I took this photo of a retreating glacier on an Innersea Discoveries cruise excursion in Southeastern Alaska. After jumping across glacial streams, our group climbed onto Baird Glacier’s frozen surface for one of my most favorite boomer adventures. On the way back, we stretched out on the spongy moss for a short rest. Supported by the soft surface, my face warmed by the sun, I marveled that a glacier had once embraced this very ground in its icy grip.
Of all our boomer travels, visiting glaciers has left the biggest impact on my environmental awareness. I’ve walked through a New Zealand rainforest to the terminal moraine at Franz Josef Glacier as glacial silt made swirly patterns in the riverbed, stood on the deck of a cruise ship in Alaska watching giant chunks of Hubbard Glacier crash into the sea and photographed icebergs from LeConte Glacier as they melted into LeConte Bay. Unfortunately, these glaciers are all melting—melting—melting. Glacier National Park in Montana was named for the many glaciers that once adorned the crown of the Northern Rocky Mountains. Once? That’s right the glaciers have almost all melted and are predicted to be totally gone by 2020—8 years from now.
Is the melting from these retreating glaciers due to global warming or the earth’s cyclical nature? I can’t tell you. And that debate is not the purpose of this post. My goal is to encourage you to visit these places that are changing in our environment so that you’ll come away more determined to lessen your own footprint on the world. I’ll admit, my efforts are meager at best, but Alan and I are trying to improve.
On this Earth Day weekend, stop to think about what you can do for our environment. And if you need help making changes in the way you live, check out some of my writer friends who have dedicated their careers to writing about the topic. Kris Bordessa at Attainable Sustainable urges readers to make sustainable choices that lead to increased self sufficiency. Alexandra Grabbe, Chezsven Blog: Wellfleet Today, is on a mission to educate her readers about the toxic dangers of the chemicals that permeate our lives. Downsize and live greener with Kerri Fivecoat-Campbell’s blog, Living Large in Our Little House. And then there’s the humorous Melanie McMinn who writes about green living at the Frugal Kiwi.