Home > Climate Change, Global Warming, Omniclimate, Science > Catlin’s Arctic Diary: Who’s Writing It?

Catlin’s Arctic Diary: Who’s Writing It?

Remarkably, the “diary” messages arriving from the Catlin Arctic Survey Team resemble each other, with a single-phrase beginning sentence, a similar length of around 300/330 words, lexical density around 55%, etc etc.

With the experience in one’s blog that entries can be vastly different from one day to the next for the same person when there is no professional oversight to the text, one is left wondering how heavy an editing is being done on the BBC side before the original thoughts by Hadow, Daniels and Hartley are published to the world.

Is that some kind of high-brow “reality show” that we are being fed with?

  1. Gerritvdl
    2009/04/11 at 23:15

    The best comment on the Catlin Arctic Survey expedition comes from the German website Welt Online. They printed the following comment from the acting director of the famous Alfred-Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research (I translate): “Heinrich Miller characterised to the WELT ONLINE the ice drillings of the three professional adventurers as “Humbug”, as far as the benefits for climate research was concerned”

  2. 2009/04/09 at 11:26

    Curiouser and curiouser. Have you seen the latest at Wattsupwiththat? More examples of repeating data. Interesting – what can it all mean?

  3. geoff chambers
    2009/04/06 at 22:12

    The Guardian’s Environment blog has a new article on Catlin’s Arctic Silly Walk. As with all their blogs, they provide readers with the opportunity to recommend responses. Despite extensive publicity, it has attracted just 6 comments, from which I extract the following quotes (with number of recommendations):
    (1) I really think this expedition is entirely missing the point.
    (6 recommendations)
    (2) It’s been entertaining to see how his trip’s publicity has back-fired to the extent that al they’ve done is moan about the cold.
    (7 recommendations)
    (3) Catlin Arctic Survey is capturing data for its science partners.
    (0 recommendations)
    (4) Unless they go back over the same ground over the next few years the ice thickness data obtained on this trip will be useless.
    (4 recommendations)
    (5) This is more about “pole bagging’ and trophy hunting than science
    (3 recommendations)
    (6) Over at Accuweather they have posted their best Earth Interviews … with great ones on Hansen, Mann …
    (0 recommendations)
    Enough said?

  4. Les Johnson
    2009/04/04 at 23:40

    As to similar writing styles, do you mean like the Penthouse letters? All the letters seem to have the same writing style.

    Or so I am told. I only buy it for the pictures.

    • 2009/04/06 at 13:38

      There is a LETTERS section in Penthouse???

  5. geoff chambers
    2009/03/30 at 22:48

    Highbrow? Certainly not. Reality show, yes, in the way the media understand reality. This is excellent media analysis. And as a supposedly professional language teacher, may I thank an engineer for introducing me to the idea of lexical density?
    If you go to the comments on
    you’ll see many comments by people with experience of arctic conditions on the practicality/interest of this expedition. We are not far from the recorded last words of kamikaze pilots. (For the record, the kamikazes lost).

    • 2009/03/30 at 23:37

      Geoff – Lexical density is an obvious choice for an engineer. You should have seen the face of my first International Relations teacher at Birkbeck’s College when I submitted a numerical analysis of UN peacekeeping activities…

      ps highbrow it is, until we see the Catlin team running to the North Pole in the buff or being voted off the ice pack

  1. 2010/01/07 at 09:36

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