much progress in aviation during the next five years as there has been
during the past five, and many of the difficulties of today will he
conquered before 1930.
During more than 11 years of actual residence in the Arctic,
its the problems of the North were constantly before me, and I was therefore in a position to
be one of the first to realize that the dream of the Elizabethan navigators
intervened between Columbus and Franklin is was about to come. I got
The idea came to me vaguely about 10 years ago.
and put it in It was put into print tentatively in
1921 and more fully in a book called "The Northward Course of Empire"
in 1922. I had been urging it upon the Canadian Government in writing
The difficulty in getting the ordinary educated person to take a
thoroughly fully rational view of the Polar regions is due partly to the
recrudescence of ancient beliefs.
about the Polar regions. This is the
fault of our school and college education
s. The Popes of Rome were in
the habit of mentioning in bulls issued during the middle ages that
Greenland exported butter and cheese, but the children of our schools
today are in most places given
no other the impression of that Greenland than
of a land is all covered with ice and snow. I have questioned a number of
school children in Canada and England and have found them uniformly of
that impression, although they are usually unable to say exactly where
they got the idea. In the United States, there is a song in popular
use in the kindergartens and primar
yies schools which has with the refrain "For
in Greenland there is nothing green
to grow"! you know"!
Another reason for the misconceptions about the Arctic is that
few care to read anything about distant countries except stories of
adventure. If you spend five years in Spain, you may find when you
come back that your friend the magazine editor does not care to print
anything you have to say about climate or agriculture but that he will
be glad to publish an
d account of how you watched a bull-fight and what
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