Robert Swan Inspires Fight Against Climate Change After Walking North And South Poles

Robert Swan is the first person to walk the North and South Pole — and what he encountered inspired a decades-long fight against climate change.

“Something had happened to me on the South Pole that changed everything,” he explained. “As we were talking to the South Pole, my eyes actually changed color entirely in 70 days through damage. And our faces then began to blister out and huge lumps of skin just literally ripped off our faces.”

After coming back home, Swan was told by NASA that he and his team had walked under the hole in the Ozone layer, which meant ultraviolet rays had come down, hit the ice, and reflected onto them.

Later on, Swan assembled his own team of eight people from seven nations with the goal of walking through the Arctic to reach the North Pole.

“Walking to the North Pole is a whole different game,” he explained. “The South Pole is ice on land. The North Pole is frozen ocean — well, it used to be — and we would step off ice on land onto ice on water.”

The perilous trip left lasting effects, and Swan dedicated the next three decades to preserving the polar regions.

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