper?

China wins rare praise from environmentalists after its rescue attempt, The New York Times, Jan 4:
THE havoc created by Chris Turney’s Antarctic expedition has since increased. The Xue Long, the Chinese ship which provided the helicopter to airlift Turney and his colleagues from the Akademik Shokalskiy to the Aurora Australis, has itself now become stuck in ice. Our friend Tracy Rogers, Turney’s colleague at the University of NSW, has been commenting on her rescue. “The Chinese captain is an incredible ambassador for his country”, she said today. She is very lucky that China, which normally incurs the wrath of the climate change lobby due to its fondness for new coal-fired power stations, has chosen the path to wealth – which includes ships and helicopters able to rescue scientists in distress – rather than a path to carbon-free enlightenment. Whatever the carbon footprint of the average Chinese person, it is a long, long way short of that of Chris Turney and his colleagues.

But good news, climate change wasn’t to blame. Chris Turney, The Guardian, Jan 4:
LET’S be clear. Us becoming locked in ice was not caused by climate change. Instead it seems to have been an aftershock of the arrival of iceberg B09B, which triggered a massive reconfiguration of sea ice in the area.

So what went wrong? Turney again:
UNLUCKILY for us, there appears to have been a mass breakout of thick, multi-year sea ice on the other side of the Mertz Glacier; years after the loss of the Mertz Glacier tongue … it was soon clear that the armadas of ice that started to appear were thick and old. Captain Igor tried to beat a path to open water but the size of the sea ice overwhelmed the Shokalskiy.

And that’s the punchline, the final word, whose ironic intent completely evades me. Maybe it was this letter to the editor that was designed to provide the bite:

IS it too much to expect climate change lobbyists to understand the difference between icebergs, which calve from glaciers that are derived from snow, and ice floes, which are irregular pieces of broken pack ice derived from sea water.

The ship of fools was not trapped by icebergs as a consequence of increased snowfalls allegedly caused by global warming. It was trapped in ice floes previously blown into the area after near record amounts of pack ice formed during the winter.

If the ship was trapped among icebergs it would be now at the bottom of the ocean with the Titanic.

Rod Burston, Kiama Downs, NSW

But what worries me is that whoever puts Cut and Paste together finds the irony in setting the record straight about how the boat became ice bound by taking Chris Turney’s side. Ha ha. There’s the answer, the size of the sea ice overwhelmed the boat and all you people laughing at Turney, the laugh is really on you.

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