Antarctic visitor numbers spark strong views at Scott Base anniversary event

Source: 1News

A gathering in Antarctica to mark the 60th anniversary of Scott Base has heard a warning about allowing more people access to the icy continent.

It came from New Zealand business leader Claudia Batten who's there to take part in a TEDx broadcast tomorrow.

Scott Base staff were given a chance to ask the eight TED speakers questions in the lead-up to the event. 

A question about whether more people should have access to the ice to highlight its plight prompted strong views.

Ms Batten, the New Zealand Trade and Enterprise Regional Director for North America, replied that large numbers of people should not be down on the ice.

But the climate change message and the global importance of Antarctica should be made easily digestable for the public.

"I don't think we should have too many people here. But we do need to talk about this more. We need to talk about what's happening here, tell the stories," she said.

"And not in just a sciency way. We need to find a way of putting the spinach in the brownies."

Musician Gin Wigmore said "it's about getting a wide spread of people" and "people that wouldn't necessarily know about this place" and learning about it from someone who really cares about it.

Dan Barry, astronaut and star of the TV series Survivor, said he expected to see "the beautiful vistas, the cute animals" in Antarctica but did not expect "the kind of passion there is here".