Sunday, September 13, 2009

Oh noes! Ice goes!

Via my impecunious yet peripatetic Greek friend, I see that The Independent is telling lies. Again.

In a piss-poor article—hysterically entitled A triumph for man, a disaster for mankind—some fuckwit named Tony Paterson manages to cram in a quite astonishing number of lies per column inch.
It has been one of the elusive goals of seafaring nations almost since the beginnings of waterborne trade, but for nearly 500 years the idea has been dismissed as an impossible dream. Now, as a result of global warming, the dream is about to come true.

Within days, a journey that represents both a huge commercial boon and a dark milestone on the route to environmental catastrophe is expected to be completed for the first time. No commercial vessel has ever successfully travelled the North-east Passage, a fabled Arctic Sea route that links the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific far more directly than the usual southerly cargo route.

The Englishman helpfully picked up what a collection of utter horseshit this article is—simply by checking Wikipedia. An onerous task that is, apparently, quite beyond the resources of Indie reporters.

But for a really comprehensive demolition of the whole piece—as well as a wonderful aside that follows the money—you really need to wander over to EUReferendum.
And none of this is true. It could not be further from the truth – it is a complete and utter distortion, a fabrication, a lie.

But there is much, much more to it than that. Writes Independent hack Tony Paterson, in Berlin, "It has been one of the elusive goals of seafaring nations almost since the beginnings of waterborne trade, but for nearly 500 years the idea has been dismissed as an impossible dream. Now, as a result of global warming, the dream is about to come true."

For the truth (Wikipedia apart), let us see what the Russians say about this "impossible dream". More correctly known as the Northern Sea Route (NSR), they tell us that the NSR is Russia's main national transport line in the Arctic.

It has been commercially exploited since 1935 when four cargo motor ships passed through the route during a single navigation season. In 1936, warships of the Baltic Fleet successfully arrived in the Far East. Russia, we are told, has invested enormous material and human resources in exploring and equipping this route. Powerful icebreakers and icebreaking cargo ships have been constructed, navigational and hydrometeorological systems established. And furthermore, up until the end of the 80s, the Arctic transportation system was self-supporting. The volume of sea traffic reached 7 million tons in 1987.

The record tells us that, after the collapse of the Soviet Union—for reasons entirely related to ice conditions and entirely to do with the breakdown of the route infrastructure—shipping along the route diminished but, we learn, between 1993–1997 the volume of sea cargo along the NSR was still 150–200 thousand tons a year. A new post-Soviet peak was established in 1993 when 15 Russian ships with 210 thousand tons of transit goods passed along the route. Now, there are even tourist trips.

Obviously, you should go and read the rest for the full devastating take-down but suffice to say that Richard North very comprehensively rips the Indie a new arsehole.
Not from The Independent though are we allowed to know the truth. Its editorial proclaims that, "One hundred years ago, the news of a ship successfully traversing the treacherous North-east Passage would have prompted popular celebrations and wild enthusiasm." Yet, despite the feat of the Vega in 1879, this is now "a confirmation of just how rapidly and dangerously our climate is changing."

There are lies, damn lies, and then there is The Independent.

Still, your humble Devil is drawn to asking the Polly Conundrum—are they ignorant or are they lying? Either way, it does not look good for a newspaper that claims to be on of the serious (and—laughably—independent) broadsheets.

UPDATE: EUReferendum continues to demolish all of the claims made in The Indie. This is not the first time that anyone had navigated the North-east Passage; further, this is most definitely not the first time that a commercial vessel had navigated the North-east Passage, nor even the first time that a German commercial vessel has navigated the North-east Passage.

You can see why the MSM want to put their material behind pay-walls, can't you?—it will make it far less likely that blogs will be able to point out these publications are written by pig-ignorant twats and lying cunts.

These ignorant reports, half-truths and outright lies are then picked up by the rest of the MSM and suddenly... Well, the lie has not so much run around the world as done two laps and is now relaxing in the bar, whilst the truth struggles with the double-knots that he tied in his laces last night.

Of course, the MSM is far better than the blogs because they always check their facts, eh?

Fucking hellski...


FM said...

How embarrassing. No wonder these flailing MSM types are losing so many readers to the blogosphere/ alternative news.

It must be depressing for them you know, having to churn out such Pravda-esque drivel, especially while wanking off to how wonderful and impartial they like to class themselves.

thespecialone said...

MSM really are a waste of time in this day and age arent they? Wonderful that blogosphere has ripped to shreds this story.

Clunking Fist said...

2 days later and still no correction! Fuck me, what a shit rag.

Mandelson's Gerbil said...

The Independent: It is. Are you?

Uh, yeah. But you're not!

It is just like the old Russian version: Pravda, which hilariously meant 'truth'.