Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Catlin Arctic Survey Homecoming Party - In the midst of all our money-making busyness let’s not forget Climate Change

Last week I attended the Finale Party of the Catlin Arctic Survey. The expedition was a true demonstration of tremendous human endeavour. Our congratulations go to the whole team; they are remarkable people with resilience, heart and team spirit. The results they have collected will be fed through to Copenhagen later this year. But early indications are the polar ice cap is of course thinner than expected (no surprise there really) – less than 2 metres in many places.

Anne, Martin and Pen are still recovering physically and mentally from their expedition – you can actually see and hear the physical toll it has taken on them. They are to be congratulated – sound bites from their speech last night resonated with us and give us a brief check on our daily lives - whilst on the ice the spirituality of their surroundings, the voices, sounds and ice breathing momentum was humbling and comforting.

We are incredibly lucky as a generation. I remember one morning as we watched breakfast TV from bed under a Tog 24 duvet in a centrally heated bedroom drinking tea we saw Martin squeeze his frost bitten toes into icy boots. Anyone who has over-skied on holiday and given themselves blisters will remember how painful it is to squeeze your feet into badly fitted ski hire boots on day three. Now replay that with frost bitten toes, having to sleep out in temperatures of -40 degrees and a 12 hour slogs across fractured ice ahead of you for weeks at a time.

Small acts of human kindness, such as saving your daily ration of chocolate for two days for your colleague who you can see is in deep crisis, mean the world. That chocolate was saved by Martin for Pen (not Ann – in case you were wondering about the female aspect of this trip - Girl Power!).

This project’s media exposure gave 1.6bn the opportunity to see what we are up against. We are a generation that can spread influence of our activities and make things happen if we choose to work together. We will see at Copenhagen if this is possible. I’ve no doubt the work this team have achieved will influence global resolutions on Greenhouse Gas emission regulations.

So we wait with baited breath on the next Catlin project which will no doubt expand the boundaries of climate change science again. Send in your ideas if you have any, we’ll feed them through to the team.

By Debby Lloyd
Managing Director, EcoSearch

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