The Land of Beyond

Photo by Joanna Margueritte

Nothing is the same after having seen this place. No petty thing in the small-scaled human world could possibly be of major importance in the eyes of someone who has set foot in Neko Harbor on the Antarctic continent and looked over that vast expanse of seemingly limited yet still uncountable different colors. Antarctica is not white. It is green and red from the lykens in the snow. It is whatever the sun chooses to color it with when it rises and sets. It is all shades of gray in the rock and mountainside, and sometimes it is black from volcanic ash. And above anything, it is blue – blue in the most dense of the icebergs. When we think of Antarctica as a place covered in ice (over 98% of its surface is), we try to imagine what that looks like: images of alpine glaciers and deep snow come to mind. Yet those images are left at the doors of this place like shoes at the entrance of a mosque: they are not only unnecessary and inaccurate, but most inappropriate and disrespectful, and must be done away with.

Going to Antarctica in February 2011 made me fall in love with the kind of "frontier" we might lose if we do nothing about climate change.

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