Interview: Robert Swan, OBE – Man of Ice and Fire

Robert Swan: Boy’s Own Hero

Robert Sawn, OBERobert Swan is a modern hero cut in the cloth of Shakleton, Scott and the larger-than-life characters of the Victorian Era. His story is impressive. He’s the first person to walk to both the South and North poles. Given the effects of climate change on polar ice he’s quite likely also the last person as well – the melting of the ice means it’s now not possible to undertake the journey’s he completed twenty years ago – today you’d have to swim part of the way. The land of ice he traveled in his youth is now, literally, melting under his feet as global warming takes hold.

Since traveling to the Poles, and observing the effects of climate change and man-made pollution first-hand, Swan has dedicated his life to the preservation of Antarctica by the promotion of recycling, renewable energy and sustainability to combat the effects of climate change.

This is detailed on his website www.2041.com.

Why 2041?

2041 is the year of the review of the Environmental Protocol of the Antarctic Treaty. Swan’s aim is to work towards the protection of this treaty, so there is never a need to exploit the last great continent on Earth for minerals and fossil fuel.

Swan and Kids in Antarctic

Following his success in removing 1,500 tons of rubbish from Antarctica and with the foresight and support of the Russian Antarctic Division, Robert Swan stood at the Bellingshausen Russian base on King George Island looking down on the beach that had been cleaned. From that moment he believed that an education station in Antarctica, where the world could see the beauty of this incredible continent, would inspire and educate people around the world about climate change and play a crucial role in promoting renewable energy, preservation and conservation for future generations.

He’s established an educational facility in Antarctica. The E-Base is a sustainable green building operated in an environmental and resource efficient manner.

Public speaking for the greater good

Swann is now traveling the world meeting with students in colleges and universities presenting the opportunity to join his campaign to help rescue these pristine wildernesses from the effects of climate change. He’s a compelling and fiery public speaker.

I caught up with him after a presentation to a small group of leadership coaches from Hewlett-Packard in Palo Alto. He told me about the importance “telling it like it is”; about the urgency of his work; and how college kids are receiving his message.

To hear the interview, click on the podcast icon below.

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