Heroes

Look at this glacier in Alaska as it disappears over the course of a century and try not to go whoa.

When I first looked at these, I thought, "Well maybe it's a different, hotter season in the picture where there's not any ice." It's not.

Look at this glacier in Alaska as it disappears over the course of a century and try not to go whoa.
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Universal Pictures: Everest

Take a look at these four images and then choose your own adventure. Ready?

Scroll with me to the frontiers of...



Here is the Muir Glacier and Inlet in Alaska.

The black-and-white picture is from Sept. 2, 1892. Guess when the color photo is from.

Aug. 11, 2005.

Below, the black-and-white photo of the Muir Glacier and Inlet is from the 1880s or '90s.

The color photo? Aug. 11, 2005.

Here's a slo-mo of another shot of the Muir Glacier from 1899 to 2003.

And again the Muir Glacier from 1899...

... to 2003.

Don't these all now look like summery destinations!?!

Oh wait. These are GLACIERS? In Alaska?

Yeah. :(

So what are we gonna do? Are we gonna do something?

Let's play a little choose your own adventure.

Adventure A

What happens if we, the Earthlings of Earth, do nothing?

Let's suppose that climate change is either happening or not actually happening (despite overwhelming scientific consensus, BTW).

1. If climate change is not really happening ... we're fine. (Even though there is overwhelming scientific consensus that it IS happening, so it might seem a little silly for us to think that it's not happening ... but we're doing a thought experiment!)

2. If climate change is actually happening and we do NOTHING ... we have economic, social, political, environmental, and health catastrophes the likes of which have never been seen on Earth. :( Basically, the world as we know it is dunzo.

Adventure A's choices: We bet against overwhelming scientific consensus in the hopes that overwhelming scientific consensus is wrong ... or we suffer economic, social, political, environmental, and health catastrophes the likes of which have never been seen on Earth. Not to be all tree-hugger here, but it's kind of a no-brainer for me.

I do not choose this adventure!!!

Adventure B

What happens if we, the Earthlings of Earth, take action?

1. If climate change is not really happening ... we'll have spent lots of money investing in clean energy that has been proven to create tons of jobs. It might strain our economy, but there will be more jobs because we'll be investing in new industries. So we'll have more jobs and the air will at least be nicer.

2. If climate change is actually happening ... we'll have spent money in exactly the right place, breathing will be awesome, people will have jobs, and we'll be fine. It's a simple adventure because it's simple. Doing something about climate change simply prepares the world for easy livin'.

I CHOOSE ADVENTURE B2!!!

The way I see it, there's a choice to invest money in not having a catastrophe + jobs and happy people, or there's a choice to roll the dice on catastrophe, not invest in jobs, and make it harder to breathe.

What's your choice?

I know mine. It's so. so. SO. clear.

Photo by Daniel Schludi on Unsplash
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Photo by Daniel Schludi on Unsplash
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The global eradication of smallpox in 1980 is one of international public health's greatest successes. But in 1966, seven years after the World Health Organization announced a plan to rid the world of the disease, smallpox was still widespread. The culprits? A lack of funds, personnel and vaccine supply.

Meanwhile, outbreaks across South America, Africa, and Asia continued, as the highly contagious virus continued to kill three out of every 10 people who caught it, while leaving many survivors disfigured. It took a renewed commitment of resources from wealthy nations to fulfill the promise made in 1959.

Forty-one years later, although we face a different virus, the potential for vast destruction is just as great, and the challenges of funding, personnel and supply are still with us, along with last-mile distribution. Today, while 30% of the U.S. population is fully vaccinated, with numbers rising every day, there is an overwhelming gap between wealthy countries and the rest of the world. It's becoming evident that the impact on the countries getting left behind will eventually boomerang back to affect us all.

Photo by ismail mohamed - SoviLe on Unsplash

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"As we enter into our second year of living with COVID-19, it has become painfully clear that the safety of any person depends on the global community's ability to protect every person," says Michelle Nunn, CARE USA's president and CEO. "While wealthy nations have begun inoculating their populations, new devastatingly lethal variants of the virus continue to emerge in countries like India, South Africa and Brazil. If vaccinations don't effectively reach lower-income countries now, the long-term impact of COVID-19 will be catastrophic."

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