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KPBS Midday Edition

Swiss Family On Global Climate Expedition Visits San Diego County

Top to Top Global Climate Expedition
Swiss Family On Global Climate Expedition Visits San Diego County
Swiss Family On Global Climate Expedition Tour In San Diego GUESTS:Dario Schworer, Top to Top Global Climate Expedition Sabine Schworer , Top to Top Global Climate Expedition

This is KPBS Midday Edition. I'm Maureen Cavanaugh. Form Coronado to Alaska to Antarctica. I'm going ocean adventure undertaken by a Swiss couple and four children. Have climbed traveled the world and climbed peaks giving them unforgettable childhood adventures. There is a bigger purpose to be journey to this Swiss family. Also conducting research projects and holding classes for kids around the world to educate them about Ocean pollution Dario and Sabine welcome to the show. When did you start making these journeys 1999. Quite a while ago. Sabine was coming into the mountains and I was an expert guide them. And we saw actually in the early days in the 90s that our office is melting away. Glaciers and ice and snow. And that was our motivation. Let's do something for four years, really believe in, climate change wasn't an issue and they came up with the idea just to go and collect the best examples, the best solutions to protect the climate. Youth and sports. When you work with children, young people, it's much easier for me do sports, not only healthy for them, much easier to convince them, and they understand the value of nature and the environment. Since that first meeting and the first decision, where have you and your family gone. Tell us about some of the journeys you have taken. We started first in Switzerland. In each department. That took us five months. So we never took any car or something. And when we started in Switzerland, we said we prove so much that will be going school inspire children to that really is the key to go for our future. We saw that make sense for us. And the we said let's try to do the highest in each continent. Long story, as a challenge. With a lot of problems we started and to the sea where we had the boat. One of Dario's guests would give us the money to buy a boat. Don't have to some over the ocean. We started than to sail over the Atlantic the Atlantic and went to South America plant the mountain there and when we crossed the Pacific and went to Australia, climbed Kilimanjaro, then we went over the Indian Ocean, and when first attitude India, and efforts and to Africa, and we did the circumnavigation. This explains why your organization is called from top to top. Your from top to top, the top mountains on each of the covenants and so forth but you also spend a lot of time on the ocean as a sailor. Tell us a little bit about your sailboat. How big is it what kind is it. You have a family of six on there now. That is right. The vote was actually just a whole at the beginning. And a handheld GPS they can customer and the journey is over and now we hit that in 2000 hitting to target. And that actually damaged the vibration, cause so much stress to the hull that we have and it was to make three weeks. We were stuck and Sabine was first-time pregnant. And normally you just packing from home because donors for more. But couldn't, we promised each other we would try 20 times and so after a while we came up with the idea, let's rebuild the boat know that the best boat and we approached universities to test on the extreme condition let's say on the expedition. That was for sure 1.2 continue. We were able to continue and nowadays it's really great to be independent we produce our own food on the go, our own power, and we were really lucky that the yacht club hosted us the last two weeks. And Marina and I hope some listeners come join us and see the boat. Sounds fascinating. Dario makes the point that you had your first child and then you had your second child, and have four children, fifth child. Congratulations when you started to build we will not reach the -- we are going to continue As soon as we were we always our children come first we do everything that they do that they are raised safely and have a good environment. After so much experience they have a good life. How do you keep them safe on the boat? Some of them are young. They can do and what they cannot do. And they are always attached with the ticket on -- that is our biggest worry. That they would fall overboard. We have to liferafts, we have really a me safe side, they know how to swim so that they know all the drills we go through. Obviously teach them on the boat, homeschooling as we call it in the US. Is there right That is true. And they have gone up only mountains now? These children? I think when he was five months old probably the youngest ever in Everest base Camp cleaning up. But you have to understand sounds a little strange. We were sailing to the coast in India to get to the Himalayas. Form and taking up in this altitude so our kids for listeners they have to understand in the ocean, we feel much safer in the middle of the Pacific their children on the boat then here in San Diego our kids are not used to cars as an example. And your kids, you teach them how to crossroads and so on. We teach our kids when they go out into the cockpit on the lifeline. So I think that is not much difference really important as parents to teach your children to become independent and responsible and we are on the way of their life is that they start respecting nature. And that is also in our talks in this modern 80,000 students who visited and so far that we really like that we have to start respecting nature. That is the main message. That you have for the children that you teach around the world. And I imagine the journeys and the experiences and the stories, the wonderful places you have been only serves to enhance that message. I think our mission is really to inspire the youth. To save our planet. And especially the climate and like Sabine explain to you, we have done no more than 75,000 miles and more than 400,000 alternators climbed. More than 25,000 miles. As a family. To cover the highest mountain in each continent without using a motor. And the reason why we went there is we really like from the start on to cover all climates. The climate is not only changing from Africa or San Diego to Antarctica it is also changing in altitude. When you go to these top, all climates. We are all cultures and we have been more than 100 countries now. And we really saw the climate change is happening. And I see it as actually not only negative. I think it is also a positive part of it anyway especially young people see the challenge. And get connected and talk about try to find solutions. And that is so great when you see what is going on now. And I think that is a great thing to bring peace. On this planet when people are starting worldwide to work out climate change and I see when you watch TV, a lot. In the news all the crime negative and so on. I'm not sure that's why that more sexy for a lot of people but when he had the privilege like us. All these countries, you get every year more and more inspired about the future of our planet. So many good people on this planet. So many great projects. And I see climate change is really something we have to act now. But also as an opportunity for peace, that brings people together. I believe I understand that you after the baby is born giving ourselves about four more years to be doing this kind of work. What happens on? Are big wish is that this Pope goes around the globe and inspires people to act for planet so young people should go and that will be very nice we're looking now into young people, they want to do something like that and that will be great. Thank you both for coming in ensuring the story. It's really quite remarkable. I appreciate it if a nice break from the kind of news we usually get. Dario and Sabine. Dario and Sabine Schworer. Thank you and we really hope that San Diego becomes our base camp for our last leg the first sailing around the two Americas from pole to pole to bring these two Americans and the children closer to I appreciate it.

San Diego County is the latest stop for a Swiss family preparing for the next leg of their global climate expedition: sailing around North and South America and heading to the Arctic from “Pole to Pole.”

Dario and Sabine Schworer have been spreading the word about ocean pollution and climate change to young people around the world for 15 years.

The couple who are active climbers said they first started their journey in Switzerland. Dario said they realized in the 1990s how climate change was hurting glaciers. They also knew how effective it would be to teach children the importance of the environment.


“We were very engaged in youth and sports,” Dario told KPBS Midday Edition on Tuesday. “We realized when you work with young people it’s much easier to convince them to do something for the planet when they understand the value.”

They’ve sailed 75,000 nautical miles, conducted research for various educational and non-governmental organization partners, and met with more than 80,000 school children. During that time, they’ve had four children. The children are now ages 10, 8, 5 and 3. The entire family travels by sailboat, bicycles and hiking.

They work with the nonprofit, “Top to Top” Global Climate Expedition, which inspires children to help create a better future. The group’s key message focuses on “climate protection” and “enjoying nature through sport but also (giving) something back to nature.”

The expedition will wrap up in the next four years. The couple plans on turning it over to a younger generation of adventurers.

“Our mission is really to inspire the youth to save our planet,” Dario said. “We really like to stress that we have to start respecting nature.”