My name is Daniel and I recently finished my final medical exams in Australia. I’m currently training in British Columbia, Canada, for the Last Degree, where I will join the final 60 miles of the South Pole Energy Challenge with five others.
Barney Swan and I met 13 years ago, in Far North Queensland, Australia. Since then we have remained best friends. Despite living on opposite sides of the world, we have travelled on 3 continents and starting a business together. When the opportunity arose to join Barney on SPEC, the ultimate adventure, and work towards improving renewable energy technologies, a cause we are both passionate about, I did not hesitate.
It is an enormous honour to join Barney in Antarctica, for both the physical challenge the Last Degree presents, and the exciting opportunities that SPEC offers to promote cooperation between private industry, individuals and governments to clean up our energy sector.
Upon returning to Australia, I want to maximise the impact of 2041’s education program to bring SPEC’s message to 20,000 Australian children and a variety of businesses and corporates. Australia is a small country, but we have one of the highest levels of green house gas omissions per capita globally. This must change. We want SPECs education program to empower the students of today to make better decisions - for their children's sake.
As a young person, I am shocked by projections of sea level rise from NASA and others. It is particularly concerning to see the devastating impact that this will have on the developing world. The enormous social and human cost aside, the energy choices we make now will impart hundreds of millions of dollars in costs to future generations. This money could be used on healthcare, schools or public transport; instead, we are wasting it for short-sighted economic gain today. I want to be part of the solution to changing the fossil fuel paradigm. SPEC is an important step on this journey.
I’ve attached a few photos below, from training in an altitude chamber to cross country skiing in Whistler. Every day I train, I think of Barney and the other brave members of SPEC who are marching 10 times the journey that I will embark on. Their phenomenal strength and courage allows me push the personal limits of my endurance. Let’s keep them in our thoughts, and hope for a safe and successful end to this amazing expedition.
Finally, I wanted to thank all of the extraordinarily generous donors who allowed my dream of attending this expedition to become a reality, including Judith Neilson, Monash University, The Boston Consulting Group, and Lululemon Athletica.
I’ll be checking in again in Punta Arenas before heading South. See you all in the Big White!