The love and concern for our environment is something I have always known. Growing up in Wisconsin, I was outside as much as possible - camping fishing, riding my bike... But back then, my mind didn't stretch much farther than my own backyard. For that, I credit writers like Farley Mowat, Sigurd Olsen, Barry Lopez and many others who were able to describe places of which I barely knew existed. They were some of my biggest sources of inspiration and their words instilled a longing to experience true wilderness for myself. But Robert Service's 'The Call of the Wild', more than any of the others, stirred an unrelenting aching to grab my pack and go.
As a tribute to Robert Service's eloquent words as well as the planet that is the foundation of both our dreams and health, I gathered up footage from the past eight years and five continents for an Earth Day tribute featuring some of Service's lines. And if you think this video and poem might inspire someone else, please share it.
In the years since I discovered 'The Call of the Wild', I feel that I have lived each line tenfold. But that doesn't mean I don't need a reminder that the fate of our planet is in our hands. Earth day is a good start. But our efforts to reduce waste and pollution, curb greenhouse gas emissions, protect endangered species or remove plastic from our oceans should not end when the clock strikes midnight. There are a lot of great environmental organizations doing important work on behalf of our planet and I suggest that you support one or two or more. Of course, we need to take responsibility for our own actions as well. The environmental crises we face today are not problems for someone else to solve and we all need to make significant efforts on both the individual and global level.
I've spent several Earth Day's on the Arctic Ocean either at, or very near, the North Pole. On April 22nd, 2010, I wrote this, "The weather started out relatively calm but the wind steadily increased to what I would consider near brutal proportions. We skied with our down parkas at times. Brrr. I guess it was the Arctic Ocean's fun little way to remind us who's in charge around here."
So often on my expeditions, I feel insignificant and afraid, barely withstanding the extremes of our planet. But today, we all venture into uncharted territory. Human beings have an unprecedented ability to change and alter our environment. While we all need resources to be able to live and survive, which resources we use, how we use them and if they're renewable or not should be cornerstone to every decision we make.