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Tom Waes on slippery ice in Greenland

Greenland, officially still a part of Denmark, is two million square kilometres in size. That is 70 times Belgium. Not less than 85% of it is covered with a thick ice mass, but there live still some 56,000 people. Who are they? How is the life there?

Tom travels for a week on this giant island, and discovered how the original inhabitants, the Inuit, wrestling with the warming of the climate and how difficult they have made it to their beautiful culture to preserve. Although he is 100% opposes the commercial seal hunt, Tom with Inuit still hunt. For them it is a matter of survival.

Sunday 20 January at 20.00 h. on One

For hours was the young Tom Waes in the class staring at that big white spot on the world map. Who lives there? How the people live there? Always though he has dreamed of but now the time has come: Tom goes to Greenland.

“I have a fondness for sprawling landscapes. And that is what plays Greenland in a separate category.”

Tom starts his journey in Kangerlussuaq, the “largest” airport of the country. For most travellers is no more than a stopover, but for Tom, the perfect base to explore the Greenland ice cap to visit. From the airport, runs a road right to the ice that almost the entire island covered. It is a phenomenal sight, but at the same time distressing: never before was the global warming of the earth for Tom so clearly visible. Every year disappears around 280 billion tons of ice into the ocean.

“I went all the way in the white vastness around me. I felt void and it was a good feeling. On the ice I only understood it fully why the global rise of sea level is no empty threat.”

The road to the ice cap is one of the few roads on the island. The rest of his journey must be Tom by plane, helicopter and snowmobile travel. In the capital Nuuk to find Tom a surprisingly modern and hip town of 17,000 inhabitants, but by the moderniseringspolitiek of Denmark, the indigenous culture there is completely lost.

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