Pacific Maritime Magazine - Marine Business for the Operations Sector

April Foolishness


Venerable British Shipyard Cammell Laird is engaged in the construction of a vessel for the British government to perform research duties in ice-laden waters of the Antarctic.

The new £200 million ($283 million) Royal Research Ship (RRS) is required meet the science requirements of the UK for a modern, state-of-the-art polar seagoing science platform, and for provision of logistical support for land-based polar science. Built with onboard laboratories, the new 410-foot ship will cruise at 13 knots, with a 19,000-nautical mile range and be capable of breaking ice up to one meter thick at three knots.

A nationwide competition hosted by the Natural Environment Research Council to choose the name of the new vessel garnered suggestions that the ship be named after Henry Worsley, who died earlier this year trying to make the first unassisted solo crossing of the Antarctic. Another suggestion was David Attenborough, a well-known British broadcaster and naturalist. The overwhelming winner of the competition, which received 20,000 votes to the runner-up’s 3,000, was the name Boaty McBoatface. The RRS Boaty McBoatface is scheduled for delivery in 2019.

Closer to home, Rhode Island Congressman Sheldon Whitehouse wants those who disagree with his global warming beliefs to be jailed. A suggestion made by a PR company to “reposition global warming as theory rather than fact” led Congressman Whitehouse to ask the Justice Department to charge “deniers” under the RICO statute. The request has been referred by the Justice Department to the FBI. We are not making this up.

At a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Justice Department operations, a deceptively coherent Rep. Whitehouse told US Attorney General Loretta Lynch that the fossil fuel industry is “…pretending that the science of carbon emissions’ dangers is unsettled has been remarked on widely, particularly by those who study the climate denial apparatus that the fossil fuel industry has erected.”

Noting that, although the Clinton Department of Justice brought and won a civil RICO action against the tobacco industry for fraud, Whitehouse said, “Under President Obama, the Department of Justice has done nothing so far about the climate denial scheme.”

George Mason University Professor Jagadish Shukla, along with 19 other “scientists” have also urged President Obama and Attorney General Lynch to investigate “corporations and other organizations that have knowingly deceived the American people about the risks of climate change” under the RICO act. Professor Shukla did not respond to our requests for comment.

A visit to the waterfronts of Newport and Bristol, Rhode Island will confirm that Senator Whitehouse’s fight against global warming has kept the sea level from rising in these ports, as the sea remains at the same level as when the ports were founded, in 1639 and 1680, respectively. He doesn’t look that old.

Speaking of old, Arizona Senator John McCain will be 80 in August. Former Arizona State Senator Kelli Ward is younger. Much younger. She resigned from the Arizona Senate late last year to run against McCain in the US Senate race, and is apparently well ahead of the incumbent curmudgeon in the polls. She has garnered support from many of her former colleagues in Arizona. She also has the support, for what it’s worth, of this Washington voter, because of her position on the Jones Act.

“The maritime industry serves this country very well,” she told us in an interview last month. “Why would you want to devastate that industry by replacing US vessels with foreign ships?”

Senator Ward notes that the number of ships in the US Navy is at its lowest point since 1930. “We’re cutting back our naval forces to the point that we’re on the verge of not having the resources to respond in an emergency,” she noted. “I don’t want that for the domestic shipbuilding industry as well.”

Nor do we. We’re endorsing Kelli Ward (R, AZ) for Arizona and a healthy maritime industry, and hope our readers in that state will as well.

Chris can be reached at


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