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Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Anthropocene Today

Posted by on Wed, Aug 15, 2012 at 3:06 PM

Danny Westneat:

Eight years until "Glacier National Park" is just "National Park." The ice had been the lure to get the family to go see the great glaciers before they're gone. But I misjudged how far gone they already are. As did the scientists.

Just say it like it is:

"Global warming is melting the glaciers that give Glacier National Park its name," it says. "By 2030, they all could be gone."
This is about our world, which is not the earth (our planet is here to stay), but a moment in earth's history. If this moment goes, we go with it. What ever faith certain powerful people have in human adaptability, know that human culture will find its limit when this moment goes.


Comments (20) RSS

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Daddy Love 1
Dirt National Park. I can see it now.
Posted by Daddy Love on August 15, 2012 at 3:40 PM · Report this
treacle 2
I vote for Big Rocks Nat'l Park. Slightly more majestic than "Dirt". Sigh, I'll miss Glacier, sorry that it will be gone in my lifetime. It was beautiful there.

That said, perhaps we'll merely see the Big Human Die-Back in the next century or so, as food prices skyrocket and heatwaves take out populations, to say nothing of freshwater crises. The poor, of course, will be the hardest hit. But I still think humanity will make it through "The Changes". We're pretty resilient, and creative to boot.
Posted by treacle on August 15, 2012 at 3:57 PM · Report this
I wonder what the person or persons on Easter Island thought as they cut down the last tree.
Posted by Merchant Seaman on August 15, 2012 at 4:01 PM · Report this
dnt trust me 4
I like your thinking, despite being one of the poor.
Posted by dnt trust me on August 15, 2012 at 4:03 PM · Report this
Matt the Engineer 5
For those that haven't been to Glacier, there's a better way than driving. Take the train right from downtown Seattle, which makes several stops in Glacier.

If you're careful, you can do it in a weekend and not miss work. Hop on the 4:30 on Friday (ok, so you have to leave work early), sleep on the train and get off at East Glacier. Rent a car and hike all day. In the evening hop on a sleeper going west. You're back by late morning Sunday.

I recommend the Roomette - it's cozy, but comfortable. And though it's a lot more expensive than a plain seat, think of it like getting a hotel room.
Posted by Matt the Engineer on August 15, 2012 at 4:10 PM · Report this
Fifty-Two-Eighty 6
Good riddance. Ice never did anything for anyone. I'll be a lot happier with an orange tree in my back yard. Or mangoes. Mmm, mangoes.
Posted by Fifty-Two-Eighty on August 15, 2012 at 4:23 PM · Report this
oh you anti-science environmental luddites....

Climate. Changes. make a note of it.

it warms. it cools. ice ages come. they go.

don't be hysterical bedwetting reactionaries.....
Posted by Mutha Nature on August 15, 2012 at 4:30 PM · Report this
"Eight years until they are gone"
2012 + 8 = 2020
"By 2030 they could all be gone."

Who needs math in science?
Posted by it's just numbers on August 15, 2012 at 4:43 PM · Report this
Max Solomon 9
Re-christen North Cascades NP as "New Glacier NP".

It's always been where most of the lower 48 glaciers are, anyway.
Posted by Max Solomon on August 15, 2012 at 4:45 PM · Report this
Matt the Engineer 10
@8 He copied and pasted the wrong part. That was the old prediction, the new one is 2020.
Posted by Matt the Engineer on August 15, 2012 at 5:09 PM · Report this
Urgutha Forka 11

That's just crazy talk. Ice is good for keeping beer cold.
Posted by Urgutha Forka on August 15, 2012 at 5:39 PM · Report this
This is about Chuckie wanting to use the word 'anthropocene' (and desperately wanting to be invited to someone, anyone's, book club).

No one's interested in pseudo-intellectuals, Chuckie. You want to impress someone? Learn to swim.
Posted by Stranger'sWorstNightmare on August 15, 2012 at 6:33 PM · Report this

Seriously (and I know you're being facetious) I read an article in Scientific American yesterday where some guy was decrying that we might have an ice free Arctic. ? Shorter shipping between China and Europe? Oslo and Seattle? Why not?

Oh, and if all those glaciers are melting so fast, shouldn't we drowning by now by meters high rise in sea level. We're not.

(Drum roll...bring in the latest AGW "explanation" of the inexplicable...)
Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe http://_ on August 15, 2012 at 6:49 PM · Report this
#10 - thanks.
Posted by it's just numbers on August 15, 2012 at 6:51 PM · Report this
Morgan 15
Glaciers are more visible and measurable than the hardship and famine that will result from increases in commodity prices caused by temporal and geographic shifts in precipitation distribution. This will affect developing countries disproportionately, and will favor the west economically - which adds insult to injury since we have contributed the vast majority of carbon emissions, and have resisted every effort to reduce output. Measuring the mortality caused by famine and water shortages will be difficult, but someone will eventually quantify the largest genocide in human history as the most tragic unintended consequence of the industrial revolution.
Posted by Morgan on August 15, 2012 at 7:08 PM · Report this
Well, not to be a killjoy, but the "glacier" in Glacier National Park refers to the huge valleys carved by glaciers during the last ice age, not to few puny glaciers that survived in the high country. Sure, the disappearance of the high country glaciers is worrying (incidentally, the only glacier in Idaho probably disappeared during the 2000's sometime) but it's not like the glaciers are the definining charactaristic the name might imply.
Posted by Jk on August 15, 2012 at 7:34 PM · Report this
@3: "I wonder what the person or persons on Easter Island thought as they cut down the last tree."

To paraphrase Supreme Idiot a couple of posts up;

"Oh, and if all those trees are being cut down so fast, shouldn't we smothered by now by meters high rise in sawdust."

Idiocy is a resource humanity will never run out of.
Posted by mubhappy on August 15, 2012 at 9:54 PM · Report this
Posted by Jenkitty on August 16, 2012 at 12:17 AM · Report this
@16 Good point. Change the name to Glaciated NP and Bob's your uncle.
Posted by capicola on August 16, 2012 at 1:19 AM · Report this
Matt the Engineer 20
@18 FTW
Posted by Matt the Engineer on August 16, 2012 at 2:42 PM · Report this

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