I will never forget my first visit to Petermann Island in Antarctica. The sky was overcast. The Antarctic summer was winding down. The snow bloomed red and the Adelie Penguins were moulting. I did not see the travel-brochure Antarctica that day. I saw Eden.
Feeling puny in the grand scheme, I pondered my relationship with the natural world. I reflected on the Bible’s call to stewardship.
Genesis 1:26. Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”
Blasphemy it may be, but that verse set us on the wrong path. Because humankind interpreted it to mean we were superior and had the right to interfere with the natural order. We forgot that humility is essential when given the responsibility to care for anything.
So when I read an article this morning about tourists in Antarctica attempting to sow seeds, inspired by a Bible verse, I was outraged. Outraged at the Tour Operator who failed to educate its travelers before they landed ashore. Outraged at the so-called Christians who failed to recognize Eden. Ignorance boards every tourist vessel, and the consequences of ignorance put Antarctica at risk.
Ezekiel 34:17-18. As for you, my flock… Is it not enough for you to feed on good pasture? Must you also trample the rest of your pasture with your feet? Is it not enough for you to drink clear water? Must you also muddy the rest with your feet?
Image via Wikipedia
January 10 at 9PM Eastern, CBC launches a new series - Arctic Air, starring Adam Beach. The plots revolve around a fictional air line that serves Canada’s Far North. Beach plays Bobby, the man who returns to run the struggling company.
The launch of this new January series is the only one I’ve punched into my calendar. I’m looking forward to the 3 A’s – Arctic, Airplanes and Adam.
One of the benefits of using WordPress for my blog is the ability to see the search words people used to arrive here. Jackie Richardson is a very popular search. Currently – Prince Harry in Antarctica – is the most popular.
Prince Harry is not visiting Antarctica. He was earlier today marching across the Arctic Ocean with his comrades. Antarctica is not the Arctic. The Arctic is the High North. Antarctica is the High Southern latitudes.
From an online marketing perspective I am fascinated that a seeker can be completely wrong, yet be successful in their search. There is a lesson in that!
Image via Wikipedia
That’s a headline I had never imagined writing. A Bollywood actor – Akshay Kumar – plans to shoot a fight sequence in Antarctica for his next movie. All rumour and hearsay at the moment.
India has an active presence in Antarctica through the Indian Antarctic Program. The National Centre for Antarctic and Ocean Research is in Goa. For the Indian Middle Class, Antarctica is a must-see destination.
Shooting any kind of footage in Antarctica – documentary or Bollywood – is difficult and expensive! Kumar’s next movie budget must be LARGE to include an Antarctic location shoot.
But then there is always CGI. Stock footage is available. A little green screen magic and who would be the wiser. Bollywood is all about fantasy after all.
Polar Bear, Arctic Ocean near Franz Josef Land
One of the reasons you may never have heard of the place is its name. Brits refer to the entire archipelago as Spitzbergen. Real name – Svalbard. North Americans spell the name of the large island in Svalbard, Spitsbergen, but seldom use it to refer to the destination. Svalbard is the name North Americans prefer.
If that wasn’t enough – the islands are Norway’s Arctic Paradise – a region of the High North not on the radar on the western shore of the Atlantic Ocean. That’s a shame, because the islands have a lot to offer. In 8-days you should see every Arctic icon – polar bears, walrus, glaciers, tundra, Arctic fox – and even reindeer. Not so in the Canadian or Russian Arctic- where vast distances can mean you have to wait for days to see wildlife.
If you are looking for completely different destination this summer – try Spitsbergen, Svalbard. You’ll get 24 hours of continuous daylight and memories to last a life time.