Vote today to send a blogger to the North Pole!

Click here now to help Leslie Harroun draw attention to climate change from the Top of the World.  What follows is a guest post by Harroun.

Iqaluit, nunavut_31-may-09 367I’m writing to appeal for your vote as a fellow human being who cares about our planet and the future of our children.  I’ve entered a worldwide competition to become the official blogger on a two-week expedition to the North Pole and I need your support.  Many of your friends and colleagues have voted for me already – I have about 2,100 votes so far – and I need about 300 more to win by noon EST TODAY!

If I win this contest I’ll use it as an opportunity to blog about climate change and ocean acidification in the Arctic.   I’m not a professional blogger like some entrants (or looking to get married in a santa suit), but I’m a strong writer and a great photographer, and I’ve worked on climate change issues for nearly 14 years, including those related to the Arctic.  My goal is to use my stories and photos to bring to life the Arctic’s beauty and fragility, as well as its tragic unraveling.  I want to ignite people’s compassion and basic humanity by sharing with them a first-hand, knowledgeable account of melting ice caps, displaced wildlife, changing ecosystems and communities literally falling into the sea.

You can read my writing sample – about my encounter with a brown bear in Russia – and vote for me here: Voting closes at noon EST TODAY, February 15th.  I only need to place in the top five to qualify for an interview. Competition in these final days has become fierce so your vote now will really help.

I’m the only contestant in this international competition who would use the North Pole platform to blog about climate change and ocean acidification.  Ironically, one of my top contenders is a Fox News meteorologist who doubts that climate change is human-induced.  She seems like a good person and has a devoted following, but I worry about her message should she win.

I have been so touched and encouraged by the support I’ve received from our community –, US Climate Action Network, OAK Foundation, Maine League of Conservation Voters, Sierra Club, Conservation Law Foundation, Center for Biological Diversity, Biodiversity Research Institute, Consultative Group on Biological Diversity, Natural Resources Council of Maine, World Wildlife Fund, Environmental Grantmakers Association, Ecologic Development Fund, Elephant Journal, Maine’s WCLZ 98.9 and hundreds of individuals who have passed my message on through their Facebook pages, Twitter and emails to their family and friends.  I thank you all and am profoundly grateful for your support.  If I win I will share my blogs with everyone.

Voting is quick, easy and safe.  One minute of your life could change mine forever, and help all of us raise awareness about the impact that fossil fuels are having to our planet and our future.

1.       Please go to: to read my entry.

2.       Register (Quark is a professional organization and won’t spam you).

3.       Check your email for confirmation.

4.       Click the link sent with the email and VOTE!

5.       Bask in the joy of helping your colleague and your community help solve global warming.

Thank you for your kindness and generosity,

Leslie Harroun

4 Responses to Vote today to send a blogger to the North Pole!

  1. Robert says:

    “The prize is a trip for two to the top of the world aboard the world’s most sophisticated and powerful nuclear-powered icebreaker. Airfare from the winner’s nearest international gateway, as well a charter flight from Helsinki, Finland, to Murmansk, Russia, is also included.”

    Sounds like a “F&$!#*% for virginity” sort of prize!

  2. Eileen Kinley says:

    With all due respect and apologies if this sounds grumpy and/or cynical, but when are we going to start to look at our lifestyles – including globe-trotting – with an eye to reducing our carbon footprints?

    I gather this contest is put on by a CRUISE company. Taking part in their cruises generally requires air travel on top of any GHG emissions resulting from the cruise itself. (hmm. nuclear powered?) The idea, if I’m not mistaken, is to encourage people to take part in these cruises, in areas of the world that are particularly vulnerable in the case of any sort of accidents.

    What sort of message is anyone to take home from this exercise?

  3. paulm says:

    Please support and pass on….
    “Addressing Global Warming, I vow to eliminate all my non-essential flying. It’s a moral issue…”

    By signing up to reducing your non-essential flying you make a big impact on emissions reduction in multiple ways.
    >Your emissions are substantially reduce.
    >Your resolution highlights and focus the urgency of the issue and the sort of effort that will be required to address the problem with your peers.
    >Lead by example. We can not ask for climate action without making the first move.
    >You reenforce and provide suport
    to consolidate action in tackling global warming.

  4. Chris Winter says:

    Yes, she seems to be an avid traveler — sport fishing on the Kamchatka Peninsula & etc.

    Aside from that it’s not clear how she stacks up against all the other competitors.

    I haven’t got time to look at those other competitors, I… wait, it’s Hanane Belyagou… Hanane Belyagou…

    It’s got to be Hanane Belyagou!


    Seriously, though, the expedition might produce some good science. But unless Quark Expeditions has paid the Russians a lot of money, that icebreaker will sail anyway. So I don’t see the long-term advantage to Leslie or any other contestant going along. Haven’t there been trips to the North Pole before? Didn’t British explorer Pen Hadow and his team walk there in 2008?

    And last year it was Eric Larsen:

    His effort seems more worthwhile as publicity. Now anyone with the money, or a sponsor like Quark, can do it.