Will Steger and me

CopWill Steger, the most accomplished and skilled polar explorer alive today, led Expedition Copenhagen and included me as a delegate to provide support and mentorship to 12 carefully chosen young leaders seeking to help tell the story of Copenhagen in the Midwest. I have known Will well now for 5 years, but during 10 days in Copenhagen, we really formed a close bond. He says I am a “good sleeper.”

Here we are on the Midday program for Minnesota Public Radio, listening to the internet feed of the program while Jonathan Foley and Representative Kate Knuth were interviewed.

Will and I were able to share a long Saturday evening together and I asked him the details and stories of survival in weather 60 degrees below zero in the Arctic Circle. He told me stories that would make you wonder about how human beings can survive the conditions he saw. He spoke about food, and hunger, and exhaustion and the human drama of people living too close for too many days, when lives are on the line. He told me that he has slept more than 1400 nights on pack ice inside the Arctic Circle or in Antarctica. I imagine the final push to the North Pole in 1986, when an error was made and the whole day was spent travelling to the West, not to the North. I think about these things that humans have accomplished with a clear plan, focus and the determination that comes from the necessity of survival.

I think Will Steger’s expeditions are a metaphor for humankind’s mission to quickly wean itself from dumping fossil fuel emissions into the atmosphere.

Nearly impossible to conceive that we can do it, but absolutely necessary to survive.

[Reposted from Fresh Energy]

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