We have regularly over the years been regaled by the BBC with the exploits of those intrepid climate activists who travel up to the Arctic to prove that, thanks to global warming, its ice is melting away so fast that there will soon be none left.
In 2008 there was the bid by Gordon Pugh to paddle a kayak all the way to the North Pole. Alas, after only a few days he found it was so cold and the ice so thick that he had hastily to be rescued. In 2009 it was the expedition led by Pen Hadow which planned to walk 600 miles to the Pole, measuring just how rapidly the ice was thinning. They too found it so cold and the ice so dangerously thick that they soon had to be airlifted to safety.
This year’s expedition, led by David Hempleman-Adams, hoped to make history by sailing right round the north of Europe and North America, guided by a legendary Russian yachtsman, Nikolai Litau. Last week they triumphantly ended their journey in Canada; but only after several hairy weeks dodging huge lumps of ice in the Laptev Sea off Siberia. They were lucky, because this September the Arctic has begun its annual refreeze earlier than at any time for 19 years.
In fact the NSIDC’s satellite record shows that there is now 22 per cent more ice than there was at this time in 2012. And, far from these people being the first ever to sail in a yacht through both the North West and North East Passages, Nikolai Litau himself – as revealed by Paul Homewood on his Notalotofpeopleknowthat website – not only made both those journeys between 1996 and 2002; he took in the Antarctic as well. But we didn’t hear about that from the BBC. It wouldn’t have fitted their “narrative”.