It's always nice to start the year with a laugh, and what could be more hilarious than the spectacle of a collection of climate-change enthusiasts sailing off to Antarctica and finding themselves trapped in the very ice that they had gone there intending to "prove" was melting away. It's a farce that needs a Jerome K. Jerome to do it justice. The leader of the expedition, a clownish figure described as a "professor of climate change", had, like the skipper of the Hesperus and his little daughter, taken his family with him to bear him company, so confident were he and his scientific colleagues that, with the ice all gone or going, the occasion would be more like a cruise in the South Seas. Now nasty Dame Nature, declining to obey the dictates of computer modelling, has not only spoilt their holiday but delivered a slap in the face to one of the sacred dogmas of global-warming believers.

6 January 2013

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