Friday, January 27, 2017

Ask an Alaskan if Climate Change is Real

And I mean, any Alaskan who has lived here for any period of time. However they vote, whatever their political views, whatever they think the cause of it may be, ask them if they think the climate that they live in is changing. 

No one who lives here can credibly or reasonably deny it anymore, because it is literally happening before our eyes. Forget about scientists. You don't need a scientist to ask these questions and get answers. Or as Bob Dylan famously said, you don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.

Ask the residents of Juneau if the Mendenhall Glacier is melting just a little bit more each year--and not just a little bit, actually. At an alarmingly noticeable rate.

Ask the people of Newtok, who voted to relocate their entire village as erosion destroyed it at the rate of 100 feet per year over the past 20 years.

Ask folks who live in Utqiagvik (f.k.a. Barrow) whether their winters are warmer than ever and why the city has been called "ground zero for climate change."

Ask the general managers of the ski areas in the state and the dismal and lost winters they've come to fear and experience with increasing regularity, and whether they're grateful when we even have snow.

Ask my friends who've had green grass and crocuses in their gardens in January the past few winters.

Ask Dominic Ivanoff, a leader of Kotzebue's tribal council, who told the New York Times during President Obama's visit to the state two summers ago about the thinning ice.

Ask organizers of the Iditarod, who can no longer reliably count on snow along 1,000 miles of the Alaskan wilderness' iconic sled dog race trail.

Ask anyone who lives here, and they'll tell you. Not all of them want to admit it, and many don't want to concede it's humans who are doing it. I'm not a scientist. I'm just a person who's lived in Alaska for awhile and who has eyes and a memory.

So the next time you hear our President say climate change is a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese, or an "alternative fact," see if he can find even one reasonable resident of this state who honestly agrees with him.


  1. I lived in Anchorage for about 12 years, Fairbanks for 13, and all over southeast Alaska prior to that. I watched as Portage Glacier in Anchorage began to recede. Once again, you have hit the nail on the head. What does it take for people to believe?

  2. In Alaska, global warming is a hoax, but not by the Chinese. This one is due to Sarah Palin, and her being able to see Russia from wherever the heck it was...was...ill... aah....Wasilla! Palin blurted, Putin got even.

  3. You can ask a Canadian - from different regions across the country - and get a bunch of similar stories. Now, that comes with bitter and sweet. Southern Manitoba will be stealing Nebraska's crown in the corn production game. Southwestern Ontario's Niagara district will be better wine country than the Napa valley. But all the polar bears will be gone, and in Toronto, possums will be competing with raccoons for my garbage.


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