LEWIS ‘POLAR BEAR’ PUGH
I had planned on taking a few days off but that doesn’t seem possible when our ice caps are melting…or, more importantly, when Lewis Pugh is kayaking. I’ve written about this amazing man before…he’s the one who wore nothing but a pair of trunks, a swimming cap and goggles as he swam all three of the worlds oceans, the River Thames and the sub-zero waters at the North Pole- all in efforts to raise awareness of global warming and its affect on polar regions.
And now, this mighty-mighty-fine man has began a 745-mile kayak-trip to the North Pole to raise awareness of how global warming has melted the ice sheet. No one has ever attempted this before-mainly because it’s been impossible, but now, sadly, scientists predict that the North Pole could briefly be ice free, a prediction that has inspired Pugh to try to find a way through. “There’s one side of me that desperately wants to get to the North Pole to be able to shake the lapels of world leaders to get them to understand what has happened there,” he said. “But then there’s the other side of me that says I really hope I don’t get there. I hope I fail because if I am able to get there we really are in deep trouble.”
The Times of India has daily posts from Pugh. In part, he writes: “Last year, after I swam at the North Pole, I predicted that within the next ten years the Arctic would be largely free of sea ice in the summer months. This prediction was scoffed at by some commentators and scientists – the latter claimed that their models showed that this would not occur for another 50 to 100 years. However, this year the Arctic sea ice has already broken two records – the sea ice is the thinnest on record and the sea ice is also the lowest in terms of volume on record. We will find out in the next two weeks whether or not the sea ice this summer has also receded so much as to cover the smallest surface area on record.” Pugh also states his objective: ‘I want to bring home to world leaders, on this expedition, the reality of what is now happening here in the Arctic. The rate of change is clearly faster than the scientific models had predicted.’
And hello to the crew…particularly, Sam Branson, as in Richard Branson’s son…not only is he hot, but you would think a kid who’s father is worth a billion dollars might be more prone to nightclubs and comfort-but instead, baby Branson is out helping save the world. From Pugh’s blog: ‘Sam is the next member of the group I want to tell you about. He is twenty-three, blonde, stubble beard, and has a great sense of humor. He also has a real can-do attitude, and a persistence that you need on a trip like this one – he’s the guy that is making sure that the photographs and the blogs make their way back to the UK through the satellite uplink – a painfully slow task that would drive me mad. He is writing a companion blog to this one, but one that is aimed at his age group. This is his second expedition to the Arctic this year – from March to June he dog-sled from Cornwallis Island to Ellesmere Island around Axel-Heiburg.’
For a great video and daily blogs from Lewis Pugh, please visit the Times of India.
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