At the Intersection Of Montana and Wyoming

At 10,000 feet, near the peak of Mt. Washburn, the snow leaves a soft dusting on the ground. The silence is totally enveloping. The calls of bear and elk periodically break the silence. Man is incidental to this endless wilderness. Life above the tree line is harshly peaceful.

This is my first adventure into Yellowstone National Park. From the highest peaks, the landscape seems to dwarf the vistas of my home in Vermont. Black bear and bison are hanging out by the roadside.

This was a long way to come for a Greenpeace board meeting, a lot of CO2 emissions to figure out how to slow the emissions of everyone else. But I’m grateful that I came. I had no idea how beautiful the country that often angers me so could be.

Desperately beautiful, unforgettable and awe-inspiring. Maybe I’ll skip the Himalayas and come back to Montana.

 

Understanding the Subtle Complexities of Global Warming

On August 8, 2007 there were 2.23 million square miles of ice in the Arctic.

By September 16th there were only 1.6 million square miles, a decline of 28% in only six weeks. This new level was far below the lowest low previously reached, which was 2.05 million square miles in 2005. How could such a huge change happen so quickly?

While most of us no longer question whether global warming is happening, few of us understand the intricate path it is likely to take as it unfolds. One of the most important and least understood aspects of this path is idea of the “feedback loop.”

This recent Op-ed piece from the New York Times, which Inkslinger posted about last week, does a wonderful job of explaining this idea. It’s something we all need to understand. If you haven’t had a chance to read it, I highly recommend taking a few moments to understand this crucial concept.