The media bombards us with frightening messages of global warming and warns us of the devastating crisis planet earth is forecasted to face. But few have witnessed first hand the effects of increasing global temperatures like Will Steger has. An advocate for the preservation of the Arctic, Steger has literally gone to the ends of the earth (both the North and South Poles) via kayak and dogsled to study the changing environment.
Steger is best known for leading history’s most notable polar expeditions. In 1968, he led the first dogsled expedition to the North Pole without re-supply, and only two years later he crossed Greenland by dogsled in the longest unsupported expedition in history. In 1990 Steger spent seven months becoming the first to travel across Antarctica by dogsled, and in 1995 he led the first dogsled expedition across the Arctic Ocean, from Russia to Ellesmere Island.
Equally impressive is Steger’s attitude toward global warming. Steger says he is “glad to be around at this crisis point,” and he sees the environment as a unifying issue because, “it’s our future.”
He dismisses any debate that suggests there might be other causes of global warming besides the human-induced greenhouse effect. Instead Steger has directed all his efforts towards helping to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide emissions being pumped into the atmosphere.
Rather than scare people with the implications of global warming, Steger hopes that his expeditions will serve to raise awareness and call people to action. He makes a point of emphasizing that there ARE solutions, and we already have the technology to change the market and improve the environment at the same time. He is optimistic and sees an opportunity for change without sacrificing public standards for a high quality of life.
In March, Steger will begin his next adventure, a 1,400 mile dogsled expedition across Ellesmere Island, in the company of six young explorers, ranging from 21 to 28 years old. Their mission is to document the effects of global warming and inspire a younger generation to take action.
Before he left, inTravelMag had the opportunity to speak to Steger and hear a few of his thoughts: