I have been haunted by that swim through the whale graveyard and haven’t been able to get the image of the bones out of my head. Man hunted whales almost to the point of extinction, not seeming to care that we would lose one of the wonders of the sea world forever. It is the coldness of the water in Antarctica that preserves the bones and makes it look like they were left there yesterday but I like to think they are there as a reminder of man’s potential for folly.

Achieving The Impossible - A Fearless Leader. A Fragile Earth. (2010)

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More from Lewis Gordon Pugh

Never, ever did I think that there would be a debate in this arid country about which was more important – gas or water. We can survive without gas. We cannot live without water.

Karoo Anti-Fracking Speech to Shell in Cape Town, 25 March 2011

Everywhere water is under threat. It is our most precious resource. And there is no alternative to it.

Address to Cape Town Press Club, 13 May 2011

There’s nothing more chilling than swimming across open sea, where recently there used to be a solid glacier.

Address to the House of Lords (19 November 2010)

If we pass on an unsustainable environment to our children we have failed them.

Address to the House of Lords (19 November 2010)

You must not dither – swim like you’re running through a minefield.

Outside Magazine, 13 April 2009