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Fw: [fuelcell-energy] Arctic Exploration "The Ice Is Melting Incredib ly Fast" Interview

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  • npat1
    Re: Still some try inventing reasons for censorship..... ... Arctic Exploration The Ice Is Melting Incredibly Fast Nowhere is climate change as dramatic as
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 3, 2006
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      Re: Still some try inventing reasons for censorship.....

      ---------- Forwarded Message ----------
      Arctic Exploration

      "The Ice Is Melting Incredibly Fast"

      Nowhere is climate change as dramatic as in the Arctic. The German
      explorer Arved Fuchs has undertaken a number of expeditions up north.
      In an interview with SPIEGEL ONLINE, he explains why time is running

      SPIEGEL ONLINE: You have led quite a number of exhibitions to the
      Arctic since 1979. In your lectures you stress how much the region
      has changed in the last few years, and put this down to climate
      change. Many scientists say this is not a credible position -- don't
      they have a point?

      Fuchs: No. The information we are collecting agrees with what all the
      climate models and satellite data are showing. The Arctic is warming
      up quickly and the ice is melting incredibly fast. In previous
      expeditions, there were three occasions in a row when the Northeast
      Passage was so frozen over that it prevented us from getting through.
      But then in 2002 we had no problems sailing from the North Pole along
      the Siberian coast all the way to Alaska.


      Click on a picture to launch the image gallery (11 Photos).

      SPIEGEL ONLINE: And you believe that is without doubt a consequence
      of global warming?

      Fuchs: In 2002 experts said the thawing of the Northeast Passage was
      simply the result of a natural extreme in weather conditions. Today
      we know that this wasn't an exception. Everywhere on our travels, we
      have seen melting permafrost. It is a terrible feeling to see how
      fast the Arctic is changing.

      SPIEGEL ONLINE: A lot of scientists are reluctant to connect
      individual observations in climate change with global warming. Do you
      work together with scientists?

      Fuchs: We have been out in the field with oceanographers to measure
      deep-sea temperatures for the BSH, the German government's
      organization for shipping. In other cases the main point is to gather
      and store data. That is a service I always offer because it makes
      sense to use our resources that way. But some scientists are scared
      of being involved.

      SPIEGEL ONLINE: How do they make these feelings known?

      Fuchs: I am often described as an adventurer and so a lot of
      scientists view me as not competent enough. But that is not always
      the case. Young scientists in particular are generally not so

      SPIEGEL ONLINE: What are you able to do that high-tech research ships

      Fuchs: Research ships, such as the "Polarstern" are very expensive
      and have to complete a tight program on their missions as quickly as
      possible. For us that is not the case at all. We are based in the
      Arctic and can do things differently there. We can observe
      developments over a longer time period. That's why I do think that we
      have a meaningful contribution to make. But scientific research is
      not the only aim of our expeditions.

      SPIEGEL ONLINE: What drives you to repeatedly head out into the ice?

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      Fuchs: I have always been very inquisitive and have always had fun
      living out in the wilds. We also want to document what is happening.
      By doing this we can give a human dimension to the changes taking
      place in the Arctic. We don't only show columns of figures, although
      they are important too. This way allows us to tell people about the
      effects of climate change.

      SPIEGEL ONLINE: You say that you didn't like Roland Emmerich's
      Hollywood film "The Day After Tomorrow," because it was too lurid for
      your tastes. By emotionalizing the topic of climate change, aren't
      you guilty of doing the same thing?

      Fuchs: I wouldn't say so. We simply document what is happening. We
      are not making feature films. We don't make up scenes or build
      something which doesn't exist in the natural world. We try to reflect
      fairly the complexity of the topic -- of course you also have to make
      the issue universally intelligible.

      SPIEGEL ONLINE: Many industrialized countries, first and foremost the
      USA, aren't doing enough to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.
      Other countries, with huge populations, have yet to really address
      CO2 emissions. Do you think that climate change can actually be
      stopped before the catastrophe hits us?

      Fuchs: I am very pessimistic. Many scientists have finally readjusted
      their predictions -- towards more threatening scenarios. It is simply
      sickening that the USA, which has 5 percent of the global population,
      emits 25 percent of the world's CO2. And I don't think a change in
      mentality will happen quickly in the USA -- especially not with the
      present administration in charge.

      SPIEGEL ONLINE: In 1989 you were the first German to reach the North
      Pole on foot. In a few years people will probably need boats instead
      of boots to get there. Are you glad that you weren't born 30 years

      Fuchs: Very often I am asked the opposite question -- whether I
      didn't wish I lived at the beginning of the 20th century, at the same
      time as the Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen, when there was still
      new land to be discovered. I think that we are now living in an
      amazingly exciting time. But at the same time you are right: the
      North Pole expeditions that I have made will probably not be possible
      in a few years time.

      Interview conducted by Markus Becker




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