Everyone thought his ideas for making ice sounded crazy, but now he's a national hero.

At first, they laughed.

Welcome to the rooftop of the world.

This is the story of a man who spent 40 years in the Himalayas watching glaciers melt. One day, he figured out how to do that himself — in reverse.

Ladakh sits at the northernmost tip of India, high in the mountains. Life here is not what anyone would call easy — average rainfall in these mountain villages where most people are farmers is less than two inches a year. Farmers in Ladakh have traditionally relied on glacial meltwater for their spring crops.


But climate change is creating a whole new challenge. The climate has been drier and warmer, with irregular, sometimes torrential rains. The glaciers in the Himalayas are melting faster than any other glaciers on the planet, and when water does come, there's too much of it at once. Basically, the farmers have a storage problem.

This is Chewang Norphel, who came from a farming family and spent his whole career as a civil engineer here. Watching farmers struggle to grow crops (only to give up and migrate to eke out a meager living in the city), Norphel focused his work on how to capture water in the winter and store it until spring when farmers need it.

While watching a small stream freeze when it flowed into the shade of some trees near his house, Norphel realized that he could imitate that process on a bigger scale. He could create a small glacier.

People laughed when I first presented the idea. They said, 'What crazy man are you? How can anyone make a glacier?'
— Chewang Norphel

While "growing glaciers" is not a totally new idea, Norphel had to convince people that he could build these glaciers large enough and close enough to villages to be useful to people. His early attempts in the 1990s worked so well that people were soon offering to help him construct more.

How did he do it?

His method involves channeling glacial meltwater to the shady side of a mountain.

Half-inch-wide iron pipes are placed perpendicularly to the edge of a small reservoir dug in the shaded area, where the water is collected. As the gradually freezing water seeps into the pipes, frozen blocks are pushed out the other side, and a neat, artificial glacier emerges. The glacier remains frozen until the spring when it begins to melt and water flows down to where farmers can use it.

Norphel's work is now being continued by younger engineers he's mentored. Sonam Wangchuk is using Norphel's ideas to create giant ice pyramids (which will melt more slowly), which he's dubbed ice stupas in honor of the dome-shaped shrines of the region.

Image by icestupa.org and used with permission.

As the search for climate solutions continues, the "ice man" is an innovator who has made a difference. He's been widely recognized for his contributions, even being named a climate hero. Check out his story below:

And for some fun, catch the Bollywood movie trailer that honors him too!

Heroes

I'm staring at my screen watching the President of the United States speak before a stadium full of people in North Carolina. He launches into a lie-laced attack on Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, and the crowd boos. Soon they start chanting, "Send her back! Send her back! Send her back!"

The President does nothing. Says nothing. He just stands there and waits for the crowd to finish their outburst.

WATCH: Trump rally crowd chants 'send her back' after he criticizes Rep. Ilhan Omar www.youtube.com

My mind flashes to another President of the United States speaking to a stadium full of people in North Carolina in 2016. A heckler in the crowd—an old man in uniform holding up a TRUMP sign—starts shouting, disrupting the speech. The crowd boos. Soon they start chanting, "Hillary! Hillary! Hillary!"

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via EarthFix / Flickr

What will future generations never believe that we tolerated in 2019?

Dolphin and orca captivity, for sure. They'll probably shake their heads at how people died because they couldn't afford healthcare. And, they'll be completely mystified at the amount of food some people waste while others go starving.

According to Biological Diversity, "An estimated 40 percent of the food produced in the United States is wasted every year, costing households, businesses and farms about $218 billion annually."

There are so many things wrong with this.

First of all it's a waste of money for the households who throw out good food. Second, it's a waste of all of the resources that went into growing the food, including the animals who gave their lives for the meal. Third, there's something very wrong with throwing out food when one in eight Americans struggle with hunger.

Supermarkets are just as guilty of this unnecessary waste as consumers. About 10% of all food waste are supermarket products thrown out before they've reached their expiration date.

Three years ago, France took big steps to combat food waste by making a law that bans grocery stores from throwing away edible food.According to the new ordinance, stores can be fined for up to $4,500 for each infraction.

Previously, the French threw out 7.1 million tons of food. Sixty-seven percent of which was tossed by consumers, 15% by restaurants, and 11% by grocery stores.

This has created a network of over 5,000 charities that accept the food from supermarkets and donate them to charity. The law also struck down agreements between supermarkets and manufacturers that prohibited the stores from donating food to charities.

"There was one food manufacturer that was not authorized to donate the sandwiches it made for a particular supermarket brand. But now, we get 30,000 sandwiches a month from them — sandwiches that used to be thrown away," Jacques Bailet, head of the French network of food banks known as Banques Alimentaires, told NPR.

It's expected that similar laws may spread through Europe, but people are a lot less confident at it happening in the United States. The USDA believes that the biggest barrier to such a program would be cost to the charities and or supermarkets.

"The logistics of getting safe, wholesome, edible food from anywhere to people that can use it is really difficult," the organization said according to Gizmodo. "If you're having to set up a really expensive system to recover marginal amounts of food, that's not good for anybody."

Plus, the idea may seem a little too "socialist" for the average American's appetite.

"The French version is quite socialist, but I would say in a great way because you're providing a way where they [supermarkets] have to do the beneficial things not only for the environment, but from an ethical standpoint of getting healthy food to those who need it and minimizing some of the harmful greenhouse gas emissions that come when food ends up in a landfill," Jonathan Bloom, the author of American Wasteland, told NPR.

However, just because something may be socialist doesn't mean it's wrong. The greater wrong is the insane waste of money, damage to the environment, and devastation caused by hunger that can easily be avoided.

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Policing women's bodies — and by consequence their clothes — is nothing new to women across the globe. But this mother's "legging problem" is particularly ridiculous.

What someone wears, regardless of gender, is a personal choice. Sadly, many folks like Maryann White, mother of four sons, think women's attire — particularly women's leggings are a threat to men.

While sitting in mass at the University of Notre Dame, White was aghast by the spandex attire the young women in front of her were sporting.

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Men are sharing examples of how they step up and step in when they see problematic behaviors in their peers, and people are here for it.

Twitter user "feminist next door" posed an inquiry to her followers, asking "good guys" to share times they saw misogyny or predatory behavior and did something about it. "What did you say," she asked. "What are your suggestions for the other other men in this situation?" She added a perfectly fitting hashtag: #NotCoolMan.

Not only did the good guys show up for the thread, but their stories show how men can interrupt situations when they see women being mistreated and help put a stop to it.

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