It is truly an incredible pleasure to attend Mike Horn’s Lectures, every sentence he says is an answer to our questions. I am very pleased to quote below some of the anecdotes that Mike brought us at the 2nd Climate Fair on 13 February 2019 in Lausanne.
I have seen our lands change as certainly very few people have seen it and we see the signs of change that we do not see when we stay at home. We are now in an energy deficit, because we are not changing the way we consume, we are abusing resources. But we can all really do something.
Our habits, the North Pole, coal particles and the fight of polar bears
Here, nothing changes if the North Pole melts… We will continue to consume and give energy when there is no more ice. In 2006, I was at the North Pole. It was dark at night, so there was no sun… But from Russia, changes are happening so quickly in the polar regions that we no longer know how to stop it. The water that absorbs the coal particles is slightly warmer than before, and that’s what influences everything. When the ice breaks, I can no longer walk on it, I have to jump into the water and swim from one ice to another. I used to ski on it. A polar bear must be able to walk on the ice to catch its prey, in the water, seals are much faster. So the polar bears are hungry. They’re tired, because they don’t have enough to eat anymore! Male bears must even kill cubs, so that females can live! I saw polar bears being killed and eaten by grizzlies in 2006. There is a change, the ice we walk on can no longer even hold a man today. Often I have to move forward on my stomach to avoid falling into the water, and in the water there is a current, and when you get caught by such a current, it is very likely that you will not come out again, because the ice is on top. There is more and more snow around the Arctic as well, the reindeer can no longer find food. But nature can always adapt, it shows us the problem, and I believe that man can find solutions for the shit he has created. I asked for sponsors to finance me and I brought more than 400 young people to be trained on the field. With the Universities of Munich and Washington, we have made programs that we can all apply. And the result was that we planted more than 6 million trees, did beach clean-ups, and many other programs. Each of us can do something. We all really need OUR energy, this first resource. So today, it is a question of recycling our energies first.
Our meeting with a female polar bear
A polar bear who wants to intimidate you puts himself on these 2 hind legs, 3 meters high, and yells, his mouth wide open. You must then spread your legs, swing your arms, and tell him that you are not edible and that you respect his terrain. And he’s not gonna hurt you.
But if a bear gets on his 4 legs, puts himself in a kind of ball, when he closes his eyes a little and squeezes its mouth, then you know he will attack you and that he is very hungry. It happened to us with a female. We had a lightening rifle with us, and we were able to scare her away the first time. She attacked us 12 times. Because she’s hungry, because she has to feed her youngsters. She was so desperate. Fortunately, she didn’t attack us a 13th time, because we didn’t have any ammunition left.
Why do we destroy where we live?
Our resource, the earth, is important, we cannot let go of it. Why do we destroy where we live? And when we try to save money, we even buy what pollutes more. We can all change things, it’s a decision to make, and once it’s made, we can move forward.
Today’s planet, and our role to play
The planet as I see it today scares me, that’s why I want to do something. It’s far from being over. She has her way of rebuilding herself, and we can help her, even with small gestures.
Let us be an example
When I go back up China by boat, towards the North Pole, I see that the Chinese are about to change, but they need to have an example. There are already structures in place to support ideas and we can move forward together…
Our land at an altitude of 8000 meters and the logic of survival
At an altitude of 8000 meters there are more stones falling than before. It is still very cold and more and more people are dying because of rocks. There are more and more avalanches, less and less ice, but there is a lot to do. Water has a logic, and the logic of my survival is also important. But at home, our decisions are just bad habits, we have to change the direction.
There are more and more landslides with melting snow, which destroys the surrounding villages. And it is not only the Chinese, not only the Indians, no, us humans who live on this planet and who need to be free, with the desire to change ourselves, that we will change the world.
Nature is our reason for living
Nature inspires me, it motivates me to get up in the morning. It is my reason for living, and it is also your reason for living. In 32 hours I climbed climbed out of the viable K2 area in order to get on the top where there is only 4% oxygen left, and that’s what we need to protect.
How to manage risk? A question from the public
It all depends on preparation and commitment when calculating the risk. I know I’m risking my life, but I’m not afraid to lose it. If your desire to win is greater than the fear of losing, that desire keeps you alive. The question is whether you want to be unhappy or happy. You can walk on a cliff with a great view, or on a road in a valley. For me, when you don’t take risks, you don’t live.
The origin of global warming
In the mountains you can see the change. Snow forms around the dust particle, melts and the dust rises. But today, snow is created on the coal particles, the white snow, around the coal. And there it is, boom! In summer, the coal remains stuck on the glaciers and the black colour absorbs more heat.
The plastic continent
While crossing the plastic continent, I picked some up to see where it comes from, and I saw Swiss, Chinese, Russian plastics. Where I was there was a depth of 12 metres and it extends over a width and length of Mexico. Today, to clean that up takes 150 years! It doesn’t make sense. What makes sense is to clean where plastics can be cleaned. On beaches, riversides, around lakes. Let us change where we can make a difference. And let us be an example for all the other countries! Being an example is a job.
The importance of education
Through education we can train environmental leaders, and in schools we can create adventure, conservation clubs, like other teams play hockey or track and field. It is in the hands of politicians to change and give importance to environmental education. Of course, there are projects that can be done, that exist all over the world, but we must look for them. People who really want to do something will find them.
It’s easy to say I want to do something. But to achieve this, it is still important to have the support of the school, the government, the mamas and dads…
The message of the animals
Animals are examples to follow. They give us a good indication of how to live in peace. The man cannot do that, they say that the man is made to take life and the woman to give life.
When I am in the Amazon and I observe a monkey eating green leaves, I climb the tree and I know I will not die. If we eat what they eat, we can live a very long time. If I kill the monkey to eat it, I no longer have an example to follow. Animals are an indicator of how we behave and how we should live.
Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator