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Willetts - Britons Don't Cheat, They Do It As Men and The Antarctic Is Melting

Moving on and up is very hard — and feminism is partly to blame | The Times

David Willetts is standing between a picture of Captain Scott and a gigantic map showing the South Pole. One hundred years after the first polar expedition, the Universities and Science Minister has just returned from the Antarctic.
In sub-zero conditions, he saw penguins and seals as he flew over melting glaciers to witness the impact of global warming. “It was completely beautiful,” he says......

There is no doubt in his mind that climate change is a genuine danger. “When the pilot shows you a map of an ice shelf from 30 years ago and points out how it has changed, and a scientist says the place where he set up camp 30 years ago is now in open water, there is something real happening.”
The man nicknamed “Two Brains” is proud that it was British scientists who discovered the hole in the ozone layer, using “a few stubby pencils” rather than sophisticated computers. In his view they have the same plucky spirit as Scott, who collected research specimens on his way to the South Pole. He contrasted Scott and the Norwegian who beat him to the pole. “Roald Amundsen used huskies, which was the most effective way to travel, but Scott did the journey on foot. There was the sense that the British would do it properly. This was a test, they were going to do it as men. They were not going to cheat.”

Of course I haven't got two brains so instead of flying to Antarctica I took a whole minute to Google up the data - Sea Ice Index.

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And as an Englishman I'm not going to cheat and I'm going to tell the truth about the Antarctic Ice Sea Extent....

Comments

I am afraid that career considerations may have penetrated deeply into both of Mr. Willetts' alleged brains.

With Samantha Cameron's Dad pulling down £1000 per day from his wind/subsidy farm and Mrs. Clegg doing very
nicely from a firm which sells those wretched turbines, he's not going to risk upsetting the distaff side
of the coalition.

He would be toast, if he did - and, of course, may very well have "green" investments himself like Tim Yeo who chairs
the Climate Change committee.

With this scam, the official/political class can actually vote themselves rich at our expense with great purity
of motive - that of "saving the planet".

Mr "Two Brains" flies over the ice sheet at the end of summer when it is likely to be at its lowest extent and is told it's changed in the last 30 years.

Yes it has!
Last winter (our summer) it was larger. Then it was smaller during the Antarctic summer.
Repeat 30 times.

I seem to remember from somewhere that there is a similar phenomenon in the Arctic. Amazing.

If you want to have a proper discussion about what is happening to ice masses around the world as the planet warms, it would be a good start if you understood the difference between sea ice, ice shelves and ice sheets. Then you may be able to avoid the schoolboy error of equating an increase in sea ice around the Antarctic with an increase in the size of the Antarctic ice sheet. You may also be able to understand what the effect of the loss of ice shelves over the past 30 years has had on the discharge into the ocean of the glaciers flowing into them. Gone on - try it: do some research, think about a problem, then make a judgement based on knowledge. You might just find it refreshing.

I have a garden and I can assure you that ever winter it is covered with snow, and not, in the summer and further more from year to year the thickness and location of the drifts changes.

Can I perhaps extrapolate that the South Pole has similar, perhaps even decadal in nature, variation? We have after all, only a century of useful direct observation.

As to the minister with an alleged two brains, I suspect one is perilously close to the other end of his spine.... sorry, the xray is revealing that's his colon. In a politician that's an understandable mistake.

Anyone dumb enough to idolise Scott, who condemned his men to their deaths through poor planning and incompetence, is not to be relied upon for anything.

Glaciologist Heinrich Miller, speaking on German TV (NDR), December 2011:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J8i9wYfyXa4

Translation (as reported by Pierre Gosselin, notrickszone.com): "Here almost nothing has changed. At least not near the surface. The average annual tempertures have remained the same. There are of course large fluctuations from year to year. If anything over the last 30 years we have a slight cooling trend. And this flies in the face of what is always immediately claimed: 'The climate is warming and the Antarctic is melting'."

Amundsen used huskies and Scott used horses and motor sledges. Unfortunately, the horses did not survive in the cold and the sledges broke down. So, Scott had to do it properly... I believe that Dr Willett is ironical - perhaps he associates with "mad dogs and Englishmen out in the blazing sun..." or something like that. Scott and his men's achievements were non the less super human.

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