Friday, December 30, 2016

Climate Change - No Question

Today is my last day to write for Holidailies 2016 and I immediately know what I want to write about: Climate Change.  Why you ask?  It is simple; today we personally witnessed yet another example of the effects of the Earth heating up.  Over the last 5-10 years, my family has been taking our own private poll as we travel the globe.  We ask the people who are out in nature absolutely *every* day what changes, if any, they have observed. It is important to note that these naturalists and guides have no political stake in the game nor are they looking to make any great fortune; they are only interested in and appreciate nature. 

Back to today. Today we were hiking on a glacier in Iceland. Our guide explained how the glacier is a dynamic entity that moves and changes over time.  However, he then pointed to a boulder 300 yards away.  There, he said, is where the glacier used to begin and in fact was last there in 2008.  It had receded 300 yards in 8 years! 


Here is another example for you: there is a lovely video presentation done at the base of the Mendenhall Glacier in Alaska.  After the video, the screen is raised and curtains open for a dramatic finish to see....nothing.  In the time it took to build this theater, the glacier had receded off to the far right.  These are professional park rangers - they know their environment. Nonetheless, they obviously didn't have the ability to factor into their location the dramatic change that would take place in nature.  


The next time you visit Rocky Mountain National Park, ask the folks there where the little mountain squirrels are.  They will tell you the little guys are dying off because they are struggling to live at a different altitude on the mountain to cope with the changing temperatures.   


And if you find yourself sometime in Costa Rica, ask the hiking guides if they have noticed any changes.  They will tell you they no longer need to wear gloves on any of their high altitude treks.  Out there every day, they see the changes.
Not sure what more proof you need.  Open your eyes and your ears: Climate Change is real. Here's to a new year where we recognize the part we play in this change and commit to doing something about it!

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