Earlier this month, British actress Emma Thompson, along with her 15-year-old daughter Gaia, pushed off from the chilly and remote shores of Longyearbyen on board the Greenpeace activist ship Esperanza, bound for the northernmost part of the earth. Their goal? To raise global awareness about the melting Arctic environment. 

"My daughter and her generation are about to inherit the world we're responsible for, and I want to make sure that we leave the Arctic safe from oil companies and protected for good. I'm making this trip because I want Gaia's generation to grow up in a decent and sane world," said the actress ahead of the trip. 

Items on the Arctic agenda included a visit to the world's northernmost climate research station, a night in a trapper's cabin on the ice and visits to retreating glaciers.

The duo took to Twitter to share their day-to-day experiences with followers – a platform the actress needed some daughterly encouragement to embrace. Their tweets (which you can find both at @gp_espy and @savethearctic) convey both their wonder at the region's incredible beauty and their dismay at how it is being transformed by human actions (with a few weather-related gripes thrown in).

Thompson also took the opportunity to send a few stern dispatches to world leaders. On a visit to the Smeerenburg glacier east of Greenland, the actress was photographed holding a sign with a message for Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott (whose attacks on climate action and affinity for coal mines have drawn some sharp criticism).


In a recent blog post, she again emphasised the role that governments should play in taking action on climate change and protecting the North Pole. "We're told that it is all our fault, global warming – we want the fuel, we want our cars, and that the oil industry is merely responding to the needs of a greedy public. But that's simply not fair. Most of us want to live cleaner lives, but our governments don't make these things easily available," she said. 

"[Use] your voice. Know that you have power and you can make your government listen," she added. 


Yesterday, @gp_espy tweeted this video of more moving words from Thompson, read out by her on board the Esperanza. Worth a watch. 

Top header image: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Flickr