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Some Polar Thoughts

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Well the trip is over, luggage unpacked, wash done.  The dog is back from her vacation at the vet’s, I’m back to work, and I’ve settled back into my routine.

This time, however, there’s a difference.  I’ve gone to special places before.  Siem Reap in Cambodia, for example, is pure magic.  But Antarctica is an experience that surpasses everyplace I’ve ever been.  I described it as transformative in one of my posts.  That wasn’t hyperbole.  It truly was life changing, overwhelming, indeed transformative.  Having been privileged to experience it, I am a different person from the one I was before.  In a sense I’m still there, or perhaps more correctly, it is here within me, a part of me.

But what is the take-away, aside from these vivid memories?  Counter-intuitively, perhaps, Antarctica has left me with a new appreciation for the fragility of the earth.  This harshest of all regions has increased my awareness of what we have to lose, or perhaps what we are losing.  There is quite a bit of debate, I know, about global warming.  There are good people on both sides who passionately believe that their positions are correct.  In fact, the senior scientist among the lecturers on board Star Princess is a skeptic.

I‘m not in a position to judge scientifically if global warming is a reality or not.  What I do know is that one question keeps resonating through my mind  –  what if?  What if those who are sounding the call to action are right?  What if we don’t respond quickly or resolutely?  Do we reach a tipping point beyond which we simply can’t reverse the process, no matter how hard we finally try?  Can we face that possibility and not respond?  I hope not.

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