St Andrews’ Arctic talks

As a geography student, I’m pretty used to hearing about climate change. So when Greenpeace St Andrews hosted a group of speakers from both inside and outside the university to […]


As a geography student, I’m pretty used to hearing about climate change. So when Greenpeace St Andrews hosted a group of speakers from both inside and outside the university to talk about the impact of climate change on the Arctic, I really didn’t think I was going to learn anything new.

In reality, the range of speakers provided many different takes on the issue and the spectacular photos shared were a definite highlight (I am a geography student after all). Talks from Dr Alistair Rider about artistic responses to climate change and from Dominik Hubner, who spoke about the economics of climate change, meant that the evening offered a diverse and alternative insight into the issue of climate change and the Arctic, and provided some appreciated relief from the environmental impacts media and literature constantly bombard us with.

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These talks weren’t just a series of eco-warriors with the same doom and gloom climate change stories we all get a bit tired of hearing. Rather, they offered a different perception of the issue of global warming, sharing stories and pictures from their research and travel. The speakers all had first hand experience of visiting the Arctic, one of which was St Andrews undergraduate Louise Willneff, who talked about her experience of the Cape Farewell Project, launched in 2001 as a cultural response to climate change. Louise’s experiences on the project were an example of how our generation can be involved in observing the literal impacts of climate change and finding solutions to the issue.

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The second undergraduate talk came from Ashely Bae, whose talk was accompanied with beautiful and striking images of her own trip to the Arctic. Ashley’s trip with Students on Ice involved high school and university students from all over the world, which included a number of native Inuits. Sharing her incredible photos and some light-hearted stories, Ashley showed it can be possible to work as part of a larger community in order to limit the effects of climate change.

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These talks were great because they weren’t just a series of hardcore eco-lovers having a rant. They offered a distinct insight into the issue of global warming and I have to say a trip to the Arctic has definitely been added to the bucket list… Please, Dad?

Fancy getting involved? Take a look at Greenpeace St Andrews’ Facebook and Twitter pages!

 

Photos ©Ashley Bae