How to describe what I’m feeling today … with more than 30 seasons in Antarctica under my belt … having actually witnessed changes firsthand like glaciers receding, ice shelves that have calved off, penguin populations significantly falling (and, in one case, rising)?
Climate change is real and undeniable. It is happening now.
We humans north of Antarctica already are affected, will experience more of this at some point, and I am profoundly depressed by the US decision today — my country’s decision — to back away from the Paris Climate Accord.
We pathetically join Syria and Nicaragua as the only nations on the planet abstaining from this monumental agreement and its carbon reduction targets. I am embarrassed. My country is shamed.
The only hope is that this decidedly immoral decision ultimately will be reversed by all of us, however we can and wherever we live, redoubling our efforts scientifically, educationally, politically, and otherwise to influence those holding the strings to change course.
I’ve long argued that, because we humans live in the present tense, it’s often difficult to think generationally. But thinking about penguins and Antarctica has helped me think longer term. And now that I have grandchildren, it’s rather easy to conjure, and perhaps fear, what it will be like for them and their children in short years to come.
Penguins, the sentinels of climate change that I study.
Please help us continue to bring science to the table.
Please continue supporting the #ParisAccord.