ACT News

Grandfather to take on alligators and bears for climate change

He will risk confronting alligators, polar bears and container ships but in the end he will be able to say to his grandchildren, "I did my best".

Engineer, grandfather and ecowarrior Steve Posselt begins an 8000-kilometre kayak journey from Canberra to Paris on Thursday.

Engineer, grandfather and ecowarrior Steve Posselt begins an 8000-kilometre kayak journey from Canberra to Paris on Thursday.
Engineer, grandfather and ecowarrior Steve Posselt begins an 8000-kilometre kayak journey from Canberra to Paris on Thursday. 

He intends to drag and paddle his wheeled kayak halfway around the world to deliver a message on behalf of all Australians who want action on climate change. The message: we are in this fight against global warming.

Mr Posselt, 62, has five grandchildren under five. They are a core motivation for the epic voyage.

"I want to be able to look into the eyes of my grandkids and say, 'Well, at least I did my best'," Mr Posselt said.

The journey starts from Engineering House, Canberra, to highlight the risk global warming poses to humanity.

He said if engineers built a dam with a one in 1000 risk it could fail, that would be an unacceptable risk to the public, but the risks posed by climate change were far higher.

"With this we are just flipping a coin and hoping she'll be right," Mr Posselt said. As an engineer he found that unacceptable.

From Canberra he drags his kayak to Port Kembla and then paddles up to Sydney. He will fly to the Gulf of Mexico, then paddle through North America to Canada. From there he will fly to Britain and will paddle through England and across the English Channel to Paris.

There he will deliver his message at the United Nations Climate Summit in November 2015.

During the trip he will have a support crew of one. Each day he will set off and be met again at the end of the day.

The experienced adventure kayaker has food and sleeping arrangements taken care of. But there will be a few challenges on this trip that do worry him.

"There will be alligators, black bears and polar bears," Mr Posselt said. "I don't fancy coming across a polar bear with only a can of capsicum spray on me." 

The trip spans 11 months and will take a physical toll,   but Mr Posselt is determined to get the climate change message through.

"There are a lot of people in Australia that want to take responsibility for global warming but the government doesn't want to represent those people, so I want to represent those people who want to own up and do something about it," he said.

"We know we are the worst emitters of CO2 per capita, and we know that we are the largest coal exporter in the world.

"It is not a big deal to go to a zero carbon economy. It's about political will."

For more information about Steve Posselt and Connecting Climate Chaos, visit www.kayak4earth.com