Editorial: Age of giants past

by Andru McCracken, Editor


“Climate change is real, whether the world plummets into a fiery chaos, or whether we pull back from the gaping maw of doom just in time to save humanity and something of the natural world around us, either way, it’s pretty clear these icy giants will be relegated to the past.”

This summer I had the chance to visit the glaciers of the Canoe Valley with Canadian Mountain Holidays in a helicopter. The irony of the mode of transport isn’t lost on me, but the guilt of using a fossil fueled vehicle was offset by a sense of awe. It was a privilege. I felt joy at getting the chance to see those endangered behemoths.

It was surprising to hear from my guide about how much the terrain has been changing up there.

I won’t lie, I had hoped that the forecasted increase in precipitation would help grow the glaciers at least at the highest elevations.

Well the numbers are in. That’s not happening. Retaining some pockets of glaciers at high elevation is the likeliest scenario.

Thanks to the research of Professor Brian Menounos and his student Ben Pelto of UNBC, we know increased precipitation isn’t building glaciers.

It’s better to know the truth.

Climate change is real, whether the world plummets into a fiery chaos, or whether we pull back from the gaping maw of doom just in time to save humanity and something of the natural world around us, either way, it’s pretty clear these icy giants will be relegated to the past.

As the people living closest to them, it makes sense that we should know our ancient neighbours.

I think we need to add glaciers to the local winter festival, raffle a trip to see them, seek out presentations on glaciers. In short, know them.

A little girl named Annabel, of Banff Alberta frolics next to a glacier in the Robson Valley. Probably the sanest thing to do right now is just appreciate them while they are still magnificent. / ANDRU MCCRACKEN

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