They have come to Clyde River

Published on 23.04.2007 - Global Warming 101 Expedition

International Polar Foundation

International Polar Foundation

© International Polar Foundation

Saturday April 14th, the Global Warming 101 expedition lead by Will Steger came to the small port of Clyde River, along the East coast of the Baffin island. Once again, a warm welcome awaited them.

After having ridden a roller-coaster across the last hills separating the group from Clyde River, the Global Warming 101 members joined the remote little town.

Some 20 kilometres before entering the village, snowmobiles came to meet them with dogs and welcomed them. And, once they had reached their destination, the villagers came out from their homes to salute the adventurers. "Elders, teachers, school children, people of all ages came down to the ice to shake our hands and meet our dog teams. We were very touched by the warm welcome and impressed by how well-informed people seemed to be about our expedition and mission, as well as climate change in general."

Clyde River is an important stage for Global Warming 101; it is here that the face of the group will change. There are those who will stay, those who will leave and those who will have arrived in order to participate in the end of the adventure. Among those who will be leaving, let's note Nancu Moundalexis and Sarah McNair-Landry, and among those who will be joining the expedition, let's mention two famous individuals: the mountaineer Ed Viesturs and the millionaire, whom we have also named "the hippie businessman", Richard Branson, along with his sun. Together they will participate in the last stage of the expedition, that which will bring the men of Clyde River to Iglulik, passing through the interior of the island.

But the Clyde River stage is important for another reason. It is here that, maybe more so than elsewhere, the local population has been confronted already for several years with the impacts of global warming – in a more precise and direct manner. In 1999 indeed, the school of Clyde River was on the front page of the Canadian news because several of its foundations were sinking into the ground in a most disturbingly way due to the thawing of the permafrost. This progressive thaw has had consequences on the lakes and rivers of the region, they are starting to dry out due to the grounds becoming of course more porous.

It is therefore with particular interest that the inhabitants of Clyde River listened with attention to what the expedition specialists had to say about global warming and its consequences. They also listened to one another with the same attention. Together, they have prepared the Earth Day which will be celebrated in a few days, April 21 through April 23.

PS: We thank the Ed Viesturs website, Wikipedia and the government of Nunavut for the photos they have allowed us to use for this article.

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