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Goodbye Iceland

by Guest Blogger

June 28, 2005

Greetings from Iceland. Our ETD is 12:00, a half hour from now.

Martina and I just downed our seasickness pills and are tidying up our cabin so that stuff doesn’t get tossed everywhere. We also have to go hunt down some buckets because according to Arne (the Captain), “it will be a bit rough out there.” For exactly how long, I don’t know. He said something to the effect of the wind changing direction to come from the southwest after a while, which will mean it will be behind us and will make the ride a lot smoother. I’m not keeping my hopes up, though, and am ready for a few days of feeling pretty puny in my bunk.

We met with the mayor of Isafjordur yesterday. The whale campaigner,

Frode, told us that the mayor is a fisherman and would probably dress

casual for our meeting. I wore a jeans and a fleece, and felt kinda bad

when the mayor showed up in a suit. Oh well.

We met on the bridge of our

ship so it was pretty informal, anyway. Frode talked about how this is

the third year in a row that Greenpeace has visited Isafjordur because

we are conscious of the criticism that some NGOs visit, make a lot of

promises and never return.

Martina talked with the mayor about the

town’s plans to establish a sort of climate research station here to

look into sea currents and ocean temperature and how they are being

affected by global warming. The mayor said how he’s concerned about the

impacts of global warming on the country’s fish stocks. Some species of

fish seek out a particular water temperature, and if the water

temperature of traditional fishing grounds changes, then the fish may go

elsewhere.

The mayor also told us an interesting story about how the

town’s new dock has been built half a meter (1.5 feet) higher than the

old one since sea level will rise due to global warming. I chimed in

that this kind of information is important for Americans because when we

hear that global warming is affecting people, we will be motivated to

take action.

This morning I reviewed some footage of a glacier expert in Reykjavik

who said that melting glaciers in this country could lead to more

volcanic eruptions. I’d never heard that before.

It is VERY interesting for me being an American on board this ship,

coming from the country that’s the biggest emitter of greenhouse gases

and is also the most recalcitrant when it comes to dealing with global

warming. The ship’s engines just fired up so I am going to shut down

this laptop and start stowing things for the ship’s transit to

Greenland. Next update will hopefully be while en route or, if it’s too

rough, from the calmer, ice infested waters of Greenland.

-Melanie

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