Dear Mr. President-Elect,
Greetings from Antarctica!
I’m about to begin my mission to become the first American in history to reach the South Pole, solo and unaided. I’ll start walking November 8th from the edge of the ice pack and, if all goes according to plan, arrive at the Pole just after Christmas. If you have a minute around then, I’d love to hear from you, just ring my satellite phone.
It’s the least you could do, I mean, I delivered the vote for you here in the Deep South (so to speak).
All kidding aside, I cast my ballot for Obama/Biden in advance and did all the fundraising I could in my hometown of Philadelphia before leaving for the seventh continent. Your progressive stance on fighting global warming and your bold vision for our renewable energy future made my decision pretty easy. But the main reason I voted for you is because of the effects of climate change I’ve witnessed first-hand here in Antarctica.
Last year, during my second solo attempt to reach the South Pole, I was stopped dead in my tracks by something this continent rarely experiences. Snow. A full-blown blizzard, in fact.
Most people probably aren’t aware of the fact that Antarctica is the driest continent on Earth; it’s literally a desert of ice with an average of a single inch of precipitation each year. So what I experienced was akin to standing in the middle of the Sahara during the dry season and getting whacked by a torrential downpour.
As I stood there blinded by the whiteout that had enveloped me, I called a friend back at base camp, a veteran explorer marking his 31st straight year of Antarctic expeditions. “I’ve never seen anything like this mate. I don’t know what to make of it,” he replied.
Things are changing here, way too fast.
That type of extreme weather is becoming all too common around the globe, and scientists have no doubt that we humans are disrupting the climate, with potentially devastating impacts for humanity. It’s high time for bold action.
When I succeed in reaching the South Pole on December 26th, the greatest reward I could imagine wouldn’t be a trip to Disney World. It’d be receiving a call from you, confirming your commitment to fight global warming aggressively and work to end our fossil fuel addiction ASAP.
If you’d like to receive news from me during the trek, I’ll be blogging from my tent, just sign up for my expedition e-lerts.