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Birthday Breakup: Bye Bye Ice Shelf (plus a dare for you)

29 Apr

Wilkins Ice Shelf Breaks up on Antractica

Antarctica is breaking up. We’ve all heard about the polar bears near the North Pole losing the ice they hunt on. God knows what’s going on at Santa’s workshop.  Now, on my birthday April 5, a huge piece of the ice shelf on Antarctica shattered into thousands of pieces and began floating, and melting, away.It was called the Wilkins Ice Shelf, and now it’s mostly gone. Forever.

The European Space Agency reports, and shows in pictures, how the over 200-square-mile chunk of ice shattered. Scientists say there is no doubt the break up was caused by climate change (global warming), not the paparazzi photos taken of the Wilkins Ice Shelf on a romantic beach with a stunning young Emporer Penguin just last fall.

Seriously: this is one of eight major ice shelves that are giving way right now near the South Pole. All are being blamed on a steadily warming atmosphere. The weather is changing. Which changes everything. Even if you think humans’ role in creating global warming is hype (yes, all two of you), isn’t it maybe worth it to give some of these things a look? Like most rational people, I believe we’re heating this place with our cars and power plants and ravenous hunger for more and bigger stuff. My fingerprints are all over it too–I’m part of the problem (I drove 30 miles to work today, for example). That’s the thing, no matter how hard environmental groups–and even the President–try, changing the rules will only move the needle a little bit. We have to all get to a point where we recognize our own handprints on all of this. Personal responsibility is the answer. A smart guy I once met said, “If you are not part of the problem, you can never be part of the solution.” (Adam Kahane)

You Get This

Sometimes it’s hard to see those handprints, becuse the problems always seem to first hit somewhere else. Someone else. It’s hard to see how everything–I mean everything–is totally interconnected. But it shouldn’t be. I’d guess that most bartblog readers are at least a bit the spiritual type. Maybe you’re a christian, maybe you’re tuned in to some other form of the great spirit at the center of it all. Either way, it’s not such a leap to think about this whole Earth–all of creation–being hitched together in ways we don’t begin to understand. If you believe, like I do, that it’s all from one Source.

I Dare You

So, here’s my challenge for you. Spend an hour in nature, by yourself, in the next week. No book, no ipod, no texting. Just you and the trees and spring flowers and grass and critters. Just get out there, spend some time in the quiet wild, just contemplating nature. I beleive that’s the doorway to a more clear understanding of this global warming/love the Earth kind of thing. And a whole lot of other things. Please try it. The worst that could happen is you spend an hour in a calm, beautiful place, and you can go back to living and being just the way you did before.

Let us all know how it goes for you…

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