By now you have probably seen some news outlet post about the giant iceberg, some 2,200 sq. miles, that has just broken off of the Larsen C ice shelf in Antarctica. If you haven’t, here is an informative post on the history of it from National Geographic. Most of the 7.5 billion humans that live on Mother Earth, think Antarctica is some far away place that has no relationship to them. That can’t be farther from the truth. I’d propose, that the the ramifications of what just happened, and is accelerating, in Antarctica are as close to you as the blade of grass you see right in front of you. Our world is changing. It is changing for people, for plants, for animals, the oceans, our air. Most of these changes are happening in such a continued way small and tiny, that it almost becomes imperceptible, unnoticeable, to our daily needs, wants, and lives. It reminds me of the the boiling frog parable.
Nature, however, maintains her balance, always. There is no judgement, justification on how, or why, or the causes, she will always maintain the balance. I have been fortunate enough to have been one of the very few people of the human population to actually set foot onto the Antarctic continent. It is the harshest place and the most beautiful place I’ve ever been. It was humbling and overwhelming. I was able to bare witness to the natural process, in real-time, of balancing with the changes taking place on the planet. You can see here a small part of a photo journal gallery I took while I was there. The enormity and scale is truly indescribable. Yet, the smallest of mosses exist on the ice, there is sea life that feeds on the smallest of krill, the penguins gather, birth, and go about their lives. There are now areas on the peninsula that are ice free, the temperatures have been rising the fastest of anywhere else on the entire planet. According to some of the biologists and scientists on the expedition ship I was on, the actual number is closer to 15 degrees Fahrenheit, not the 7 or 8 that is reported. As if 7 or 8 degrees was no big deal. The mosses are now appearing on rocks, not ice. The krill populations have been decreasing causing changes in feeding column and cycles of the whales and other sea life. The penguins are moving their colonies farther and farther south, to try and get the colder climate. They have no place left to go. They are literally out of space on the Earth in order to survive.
So what does all of this have to do with the blade of grass? The bulk of a blade of grass exists out of sight, in the extensive root system below the ground. We only see a small portion of the grass plant itself. The blade is just a tiny part of the plant, but without it, the whole plant can die. What we are witnessing happening in Antarctica with the iceberg the size of a small state breaking off is only the smallest portion of what is actually happening. The waters are warming, the ice canyons are being carved out at a pace that we have no understanding of, and life is changing. As a technologist, I am fully aware that the so-called ‘climate models’ being used to report are only as good as the algorithms, and we have no idea how to write the proper algorithm because we have no reference point to use. Otherwise, the algorithms and the data coming from them are meaningless. We simply do not have the data to write an accurate model, however that is not going to stop the changes from happening, probably at a rate the exceeds any of the most liberal of models. Nature will balance as she needs.
What can each of us do? First, let each of us realize that we are related to the farthest, smallest part of the universe and the that each and every action we take will play a role in that evolution. It is all inclusive. Make wise choices and dream for the good of all (people, plants, animals, earth), not just for our own personal need at the time. It is my hope, prayers, and actions for Mother Earth that she is able to maintain the human assault and remain in balance before it is truly to late for her. Dream big folks.