“Use your vote, be an activist”

Meet Nikolai Schirmer, the skier who wants to ride better with lower emissions. Here’s his view on climate change. 

D2 and Dagens Næringsliv recently named him a leading star, among 30 Norwegians below 30 that would make the world a better place. Nikolai Schirmer is actually a lawyer, but spent the last ten years working in the outdoor industry as a professional skier and producer of marketing material. 

Photo by Nikolai Schirmer

– The idea with the Endless Winter project is to do an experiment to see whether it really is necessary to fly all over the world and burn tonnes of fossil fuels to ski at a professional level, or if it’s possible to do it in a way that’s less harmful to the globe, Schirmer says. 

He wanted to find out if he really could justify the emissions of his little one-man company in the name of business and art. 

– If I can do better with lower emissions, then why not do it? Then if that can have an impact beyond myself that’s great of course, he says. 

Get involved politically

– It’s more like Greta Thunberg says: our house is on fire and we need to put it out. So I guess I’m passionate about good fire extinguishers, Schirmer says. 

His interests lie in social issues like inequality and discrimination. Being a skier, and totally dependent on cold and snowy winters, it was difficult to ignore global warming. 

– It’s harder to ski for poverty, haha! It is pretty much the most privileged activity around. After polo maybe. Or yachting? Yachting is pretty damn privileged. 

So now he’s reading up on the degrowth versus green growth debate. 

– I find really interesting mostly because the more I read the more I understand just how little we still know about both options, so it seems we have an adventure into uncharted territory ahead of us, he says. 

He voted for the Green Party (MDG) at the previous election in Norway, and is convinced that a global concerted effort at the government level is vastly more efficient. 

– If you want to make a real impact get involved politically. Use your vote, influence how other people vote, be an activist, he says. 

A swell summer

In this very moment, Nikolai is spending his summer days on a sailboat for a North Atlantic surf trip with Infinitum Movement.

There’s no typical day of work for him – winter means skiing, summer means post production of content and an occasional shoot. 

– Summer’s all about surfing! And climbing so far, because the ocean has been mostly flat. Finger’s crossed there’s some swell and not just plastic in the ocean. Dolphins prefer swell I think. Turtles do too.