Desolation Island

“Astronomical darkness”, I learned yesterday, sets in after the Sun has descended 18 degrees below the horizon, and none of the atmosphere above is illuminated by sunlight. Looking for the furthermost southern hemisphere locations where astronomical darkness was obtainable, with the Earth’s axis being tilted at 23.4° to the ecliptic, I figured they would lie along the latitude (90 – 23.4 -18)  or 48.6° S.

Searching Google Maps, I found two places. One was in the far south of South America, near Tierra del Fuego. And the other was a tiny island in the southern Indian ocean: the Île du Roland. This island lay slightly northwest of a bunch of islands known as the Kerguelen or Desolation islands. These were really just one island, an extinct volcano with a glacier, with a lot of small islands scattered around it.

Kerguelen’s climate is oceanic, cold and extremely windswept.

The average annual temperature is 4.9 °C (40.8 °F) with an annual range of around 6 °C (11 °F). The warmest months of the year include January and February, with average temperatures between 7.8 and 8.2 °C (46.0 and 46.8 °F).The coldest month of the year is August with an average temperature of 2.1 °C (35.8 °F). Annual high temperatures rarely surpass 20 °C (68 °F), while temperatures in winter have never been recorded below −10 °C (14 °F) at sea level.

The west coast receives almost continuous wind at an average speed of 35 km/h (22 mph), due to the islands’ location in between the Roaring Forties and the Furious Fifties. Wind speeds of 150 km/h (93 mph) are common and can even reach 200 km/h (120 mph).

Waves up to 12–15 m (39–49 ft) high are common, but there are many sheltered places where ships can dock.

Ever since Deborah Arnott wrote that “smokers will be exiled to the outdoors”, I’ve been looking for somewhere to return the favour to the antismokers.

Today I think I’ve found it at last: Desolation Island.

I think they’ll love it. Lots and lots of fresh air. Lots and lots of healthy exercise trying to keep warm or stand upright. And not a smoker for a thousand km in all directions. And no need for No Smoking signs, since it’s probably physically impossible for anyone to smoke in 150 km/hr winds.

They’d have free run of the whole island. And they could ban anything they wanted to. Smoking. Alcohol. Sugar. Salt. Fat. Dancing. Fun.

And they could live wherever they liked, although many would probably want to be up near the glacier.

And they could live in whatever houses they liked. Although I imagine most of them would prefer something along the lines of just a roof with a couple of walls – much like smoking shelters.

I’m thinking of setting up a travel agency to sell tickets there. I think they’d sell like hot cakes. They’ll be queueing in long lines to buy them.

They’d all be one-way tickets of course, with guaranteed lifetime residency thrown in for free. By boat, because there’s no airport on Desolation Island. There isn’t really a port either. The monthly supply ship from Johannesburg or Perth would drop them off in a small dinghy, and let them to row themselves to shore.

And the ad pitch would be something like: “Year round 5° C! Continuous winds up to 150 km/hr!  15 metre waves! Central island glacier! No unsightly trees! Astronomical darkness! Isn’t Desolation Island your idea of a smoke-free paradise? Book now for free lifetime residency while tickets last!”

How could they resist an offer like that?

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24 Responses to Desolation Island

  1. garyk30 says:

    Just the place for those bullies!

  2. You may well have hit on something there Frank! Perhaps when their grant money is finally shut down they can spend their retirement years there. And, if they get bored, they can make funny little snowmen who look like Stanleyish Glantz!


  3. Andy Oakley says:

    You need somewhere else for them to go Frank, they won’t be able to go there and ban smoking cos the ban is already in place cos its french owned.

    Tierra del fuego even though “shared” by Chile and Argentia has smoking ban laws too.

    Debs would enjoy watching smokers having a crafty fag in hurricane conditions outside, however I reckon there is till time to Vape in those places.

    Think on.

  4. Lepercolonist says:

    Great idea Frank. Those nannies have nearly created desolation for smokers. If Desolation Island becomes to crowded maybe we can persuade Putin to open some old Soviet gulags for the bullies.

  5. Rose says:

    They’d just get bored, Frank, with no one else to annoy they’d turn on each other.

  6. Manfred says:

    “And they could ban anything they wanted to. Smoking. Alcohol. Sugar. Salt. Fat. Dancing. Fun.”

    Perfect choice Frank. Desolation Island is a exact fit with the meme of Cultural Marxism. The risk-mongers and political kontrollers would be free to go there and sublimate their individual and group misery on early morning foraging trips. If I might suggest, and not as a point of criticism, you appear to have omitted “klimate change” from your list of things the eco-kontrollers are desirous to ban. Their penchant for kontrol has regrettably extended to the weather.

    One pleasant inducement to their settlement, something that they might ponder en route, is that they will be spared the immediate and catastrophic effects of an established centennial variation of 0.98 ± 0.27C seen over the last 8000 yrs. of the Holocene Period up to and including the present day. Natural variation is one of those Inconvenient Truths that keeps haunting them, despite the best efforts of The Adjustment Bureau. The exiles will of course not be permitted to light fires, breathe heavily or oxidise fossil fuels and they will be Required to enjoy their a prolonged moment in this natural paradise. Meanwhile, the rest of us can get on with enjoying a prosperous, guilt free and warm life.

  7. Rose says:

    Today’s news.

    It’s all over the papers in various permutations but this seems to be the source.

    Illegal tobacco trade harming efforts to cut smoking, councils warn
    12th May 2016

    “Efforts to reduce smoking are being undermined by millions of cheap, illegal cigarettes containing up to 500 per cent higher levels of cancer-causing chemicals flooding the black market, warn councils.
    Huge quantities of illicit cigarettes are being taken off the streets by councils as they continue cracking down on the illegal trade.
    The Local Government Association (LGA) said recent council hauls have seen sniffer dogs used to trace bootlegged and counterfeit tobacco.

    Millions of illegal cigarettes worth hundreds of thousands of pounds are regularly seized by councils and recent raids and prosecutions across the country include in Manchester, Croydon and Coventry.
    Trading standards officers have found illegal stashes of cigarettes hidden under floorboards, in toilet cisterns, in boxes of sweets, behind extractor fans and ceiling lights, and beneath a motorised lift.

    Many fake cigarettes contain even higher levels of toxic ingredients such as tar, nicotine, carbon monoxide, lead and arsenic than genuine brand-name cigarettes. Counterfeits also contain up to 500 per cent more cadmium than their genuine counterparts.

    Alongside the health risks, fake cigarettes also pose a greater fire risk as they do not include designs that ensure that a lit cigarette will self-extinguish if not actively smoked. This reduces the chances of them starting a fire if they are left burning in an ashtray, are dropped or if the smoker falls asleep.
    They also cost the UK economy more than £2 billion a year in unpaid duty.”

    I feel their pain but they don’t half talk some codswallop.

    “Many fake cigarettes contain even higher levels of toxic ingredients such as tar, nicotine, carbon monoxide, lead and arsenic than genuine brand-name cigarettes. Counterfeits also contain up to 500 per cent more cadmium than their genuine counterparts.”

    “tar” is not added to cigarettes, it means tobacco smoke condensate.
    Nicotine is in the plant already, why would anyone bother to add more nicotine?
    Carbon Monoxide is not added to cigarettes.
    Lead arsenate was used as a pesticide everywhere in America in the 20’s, does this tobacco come from America?

    500 per cent more cadmium? The cadmium comes from phosphate fertilizer made from calcined apatite rock and used on crops everywhere, why would the growers use 500 per cent more fertilizer on their tobacco plants than the tobacco companies do?

    “fake cigarettes also pose a greater fire risk as they do not include designs that ensure that a lit cigarette will self-extinguish if not actively smoked” that is to counter the burning agents in commercial cigarettes.
    As we all know cigarettes without burning agents go out by themselves, why would counterfeiters go to the trouble of adding citrate burning agents?

    Anyway, whatever happened to “dead flies, rat droppings and human excrement”?

    • Timothy Goodacre says:

      Yes well they are rwaping the effects of their stupid high tax rates. Good luck to the smugglers i say.

      • Timothy Goodacre says:

        Yes well they are reaping the effects of their stupid high tax rates. Good luck to the smugglers i say.

    • garyk30 says:

      They also cost the UK economy more than £2 billion a year.

      Actually, that is 2 billion a year that goes into the economy and not to the govt to be wasted on useless programs and propaganda.

    • garyk30 says:

      500 percent more cadmium means you would have to smoke about 200 cigs at the same time to get a lethal dose.

      • I think you’re right about the huge number of cigs for cadmium, but it might be even more than that. Here’s an excerpt from TNacht:

        Well, the town of Alexendria, Louisiana was celebrating its first anniversary of a smoking ban with a January 31st, 2013 dinner at a local restaurant with a local actress, Faith Ford, as a special guest. Ms. Ford told attendees her scary story of having been diagnosed by her doctor with cadmium poisoning which the doc attributed to her living in a house where people smoked. She was very concerned, she said, because she put a lot of effort and attention into “healthy living,” which, in all likelihood, included a nice healthy diet with an emphasis on wholesome snacks like sunflower seeds. Ms. Ford drew approval from the crowd as she recounted how thereafter she threw her roommates outside to enjoy their nasty habit.

        It should be noted, however, that the diagnosis seemed some¬what soft – based largely upon vaguely imagined symptoms and arguably supported by an anomalous blood chemistry reading. A kindly and fatherly doctor, wanting to “help” people stop smoking, would naturally take the opportunity to not only reassure his patient that there was a solution to her problem, but also rejoice in the fact that the solution might result in encouraging some smokers to quit! Who could find fault with that?

        Well, the smokers might not be too happy. And they’d be even less happy if they did some research. Yes, the doctor was correct in noting that Ms. Ford was exposed to cadmium from her roommates’ smoke. Where he failed was in not telling her that her likely exposure level of .003 to .03 micrograms per day was about ten thousand times less than her likely exposure if she was a hearty muncher of all-natural-organically-grown-and-watered-with-pure-raindrops sunflower seeds. A good sized serving of sunflower seeds can contain up to 100 micrograms of cadmium. So was her doctor a victim of stratistics? Or just a victim of good intentions? Hard to say, but in either event it seems likely that Ms. Ford and her likely relationships with her room-mates were victims of the war on smokers.

        In general, on average, more or less, depending on ventilations and other factors, ETS exposures are less than 1,000 times those of primary smoking exposures. So a regular smoker would get about ten times+ more cadmium in a daily diet rich in sunflower seeds than they would from their smoking.

        Ever hear of anyone warning about “deadly sunflower seeds”?

        – MJM

    • Well answered Rose! Is there a reason why you don’t copy posts like that over to the news comments areas? We desperately need to reach out to the “passers by” who often have no idea at all that valid counterarguments to the anti-fed media propaganda exist. Those folks will almost never be stopping by here, but adding your post to that news story would likely get it seen by at least several dozen and sometimes several hundred or more folks. Since you already put the thought/time into writing it, I’d say it’s well worth a cut ‘n paste, even if sometimes a minor surgery to the introductory/concluding sentence or two might be needed to generalize it beyond the primary blog!

      – MJM

      • Rose says:

        I leave that to Harley, MJM, he’s everywhere at once.

        If I posted on newspapers I’d have to leave dozens of links because there is no reason for anyone to believe a random stranger posting on a thread.
        Here everyone knows if I say something, I can back it up, quite possibly in triplicate, it’s a habit I got into on Dr.Siegel’s blog.

      • Rose says:

        Apart from which that first article is from a local government website and I don’t think they would appreciate my thoughts and the second is from 2014.

    • smokingscot says:

      Been looking at the timing of this one and why all of a sudden the The Local Government Association should issue a re-hash of stuff that even good old self serving Keith Vaz knows about.

      At the last Home Affairs Committee, held in Nov 2013 they jabber on about:


      “I think if the Government are intent on having very high levels of duty that apply to our particular products, then clearly enforcement becomes a critical component in that. If you are going to heavily tax a product, then you clearly need to enforce your borders to make sure that the product is not smuggled back in to the UK market, therefore denuding the Government of up to £3 billion in duty at their higher revenue limits.”


      So now it’s down to a paltry £2 billion in duty, showing that either we’ve been so scared off by their previous warnings and therefore don’t buy nearly as much bootleg tobacco. Or those doing the retail side of things have become far more sophisticated at hiding their product.

      Of interest is that business of trained sniffer dogs. The tobacco companies offered to provide them to these Local Government Wallah’s, but ASH became horribly pouty about the whole business of contact with the tobacco companies and started quoting the relevant passages in FCTC. So the ratepayers have had to stump up the bill.

      Yet my left earlobes’ twitching away here and I suspect we’re seeing the start of yet more shenanigans from the usual culprits (CRUK, BHF, BLF & ASH).

      They very much want the UK to adopt the same rules as Finland, where they’ve more or less said naff off to this free movement of goods poppycock and restrict imports from elsewhere within the EU to;

       300 cigarettes OR
       150 cigarillos (cigars weighing not more than 3 grams) OR
       75 cigars OR
       400 grams of pipe and other smoking tobacco

      Click to access 010.pdf

      And CRUK, BHF, BLF & ASH are fair ticked that George didn’t do as he was told at the last budget, namely:

      1) Increase the tobacco duty escalator for manufactured cigarettes from 2% to 5%.

      2) Increase the escalator for rolling tobacco from 2% to 15% until it reaches the same price as manufactured cigarettes based on a ratio of 0.75g of tobacco for each tab. (Translated that means until 12.5g of rolling tobacco costs as much as 16 cigarettes). That’s toward the end of page 4 in the pdf.

      3) Increase the price of pipe tobacco so that too hits the same target (because some rolling tobacco is blended for cigarettes but marketed as pipe tobacco).

      4) Lots of people are making/saving pots by importing whole leaf tobacco, then shredding it themselves. ASH want whole leaf taxed at the same rate as rolling tobacco on arrival in this country.

      4) They only want the extra £100 million for five years (at which time they’ll ask for more – though they don’t come out and say that, nor that they hope the government they’ll be dealing with will be Labour).

      (All that stuff is at my place, March post. No link as it’ll be the 3rd, but I’m on Frank’s blogroll).

      So let’s look at this through jaundiced eyes.

      The Local whatevers’ want illegal fags to stop, so leave the EU and all will be well because we’ll have greater control of our borders.

      Tobacco Control want only UK duty paid to be available, so either adopt the Finnish model, or get out of the EU.

      Now let me do the Martian just landed bit.

      If ASH get their way then there will be no advantage whatsoever of remaining in the EU on account they intend to whinge loudly until they get their Finnish model.

      And the Local dingbats’ want us out on account we’ll be guaranteed to have terribly safe and compliant tobacco. Oh and presumably the UK will suddenly find the funds to pay for lots more un-corruptible customs officers.

      Jeez – and they say The Power On High, His Ever So Excellent, Bob Carney’s somewhat biased and should sod off to Canada! Poor chap, he wants us to stay in!

  8. Bandit 1 says:

    I like the idea, Frank, but I think the transportation of antis would have to be by force. Such people may do nothing but bitch and whine about how awful life is in the countries they are lucky enough to inhabit, but they wouldn’t dream of moving and giving up the things they do like – including bitching and whining and getting the state to curtail our freedoms.

    ‘Exile’, you could call it.

    P.S. If there’s room on Desolation, we could send further boats full of similarly freedom-hating progressives to join the antismokers. They could get on with creating Utopia without us unwashed sorts holding them back.

    Or just die. Whatever.

    • Rose says:

      They’d never survive, they don’t produce anything useful, they don’t create anything they just spoil the things that others have created before them, we would have to feed them because I doubt they know how to grow anything and like it or not, we have empathy and they clearly don’t.

  9. garyk30 says:

    there is a lot of spare room in the Ant-Arctic and the Sahara desert.

    Of course; if they were running either, in 5 years they would be importing either snow or sand.

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