His name is Ignacio Soaje, he’s from Buenos Aires and he’s been living in England for 4 years, with his little daughter, Josefina.
Ignacio worked in Argentine Navy’s war ships, and 10 years ago he involved so much in Greenpeace’s cause, that he decided to take this absolute twist in his life. Now, he’s the second commander of the Arctic Sunrise and hoists the green-peace flags all over the world.
With an ear-to-ear smile and big predisposition, Ignacio (who likes to be called “Nacho”) welcomed RULOEDUCATDF’s team to share the work all the ships that travel to specific places in the world.
Ignacio Quiroga: How did Greenpeace’s idea arise?
Nacho Soaje – It arose 40 years ago, with a group of people who disagreed with doing nuclear tests where a whale sanctuary was.
It was a place like Golfo Nuevo, close to Puerto Madryn, It was a place like that, but in Alaska, and they started with a protest against this. They got into a ship in that area, so the other people couldn’t continue with the tests.
That, was the first Greenpeace appearance.
Catalina Gaitán: We are on Antarctica’s Birthday Eve. You have recently come from there and we’d like to know: How is global warming impacting in Antarctica?
Nacho – Sadly, we came from Esperanza Base. We arrived the day that was registered as the warmest of all, with 18°C (64.4°F). We were wearing t-shirts and shorts in Antarctica and, although it’s anecdotical, it’s preoccupying. It is something that’s not good.
Penguin’s population are decreasing a lot, consequently that the amount of ice is lesser than before.
Catalina: Is Antarctica in danger?
Nacho – We all are in danger. Antarctica is an inhospitable place, where not anyone can get there. We have to realize that climatic changes aren’t just plastics that are floating on the water and that’s eaten by the fishes, but also the set of bad habits that human beings have and that impacts in the environment in a negative way, in Antarctica and in rest of the world.
Catalina: What were you doing in Antarctica?
Nacho – We were taking samplings. There are big bottles that descend until 300 metres to take different samplings of the water, in ice and snow. Then, water’s acidity is analysed, checking if it has been affected by micro-plastics or atmosphere gases. It’s analysed how strong snow is and its microminerals to register this and control it periodically.
Also, we took DNA sampling from the animals, information that’s shared with the Whale’s World Database. In this opportunity, 60 whales have been identified.
We counted penguins, too, and I think they are around 10000. When the counting is finished, we register and compare it with other years, which are separated by sectors. This, let us to analyse this impact we are talking about.
Ignacio: How can we help to fight against global warming?
Nacho – With small things, for example making sure that we are not using plastics for only one use. Instead of buying water bottles to drink in the street, we can bring our own and it’s a package we can still use, and the same with straws. We should not use disposable crockery.
Having advantage of reclycling of clothes. In Argentina we generally don’t like wearing used clothes, but in other places in the world it’s common to sell again those clothes and this is useful because each time we buy something new, we have to think about the paint ends u in the water. It is really important to search the balance.
When you see a dog in the street, we have to think that they are living beings, and just because of that we must not be bad with them.
Catalina: I loved the names of these ships, Esperanza and Arctic Sunrise. Are there more ships?
Nacho – Yes, they are there- The ones which came to Ushuaia are ice breakers; Esperanza and Arctic Sunrise, and we have a sailing ship, Rainbow Warrior.
Catalina: How old is Arctic Sunrise?
Nacho – This ship is as old as me: 44 years, so young. It’s smaller than Irizar, but it’s an ice breaker and, despite it moves so much, lets us reach the White Continent.
And, do you want to know a crazy fact?
Ignacio y Catalina: Yes!
Nacho – This machine was built to hunt seals.
Catalina: Wow, such a beautiful paradox! I love it! Which were your destinations with the ship?
Nacho – This ice breaker has been across all seas. We’ve been in 46 countries; we work mostly in the North Pole, but some time ago we started coming to Antarctica.
Catalina: What’s the language that’s spoken in the crew?
Nacho – Now we are from 11 different countries. We all talk in English, then we can get in groups depending out nationalities. It’s funny, there are people from Russia, Bulgaria, United States, Tasmania, and the captain and me are from Argentina.
We are a really close group where, besides working, share mates, talks, projects, experiences, and life.
Ignacio: What is your opinion about the wars and its environmental impacts? Because it seems that the willing on bombing United States, Korea, Iran and Irak stopped being talked, and so does the environmental caring…
Nacho – Human beings can be bad sometimes. There are times that we do good things, and times that we don’t.
Sadly, the politics than bring some to the presidency it’s the one that prefers money against the good things that they could do.
We are a pacific organization, we don’t like wars, and the environmental harming is terrible. Regrettably, human beings are like this. But luckily, having Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, protests viralize with the will to stop these things, but we know how hard it is because they’re government decisions.
Ignacio: We would want you to share a message for the children that visit our webpage.
Nacho – We don’t have to ask mom and dad why they left this planet so destroyed. We have to say: Mom! Dad! I need us to work together for this planet!
These videos and photos were given by Nacho Soaje, thank you so much!!!!