Goodbye, glaciers

A current disaster in India is in the news (e.g., this report by Brett Wilkins): a glacier fell apart, flooding several rivers, destroying dams including hydroelectric projects, and killing people.


In 2018, it was the Matterhorn, perhaps the most famous lump of ice on Earth.

For years now, as NASA has stated, glaciers have been retreating at a non-glacial pace.

So what? If you don’t live beneath a glacier, if your water supply is not the melt of a frozen river, why should you care?

First, because we are all one. The suffering of one person is everyone’s business.

Second, the whole of Earth is one system. Disturb one part, and the effects can be everywhere.

Third, the same causes that melt glaciers are also catastrophically reducing the water supplies of America’s breadbasket, and having many cities sink into the ground — Mexico City is sinking about 3 ft a year!.

I could go on with the examples. We humans are wrecking our own life support system, including our relationship with fresh water.

My part of the world is steadily getting drying due to climate change. An “unusually wet year” now was average rainfall 30 years ago.

Wherever you live, climate change, the overuse of resources like fresh water, and the degradation of nature are the causes.

I can’t say it often enough: live simply, so you may simply live. Replace a culture of growth with one of coordinated reduction — because otherwise we are guaranteed uncoordinated, catastrophic reduction.

About Dr Bob Rich

I am a professional grandfather. My main motivation is to transform society to create a sustainable world in which my grandchildren and their grandchildren in perpetuity can have a life, and a life worth living. This means reversing environmental idiocy that's now threatening us with extinction, and replacing culture of greed and conflict with one of compassion and cooperation.
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5 Responses to Goodbye, glaciers

  1. sandra214 says:

    This hits home for my husband and me. About ten years ago when visiting our daughter in Alaska, she took us to a beautiful glacier, the Columbia Glacier, I believe. They had just built a viewing stand near the edge of it. Five or six years later when we returned to the site. The glacier had receded up the mountain valley and was barely visible from that viewing stand. We were shocked! Those who don’t believe in global warming have blinders on!

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  2. Carolyn Howard-Johnson says:

    When we were cruising sounds in Chile, the Captain commented that the waters were slush compared to the last time he navigated the area only months before. We couldn’t get close to the glaciers. and it was hard to navigate. There was a lot of calving going on before our eyes. This was at least 15 years ago and we have done very little since then to make a difference!

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    • Dr Bob Rich says:

      Thanks for commenting, Carolyn.
      Also, it is an exponential trend. This means that the rate of change keeps increasing. I could have included a link to another story today, that sea level rise is faster than the worst predictions in the climate models.
      Time for Buddhist equanimity.

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