August 15, 2022

Nicolas Vanier: a passion for the Earth

When did you decide to become an explorer?
I always had this idea in mind, there was not really a triggering event. My passion for the Far North dates from always, when I was in front of a map of the world, I always looked up!

Have your trips always been a fight for the environment?
No, during the first twenty years, this was first of all a way to satiate my passion. I wanted to finally live what I read or what I saw in documentaries about the Far North. At the time, I was not too aware of the urgency of preserving the environment.

How did you decide to become an "ambassador for the Earth"?
It was 6 or 7 years ago when I discovered the alarming consequences of climate change on my expeditions. It became impossible for me not to highlight the dangers of global warming and pollution.

Are mentalities changing?
There is a certain awareness, but it is not enough. We talk a lot but few actions are asked.

Are you pessimistic?
No, I am rather angry. When I see the enormity of the development of the Kyoto protocol in terms of what it actually provides, it is a little discouraging. But I am resolutely optimistic because our generation will experience real change. It is a global challenge that will have to be addressed, the countries will have to work together. We are on the same boat, and it's exciting.

People are concerned about the importance of ecology, but often feel helpless. What can you advise them?
It is a very big mistake to feel helpless. We both have valuable powers: we are voters and consumers. We can choose what we buy and think about the ecological consequences of the actions we take. If we act according to that, it's already huge.

After your magnificent Siberian Odyssey, do you rest a bit?
Not really, because I work a lot on the film, and we have a lot of images!

Mushers: Conquering the Yukon Quest episode 1 (August 2022)