The Strange Tale of The Mail and The Snow Dragon

This article is reposted from, originally published on March 18th 2013, as historical background to a new article on the so called Polar Silk Road.

As I’ve recently been reporting over on the Arctic Sea Ice Forum, I inadvertently found myself having lunch with the Chinese delegation to the Economist’s Arctic Summit in Norway last week. Amongst other things I learned about the voyage of the Chinese research vessel Xue Long (Snow Dragon in English) right across the Arctic Basin last summer:

The summer 2012 voyage of The Snow Dragon, courtesy of the Arctic Portal
The summer 2012 voyage of The Snow Dragon, courtesy of the Arctic Portal

Then over the weekend The Daily Mail published (again?!) an article by David Rose under the strident headline:

The Great Green Con no. 1: The hard proof that finally shows global warming forecasts that are costing you billions were WRONG all along!

Needless to say the following article shows nothing of the sort. Fondly imagining that David and his loyal readership would be interested in learning about some of things I discovered on my recent trip to Oslo I posted a comment on David’s article, which included this link to the following image (courtesy of The Arctic Portal once again):

Cross-Arctic Sea Routes. Past, present and future.
Cross-Arctic Sea Routes. Past, present and future.

After a couple of hours I noticed that my learned comments seemed to have fallen foul of the Mail’s moderator(s). So too had the most popular comment on the whole story from Mark in Warwickshire, who was complaining by then that:

Mark's message is missing!
Mark’s message is missing!

My message was missing too, so I carefully read the Mail Online’s “House Rules“, which state (amongst other things) that:

We welcome your opinions. We want our readers to see and understand different points of view. Try to contribute to the thread, rather than just stating if you agree or disagree.

I figured that was exactly what I was endeavouring to do, so still somewhat baffled I read on:

You must not insert links to websites (URLs) or submit content which would be an infringement of copyright.

Figuring that I must have crossed on to the wrong side of this particular line I tried again, using the following carefully crafted form of words:

My previous comment seems to have fallen foul of the “house rules” so I’ll try again. To discover what I was on about try Googling my username along with “Arctic Summit”.

I attended the aforementioned event in Norway last week. If there was a Daily Mail reporter there they kept very quiet about it! Amongst the other matters under discussion the Russians and Chinese were obviously extremely keen on the idea of saving many billions (and hence making many billions!) of dollars by shipping many billions of tonnes of stuff across the Arctic Ocean in the very near future.

[link omitted to avoid offending the house rules]

Whatever the likes of Myles Allen and David Bellamy may have said in various locations at various times the message from the real world in Oslo last week is abundantly clear. Statements such as “No, the world ISN’T getting warmer” are extremely “economical with the truth”.

That was over 24 hours ago, but still my wisdom from the East has failed to materialise at its intended destination. Perhaps someone from the Mail Online would be good enough to explain to me where I’m going wrong? Hopefully Mark is now a happy bunny at least, because today his missing message has been miraculously restored to the top spot amongst the currently 709 comments on the Mail’s Message:

Mark's missing message is miraculously restored
Mark’s missing message is miraculously restored!

Do you suppose one or both of my messages will benefit from a similar miracle in the near future, and who is “conning” who here?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The maximum upload file size: 8 MB. You can upload: image. Links to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other services inserted in the comment text will be automatically embedded. Drop files here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.