Visit to Norway – 2006

Background:

In April of this year I heard the Norwegian Foreign Minister making an appeal on the BBC for concerned politicians to visit the Arctic regions in order to witness the impact of global warming on the ice sheet. I took up this opportunity and have just returned from a week spent up in the High North of Norway and in the Arctic regions themselves.

I was fortunate enough to meet with many scientists in Oslo, Tromso and also in Longyearbyen who were in a position to brief me. I also personally witnessed the unusually warm temperatures and the shrinking of the glaciers. There has been a significant impact on wild life, from the polar bear down to insects and of course on fish stocks as well as pollution of the Arctic atmosphere by poisonous gases from the industrialised countries.

I am pleased to have been able to use this trip to gather considerable information for debates on the environment, global warming and similar issues which I hope to instigate during the autumn session.

An Intrepid sailing ship in the arctic. August 2006

An Intrepid sailing ship in the arctic. August 2006

Senator David Norris on Spitzberger, with melting glacier in the background. August 2006

Senator David Norris on Spitzberger, with melting glacier in the background. August 2006

Senator David Norris with Polar Explorer in the background. August 2006

Senator David Norris with Polar Explorer in the background. August 2006

Senator David Norris with the governor of Svalbard, Mr Per Setland. August 2006

Senator David Norris with the governor of Svalbard, Mr Per Setland. August 2006

Arctic Glacier - photo taken from plane. August 2006

Arctic Glacier – photo taken from plane. August 2006

Senator David Norris meets with State Secretary, Mr Kjetil Skogrand at the Kogal Ministry of Foreign Affairs. August 2006

Senator David Norris meets with State Secretary, Mr Kjetil Skogrand at the Kogal Ministry of Foreign Affairs. August 2006

A Polar Bear, recently shot in Svalbard by authorities, as it wandered into the local town scavenging for food. August 2006

A Polar Bear, recently shot in Svalbard by authorities, as it wandered into the local town scavenging for food. August 2006

Melting Glacier, photographed from overhead plane. August 2006

Melting Glacier, photographed from overhead plane. August 2006