Wind power: How a low carbon crossing of the Greenland icecap went seriously wrong

Richard Spink tells Flemmich Webb how an almighty storm during an attempt at a low carbon crossing of the Greenland icecap led to a dramatic—and welcome—encounter with a serious quantity of fossil fuel

On 19th April, my two companions and I—Raoul and the boat’s skipper, Ben—set sail from Plymouth on Fleur, a 40ft yacht, under clear skies and a calm sea. Our plan was to carry out a low-carbon crossing of the Greenland icecap: we were going to sail about 2,000 miles to Nuuk, the capital, ski 550 miles across the icecap, then sail back to the UK.

Briefing: the Southern US drought: Analysing the 2011 drought in 13 southern US states

In April 2011 the governor of Texas and presidential hopeful Rick Perry asked that his fellow Texans begin praying for ""the healing of our land"" and an end to the drought. Unfortunately divine intervention was not forthcoming and the drought continued to worsen""ó¢by late June nearly three quarters of the state was experiencing exceptional drought conditions that persisted until the end of the summer. Texas experienced its driest 12 month period on record (August 2010 to July 2011), with crop and livestock losses estimated at $5.2 billion. It was not only Texas that was affected.