Saturday, June 7, 2014

TED Talk- Lewis Pugh: How I Swam The North Pole
Rating: *****
By: Cameron Stotts

There are many people in this world that believe climate change is a catastrophic problem and something has to be done to resolve this crisis, Lewis Pugh is one of these people.

Lewis began his training in 2007 in hopes of swimming a distance of 1 km in the arctic waters of the North Pole, through the melted gaps in the ice, to demonstrate that climate change does exist. He began his journey in Russia where an icebreaker boat was destined for one particular location, the North Pole. After a training swim that lasted only 5 minutes, Lewis began to have doubts. He later received a pep talk from his crew and a warm cup of coffee, this gave him the incentive to complete his swim on the seventh day of his expedition. His swim lasted 18 minutes and 50 seconds in 1.7˚C waters, making him the first person to accomplish a long distance swim in the arctic. It took Lewis 4 months to regain the feeling in his hands again however, he still doesn’t regret his decision. Nevertheless, Lewis did not complete this journey on his own. It was only completed through the help of 5 other crew members located from all the different superpowers of the world, Britain, America, Japan, South Africa and Congo. Due to the heroic efforts of Lewis and his crew, there are now millions of people that are aware of the climate change that is taking place on our planet. The next step to Lewis’ plan is to encourage all the worlds superpowers to make cuts in order to reduce the amount of pollution that is created. In order to do so, he left his career in maritime law to become a speaker on environmental issues, along with his group The Polar Defence Project, and also to organize other amazing swims and treks. Lewis’ goal to make climate change known around the world is succeeding and there have been multiple changes made in certain countries. Regardless, through Lewis’ devotion to his cause and his incentive to help our planet, he may have saved our world and the lives of the many inhabitants that are alive today.

I can’t even begin to imagine the amount of courage and athleticism it took to swim in the freezing cold water of the North Pole. This made me realize that no matter how hard an assignment in school may seem or how tired I get when I’m playing a sport, there is always someone out there that is working harder and is under more stress and pain then I am now. In addition, it also made me reflect on the swim test that we had to pass before going on the hiking trip. It was a simple swim, in a heated pool, that we had to complete wearing wet clothes that weighed us down however, I felt tired by the end. After hearing about what Lewis had accomplished, I now realize that I have nothing to complain about. Furthermore, I learned a lot from watching this TED talk. I now have a more thorough understanding on the dreadful results of climate change. Even though Lewis completed this unbelievable swim across the North Pole, he did so to prove a point, that climate change does exist. This has inspired me to try and reduce the amount of waste that I produce around the house in order to contribute to the denouement of this crisis. Overall, Lewis Pugh’s speech on climate change and his roughly 19 minute swim across the North Pole has inspired me to be a better person and has taught me a lot about the instability of our planet's ecosystem.   

In conclusion, Lewis Pugh’s TED talk describing how he swam the North Pole was an inspirational speech and I highly recommend it to anyone who wishes to contribute to ending climate change. In fact, even anyone who doesn’t because this may change their opinion.

"How I swam the North Pole." Lewis Pugh:. N.p., n.d. Web. 7 June 2014. <>.

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