Postcard for Pelosi from Ilulissat Greenland

May 28, 2007 at 8:52 am | Posted in Climate change, My photo | 3 Comments
Tags: , , , , , ,

Check out this clear one-page update of key concerns:

SciencePoles World Environment Day 2007: The Global Outlook for Ice and Snow

As a follow-up to my posts on Greenland, Greenland, Greenland … and Uunartoq Qeqertoq, the Warming Island born off the coast of Greenland I thought perhaps Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, may have no time to send a postcard when she visits global warming boom town Ilulissat (The Icebergs). So, here’s my online e-card for her:

Postcard from Ilulissat Greenland of iceberg ~ photograph by Bent Petersen

Actually, this photograph is by Bent Petersen and is one of a set of beautiful images that you can download as baggrundsbilleder (free wallpapers) from

Greenland National Broadcasting Company cover Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Kalaallit Nunaat (Land of the Kalaallit aka Greenlanders) in their latest stories:

Nancy Pelosi: Kalaallit Nunaat takullugu misigisaq annertoqaaq

Hans Enoksen: Nancy Pelosi-p tikeraarnera pingaaruteqartorujussuuvoq

which makes a nice change from remarks written in English about eco-tourists damaging the very places they may purport to care about. The Economist hits the nail on the head in a recent article, juxtaposing these two points and highlighting business success as the overarching philosophy:

All of these visitors will, of course, help to accelerate the very global-warming process they have come to witness. But the residents of Ilulissat do not mind, because warming is good for business.

Here’s the link, and two paragraphs that introduce that insight:

Tourism in Greenland
Global warming’s boom town
May 24th 2007 | ILULISSAT
From The Economist print edition

A town in Greenland attracts rich green globetrotters

ILULISSAT, a town of 5,000 people in the chilly north of Greenland, is hot. Majestic blue icebergs the size of small islands float outside its harbour; its ice fjord drains 7% of the area of the Greenland ice sheet. It is the place to go to see global warming in action. And getting there has just become much easier. This week Air Greenland began commercial flights between Kangerlussuaq, a former military airstrip to the south, and Baltimore in Maryland. American eco-tourists can now fly straight to the Danish territory without going via Copenhagen.

Those who do so will be following a long line of political celebrities, many of whom are keen to be seen on a melting ice sheet after a successful election. Nancy Pelosi, America’s House speaker, is due to arrive next week. A helicopter will take her to Swiss Camp, a research station on the ice sheet with its own sauna. Ms Pelosi’s visit will follow those of John McCain, a senator and presidential candidate, and Romano Prodi, Italy’s prime minister. Germany’s Angela Merkel is due in August; José Manuel Barroso, president of the European Commission, is also making plans.

All of these visitors will, of course, help to accelerate the very global-warming process they have come to witness. But the residents of Ilulissat do not mind, because warming is good for business. (more …)

Despite obvious contradictions like the irony inherent in eco-tourism, there is good news in that these congressmen will have experts like Konrad Steffen briefing them. Also, CNN reporters and photographers are with the team, so the American public will soon be able to see the effects of climate change on Greenland’s environment from the comfort of their own armchairs. This trip to open millions of eyes and minds has to be worth the impact of emissions due to such a high-level group travelling to the area. The full scoop from the Denver Post ends with a classic quote from a wise scientist:

Steffen has, however, prepared for the chance of a change in the wind.
I ordered 16 extra sleeping bags in case the helicopter can’t (take the delegation back) on time,” Steffen said, “so I don’t have to share my sleeping bag with a congressperson.


Above quote appeared in denver & the west

Glacier visit aiming to be an ice-opener

A CU (University of Colorado) scientist in Greenland will provide House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and others a close look at the effects of global warming.
By Katy Human

Glacial edge Norway July 2004

Jostedal Glacier National Park where, in July 2004, the boys and I visited a glacier with our friends from Bergen. This is the closest we have been on land to Greenland, though we have flown over the edge of the country and marvelled out of aircraft windows at the sights on several occasions.



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  1. Update: Ilulissat in Greenland is known as Jakobshavn (Jacob’s Harbour) in Danish. Ilulissat is Greenlandic (related to Inuit languages) for The Icebergs. Ilulissat = Jakobshavn 😉

    You can read more on The Gavel blog:
    Seeing the Economic and Environmental Impact of Global Warming
    Photos from Greenland

  2. u Know that we are loss the beautifull glacier
    beacause very very pollution was in world
    But countries are not thinking for the pollution
    country was think for the glacier??

  3. Hi ajay,

    Thanks for your good point: our concern for the loss of glaciers needs to address the root causes of that loss, by changing our lifestyles so we cause less pollution.

    Curiously (for me), this is one of the most popular posts on my blog. In large part, this appears to be because I mention ‘Pelosi’ and ‘Greenland’ in the same headline. Some Americans are keen to criticise that California politician for her environmental views, seeming to be more interested in partisan gossip than our beautiful natural world. That is very sad.

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