Robert Swan: Let's save the last pristine continent
Robert Swan - Polar explorer
Robert Swan has explored both poles, and wants to make sure that Antarctica, the world's last great wilderness, is never exploited. Full bio
out of the back of this room,
as you can go anywhere on Earth,
that I'm showing you here are dangerous.
of the South and North Poles.
these places are telling us,
with our own survival situation
the most frightening thing
the Antarctic Treaty, signed in 1959.
was entered into
from here in the Arctic
already that have been covered in ice
up here in the North
cannot happen in the South.
It's a bit odd. (Laughter)
I was inspired by the real explorers
to walk to both Poles.
at parties when I was at university.
years of fundraising,
by my family to seek counseling
marching to the South Geographic Pole
ever made anywhere on Earth in history.
we are standing in an area
communications, no backup.
90 percent of all the world's ice,
the danger of crevasses,
to ice inside your clothing,
we arrive at the South Pole.
on that 70-day journey in 1986
in 70 days through damage.
and we wondered why.
we were told by NASA
had been discovered
the same year it had been discovered.
bounced back, fried out the eyes,
from the safety of land
naked at -60 Celsius.
"I am cold" -- (Laughter) --
they are cold, definitely.
from the safety of land,
four months before it ever had in history,
and I'm thinking, "Are we going to die?"
in my head on this day,
are in a survival situation,
for 25 long years.
it's life or death,
to walk to the North Pole,
from frostbite 200 klicks out.
we stood at the North Pole.
stupid enough to walk to both Poles,
than actually making it happen.
of the great Jacques Cousteau,
the 2041 mission.
talk to industry and business,
of the preservation of Antarctica.
to every world Earth Summit,
with our brave yacht, 2041,
ever made with a yacht,
the whole of Southern Africa
over a million young people in person
we have taken over 1,000 people,
women and men from companies,
down to Antarctica,
we've managed to pull out
left in Antarctica.
and I'm so proud of it
back here in South America.
ever since I could walk
isn't that fantastic?
was only 1.8 billion people,
from industry and business
and will be hugely important
the preservation of the Antarctic.
women to come from the Middle East,
represented their nations in Antarctica.
with this extraordinary place,
to go to Antarctica,
return home as great champions,
back in their own nations.
the ice melt of the North and South Poles.
is now disintegrating.
even compared to here --
are breaking off from Antarctica,
that the sea level will rise,
has been on planet Earth.
the preservation of Antarctica
in the real world,
with the energy here,
to go and exploit Antarctica.
we also may be able to slow down,
is our response to it?
South Geographic Pole,
renewable energy to survive.
which far down below are melting,
solutions on that issue.
side by side with his father,
to translate these messages
to the minds of future young leaders.
a survivor -- and I'm good --
and doesn't go, "Whatever."
and deals with that problem
to preserve the Antarctic.
maybe means that we can succeed.
we should fight,
pristine place left alone on Earth.
these words from Goethe.
power and magic in it."
About the speaker:Robert Swan - Polar explorer
Robert Swan has explored both poles, and wants to make sure that Antarctica, the world's last great wilderness, is never exploited.
Why you should listen
When Robert Swan, OBE, set foot on the North Pole in 1989, he entered the history books as the first person to walk to both poles. But the South Pole, which he had reached in 1984, inspired his life's work -- to preserve Antarctica in the face of climate change.
Swan's organization 2041 (named for the date when the world’s moratoriums on mining and drilling in Antarctica will expire) leads expeditions of the world's most influential people to the continent in hopes that it will ignite their passion for preservation. The hope: to affect real and lasting environmental policy changes.
Robert Swan | Speaker | TED.com