A Landslide Victory for Obama In Antarctica

Fri, 2008-11-07 10:13Todd Carmichael
Todd Carmichael's picture

A Landslide Victory for Obama In Antarctica

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.

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 8…
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 8…

Previous Comments

With the election of Barack Obama, a new day is surely dawning for the family of humanity. We have good reasons to be hopeful. The agonizing throes of the severe and colossal storm we have endured in the past several years have produced an unexpected outcome. The air is being cleansed and the dark clouds that had been gathering on the horizon are being blown away.

Al Gore has reminded all of us that now is the time for intellectual honesty and moral courage as necessary attributes for responding ably to the human-driven global challenges which are looming ominously before humankind. As the horrendous, once in a century storm is being swept away by benevolent winds of change, perhaps we will see that honest and courageous activities of many people will begin to replace cascading, self-interested behavior which appears to be borne of whatsoever is politically convenient, economically expedient and socially fashionable.

Perhaps sufficiently reality-oriented changes in policymaking and action planning, changes that protect biodiversity from mass extinction, prevent more wanton environmental degradation and preserve Earth’s body from relentless dissipation as well as the human community from endangerment, are in the offing.

Sorry. What you experienced was not the equivalent of a downpour in the Sahara, but of a sandstorm in the Sahara. Pretty common actually.

I had to read the first sentence of your post: “the first American in history to reach the South Pole, solo and unaided” a couple of times to make sure I understood exactly what was unique. It’s the “solo” nature of your trek, right? You will, maybe - knock on wood -, the first American do accomplish the adventure “solo” as, I think, Matty McNair and her two children were the first Americans to do the little trek unsupported & unaided back in 2004. Of course, the kids are duel-citizens (Canadian/American), Matty I don’t know if she has ever taken out Canadian citizenship and the kids were still teenagers then too.

Anyway, good luck and stay safe, eh.

Yep - its the solo part that makes Todd’s trip a “first.”

Blizzards are very common in Antarctica.




You do not need snowfall to have blizzard conditions.

Hello everyone, Great posts. Keep the climate crisis in the news! Just maybe, Obama will force the issue of clean and environmental friendly cars. Instead of just bailing out the big three oil burning auto manufactures so they keep manufacturing the same oil burning cars.

Offer the bailouts based only if they start producing cars environmentaly friendly and pull us all away from the present MESS we are in…..dump the oil burning pigs!

Otherwise, no bailout! let them fry!

We all want clean burning transportation that will help in saving our planet and its animals.


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