Author Archives: Marcus Brigstocke

Sunny days

I’m going home in the morning. It’s been wonderful and exhilarating and beautiful but I’m ready to get back to my family now who are all of those things only much much louder.

The good news is that we’ve solved that whole pesky climate change fiasco. It turns out it was the sun. It’s heat from the sun that is causing global warming. The sunshine did it. It’s not surprising, I mean when you look at the sun you have admit it does look hot doesn’t it. In scientific terms what’s happened is that the sun has sent a lot of heat energy down to earth for many hundreds of thousands of years making what scientists refer to as ‘sunny days’ (forgive the jargon but it’s important to be accurate I think). Now plants and little creatures have absorbed these ‘sunny days’ and then, sadly but with some degree of inevitability, died with the ‘sunny day’, literally trapped within them, then they have sunk down into the earth in the form of ‘sunny day’ rich fossil fuels. These ‘sunny days’ have later been released as people have needed the ‘sunny day’ energy in the fuel in order to power all the stuff we like – hair dryers, Toyota Land Cruisers, Nintendo Wii’s, fridges, life support machines, jet boats, angle poise lamps, vibrators, DVD players, aeroplanes and whirlybirds, air-conditioning units to cool the effects of a ‘sunny day’, mobile phones, electric toothbrushes, motorised carving knifes, remote controlled cars, actual cars, car museums, Top Gear, cars and machines which can exactly replicate the browning effect of a ‘sunny day’.
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Marcus thinks it might be getting to him…

For some reason I am full of a tetchy belligerence today, tired, scratchy listless and irreverent, so pretty much like most days for me. Although for the majority of this trip I’ve had saucy a twinkle in my eye and what has seemed like an undentable feeling of positivity and determined glee. I have felt funny a lot of the time, a feeling that brings with it a great sense of self worth for me. For now though I feel rather adolescent – as I write this sitting in cabin 308 I am listening to ‘Back In Black’ by AC/DC and the door has just been politely closed by the residents of 310 across the hall. Huh! Grown ups don’t like my music. Good. In a minute I might stand at the top of the stairs and shout ‘none of you understand me anyway… can’t you see I’m an adult?’ then scratch something rebellious and petulant in the table top with a compass just to see what would happen. I probably won’t. For several reasons, 2 of which are my children who I am missing terribly, another is my wife who I can’t wait to see and would hate to disappoint. Another still (and more immediate) is because explaining to 43 people why I’ve decided to put eye-liner on and behave like a spoilt trustafarian pleb would be testing and awkward.
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Meeqqat Angerlarsimaffiat

Marcus Brigstocke inspects then samples the birthday spread laid out at the Meeqqat Angerlarsimaffiat
Marcus Brigstocke inspects then samples the birthday spread laid out at the Meeqqat Angerlarsimaffiat (the Uummannaq children’s home). Photo: Nathan Gallagher

Painting a bigger picture

Marcus Brigstocke on ruined hedges and climate change fatigue.

This too shall pass

Thank you to all the bloggers, critics, supporters and climate change Armageddon fan club members out there filling the skies with messages of support and love and bafflement – deftly plucked out of the clear cold air by Kathy and team in their electronic catching glove and passed on to us all. The interest in what we are doing up here floating, trudging, debating and snowballing our way round the Arctic is invigorating and also grounds me (poor metaphor on a boat, I know) at a time when everything else seems so utterly extraordinary and unreal. Hearing from back home makes it feel that this is more than just a big poncy gang of greenies bellowing into the wind while no one listens. Hectoring like misguided enviro-priests who’ve missed the central point that Sarah Palin has embedded in her baked Alaska of a brain – that this all part of God’s great plan for the world. Palin sees God as an Emo teenager going through a needlessly destructive stage, self harming and breaking all his things in a fit of adolescent petulance. “Just keep on loving him and don’t ask too many questions, he’ll grow out of it once he’s let off steam, now lets’ get some drilling done in the pristine wilderness”. She is wrong (and mental and greedy and dangerous too, but that is for another time).
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Marcus Brigstocke climbs Little Eqe

Marcus Brigstocke climbs Little Eqe at the mouth of the glacier named Ilulissat Kangia (Danish name - Jacobshavn Glacier).

Never again…

“Never again… I’m never going back… Not even if hell freezes over”. Words I repeated so many times last year, usually to myself, but occasionally to anyone else who was willing to get near to a man who’s day was structured for the most part around vomiting, groaning and fear based perspiration. The last Cape Farewell trip – sailing from Spitsbergen in Norway across the open Arctic Sea to the east coast of Greenland – was tough. Tough like agreeing to have a ride a washing machine on a long synthetics cycle is tough. I was out of my depth in so many ways and iller than I recall ever having been in my comfortable life, including the time I ate indeterminate meat based matter in spicy stew in an Indonesian street market.
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