By Zoë Caron
Two evenings back, I gave an introductory presentation on climate change – the raw basics. The questions from these people are directly hitting the nail on the head, ranging from topics including renewable energy, oil drilling in the high arctic, and climate change impact on the oceans.
Read the other Students on Ice blog posts.
While climate change is a global issue, it first and foremost impacts the Arctic – and every individual on this special expedition is aware of that, whether 11 or 81 years old. It is mentioned daily without doubt, and is in the background or foreground of every location we visit here on Baffin Island and northern Nunavik.
Today, we hiked 25 km deep into Auyuittuq National Park right across the Arctic Circle. From one stand point we could see nine glaciers. The thick, jagged rock faces gleamed as they reflected the sun’s light off of the glacial runoff streaming down them. I learned later that a glacier, just this year, had gone missing from the landscape. While sitting at the base of these magnificent creations, you can’t help but become overwhelmed with a sense of gratitude and being, for and with, the greatness that surrounds you.
Now, the ship is humming through a long, glassy-topped fjord as we peer over the stern in search for orca and bowhead whales. Not a second goes by that I don’t see, smell or taste a reason to work with the people of this land to protect these beautiful places with rich, unique wildlife.
In the coming days, I will be working with the students to learn about meeting with their elected representatives and expressing their support for action on the issues that matter most to them. Later, we’ll delve into the most exciting part of climate change, which is how to activate one’s passion to create change. More updates to come!
Students on Ice’s 2010 Arctic Youth Expedition is a ship-based circumpolar adventure aimed at raising awareness about global warming – and inspiring the next generation of polar scientists, researchers and environmentalists. The participants include students from all three Canadian territories (a quarter of the total), eight Canadian provinces and four other countries.
The ship will take the students to several arctic sites including Pagnirtung, Diana Island, Digges and Walrus Islands, Cape Dorset and North shore Hudson Strait. It also drops anchor at one of Canada’s most spectacular parks, Auyuittuq National Park, and the breathtaking Kingnait Fjord.