Monday, January 30, 2006


I woke to hear a cheery voice explain that experts think that 'the Greenland ice cap is on the verge of melting...and now onto the government's new health policy...'

Is that it? Is that all there is to say? Why isn't anyone jumping up and down?

Widespread international and irreversible catastrophe threatens but we are taking it all so calmly. I keep wanting someone to tell me it isn't true, that they could be wrong, but no one does.

We go back to the inane, the irrelevant - James Frey's memoir isn't altogether true. Interesting, but have you heard about Greenland?

Someone has won the Whitbread with a book on Matisse. Good, but what about this ice cap melting?

Apparently Greenland contains one tenth of the world's ice and anyone who still believes that global warming isn't really happening might care to look at these pictures of the Kamarujuk glacier on the north west coast of Greenland, 71 degrees north. The black and white one was taken in 1930 by Alfred Wegener - the man responsible for the hypothesis of continental drift, and the colour one I took in 2001 from almost exactly the same spot when I was researching for my novel. As you can see nothing had changed... except for the ice.

I also noticed on the BBC website that a group called the ARCTIC MONKEYS have made world-record album sales recently. ARCTIC MONKEYS, eh? Who could they mean?


Blogger Jason Erik Lundberg said...

Holy crap, those pictures are amazing for showing the differences in the ice levels.

I've been getting spastic about this kind of thing lately, this calm apathy to global climate change, or international politics, or illegal governmental wiretaps. Oh, that stuff is boring and thinky, I'm too upset about James Frey being a big ol' liar to even let that stuff into my little world!

I believe my next podcast will contain a significant rant about this.

Mon Jan 30, 08:50:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, I was surprised when I got back when I found we had taken a photo from the same place, and then I noticed the ice and couldn't believe it. They knew the ice was retreating (or ablating) in 1930.

Now I have to hear this rant - this podcasting business, Jason...I keep hearing about it - don't suppose you could point me in the direction of a place that explains what it is exactly. Since I have now entered the blogosphere and have acquired a sweet little ipod mini and, what is more, can now download music off the internet all on my own I reckon the next step could well be the podcast...

Mon Jan 30, 09:45:00 pm  
Blogger Jason Erik Lundberg said...

Podcasts, in short, are radio broadcasts that are transmitted over the internet (instead of radio waves), and can be downloaded to your computer and MP3 player. Anyone with a microphone and a computer can produce one.

If you're using iTunes, there is a built-in Podcasts menu, where you can browse and subscribe to them (subscribing to a podcast means that iTunes will automatically check when new episodes are available).

You can also subscribe by inputting the podcast's syndication feed (usually in RSS or XML format) into the "Subscribe to a Podcast" tab under the Advanced menu in iTunes.

But most good podcasts will have a link that will allow you to subscribe without all that hassle. I have a graphic on the page for my podcast, Lies and Little Deaths, along the right side of the page. No muss, no fuss.

Wikipedia also has an extensive entry on podcasting, in case I wasn't very clear.

Mon Jan 30, 10:03:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jason: Well that was easy! Thank you so much - am listening to you now...Have to say I'm impressed, very professional sounding and interesting. Will report back further in a couple of days.

Mon Jan 30, 10:21:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well I for one, oversaw some shocking TV screen exhibits which I think related to this topic. I was shocked and now I read about "the end is near" in the media. Oprah may have a valid point about Frey, (I personally, have no idea), but even then, Frey is a needle in the haystack, surely, and not the haystack we have to confront? (Which is far more of an issue than something we seek to avoid rather than confront!)

Some ask if the global warming issue is a scam and seek to prove the opposite of a global warming situation.

But pictures and videos of arctic ice falling into the sea, suddenly warmed to the degree they melt and cause all sorts of havoc, frightens me. I grew up knowing ice was there. Now, I cannot be so sure.

Thank you for highlighting this fact, Clare. I've no doubt, I'll see you in my nightmares, if not my dreams...

Tue Jan 31, 09:18:00 pm  
Blogger Jason Erik Lundberg said...

This one's for you, Clare.

Fri Feb 03, 09:31:00 pm  
Blogger JRMurdock said...

I have to ask, looking at the pictures, what season were they taken in? If one was taken in the dead of winter (January in the 1930's) and the other taken in the summer (July in 2001) then of course the ice would have receeded due to warmer temps.

As for ice, it falls all the time in the artic. It dumps massive amounts of plankton into the seas to feed little fish and whales and keeps the eco system going. Ice moves in flows and comes and goes with or without the help of mankind.

The hole in the ozone that people attribute to global warming also grows and shrinks. People use it as a scare tactic when talking about global warming. It's a natural thing for it to grow and shrink over the years. We've only been studying it for a short time so to make a claim that we're all gonna die or the planet is warming up only frightens children and the ill informed.

The same can be said for American's ever shrinking forests. In the 1930's we had 175,000,000 arces of forest. Today we have over 195,000,000 arces of forest. Yes tons of trees are cut each year, but nearly all of those areas are replanted. To say America is clear cutting it's forests again only strikes fear in the hearts of children and ill informed.

Sorry to be a nay-sayer in this conversation, but I have strong doubts that the ice is melting and we're under a global warming threat that will engulf the world in water. These things have only been studied for an extremely short period of time and to jump the gun and cry "the sky is falling" does no one any good.

As a final note, I see that the top picture has no water and the bottom picture does. Again, I think the ice recession is due to seasonal changes, not impending doom.

Tue Mar 14, 09:10:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

JRMurdock: Both pictures were taken in the summer. The modern one taken just a little further out to sea.

Thanks for your comment.

Wed Mar 15, 05:16:00 am  

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