Columbia Icefields Climate Change Reality Check

When we first hit the road in 2007, people in northern climates often commented on how their weather has changed. “It ain’t like it used to be” they said when we inquired about snowy winters. And while I  avoided getting political by discussing the science behind those rapidly warming seasons, our recent climate change reality check on the Columbia Icefields has changed all that. I’m no longer keeping quiet about climate change, because this is not about politics, it’s about the future of our species and the kind of planet we want to live on. If you can deal with more glacier and gloom as Jim promised, I hope you enjoy my rant:

Columbia Icefields Climate Change is as Real as that Melting Glacier

The breathtaking scenery of the Athabasca Glacier was both stunning and depressingly tragic. Torrents of melting glacial waters meandered through the rocky terrain as hordes of tourists trampled up the hillside to catch a quick glimpse of the fading popsicle. 

Columbia Icefields Climate Change Reality Check

The Athabasca Glacier

Hiking to the glacier toe gets more strenuous all the time. In fact scientists say that  The Athabasca Glacier is losing more than five meters of ice each year. As we walked, I couldn’t help but wonder, how can any thinking person look at these facts and not want to do something about what’s happening before our eyes? 

Columbia Icefields Climate Change Reality Check

Careful where you walk on the Athabasca.

The good news is that it’s not too late to do something. We have the power to enact laws that slow down climate change and ensure the survival of the human race. Seems to me that the breeders of the world would want to do that for the children that they’ve put on this planet. But then maybe I’m being overly optimistic.

Columbia Icefields Climate Change Reality Check

The hike to the glacier toe gets longer every year.

As we walked along the trail pondering the impact of the melting Canadian glaciers, Jim overheard a young mother scolding her child for picking up trash. “Put that down!” she yelled at the rugrat, then snatched the rubbish from his hand and threw it on the ground. 

Standing in front of the melting glacier, I’ve never felt so conflicted. Thrilled that Jim and I got to see another glacier before they’re all gone, yet so depressed for our future as a species.

I’m just grateful that we don’t have kids who will suffer the consequences.

Columbia Icefields Climate Change Reality Check

We’ll keep smiling through oblivion I guess.

And now back to our regularly scheduled programming  . . . 








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8 Responses to “Columbia Icefields Climate Change Reality Check”

  1. I wonder… Who was here when the glaciers weren’t? Probably no one. It’s going to take telling people who used to eat one meal a day and now eat 3 to go back to one meal. That’s what it will take. You will have to ask people to lower their lifespan. Progress brought us longer lifespans and golbal warming. There are those who are foolish enough to think we can reverse global warming and keep everything that we have now.

    • What a sad way to view the climate change situation. I feel sad that so many view it through sarcastic, apathetic and callous eyes. No, we cannot go back to the stone age, nor can we keep everything we have now. But we must strive for somewhere in the middle if our planet and its inhabitants are to survive.

  2. We don’t have children, either. I still recycle and do what I am able to minimize my footprint.

    • That’s awesome, Pagey. As a friend of ours likes to say, commit to doing the least you can do, then do at least that much and you can make a difference.

  3. Go Rene!!! Tell it like it is! I hope that those who refuse to understand are the first to get taken out. What part of ‘overwhelming evidence’ do they not get? Things are starting to snowball and as long as corporations rule and people keep having too many kids the root causes will not be adequately addressed, no matter how much Exxon says ‘We care about climate change’ or how many Paris climate accords are signed. There is no techno fix, there is no Planet B. Period. Life on this planet is incredibly resilient, I just hope we as a species wipe ourselves out before the earth reaches a tipping point from which it cannot recover.

    • I couldn’t agree more, CR. We saw so much evidence that the snowball is turning into an avalanche right before our eyes. People forget that Mother Nature Bats Last.

  4. Bravo, Rene, for speaking the truth about the idiocy of the human race. Straight and to the point, especially your last comment – which made me laugh out loud. I, too, am glad we don’t have kids who will suffer the consequences (yeah, yeah, THAT’S why I’m glad we don’t have kids). Safe travels.


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