Paddling for the world
ALLIGATORS, polar bears and ocean-going ships are just some of the dangers adventurer Steve Posselt will encounter as he takes his kayak 8000km to Paris via America to support action to halt climate change.
"When you are on an adventure, expect the unexpected. I'll have my fingers crossed," he said.
When he hits dry land he will continue his quest on foot, dragging his 70km wheeled-kayak behind him.
The Connecting Climate Chaos trek is about linking extreme weather events from across the globe, he said
The journey will involve paddling upstream on the Mississippi River as part of the American leg. "The river runs at about five kilometres per hour, and I paddle at six, so we will have to see what happens," he said.
Lismore Mayor Jenny Dowell farewelled Mr Posselt as he left Lismore yesterday on his way to Canberra, where he will officially start his trek on January 15.
"Lismore is full of adventurers and we are often the start of movements and awareness-raising for all sorts of things," she said.
The Mayor gave Mr Posselt 20 letters to deliver to political leaders, who he could meet on his journey, encouraging them to take action on climate change. Mr Posselt leaves "with his message, his kayak and his passion," Cr Dowell said.
"We wish you well and I hope a little bit of Lismore goes with you on this journey. I look forward to welcoming you back, hopefully in one piece," she said.
The time to take action on climate change was right now, Mr Posselt said.
"We have got the solutions to climate change, we just need to implement them, we just need the political will to do that," he said.
"We want the fossil fuel industry and the large companies that are making money out of this to get out of our government." Mr Posselt will get to Paris in time for the UN Climate Summit in November 2015.
"I hope to represent the majority of Australians that want deep cuts and who are really concerned about climate change," he said.
"I want a commitment from Canberra to treat the warming of the earth as the gravely important issue that it is." Ballina man Klaas Nierop will provide on-ground support for Mr Posselt throughout the journey.
A diary of the trek will be updated regularly on Facebook, Mr Posselt said.
Climate change trek:
Canberra to Sydney 335km.
Gulf of Mexico to Hudson Bay (Canada) 6335km.
Bath (England) to Paris via London, the English Channel and Calais 1340km.