Legendary polar explorer Will Steger speaks on the effects of global warming

by Howard Lestrud
ECM Online Managing Editor

“Global warming is going to dominate the future lives of our young people and we have a responsibility to prepare them for this by teaching them what it is and where the solutions lie.” — Will Steger, 2006

Many chuckle about the topic global warming when they look outside and see the huge mounds of snow that have accumulated in many backyards in Minnesota. Even so, world acclaimed polar explorer Will Steger of Minnesota continues to bring his message forward about the effects of global warming.

Mark your calendar for Tuesday night, Jan. 25. Steger will be a guest speaker at the Anoka-Ramsey Community College Cambridge Campus annual Science Night. The event starts at 7 p.m. and is open to the public at the Cambridge campus, 300 Spirit River Drive South, Cambridge, MN 55008-5704

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Best known for his legendary polar explorations, Steger will present, Eyewitness to Global Warming. He has witnessed the on-going catastrophic consequences of climate change, and has become a formidable voice calling for understanding and the preservation of the Arctic, and the earth.

For more than 45 years, Steger crossed the Arctic, leading teams over tens of thousands of miles by kayak and dogsled, resulting in the Lifetime Achievement award from National Geographic Adventure Magazine in 2007. Steger led the first confirmed dogsled journey to the North Pole without re-supply in 1986, a 1,600-mile south-north traverse of Greenland (the longest unsupported dogsled expedition in history) in 1988, and the first dogsled traverse of Antarctica (the historic seven month, 3,741-mile International Trans-Antarctica Expedition) in 1989–90.

Recent expeditions have included a dynamic online component and have taken Steger and his expedition teams to Ellesmere Island and Baffin Island in Canada’s High Arctic.

Steger continues his commitment to education and exploration through the Will Steger Foundation. For more information about his organization, visit http://www.willstegerfoundation.org/.

The Will Steger Foundation was established in January 2006 by polar explorer Will Steger, the Will Steger Foundation (WSF), located in Minneapolis, MN, is dedicated to creating programs that foster international leadership and cooperation through environmental education and policy. The Will Steger Foundation has seen firsthand the dramatic effects of climate change on both the environment and the human condition through the efforts of its founder who has explored the Polar Regions for 45 years. With that knowledge, WSF is leading humanity to slow climate change.

The Will Steger Foundation seeks to inspire and be a catalyst for international environmental leadership to stop global warming through exploration, education and action.

At the Foundation website, read the mission and vision of the Foundation.

The Will Steger Foundation is dedicated to creating programs that foster international cooperation and leadership through environmental education and policy.

As eyewitness to the reality of global warming, and as an explorer taking on daunting challenges, the Will Steger Foundation inspires people to embrace the transition to a low-carbon economy: exploring the path forward, and leading the way through exciting education, citizen engagement and international cooperation.

Many documents on global warming are available on the Steger Foundation website. You can download them as PDFs.

Read the Letter of Concern from Will Steger. It begins: “Global warming is a reality. It threatens both our society and life as we know it on Earth. The overwhelming consensus of the scientific community for the past decade has been that the planetary warming we are now experiencing, and the resulting climate change, is largely a human induced phenomenon.

“This was reconfirmed with overwhelming consensus in 2007 with the release of the fourth report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Global warming is brought on mainly by the release of carbon dioxide through the burning of fossil fuels, which blankets our atmosphere raising the Earth’s surface temperature.

“Environmentally, we see dramatic signs of global warming in our polar regions. Yet, because these regions are remote and go unseen by most people, it’s easy to ignore the potent warnings. I have been to both poles numerous times and I’ve seen catastrophic consequences caused by climate change. . . “

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is the leading international body for the assessment of climate change. It was established by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) to provide the world with a clear scientific view on the current state of knowledge in climate change and its potential environmental and socio-economic impacts.

Check out IPCC at its website: http://www.ipcc.ch/organization/organization.shtml

From the IPCC website: The IPCC is a scientific body. It reviews and assesses the most recent scientific, technical and socio-economic information produced worldwide relevant to the understanding of climate change. It does not conduct any research nor does it monitor climate related data or parameters.

Thousands of scientists from all over the world contribute to the work of the IPCC on a voluntary basis. Review is an essential part of the IPCC process, to ensure an objective and complete assessment of current information. IPCC aims to reflect a range of views and expertise. The Secretariat coordinates all the IPCC work and liaises with Governments.

The IPCC is an intergovernmental body. It is open to all member countries of the United Nations (UN) and WMO. Currently 194 countries are members of the IPCC.

If you desire to learn more about the background of Will Steger, go to his own website at http://www.willsteger.com/

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