Networks Miss 'Climate Change' Irony of Ship Stuck in 10 Feet of Antarctic Ice

A Russian research vessel has been stuck in thick ice in the Antarctic since Christmas morning, and predictably the big three networks are enjoying the novelty of such an event. However, despite the obvious news story, ABC, CBS and NBC have all missed one great irony in their reporting.

On Monday December 30, all three networks covered the story, but only CBS even used the words “climate change” when discussing the trapped ship. All three failed to point out the irony that this event is an embarrassment for those pushing the liberal “climate change” narrative.

The network’s decision to ignore the irony of “climate change” as the ship remains stuck in feet of ice comes at the heels of my colleague P.J. Gladnick pointing out how the rest of the MSM has followed suit and failed to point out the glaring hypocrisy of their “climate change” narrative.

On CBS This Morning, reporter Don Dahler did mention that, “despite being frozen at a standstill, the team’s research on climate change and Antarctic wildlife is moving forward.” 

ABC’s Gio Benitez described a situation where the “ship has been trapped in ice since Christmas morning during a blizzard… The powerful Aurora Australis had high hopes of tearing through miles of ice to get to the trapped ship. It was only ten miles away when it had to turn around. No visibility.”

NBC’s Sara James struck a similar tone in her report, commenting that, “the ice cutter Aurora Australis specially built to plow through treacherous Antarctic waters found the 10 foot ice too thick. This was the latest rescue attempt. A Chinese vessel also tried and failed to cut through the ice.” James even briefly mentioned how the “scientists keep busy with research and passengers keep the world up to date” but ignored the irony that their “climate change” research is surrounded by feet of Antarctic ice.  

This is not the way the Australian Broadcasting Company presented the mission on its show “Lateline” on November 25. They explicitly described the mission as documenting “ominous signs” of climate change:     

MARGOT O'NEILL, REPORTER: Here in hot, dusty Queensland, scientist Chris Turney is training for the icy desolation of Antarctica. He and his team must learn how to drive this all-terrain vehicle, because if sea ice collapses under them, this vehicle will float. [!]

CHRIS TURNEY, CLIMATE CHANGE RESEARCH CENTRE, UNSW: So we've got to cross this sea ice of 60 kilometres to try to get into the windiest place in the world....

MARGOT O’NEILL: The research stakes are high. Antarctica is one of the great engines driving the world’s oceans, winds and weather, especially in Australia. But there’s ominous signs of climate change.

 

See relevant transcripts below.



ABC

Good Morning America

December 30, 2013

7:16 a.m. Eastern

AMY ROBACH: Well we have some new details overnight about that Australian icebreaker trying to make its way to finally free a ship trapped in the Antarctic for a week now. Rescue attempts halted by ferocious weather. ABC’s Gio Benitez has been tracking the story overnight and is here with the very latest. Good morning Gio.  

GIO BENITEZ: Good morning to you, Amy. That ship has been trapped in ice since Christmas morning during a blizzard. And just hours ago, we learned that icebreaker has failed to rescue the passengers. At least for now. This morning, 74 passengers on board the stranded ship have no idea if an icebreaker sent to free it will ever get there. The powerful Aurora Australis had high hopes of tearing through miles of ice to get to the trapped ship. It was only ten miles away when it had to turn around. No visibility. 

CHIRS TURNEY: As soon as the weather clears, they'll probably have another go. We just have no idea what the weather will do.  

BENITEZ: Expedition leader Chris Turney speaking to us just moments ago from that stranded ship.

TURNEY: We’ve got about ten days or so of fresh food. And they're on dehydrated rations. But we have also now got the Aurora within a helicopter ride. So if it really got bad they could drop us some supplies as well. 

BENITEZ: Even as a Chinese ice breaker failed to tear through the ice and another couldn't even get past the ice edge, the passengers are sending messages of hope home. 

UNKNOWN PERSON: Just saying hi to let you know we're going to be a little bit late. 

BENITEZ: While the Aurora Australis is stronger than other icebreakers, the ice could be as thick as 13 feet. The captain speaking of the Australis speaking to reporters. 

MURRAY DOYLE: We're going to do is see if we can 

BENITEZ: Before their ship got stuck in the ice in the middle of a blizzard, the explorers were on a tour of historic sights in Antarctica. Now it's simply a rescue mission. 

TURNEY: We're quietly hoping that maybe tomorrow or the day after they'll be able to have a crack at getting to us. 

BENITEZ: Let's hope they do. And if that Australian icebreaker can't make it through, everyone on board that stranded ship will simply have to abandon it and be air-lifted to safety. Amy and David? 

 

NBC

TODAY

DECEMBER 30, 2013

7:06 a.m. Eastern

BRYANT GUMBEL: There are new developments this morning in the mission to reach that research ship that’s been trapped in Antarctica since Christmas Eve. A third rescue vessel has now been forced to turn back. NBC’s Sarah James is following the efforts from Melbourne, Australia. Sarah, good morning. 

SARA JAMES: Good morning Bryant. The crew of that Australian ice cutter had hoped to reach the stranded ship at this hour. Instead the passengers remain trapped and the end of their ordeal is nowhere in sight. Despite low temperatures. 

JOHN BLACK: It's the morning of the 30th of December and it's blowing an absolute blizzard here. 

JAMES: The day began with high spirits for the 74 passengers aboard this stranded Russian ship, stuck in ice off Antarctica. 

NICOLE DELOSA: Having a fantastic time everyone. 

JAMES: An adventure which appeared to be at an end with the impending arrival of an Australian rescue ship. 

TERRY GOSTLOW: We're all in a good mood because the Australis is only 20 kilometers away and we're looking forward to seeing her. 

JAMES: But those hopes were dashed this morning when the ice cutter Aurora Australis specially built to plow through treacherous Antarctic waters found the 10 foot ice too thick. This was the latest rescue attempt. A Chinese vessel also tried and failed to cut through the ice. Both ships remain in the vicinity and an air lift by helicopter has also been scratched for now due to bad weather. 

TRACY ROGERS: You go into bunker down mode and you drink a lot of gin and tonic but also you hit the books and you use the time that you’ve got as productively as you can. 

JAMES: As the Australian maritime experts ponder what next, the crew of the ship say they have enough food and provisions. So scientists keep busy with research and passengers keep the world up to date. 
 

GOSTLOW: We love you all and we're missing you, but we'll be with you soon. 

JAMES: And passengers have been stranded since Christmas. Now they're preparing to celebrate New Year's Eve which looks like it's going to be another holiday on the ice, Jane?

 

CBS

CBS This Morning

December 30, 2013

7:31 a.m. Eastern

NORAH O’DONNELL: And the Russian research ship that spent Christmas stuck in the ice off Antarctica will probably still be there on New Year's Day. More bad weather forced a rescue ship to turn back and now the exhibition leader who's trapped with 73 other people is talking about evacuating. Don Dahler is here with the story. Don, good morning.

DON DAHLER: Good morning, Norah and Anthony. A new blizzard has engulfed the Academic Sakolsky hampering rescue efforts. The Australian scientists and other passengers are keeping their cool amid the freezing conditions even though their rescue might still be hours or even days away. The situation is shifting hour by hour on the Academic Sakolsky. On Saturday scientists saw a glimmer of hope thanks to a crack in the ice. Posting a Vine video with the new news.

CHRIS TURNEY: That ice is definitely cracking down there. Is it enough to get us out?

UNKNOWN PERSON: I hope so.

DAHLER: But those hopes were dashed yesterday after another storm came through the area where the research vessel had been icebound since Christmas Eve. 

JOHN BLACK: It’s blowing an absolute blizzard here. There’s a total whiteout. There’s snow blowing everywhere and its damn cold outside.

DAHLER: Two rescue vessels, the Aurora Australis and the Chinese Snow Dragon are nearby but they're having trouble breaking through the ice as deep as ten feet to free the Sakolsky. We reached lead scientist Chris Turney via Skype. 

CHRIS TURNEY: We don't want to spend the whole winter here. So we're going try with the Aurora. And we have got the Snow Dragon support as well. And if it’s not possible, we'll evacuate the ship. 

DAHLER: The Chinese icebreaker sent a helicopter to survey the area for a possible air evacuation but Turney stresses abandoning ship is a last resort. 

TURNEY: We’ve got various different scenarios at the moment, you just never know with Antarctica. If the wind suddenly changed direction it could break out of some of this ice. We’re also in contact with the U.S. Coast Guard. And there may be a possibility. And it’s only a possibility that the Polar Star, American icebreaker might actually be heading our way as well. 

DAHLER: The Coast Guard tells CBS News the "Polar Star" is in the Antarctic but its 12 days away from the Sakolsky. Despite being frozen at a standstill, the team’s research on climate change and Antarctic wildlife is moving forward. More than a month after the mission started and just five days from when it was originally scheduled to end. 

TURNEY: Please be reassured all our family and friends we're all well and we're keeping faith. The ship's not in any immediate danger. It's just lovely to know there’s people thinking of us back home and hopefully we'll see everyone soon. 

DAHLER: Exhibition members say there's currently no chance for an air rescue until these blizzard winds die down. 

Jeffrey Meyer
Jeffrey Meyer
Jeffrey Meyer is a News Analyst at the Media Research Center.