Disappearing Glaciers: It's Just Not Ok!

We’re going to write the obituaries of hundreds of 20th-Century glaciers well before 2050, as they disappear from warming temperatures. The OK glacier in Iceland is just the latest, virtually disappearing within the last 30 years. Since 1900, it’s lost 98% of its mass and can no longer flow as glaciers must. This week, government leaders in Iceland unveiled a plaque for future generations to see.

Iceland’s sixth largest glacier is now just a glacial lake. What will happen when all the ice disappears from Iceland?

Iceland’s sixth largest glacier is now just a glacial lake. What will happen when all the ice disappears from Iceland?

Ok is the first Icelandic glacier to lose its status as a glacier. In the next 200 years all our glaciers are expected to follow the same path. This monument is to acknowledge that we know what is happening and what needs to be done. Only you will know if we did it.

Ágúst/April 2019

415 ppm CO2

OK Glacier.jpg

That language is a real punch to the gut. My suggestion to climate activists is to plan on erecting similar copper memorial shields, plaques that will not erode or weather for 300 years, so that everyone in the future will know that we did/didn’t do what we knew was necessary to stop this catastrophe from happening.

Where else should we plan to erect such monuments?

The language in the Icelandic glacier memorial would be the fitting opening to any number of dystopian science fiction novels. One that has a similar theme, but in which the Earth is rendered uninhabitable because of overheating within just two years is SevenEves., by Neal Stephenson. In that 2016 novel, the remnants of the human race have to set up a new civilization in space colonies orbiting the Earth, until it cools down enough (in 5,000 years) to be habitable.

What is the legacy we are planning to leave to future generations? Shouldn’t we be thinking about that issue much more deeply now?