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through international cooperation. They never saw that opportunity, they said; the President said that to us in front of the press. They never saw that opportunity before trans-Antarctica.

They decided to increase the amount of science, their investigative science in Antarctica. They saw the importance of rapidly increasing their study in science to investigate the atmosphere.

The Soviets also, we met with Foreign Prime Minister Shevardnadze, Vice President Lukianov. They committed also to preservation of Antarctica.

Also they took that one step further and they said they want to commit more to more zones, like the Arctic, similar to the Antarctic where we have international cooperation.

And what concerned me all along was the leadership role of the United States. I saw individuals in Congress, Senate, EPA had certain individuals taking on a role but internationally we have been dragging our feet when it came to the Antarctic issue.

Actually this Antarctic issue is almost a freebie. There's no real special interests that we're stepping on here. But it's a great opportunity for the United States.

If we don't act on it, we're going to really look bad in the world community because all the other nations-I'll tell you, all the other nations are acting on it. And this is an opportunity, starting in Chile in 1990-and this is why I think it's very important to act on this bill immediately. But there is an opportunity here to take a leadership role in the environment. Because the world has always looked up to the United States and the world needs to look up to the United States as an example setter for the environment.

I'll conclude this by saying our direction starts with individuals, especially individuals in this room that are in leadership and policymaking positions. It takes two things—one is vision-the ability to see ahead. And the other is courage to take action. Because, to be effective, we have to see what we are doing to the environment and we have to see the effect that this is going to have on the future of humanity.

We also need-and the people in this room also need the strength to ride above the restraints of 'special interests to take action for the preservation of Antarctica.

Thank you.


When I completed the Trans-Antarctica Expedition in March of 1990, having spent seven months in virtual isolation from the world, I was struck by what a different place the world had become. Mankind had taken quantum leaps, showing the strength of the human spirit to move collectively toward a new sense of freedom. The face of Eastern Europe had changed. The Soviet Union was implementing measures in its economy, changes that a year before had been unthinkable. The Berlin Wall had fallen and in its place blossomed forth a resurgence of hope and faith within man, proving that, in fact, the unthinkable could become reality. The power of man's collective will had changed what seemed to be unchangeable.

Often solutions to environmental problems appear to be as impossible as the city of Berlin without a wall seemed just a short while ago. It is easy not to fight for solutions to such overwhelming dilemmas. It is much harder to seek common ground, to move forward and to confront directly the problems we face. Daily our attention is riveted by concerns in the Middle East; all the while the clock continues to tick away on the serious environmental problems we face. Yet, the Middle East or other imminent crises continually divert us from attacking these looming environmental issues.

What the human species needs today is a major environmental victory. We need an environmental Berlin Wall. This would give us a sense that in fact we can preserve a piece of our common heritage. Antarctica is poised to play this role for mankind. It calls us to unite our spirit, to prove our ability to tackle a global environmental threat, and to motivate us to move to protect the planet.

Antarctica is a brutal and foreign place. Yet in spite of its harshness, its beauty is unsurpassed. There is a purity, a beauty, a cleanliness in the air, in the ice, and in the mountains. This purity reinforces the geographic isolation of this continent at the bottom of the earth.

It is this stark nature that makes this area one of the best places on earth to study the effects of pollution. Due to of the central role the continent plays in the Earth's weather patterns, severe changes in the global climate are likely to be detected first in Antarctica. The continent's vast frozen ice crust, which accounts for more than 90 percent of the world's ice and 70 percent of the world's fresh water, contains an invaluable record of the Earth's climatic history. Ice cores drilled by scientists provide accurate information on increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide and other global pollutants back 160,000 years. In effect,

But the environmental profligacies of the civilized world are beginning to take a toll even on Antarctica. With the global temperature rising and the ozone layer depleting as a result of the burning of fossil fuels and the use of chloroflorocarbons, the ice shelves that surround Antarctica are breaking off more rapidly than in the past. This not only changes the salinity and temperature of the Earth's oceans, but will cause the levels of the seas to rise. The increase in fresh water being added to the ocean will ultimately lead to a change in the ocean currents and, therefore, result in permanent changes in the weather patterns around the world.

The melting and freezing of the ice cap has been a natural cycle for millions of years resulting in drastic changes in the Earth's weather systems and the topography of our land forms. This is a very delicate balance which most recently accounted for the past ice ages. The major problem is that mankind now faces an upsetting of this delicate balance. Through pollution of the atmosphere and the destruction of the natural environment, the atmosphere is warming at an alarming rate.

Mother Earth will not wait much longer, for the damage is nearing the irreversible point. After thousands of years, humanity is at the brink. Attention must be focused on the preservation of the planet and in providing a healthy environment for our children and our children's children.

We must continue to move ourselves from self-centeredness to an awareness of the whole and how it functions. An understanding needs to be developed of the interdependency of the ecosystems and the human species on the planet. Antarctica is a focal point in aiding us in this understanding with its role as a measure of the Earth's barometer.

The crucial decisions are in the hands of a few. They always have been. You are in a position here of making a significant contribution. Most of you on this Subcommittee are from parts of this country that rarely see ice and snow, much less the kinds of winds and temperatures that are common to the Antarctic days. I can understand how this world may seem so very foreign to you. However, consider the fragility of this striking yet precious part of our planet. Consider the interdependent nature of our planet. Consider your responsibilities to the people of this nation and to other nations and to your children. The preservation of Antarctica is imperative. It represents our ability to work together with the nations of the world toward a common goal, respecting our cultural differences, yet seeking something that is greater than our individual special interests - that of preserving part of the planet, of putting a stop to the spiral of depleting our limited resources and threatening human life in the process.

I strongly support the effort of the House of Representatives to put the United States in a leadership position to preserve the Antarctic continent. This legislation, H.R. 4514, the Antarctic World Park and Protection Act of 1990, introduced by Congressman Bruce F. Vento of Minnesota, is directly in line with efforts for this nation to move forward in providing a clear environmental victory for mankind. This is a "no-lose" situation for our

I ask the members of this subcommittee, in their evaluation of H.R. 4514, to coordinate on a bipartisan basis the legislative efforts on the preservation of Antarctica, to bring together the interests of the varied groups to one leadership position for this nation. We must commit to the prohibition of mining, to the proper management of tourism, to the continued monitoring of man's impact on the planet, and to understanding that the joint effort in the preservation of the continent of Antarctica can be a blueprint for how the nations of the world can work together to solve the other global environmental problems. This effort can be a symbol of peace.

As I have traveled the world during the last several months and met with the world's leaders, including President Bush, President Mitterrand of France, Prime Minister Kaifu of Japan, President Yang Shangkun of the People's Republic of China, and Foreign Minister Schevardnadze and Vice President Lukyanov of the Soviet Union, I have been struck by a groundswell of public opinion in the nations of the world for the preservation of Antarctica. During the International Trans-Antarctica Expedition, 15,000,000 school children around the world followed the expedition as teachers brought to life the study of this continent. For these children, and for all the other children of the world, we must move and commit to the establishment of the Antarctic continent as a World Park.

Mr. DE LUGO. Thank you very much, Will.

That was a very moving presentation. When you describe a 60day storm. I mean, 60 days. What were the temperatures during that period?

Mr. STEGER. The temperatures would vary between minus 10 and minus 40 but the temperature is nothing compared to what the wind is. The wind would average 35 miles an hour, up to 50. And usually those were headwinds against you. So the wind chills were something totally unimaginable almost. I don't think anyone has ever traveled that length of time under those conditions.

Mr. DE LUGO. Sixty days.

Mr. STEGER. We have to really thank our dogs here because they're really the heroes, not the 6 of us but the 36 dogs that pulled the sleds and had the strength to pull this trip off. They were the real heroes.

Mr. DE Lugo. You describe getting up in the morning and facing that day that you had to go on under those conditions. How did you

go on?

Mr. STEGER. Sometimes we wondered how we did it. But this is where it's good to have six strong people that are working together. We really cooperated together on this expedition and our strength was the international basis.

And sometimes I thought it would be impossible to travel during the day. But there was always one or two or three people within the group that had the right attitude to do it. And there was always someone within the group that would carry us through the hard times. Because to do this individually would have been impossible. Because the individual spirit is not strong enough to face something like that.

We also drew a lot of strength from our dogs. They set a very fine example of spirit and good attitude. But we were really fortunate, I think, because this was a real vivid demonstration of faith. A lot of times we put faith into something, faith into the environment and we don't see the output of that. But there we had the exercise of faith and, by God, we made it across Antarctica. And it wasn't just because we were strong; it was because our attitudes and our spirits were there. And that was very powerful.

When we reached the other end, this is what we all personally experienced among the six of us, that we actually had done this. Our spirit, our drive, had accomplished this.

Also, I must add, it was the prayers of them back home that has a tremendous amount of power that I drew my strength, mainly from the children. Because I knew-I could feel that almost, the millions of kids. There was a power behind that.

We had the usual incredible luck along the way. We also had bad luck which we made into good luck. But it was the strength of the human spirit, of the prayers that really made this all possible.

Mr. DE LUGO. Will, you and Jim Oberstar presented these pictures from the children. I assume these are the children of Minnesota?

Mr. OBERSTAR. Yes. Pike Lake Elementary School in my district.

Mr. DE LUGO. An elementary school in your district. And they are moving. There are letters here from the children and, you know, I'm very impressed by the sincerity of the letters and the

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