Much to my dismay, he keeps writing good articles.
Thatâ€™s how I learned a new language here: â€œClimate-Speak.â€
Itâ€™s easy to learn. There are only three phrases. The first is: â€œJust a few years ago …â€ Just a few years ago you could dogsled in winter from Greenland, across a 40-mile ice bank, to Disko Island. But for the past few years, the rising winter temperatures in Greenland have melted that link. Now Disko is cut off. Put away the dogsled.
There has been a 30 percent increase in the melting of the Greenland ice sheet between 1979 and 2007, and in 2007, the melt was 10 percent bigger than in any previous year, said Konrad Steffen, director of the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences at the University of Colorado, which monitors the ice. Greenland is now losing 200 cubic kilometers of ice per year â€” from melt and ice sliding into the ocean from outlet glaciers along its edges â€” which far exceeds the volume of all the ice in the European Alps, he added. â€œEverything is happening faster than anticipated.â€
The second phrase is: â€œIâ€™ve never seen that before…â€ It rained in December and January in Ilulissat. This is well above the Arctic Circle! Itâ€™s not supposed to rain here in winter. Said Steffen: â€œTwenty years ago, if I had told the people of Ilulissat that it would rain at Christmas 2007, they would have just laughed at me. Today it is a reality.â€
The third phrase is: â€œWell usually …but now I donâ€™t know anymore.â€ Traditional climate patterns that Greenland elders have known their whole lives have changed so quickly in some places that â€œthe accumulated experience of older people is not as valuable as before,â€ said Rosing. The river that was always there is now dry. The glacier that always covered that hill has disappeared. The reindeer that were always there when the hunting season opened on Aug. 1 didnâ€™t show up.
No wonder everyone here speaks climate now â€” your kids will, too, and sooner than they think.
He wrote a fantastic one a few years ago drawing an analogy between Kennedy’s “we’ll put a man on the moon in ten years” vision with a future president’s vision of being energy independence in ten years. The idea is that we can make it cool to invent a solution that way it was cool, 40 years ago, to want to be an astronaut.
If one of the current candidates for president were to pull all their weight behind that idea, I think it would carry them home.