To prove the horrors of man-made warming, or for the exquisitely woke human-made though perhaps women prefer not to get blamed, two groups of committed climate researchers set out to traverse the apparently wide-open sunlit expanse of the Northwest Passage in kayaks and paddleboards. Foolhardy you think? No worse than the Yacht Fiona expedition of 2009 or the Anahina sailboat expedition in 2018 or any of the other activist Arctic voyages that have ended up with the boats crushed in “unexpected” ice and the Canadian Coast Guard racing in to the rescue. Alas, just 260 miles into the latest epic 1864-mile journey two of the so-called “Arctic Cowboys” threw in the kayak paddle on August 18 because the weather was so icy and hostile (the third, a female Cowboy, had quit earlier due to “strong winds, rolling surf, and plenty of ice”). And what of the other one, a solo paddleboard venture by the intrepid Karl Kruger? Sigh. After 15 days and 420 miles, less than a quarter of the way, he gave up, blaming insufficient calories, of the food not temperature type. And in the spirit of true scientific inquiry we want to extend a sympathetic hand and go “Wuk wuk wuk you chumps”.
It’s yet another case of people being absolutely sincere in beliefs that do not match the world properly. We do our bit to help, such as our series earlier this year on the Sunburnt Lands up North. We are continually arguing, including on our social media platforms, with otherwise sympathetic readers and viewers who insist that climate change is some sort of plot or hoax. But if it were, the cunning minds behind it would avoid obvious face-plants like these expeditions, or Al Gore and others’ imminent demise of Arctic Ice and the snows of Kilimanjaro and so on.
The simple fact is that people believe what they say, and are rarely more obstreperously in-your-face with supposed proofs than when they have things so completely wrong that they try to paddle through a howling Arctic wilderness in the full glare of publicity.