Antarctic Treaty: Lesson in imagination
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Antarctic Treaty: Lesson in imagination

November 19, 2019

It was the last wilderness on earth. It was
not only stunningly beautiful, but it was also an important laboratory for the human
race. We could find out what we were doing to the planet elsewhere. You needed that pristine
environment to really get a take on what was happening to our planet as a whole. There
were two things happening in the background, there was the cold war, and there was the
emerging threat of global warming. And I felt it was important that there was one place
left on earth where cooperation as opposed to competition was the governing form and
if we could not decide now to put off limits the oil and gas that exist in the antarctic
we were going to have no hope in saving the rest of the planet. The Antarctica campaign
was a lesson in the importance of impossible ambitions.The governments who were negotiating
this treaty had just finished negotatiating the law of the sea treaty. They knew each
other, the negotiators knew each other, it was a pretty tight club. And they were pretty
sure they were going to do this next treaty. There were some  non governmental organisations
that said that collectively said the notion of establishing a world park in the antarctic
was completely unrealistic and that is was not  going to ever happen. It’s a combination
of public support, giving politicians a mandate to do the right thing, to show they will be
congratulated if the do the right thing,  they will be heroes. But at the same time
this campaign had a lot of support  behind the scenes at a high level. Heads of state
were being called by colleagues,  former heads of state, other high level people 
saying come on – what are you doing. It was also the hard work of huge number of people
who spent time, you know we weren’t allowed into those treaty meetings, we had to hang
around coffee breaks and pigeon hole people as they cam out and say hey we’re still here. 
We had demonstrations where penguins were all over the city where they would be watching
the governments as they came in and out of these meetings. The Antarctic expeditions
played a huge role in making the campaign real for people, they could see what was at
stake there. Just having scientific bases there was creating an enormous mess, garbage
everywhere, Mc Murdo sound was a dump with PCB’s in the water. We were able to show people
what the impact would be if there were actual industrial development. One of the other most
important things I learned about that campaign was to never give up hope. There came a point
in time when we thought we’d lost it, the minerals treaty was signed, it had been agreed
by all these governments, they were patting themselves on the back for having achieved
it, some even in Greenpeace thought we’d lost the campaign, but there were a number of us
who said no, we needed to persist because it wasn’t over until it was over. And as we
saw, once the French abandoned it, once the Australians abandoned it, the whole thing
fell apart. All it took was a couple of countries with the foresight to imagine what no-one
else had imagines before and  said let’s just do it, let’s just make this happen. And
everyone said it was impossible and suddenly it became possible. And a year later we had
the Madrid protocal to the Antarctic treaty which established a 50 year moratorium on
mining. A handful of people managed to change the order of what all of the most powerful
countries in the world wanted to do. and i think with the global warming campaign the
odds are even higher against us but the mandate is even stronger from the public than it has
ever been for any campaign that has ever run. I believe it’s completely possible for heads
of state to simply decide we’re going to do this, we’re going to fix this problem, we’re
going to put the necessary finance on the table. We did it for the credit crisis, we
can do it now.

Only registered users can comment.

  1. You Can Do It Now!'..,
    If you're a real human and the leader at the copenhagen summit….please hear out the voice of your next gen's…

  2. all about changing the order of what the most powerful countries are trying to do. can't argue with making a park. well ya can, its your prerogative however… duh..

  3. No solar images show that aside from the normal 11 year cycle, The polar bears are near extinct. And yes CO2 is still causing the earth to heat up, or more accurately is causing climate change with other factors outside the normal cycle of the earth.

    But you go right on believing the "scientist" from the oil & energy companies, keep in mind these are the same people that told you cigarettes are perfectly safe for you to smoke. 9 out of 10 of their overpaid "doctors" agree.


  4. Actually that's what prompted congress & NSA(National Science Academy) to start looking into Climate change…. That article you read, if you notice is written by the reporter and many of the people they interviewed publicly disputed what was in that article as a BS…

    So the congress charged the NOAA & NSA and after 20 year they issued the report stating that climate change was real do to human causes…..

  5. Really the IPCC(Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) is in charge of polar bears now? Do you know anything about what spews forth from you mouth. Maybe you should look it up first.

    Somebody better tell the weather watch that they're zoologists now… Polar bear are dying off, tigers too.. deal with it..

  6. @BlitzNeko
    All this BS about polar bears dying is crazy!

    The earths been hotter than it is today, while polar bears were alive.. they seemed to do fine in that time (think they call it the optimum temp range).

    So if polar bears have lived through ice melts and temps 5degrees over current highs why all this fear mongering that if the temp goes up a couple of degrees they will all die?? It didnt happen the last few hot periods in history duuuhhhhh

  7. @BlitzNeko,

    Man you spin some shit… Here's the FACTS:
    "Polar bear numbers have increased from about 5,000 to 25,000 over the last 30 years".

    Warmists don't deny this, what they claim is that their figures are based on models! Models that are sooooo wrong its funny

  8. I am doing a documentary on this for National History Day. Do you have any suggestions for interviews?

  9. greenpeace is so helpful and i really encourage their work for the environment.

  10. This is a fantastic video. I am currently writing an essay about Antarctica's future (after 2048 when the Treaty runs out). Any opinions/ideas would be fantastic. Many Thanks.

  11. I guess this is before general public learned that our earth home is flat and Antarctica holds the truth keys.

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