Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Disappearing Glaciers II

Crowfoot Glacier 2010

Watercolour and crayon

©2010 Charlene Brown

Here is the present day Crowfoot Glacier, thinned down considerably, as are all the glaciers along the Icefields Parkway between Banff and Jasper. The lower toe of this glacier broke off about fifty years ago, and a Banff pioneer, Jimmie Simpson, predicted in a newspaper interview at the time that all the Rocky Mountain glaciers would have virtually disappeared by the middle of the 21st century… So far, they seem to be about on schedule.

Some say that the climate change indicated by the melting of the glaciers has been on-going since the Little Ice Age and has nothing to do with Canadians’ growing ‘carbon footprint.’ I’m inclined to agree that our carbon emissions are not the major factor here, but I disagree completely with the extension of this theory that says there is therefore no point in cleaning up “the dirtiest energy source in the world” – the Alberta Oil Sands – ironically located in the same province as these spectacular glaciers.