I’m eating butter straight out of the package to keep my body fat high enough to withstand the cold and to resupply myself with sufficient energy. But this morning I’ve received an energy boost far better than any free-roaming cow can produce. Before setting out, I got news from my friends and colleagues home in Norway that they took action today at the Statoil oil rig, West Hercules, that is about to set out to drill for oil in the Arctic.
After a hard day of skiing yesterday, recovering lost ground due to the phenomena known as 'the drift', the news from home makes the distance today feel like its going down hill. But trust me — we are going as straight north as possible.
As we slowly progress the North Pole one pressure ridge and open lead at a time, there is destruction in the making a bit further south. Statoil is gearing up to begin exploratory drillings for oil in the Arctic this year. It will be the northernmost drilling on this planet, far from any substantial help if and when an accident occurs.
Further east, Statoil is teaming up with the notorious Russian oil spill polluter Rosneft. With an astonishing 14,000 annual ruptures on their pipelines, Rosneft has left large Siberian areas in a state of environmental disaster. In North America, Shell recently had to abandon its plans to drill off the North Slope of Alaska due to a blatantly poor performance in 2012. But make no mistake, Shell is determined to return to the Arctic. One of the most immediate threats is Gazprom planning to initiate offshore Arctic oil production by the end of the year. The list of villains keeps expanding.
The warming climate is already melting the ice I’m walking on at this very moment at an unprecedented rate. Yet still, oil companies and Arctic governments are only looking to carve up this region in their desperate search for more oil and gas. Fossil fuels that inevitably will contribute to destructible climate change the world are already facing.
It is to protect the Arctic from this type of senseless corporate greed that our expedition is skiing to the North Pole. With us are four young, determined ambassadors who will lower a glass time capsule containing the 2.7 million names of supporters and plant a 'Flag for the Future' onto the seabed.
The future belongs to people like these kids. And they deserve to have us supporting them and encouraging them forward, not investing in dirty energy that will fuel climate change.
Martin Norman is a climate and energy campaigner at Greenpeace Nordic. He is currently trekking to the North Pole.