My flight over Greenland


In mythology, Niflheim was a land of primordial ice and cold, with  Élivágar and Hvergelmir, the frozen rivers from which arose all other rivers of the world.

According to legends, Niflheim was the primordial region that was born out of two realms. The Ginnungagap, the home of ice and the Muspelheim, the home of fire. Between these two realms of cold and heat, the world got created as ice mixed with fire. Niflheim became the abode of Hel, the goddess daughter of Loki (remember the estranged brother of Thor from the Avengers!), and her subjects.

As my flight cruised over Greenland, I watched the morning rays streaming, glistening and bouncing off the frozen land. A quote of  Albert Schweitzer came to mind.

 “As the sun makes ice melt, kindness causes misunderstanding, mistrust, and hostility to evaporate.”

But is the melting ice really improving understanding and trust in the world I mused.

From my aircraft window, I could spot the rivers formed by the melting Greenland Ice Sheet.  

Greenland’s glaciers, in existence for millions of years, have now suddenly begun to rapidly retreat and thin. Scientists have concluded that the Greenland ice sheet is in the throes of irreversible ice loss. Paleoclimatic evidence indicates that even a mere 2 °C of global warming could endanger the Greenland glaciers leading to a sea-level rise of six meters. Large swathes of inhabited coasts and islands in the United States, Europe as well as densely populated regions of Bangla Desh and India would go underwater.

My thoughts about Greenland, its melting glaciers and the impact on Humanity were interrupted by the flight steward politely asking me about my choice of breakfast. Looking up at him and then around me, I seemed to be in a cocoon far removed from the impact of global warming playing out below. But were I and my co travellers really in a cocoon or were we shutting our minds to the inevitable? I was left wondering.

In musing……..                                   

Shakti Ghosal

Author: Shakti Ghosal

* A PCC Credentialed Executive Coach mentor and trainer for leaders & performance. * A qualified engineer and a PGDM (Faculty Gold medalist) from IIM Bangalore. * Four decades of industry experience spanning Engineering, Maintenance, Projects, Consumer durables, Supply Chains, Aviation and Tourism. * Top level management positions to drive business development, strategy, alliances all around the globe. * A visiting faculty at the IIMs. *A passion to envision trends & disseminate Leadership incubation globally. www.empathinko.in , * www.linkedin.com/in/Shaktighosal. shakti.ghosal@gmail.com . +91 - 9051787576

4 thoughts on “My flight over Greenland”

    1. Dear Rajgopal, you are so right.

      Even in such an emergency situation, we continue to act like the proverbial ostrich with our heads stuck in the sand. There remain a lot of Ney-Sayers even today who claim there is no issue with climate change.

      What is needed in your view that would shift Humanity into taking emergency appropriate actions?

      Thank you for your comment.

      Shakti Ghosal

      Like

  1. Why during a flight, we are in our comfortable cocoon at all times. And so our leaders, once they have attended their Climate Change conferences, and delivered their speeches on what ” everyone else” needs to do to arrest the threat. As individuals we comfort ourselves by telling us that my small contribution will not make a difference.

    Like

    1. Hi Sushil,

      A very astute observation.

      I suppose it all comes done to human nature which tends to brush uncomfortable issues under the carpet. The kind of political leadership needed and the hard decisions that have to be taken to do something about the threat would be similar to those during wartime conditions. A very tough situation when the enemy is neither visible nor the impending threat immediate. How many have the strength of conviction to do that?

      Shakti

      Like

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