As regular readers of "the news," you will no doubt already know that sometimes, you just can't make this stuff up.
Case in point: A ship full of "global warmists" heads off on an expedition to Antarctica to prove that the ice shelf there is melting so fast that every beachfront house in the world will soon be swept away by a massive tsunami.
But instead of finding a sad polar bear stuck on a tiny ice sheet, the adventurers found their ship stuck — in ice.
Wait, it gets better: A ship sent to free the stuck ship also got trapped in the ice. And over the weekend, the U.S. announced that it would send a heavy icebreaker to free the ships — so, of course, as usual, you taxpayers will foot the bill.
But still more: media reports about the Russian-owned research ship carrying the global warmists have failed to note the passengers' mission. Instead, news organizations like Reuters say they left New Zealand on Nov. 28 "to commemorate the 100th anniversary of an Antarctic journey led by Australian explorer Douglas Mawson." The AP peddled the same line, too.
Yet the real mission of the passengers came out anyway. The expedition's leader is Chris Turney, a "climate scientist" who has set up a carbon refining company called Carbonscape, according to the website wattsupwiththat.com, self-touted as "the world's most viewed site on global warming and climate change."
The company, the site says, "has developed technology to fix carbon from the atmosphere and make a host of green bi-products, helping reduce greenhouse gas levels."
National Geographic made it all very clear with the aptly titled report: "Who's on That Russian Ship Stuck on Antarctic Ice? And Why?"
"The current crop of explorers are hoping to document some of the same data and compare them to Mawson's numbers, 'using the twist of modern technology,' Turney told National Geographic," the article said.
The last knife of irony: While they've been stuck in the ice, a new report came out saying there is more ice on the Antarctica shelf than ever before. "Scientists at the British Antarctic Survey [BAS] say that the melting of the Pine Island Glacier ice shelf in Antarctica has suddenly slowed right down in the last few years, confirming earlier research which suggested that the shelf's melt does not result from human-driven global warming," the UK's The Register reported.
Said Pierre Dutrieux of the BAS: "We found ocean melting of the glacier was the lowest ever recorded, and less than half of that observed in 2010. This enormous, and unexpected, variability contradicts the widespread view that a simple and steady ocean warming in the region is eroding the West Antarctic Ice Sheet."
And that's why the media hasn't bothered to mention the expedition's real mission. It's embarrassing. As humiliating as those reports from the 1970s on the much-feared Global Cooling.
"US Scientist Sees New Ice Age Coming," blared a Washington Post headline in 1971. "The world could be as little as 50 or 60 years away from a disastrous new ice age, a leading atmospheric scientist predicts," the paper said. Even The New York Times said "Climate Changes Called Ominous." "There is a finite probability that a serious worldwide cooling could befall the Earth within the next hundred years."
They were wrong then, and they're wrong now. Yes, of course developed countries should do everything they can to reduce carbon emissions, but there is no global panic. After all, temperatures haven't risen since 1997 (scientists say). Some news orgs, especially in Britain, are beginning to tell a different story.
"Global warming? No, actually we're cooling, claim scientists," one September headline read in The Telegraph. "Despite the original forecasts, major climate research centres now accept that there has been a 'pause' in global warming since 1997," said the lead.
As the United States shivers in a record cold snap fed by a "polar vortex" (game time Sunday in Green Bay for the NFL playoffs was 3 degrees, with a windchill of -17!), perhaps its time to pay attention to the climatologists out there who hold that global warming is not settled science. Just over 100 years of definitive climate data can't shed much light on the 4.5-billion-year-old Earth.
And last, there's this: Al Gore has reportedly bought not one, not two, but three homes near beaches. So he doesn't seem too worried about that coming sea-surge tsunami.
Again, you just can't make this stuff up.
• Joseph Curl covered the White House and politics for a decade for The Washington Times and is now editor of the Drudge Report. He can be reached at email@example.com and on Twitter @josephcurl.