Protect Our Winters with Hilde Holdhus

Coming from a continent where winters with snow have been a foregone conclusion until now, climate change is an serious issue which affects us all. In response to this, Marwe joined Protect Our Winters Finland in the last quarter of 2018.

Today we are interviewing Norwegian Hilde Holdhus, who is clearly a cogent specialist in climate change and weather issues.

Tell us who you are & about your past

I am Hilde Holdhus. Head of the Norwegian hydrogen consultancy Greensight, from Bergen. Oceanographer by education. Worked with weather forecasting for 14 years, and have worked as a climate lecturer and weather presenter on Norwegian Television.

Hilde during her weather forecasting years on Norwegian TV. Picture (c) TV2 no

What motivated you to become a specialist on weather issues ?

Not sure if it was ever a conscious choice, but a series of smaller choices and coincidences that led me there. However, hearing Gro Harlem Brundtland speak once in the early nineties, where she talked to my generation and that we were the ones to solve the climate issue (and look at us now, relying on our children to do the same), made a great impact on me. When I later went to university I was at one point studying a branch of geophysics that was sure to secure me a well-paid in the oil and gas industry, but I first of all found it extremely boring and I realised that I did not want to contribute to any further emissions, and so I quit and went on to study meteorology and oceanography which I found much more interesting. Ironically, I later ended up selling weather forecast services to the oil and gas industry. #Norway.

Hilde speaking recently at an NCE Maritime Cleantech event . Picture (c) NCE Maritime CleanTech

For decades climate change has affected air quality, wildlife, snow coverage & Marwes concern – winter sports. What signs are visible in Norway?

Where I live it is mostly related to precipitation, Western Norway is a pretty wet place, and precipitation has increased with more than 20 per cent the last century, a lot more than expected. Over the last years we have seen an increase in landslides, damaging buildings and infrastructure and in a few cases taking lives, and the trend is expected to continue. We see our famous glaciers dwindling, and snow days during decreasing. More snow is actually expected in the mountainous areas until 2050, as an effect of increasing temperatures. Due to humidity heavy snowfall occurs around 0 degrees, but after 2050 even the highest peaks will struggle. The latest UN report states that the snow covered areas of the world on average have lost five snow days every ten years since 1990.

Signs of climate change at Briksdalsbreen glacier. Picture by Hilde Hildhus @hildephlide

What are the simplest things we all can do to slow climate change?

  1. Stop throwing away food! Food waste accounts for around 10 percent of climate emissions and 20-30 percent of the food produced ends up as waste. Consumers can do a lot here.
  2. Try to influence the company you work in to become greener
  3. Walk and bike (ski!) whenever you can – good for your health and the environment.
  4. Think twice before booking a flight. Sometimes we have to travel and fly, but choose your flights with care.
  5. Vote responsibly. Choose politicians that will act on climate change.

Marwe is an main partner with Protect your winters Finland. Are your familiar with POW?

Yes, I have heard of it and also know people who has been active in POW.
They also have a branch in Norway, https://www.protectourwinters.no

Do you know any public mobile apps on climate change issues?

Not really no 😊 Or – have looked at apps measuring your climate footprint (and do I have work to do 😉).

Here are some informative moblie apps on climate change picked by Marwe

Chasing Ice iOS
#CLIMATE iOS (hashtagclimate.org)
Earth-Now iOS and Android Apps (NASA)
Images Of Change iOS (NASA)
JouleBug iOS and Android Apps (CNET)

Worldview Web Portal (Recommened also by Hilde) (NASA)

Norwegians are outdoor-oriented – Whats your favourite sport?

I LOVE skiing, and have been skiing every winter since I was four. My father grew up in a small place in the mountains, and we went there a lot growing up. But have to admit that I am more of a alpine skiing fan than cross country. Skiing culture in the steep mountains here on the west coast is different that that in the east. I remember moving to Oslo and people asked me about the longest distance I had skied. I gave them a astonished look! Here we always used to walk up (cross country/mountain skis) to the nearest hill/mountain, and ski back down. But traditional cross country is becoming more the norm even here, and people don’t use mountain skis anymore, they use randonnee.

Skiing time! Picture (c) Hilde Holdhus

Your CV is impressive. Swahili and Italian, where did you learn these?

My ex-mother-in-law taught me Italian, her English was very limited, and she spoke all the time, so I was forced to learn 😊. I lived seven months in Dar-es-Salaam in 2008, and went to basic Swahili classes. I put it on my resume for fun, might have to remove it. It is a far stretch to claim that I speak it nowadays!

Lastly our Finland-question: what do you like here or your connection?

I have been to Helsinki twice and really like the city, loved the karaoke! And of course I love Moomin!

Huge thanks for your interview and climate-change related tips Hilde!

To find out more about Hilde and her activities check out her Instagram account @hildephilde , her Linkedin account, and of course Greenstat, of which some information and links below.

Greenstat and Greensight in brief

Greenstat is a green company for a green generation, inviting ordinary people to own shares in a green company focusing on long term growth. We are developing and investing in projects and companies in the green energy and technology sector. Our main focus is on hydrogen and local energy, but always seeking the best and greenest opportunities!

Greenstat AS is to develop and operate projects related to sustainable energy and technology, here under projects supporting the transition from fossil to renewable energy production and consumption, in addition to participating and investing in companies contributing fully or partly to this end.

Greensight is a subsidiary of Greenstat. It delivers knowledge and decision support along the entire value chain of hydrogen, with the center of focus on transport.

The companies core values:

  • Green Mindset
  • Responsive (to change)
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Expertise
  • New thinking

For more information on Greenstat, please visit their pages at
https://greenstat.com
https://www.facebook.com/greenstatas