Your recommended daily dose of irony

posted at 2:15 pm on May 6, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

Man has sailed the seas since antiquity, and has constantly worked to improve the technology in order to make ocean passage safer and more reliable.  Give the Fleur credit for pushing the boundaries of sailing technology on behalf of renewables — and demonstrating how useless they are for the purpose.  And when the Fleur ran into trouble, their rescue turned into high irony on the high seas (via The Corner):

An expedition team which set sail from Plymouth on a 5,000-mile carbon emission-free trip to Greenland have been rescued by an oil tanker.

Raoul Surcouf, Richard Spink and skipper Ben Stoddart sent a mayday because they feared for their safety amid winds of 68mph (109km/h).

Actually, the situation had become much more dire than just the high winds:

But atrocious weather dogged their journey after 27 April, culminating with the rescue on 1 May after the boat was temporarily capsized three times by the wind.

In one incident Mr Stoddart hit his head and the wind generator and solar panels were ripped from the yacht.

Water was also getting into the boat from waves breaking over it and the crew took refuge in the forward cabin.

Fortunately, salvation was at hand after three capsizes and the loss of their power.  Unfortunately for the 40 schools following the Fleur’s progress on its green journey on the blue seas, salvation came from the oil tanker Overseas Yellowstone, hauling precisely the fuel that climate-change advocates dislike.  The students in British schools got an unintended lesson on the readiness of wind and solar power to replace oil and coal, fortunately a lesson that didn’t cost any lives.

Now, oil-powered ships get lost at sea, too, including oil tankers, although not nearly at the rate as in decades past.  But the Fleur made this voyage as a publicity and educational mission, and its failure — and the nature of its rescue — are certainly fair game for drawing a few conclusions.

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Comment pages: 1 2

Sailing ships generally do have trouble with storms. All one would need to do is look back at history.

rbj on May 6, 2009 at 2:32 PM

Something that is rarely studied now, regretfully.

Johan Klaus on May 6, 2009 at 4:06 PM

Hilariously ironic, yes.

But that’s no reason to take a snarky sh1t all over people trying to explore alternative fuel sources.

Dave Rywall on May 6, 2009 at 3:44 PM

speaking of snarky!

upinak on May 6, 2009 at 4:08 PM

Hilariously ironic, yes.

But that’s no reason to take a snarky sh1t all over people trying to explore alternative fuel sources.

Dave Rywall on May 6, 2009 at 3:44 PM

speaking of snarky!

upinak on May 6, 2009 at 4:08 PM

Quite frankly, I think it is the perfect time.

ladyingray on May 6, 2009 at 4:17 PM

Hilariously ironic, yes.

But that’s no reason to take a snarky sh1t all over people trying to explore alternative fuel sources.

Dave Rywall on May 6, 2009 at 3:44 PM

You are right. We are already in an age needing alternative resources. But the need isn’t coming from a shortage of current resources or from a lack of environmental and safety controls but rather from political and religious (Gai worshipers) intimidation.

shick on May 6, 2009 at 4:20 PM

One question,

Don’t they the greenies have a backup system and/or a backup plan?

Sir Napsalot on May 6, 2009 at 3:27 PM

Somehow I don’t think getting rescued by an oil tanker was their exit strategy. So I’d have to say…no.

NellE on May 6, 2009 at 4:31 PM

Chalk one up for Big Oil!

Christian Conservative on May 6, 2009 at 4:33 PM

And when the Fleur ran into trouble, their rescue turned into high irony on the high seas (via The Corner):

The crew should have been left to become renewables, themselves.

progressoverpeace on May 6, 2009 at 4:34 PM

Oil’s Well that Ends Well

GreenBlade on May 6, 2009 at 4:36 PM

Building a boat to make a ‘carbon free trip’
Cost – untold thousands of $$ and tons of carbon for the actual equipment.
Being rescued from your greenie-weenie little pointless PR stunt by a 100,000 ton oil tanker – PRICELESS!

For all your earthly needs there is oil, for everything else there’s your own sense of self righteousness.

Falconsword on May 6, 2009 at 4:49 PM

Excellent metaphor. We will see out foolish dalliance with “green energy” end pretty much the same way, unless we embrace nuclear power on a very large scale.

mr.blacksheep on May 6, 2009 at 4:54 PM

I think we should go out and kill a gay gray whale and have a BBQ in thanks of the rescue.

GarandFan on May 6, 2009 at 4:56 PM

If there were truly green, they would have accepted their watery demise as part of the great circle of life. But that would meant no more hippy nookie for them.

Let me guess. They will take a helicopter ride home.

pedestrian on May 6, 2009 at 4:57 PM

Fun stuff! :)

bluelightbrigade on May 6, 2009 at 5:00 PM

If they were TRULY green, they would have been sailing on a ship made from bundles of living seaweed tied with hair from their own bodies, and communicating with the students via carrier pigeon and notes written on slabs of their own sun burned skin. Morons.

Falconsword on May 6, 2009 at 5:08 PM

The crew should have been left to become renewables, themselves.

progressoverpeace on May 6, 2009 at 4:34 PM

Yes, their demise should have been documented and used as an example of law of unintended consequences. After all, the majority of the vessel, and all of it’s crew, would be bio-degradable, so no harm done to mother nature by the ship of fools and her retard crew.

I’ve spent plenty of time in the Navy, and watched 100,000 ton vessels, in the North Atlantic, take black water over the bow. Mother Nature is unforgiving, inthat She doesn’t give a rat’s patoot about you, your vessel, or anything else.

We have plenty of alternative energy to supplement fossil fuels. It’s called nuclear power and it’s time we started rebuilding our entire nuclear power infrastructure.

AW1 Tim on May 6, 2009 at 5:14 PM

This story and the story of Timothy Treadwell are wonderful illustrations of the foolishness of the tree-huger mentality…

…which is why it will be flushed down the memory hole, and impressionable children will never be told of it.

Socratease on May 6, 2009 at 5:17 PM

Nice…

Theworldisnotenough on May 6, 2009 at 5:33 PM

You are right. We are already in an age needing alternative resources. But the need isn’t coming from a shortage of current resources or from a lack of environmental and safety controls but rather from political and religious (Gai worshipers) intimidation.

shick on May 6, 2009 at 4:20 PM
———–
Since everybody is sh1tting their pants about Obama bankrupting their grandchildren with the ballooning national debt, how come people aren’t sh1tting their pants about leaving behind a sustainable/responsible energy policy for those same grandchildren?

Dave Rywall on May 6, 2009 at 5:34 PM

Sailing ships generally do have trouble with storms. All one would need to do is look back at history.

rbj on May 6, 2009 at 2:32 PM

Well, it depends on what type of sailing ship, and where it was sailing.

The people from the South Pacific sailed their voyaging canoes over thousands of miles of ocean to various islands, navigating by the stars. That’s how most of the Pacific Islands, including the place O’bama claims to have been born, were originally settled.

Interestingly enough, last week a replica Chinese sailing ship that had safely sailed thousands of miles from Hawaii to the Orient sank after it was hit by a “real” ship. Happened near Taiwan as I recall.

Del Dolemonte on May 6, 2009 at 5:35 PM

they were heard to exclaim – that boat was a sausage fest anyways.
lorien1973 on May 6, 2009 at 2:26 PM

Hopefully no one was run up the mast!

heshtesh on May 6, 2009 at 5:40 PM

You want to start REAL renewable resources. How about all humans are not allowed to be cremated and should all go to a special land fill in which the bloated bodies will begin to leak a chemical to emit methane like gases.

Perfect cycle.

Ok I am also totally kidding.. or am I?

Soylent Green anyone?

upinak on May 6, 2009 at 6:02 PM

Since everybody is sh1tting their pants about Obama bankrupting their grandchildren with the ballooning national debt, how come people aren’t sh1tting their pants about leaving behind a sustainable/responsible energy policy for those same grandchildren?

Dave Rywall on May 6, 2009 at 5:34 PM

We can do that within one generation. Build nuke plants left and right, and phase out fossil fuel plants as the nukes come on line.

Any other way is just letting the dirt-worshipers destroy our civilization and push us all back to the stone age.

AW1 Tim on May 6, 2009 at 6:03 PM

You want to start REAL renewable resources. How about all humans are not allowed to be cremated and should all go to a special land fill in which the bloated bodies will begin to leak a chemical to emit methane like gases.

Perfect cycle.

Ok I am also totally kidding.. or am I?

Soylent Green anyone?

upinak on May 6, 2009 at 6:02 PM

Except that my religion demands cremation.

Besides that, I’d say that cremation ought to be mandatory. Why waste valuable farmland or land that could be better used than as a receptacle for bodies?

AW1 Tim on May 6, 2009 at 6:05 PM

Plastic men in glass ships.

Blacksmith on May 6, 2009 at 6:08 PM

AW1 Tim on May 6, 2009 at 6:05 PM

Awesome! Ok this sounds weird. Can I use you as fertilizer then?

/SARC!

upinak on May 6, 2009 at 6:10 PM

“In one incident Mr Stoddart hit his head and the wind generator and solar panels were ripped from the yacht.”

Well there’s the problem. The wind generator was turned up too high.

BVM on May 6, 2009 at 6:13 PM

Besides that, I’d say that cremation ought to be mandatory. Why waste valuable farmland or land that could be better used than as a receptacle for bodies?

AW1 Tim on May 6, 2009 at 6:05 PM

LOL. Each burial takes what, 4×10 feet of surface area? Not even counting “two deep” graves.

Please show me a city, any city, whose current city limits encompass cemeteries adding up to more than 1% of the total surface area.

cs89 on May 6, 2009 at 6:54 PM

This is just so hilarious and ironic that it ties with the Obama shirtless pictures (as scandalous photos revealed of anti gay marriage proponent) as laugh of the day and possibly the week. Oil tankers doing the work that sissy green sailors can’t do. The imagery of the solar panels being ripped off also sticks in my mind. This is but another example of econazis’ hubris and their complete lack of anything approaching intelligence involving how the world operates.

eaglewingz08 on May 6, 2009 at 7:06 PM

cs89 on May 6, 2009 at 6:54 PM

Does the state of Florida count?

upinak on May 6, 2009 at 7:47 PM

Hilariously ironic, yes.

But that’s no reason to take a snarky sh1t all over people trying to explore alternative fuel sources.

Dave Rywall on May 6, 2009 at 3:44 PM

Don’t be ridiculous, Dave, of course it is.

Jaibones on May 6, 2009 at 7:50 PM

This is so embarrassing …
I’ve been knocked down under sail more than once myself in high winds… before I was able to reef…
Sometimes it’s unavoidable … but if these guys had any amount of time or knew it was coming…they didn’t have one of these…and should have.

jerrytbg on May 6, 2009 at 7:51 PM

Awesome! Ok this sounds weird. Can I use you as fertilizer then?

/SARC!

upinak on May 6, 2009 at 6:10 PM

Actually, after cremation, what’s left is probably best used for concrete or decorative fill. :)

Seriously, I told my kids that they ought to take my ashes, mix them with some casting resin, and make a gargoyle out of me. Put it up on the mantle and creep out the neighbors….. Maybe make a garden gnome. heh.

AW1 Tim on May 6, 2009 at 8:26 PM

AW1,
For me…out in open ocean…

jerrytbg on May 6, 2009 at 8:33 PM

Does the state of Florida count?

upinak on May 6, 2009 at 7:47 PM

Heh. Yeah, they’ve got some pretty big cemeteries down there, and lots of retirees.

Still remember looong empty drives, though, like between Tallahassee and Tampa. I’m probably being too literal as usual, but the “oh no! We’re running out of space!” crap rubs me the wrong way. I’ve seen a decent percentage of this country, and there’s lots of empty space out there.

cs89 on May 6, 2009 at 8:36 PM

But that’s no reason to take a snarky sh1t all over people trying to explore alternative fuel sources.

Dave Rywall on May 6, 2009 at 3:44 PM

But isn’t oil a more recent alternative to wind?

dominigan on May 7, 2009 at 9:00 AM

Building a boat to make a ‘carbon free trip’
Cost – untold thousands of $$ and tons of carbon for the actual equipment.
Being rescued from your greenie-weenie little pointless PR stunt by a 100,000 ton oil tanker – PRICELESS!

If they really wanted to be carbon-free, they should have built their boat from a renewable material–WOOD! Like Christopher Columbus did.

Columbus, over 500 years ago, also had the good sense to sail much further south, and avoid the nearly-permanent low-pressure (stormy) area just south of Greenland and Iceland. It’s a great wind-generator, but solar-powered anything gets starved there!

If the “Fleur” crew was trying to make a point about global warming and the weather, they could have checked reports from weather satellites–oops, carbon was burned putting them into orbit.

Earth to “Fleur”: The oily boid catches the woim, and Mother Nature can be a b1tch.

Steve Z on May 7, 2009 at 10:04 AM

Since everybody is sh1tting their pants about Obama bankrupting their grandchildren with the ballooning national debt, how come people aren’t sh1tting their pants about leaving behind a sustainable/responsible energy policy for those same grandchildren?

Dave Rywall on May 6, 2009 at 5:34 PM

Dave, if everyone was allowed into the conversation I would agree with you. However the mike is being held by a group with a radical agenda that has no other reason to believe in the best policy other than their faith in themselves.

Facts are facts. Nuclear power is a viable option. 50% of France’s power is derived from it, 80% of Japan’s. There is enough shale oil in the Rockies to fulfill all our needs for generations while we pursue technologies that can bring us clean unlimited power. But so long as those guys with the mike continue to cling to their beliefs, we’re going to pursue policies that will limit our choices, not increase them, and make them the laughingstock they are when stunts like this go awry.

itsspideyman on May 7, 2009 at 10:41 AM

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