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Ten percent of the big fish still remain. There are still some blue whales. There are still some krill in Antarctica. There are a few oysters in Chesapeake Bay. Half the coral reefs are still in pretty good shape, a jeweled belt around the middle of the planet. There's still time, but not a lot, to turn things around.
Life has evolved to thrive in environments that are extreme only by our limited human standards: in the boiling battery acid of Yellowstone hot springs, in the cracks of permanent ice sheets, in the cooling waters of nuclear reactors, miles beneath the Earth's crust, in pure salt crystals, and inside the rocks of the dry valleys of Antarctica.
Antarctica is otherworldly, like nothing I've ever seen before. Stark, cold, beautiful desolation.
Consider this: I can go to Antarctica and get cash from an ATM without a glitch, but should I fall ill during my travels, a hospital there could not access my medical records or know what medications I am on.
Antarctica has this mythic weight. It resides in the collective unconscious of so many people, and it makes this huge impact, just like outer space. It's like going to the moon.
I went to Antarctica on a science research boat just to sort of clear my head.
I dream of diving in two places where I have not been yet. One is Antarctica, because of its crystal clear waters and amazing fauna, in addition to the ice cathedrals. The other is the Arctic, where I'd like to see the northernmost kelp forests.
Why go to Antarctica, why do a film like 'Grizzly Man'? It's the sheer joy of storytelling - it's the urge.
If Antarctica were music it would be Mozart. Art, and it would be Michelangelo. Literature, and it would be Shakespeare. And yet it is something even greater; the only place on earth that is still as it should be. May we never tame it.
Adventure books are my personal favorites. 'The Endurance,' a story about Ernest Shackleton's legendary Antarctica expedition, or 'Into Thin Air,' Jon Krakauer's personal account of the 1996 disaster on Mt Everest, are two notables.
The thing that is most beautiful about Antarctica for me is the light. It's like no other light on Earth, because the air is so free of impurities. You get drugged by it, like when you listen to one of your favorite songs. The light there is a mood-enhancing substance.
The genus Drosophila is one of the great success stories. There's hundreds of species within the genus. They're on every continent except Antarctica, they're in tropical rain forests, they're in deserts, they've evolved many exotic mating behaviors, and they're capable of incredibly long-distance flights.
The swim at Deception Island was by far the hardest swim I've ever done. Antarctica is a very unforgiving environment. If you don't train properly, you'll die.
Lewis Gordon Pugh
As a scientist, my attention became totally focused on global warming some 15 years ago by the elegant and powerful measurements of carbon dioxide trapped in ice cores taken as much as 2 miles deep from the great East Antarctica ice sheet.
The best experience that we have on Earth is the fact that we have scientific stations, weathering over stations down in the Antarctic for almost the entire 20th century to learn how to exist in exceedingly hazardous conditions; and the Moon is far more hazardous than Antarctica. At least they have water there.
Does Greenpeace think it can stop whaling in Antarctica by publicly eating whale meat and declaring it delicious? What are these people thinking?
I have actually led more expeditions to Antarctica than Scott, Amundsen, and Shackleton put together.
Meteorite hunting is not for wimps. The best places to look are also the coldest and windiest. You need very old ice, and you need wind, lots of it, strong and unrelenting. Antarctica fits the bill.
'Red Knot' is a film that I shot in Antarctica almost three years ago on a boat. It was a film that was improvised and it had very interesting circumstances while making the film, obviously. We were on a small boat bobbing around in Antarctica. It was a really remarkable experience.
I think part of the appeal of Antarctica is experiencing some sort of power, the forces of the natural world.
When I started 'Case Histories,' the characters were all going to Antarctica on a cruise. The first part was called 'Embarkation.' It was supposed to be about everyone preparing to embark on the cruise, but it mushroomed into an entire book.
Antarctica is a very alien environment, and you can't survive here more than minutes if you're not equipped properly and doing the right thing all the time.
For years, I never knowingly went on a holiday. When I travelled, it was for work. Now I am a huge advocate, particularly to places which have amazing wildlife, such as Antarctica, India and Patagonia.
Even the cleanest air, at the centre of the South Pacific or somewhere over Antarctica, has two hundred thousand assorted bits and pieces in every lungful. And this count rises to two million or more in the thick of the Serengeti migration, or over a six-lane highway during rush hour in downtown Los Angeles.
I have a number of places on my wish list, including Antarctica, the Norwegian fjords, and the Amazon. I have a passion for wilderness, and Siberia is on my list - however, that may be a bridge too far.
A. P. J. Abdul Kalam
John F. Kennedy
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