The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
Scientists Write Eulogy to Memorialize Glacier Lost to Climate Change
By Andrea Germanos
A climate change victim in Iceland is set to be memorialized with a monument that underscores the urgent crisis.
The victim is the former Okjökull glacier in Borgarfjörður, which scientists say is the nation's first glacier lost to the climate crisis. Its plight was also the subject of the 2018 documentary Not Ok produced by Rice University anthropologists Cymene Howe and Dominic Boyer.
Earther first reported on the plaque on Saturday.
The memorial monument will be installed during an Aug. 18 "un-glacier tour" and is entitled, A letter to the future. It was authored by Icelandic writer Andri Snær Magnason.
"Ok is the first Icelandic glacier to lose it status as a glacier," the text of the plaque reads. "In the next 200 years all our glaciers are expected to follow the same path."
"This monument is to acknowledge that we know what is happening and what needs to be done," it says. "Only you know if we did it."
The bottom of the plaque reads "August 2019, 415ppm CO2." Atmospheric carbon dioxide levels hit that threshold—for the first time ever in human history—in May.
In a press statement released Thursday, Howe spoke about the goal of the memorial.
"This will be the first monument to a glacier lost to climate change anywhere in the world," he said. "By marking Ok's passing, we hope to draw attention to what is being lost as Earth's glaciers expire. These bodies of ice are the largest freshwater reserves on the planet and frozen within them are histories of the atmosphere. They are also often important cultural forms that are full of significance."
Boyer also warned that Ok's "fate will be shared by all of Iceland's glaciers unless we act now to radically curtail greenhouse gas emissions."
Howe, in his statement, suggested the monument should be seen as a call-to-action.
"One of our Icelandic colleagues put it very wisely when he said, 'Memorials are not for the dead; they are for the living,'" Howe said. "With this memorial, we want to underscore that it is up to us, the living, to collectively respond to the rapid loss of glaciers and the ongoing impacts of climate change."
The movie, the website for the documentary says, "is not a tale of spectacular, collapsing ice. Instead, it is a little film about a small glacier on a low mountain—a mountain who has been observing humans for a long time and has a few things to say to us."
Reposted with permission from our media associate Common Dreams.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Emily Deanne
Shower shoes? Check. Extra-long sheets? Yep. Energy efficiency checklist? No worries — we've got you covered there. If you're one of the nation's 12.1 million full-time undergraduate college students, you no doubt have a lot to keep in mind as you head off to school. If you're reading this, climate change is probably one of them, and with one-third of students choosing to live on campus, dorm life can have a big impact on the health of our planet. In fact, the annual energy use of one typical dormitory room can generate as much greenhouse gas pollution as the tailpipe emissions of a car driven more than 156,000 miles.
By Lorraine Chow
Kokia drynarioides is a small but significant flowering tree endemic to Hawaii's dry forests. Native Hawaiians used its large, scarlet flowers to make lei. Its sap was used as dye for ropes and nets. Its bark was used medicinally to treat thrush.
States that invest heavily in renewable energy will generate billions of dollars in health benefits in the next decade instead of spending billions to take care of people getting sick from air pollution caused by burning fossil fuels, according to a new study from MIT and reported on by The Verge.
Hawaii's Kilauea volcano could be gearing up for an eruption after a pond of water was discovered inside its summit crater for the first time in recorded history, according to the AP.
By Kristin Ohlson
From where I stand inside the South Dakota cornfield I was visiting with entomologist and former USDA scientist Jonathan Lundgren, all the human-inflicted traumas to Earth seem far away. It isn't just that the corn is as high as an elephant's eye — are people singing that song again? — but that the field burgeons and buzzes and chirps with all sorts of other life, too.
Humanity faced its hottest month in at least 140 years in July, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said on Thursday. The finding confirms similar analysis provided by its EU counterparts.
By Hans Nicholas Jong
Indonesia's president has made permanent a temporary moratorium on forest-clearing permits for plantations and logging.
It's a policy the government says has proven effective in curtailing deforestation, but whose apparent gains have been criticized by environmental activists as mere "propaganda."