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The Sky is Falling

Posted Aug 24 2008 10:41pm
Just kidding. The sky isn't falling. But glaciers are melting, and it's almost the same thing, so...

Actually, I've been hesitant to alert our readers to yet another report that the glaciers are melting faster than expected (here's the NY Times story) , since it seems this report has been coming out every six months for years now. But that was until's Executive Director, Eric Carlson, asked me if I'd seen the big climate news of the week.

"What news?" I said. The EPA's new study ( released Friday ) showing that a cap-and-trade bill wouldn't hurt the economy at all? The report that we have to reduce our carbon emissions to near zero in order to avert catastrophe? The three new small business partners that signed up to offset their emissions with yesterday?

"No," he said. "The glaciers are melting even faster than we thought." He may at that point have been reminding me of the obvious, but just to put this in its rightfully serious context for a moment, here are just some of the consequences of melting glaciers, from the Times:

The big danger ahead, several glacier experts said, is that the loss of glaciers would take away a summertime source of river water, drinking water and hydroelectric power in populous, relatively poor places like South Asia and the cities along the western slope of the Andes. “Millions of people depend on the runoff from mountain snow and ice in the warm seasons,” said Peter Gleick, who has studied water and climate for two decades and is the president of the Pacific Institute, a private research group in Oakland, Calif. “ Climate change is going to make that runoff disappear.”
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