Dachstein Glacier alarm!
I find it hard to believe that there are still global warming deniers amongst us. Here in the Alps global warming is already in full swing.
The real question is: how are we as a species dealing with the problems facing us?
Other than flying celebrities to the north pole to witness the extinctions of the polar bears and other animals or flying talking shop aficionados around the planet to no effect climate conferences the answer it seems to me is not very much.
But I tell a lie. We are doing something. We are busy planning and building higher and higher ski resorts, more and more cars and roads, more out of town supermarkets, more giant cruise ships, and ever bigger airports. And it's all in the name of Growth!
Growth! of the kind the EU's politicians constantly tell us we must have is not real Growth!*.It is an illusion.
A newspaper report I recall reading a couple of years ago stated that if all countries in the world were to reach the same economic level and continue in the same way as here in Austria (and doubtless it's the same in many other EU countries too) we would require the resources of 3 earth size planets to support ourselves. In the case of Britain I believe the figure was 2.6 planets. And in the USA it was nearly 3.5 planets.
The ariel view of the highest part of Austria's famous Dachstein massif, published by the ÖAV (Österreichische Alpin Verein) in 2012, shows the extent of the glacier melt, perhaps 50% of the area of the glacier originally surveyed in 1850 has now vanished.
What the ariel view does not show is the unseen, the dramatically reduced thickness of what remains of the Dachstein's glacier.
Government gave people €2,000 vouchers if they sent their perfectly good cars to the scrap yard and bought new replacements. Growth! .
Alpine Spring Water is being exported in plastic bottles from Austria to China. I can hardly believe it but it must be true for I've seen the labels printed in many languages including Chinese.
Water weighs 1 ton per cubic meter. Growth! It needs a lot of fuel to transport it around the world in plastic bottles.
Motorways are clogged up with slow moving or standing traffic from dawn till dusk - the answer is to build more motorways and bigger trucks. Growth!
*example 4 - a fisherman catches a few fish for the market, his wife collects herbs on the hill at the back of the house to sell to the local doctor, the son carves souvenirs from driftwood found on the beach. Problem? No growth!