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Chris Burman

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Chris Burman is a Greenpeace New Zealand street fundraiser. He has personally gathered 6,160 signatures for our Save the Arctic petition. That made him a world-beater in Greenpeace outreach campaigning circles, and won him a trip to the Arctic Circle, aboard the Greenpeace vessel the Arctic Sunrise.

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  • Beach clean up

    Blogpost by Chris Burman - October 17, 2012 at 12:23

    Boarding the Arctic Sunrise from a support boat

    Today we had the opportunity to get down and dirty. On our way back from the ice edge we sailed through the Forland Sundet to a beach called Poolepynten on the Island of Prins Karls Forland to pick up rubbish.  

    Armed with rubber gloves and rubbish bags, a dozen of us strolled down the beach. We recognized in the snow some paw prints from an Arctic fox. About a kilometre away three reindeer were lying down to shelter themselves from the wind.

    But how on Earth could such a remote place, hardly inhabited, have rubbish on its beaches you might ask? Well, both the Gulf Stream and the currents from Siberia happen to pass by, and bring in fishing nets, ropes, floats, and even the odd spray cans, bottles and plastic containers. The weirdest things we found were two different shoes and a comput... Read more >

  • On the edge of the Arctic ice

    Blogpost by Chris Burman - October 17, 2012 at 12:11

    The Arctic Sunrise has sailed us all the way to the edge of the sea ice. We found it far west at 78 to 79 degrees latitude North, almost 16 hours sailing further away than normal. We are in a record melting year indeed.

    We anchored on an ice sheet for a couple of days to get a good feeling what the melting Arctic is like, to take a few pictures and of course to see if we could spot a polar bear.

    I took it upon myself to climb up the Crow’s Nest 25 metres above the ship, and take in the 360 degree view. As far as I could see it was just one giant cracked ice sheet.

    View from ship's crow's nest

    We are right in the middle of nowhere. The view and the silence are breath-taking. It just makes you feel alive. This white palace is classic polar bear territory, and sure enough we got to spot a mum and her cub strolling al... Read more >

  • Icescape

    Blogpost by Chris Burman - October 11, 2012 at 15:50

    The best way to get around in the Arctic waters of Spitzbergen, an island in Norway’s Svalbard archipelago, is on an icebreaker. So it’s good that the Arctic Sunrise is one of those -you don't want to get stuck around here.

    This morning, after I’d had breakfast and cleaned the toilets (one of the chores I do every morning on the ship), a good dozen of us went for a trip to a glacier on the island of Blomstrand. The island was long believed to be a peninsula, but after the dramatic melting of the glaciers in the region, it became apparent what it really was.  Armed with a picture of the glaciers taken in 1928, Greenpeace went and photographed it in 2001 to mark the difference.

    Today we are going back and the trend has unfortunately not changed.

    Blomstrand's glaciers, like many others, are... Read more >

  • How to prepare for a polar bear encounter

    Blogpost by Chris Burman - October 11, 2012 at 15:17

    In preparation for the Arctic tour of Svalbard on the Arctic Sunrise, it will surely be fascinating to visit the global seed vault, the research bases, and walk around glaciers.

    But the ultimate goal has to be to spot a walrus, or even better, a polar bear in its natural habitat. I know from previous encounters with sea lions back in New Zealand that it would probably be best to stay far away from a walrus. Imagine how far away you need to stay from a polar bear!

    The Greenpeace crew is so well prepared for a possible run in, that they dedicated a whole chapter of a manual to ‘Safety protocol for Greenpeace operations in areas with polar bears.’ We are also all to engage in polar bear safety training.

    We are told that this training is “as important as a fire-or a man overboard drill; it m... Read more >

  • Arctic - here I come

    Blogpost by Chris Burman - October 10, 2012 at 17:20

    Chris Burman is a Greenpeace New Zealand street fundraiser. He has personally gathered 7,595 signatures for Greenpeace’s Save the Arctic petition . That made him a world-beater in Greenpeace street campaigning circles, and won him a trip to the Arctic Circle, aboard the Greenpeace vessel the Arctic Sunrise. Below is the first of a series of blogs on his experience. Each is a few days old, because of the delays in getting an internet service aboard the ship  - the region is incredibly remote, after all.   

    I am being told that the trip will start in Longyearbyen (Norway) and will go around (the Arctic island of) Svalbard to bear witness of the changing Arctic.

    It may include:

    -          A visit to the Svalbard Global Seed Vault (the vault was created to replant the world in case of a glob... Read more >

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