Footprints in the (lack of) snow

In the Jan. 23 Mountain X, there was a letter from Douglas Stronblotz [“Wipe Up That Footprint”] talking about “carbon footprints” and doubting whether global warming really exists. I don’t know much about carbon, greenhouse gasses or the science that surrounds this, but let me share what I do know.

Firstly, the people of the Shuswap Nation (in central British Columbia, my home) have an oral history going back over 260 generations—well over 6,000 years. In that history, there have never been as mild winters as have been seen consistently and increasingly in the last 20 years.

Secondly, British Columbia is known for its softwood lumber, but not for long. The forests around my home have all turned brown, having had their cambium chewed out by pine beetles. Pine beetles have been around as long as the trees themselves, and historically help speed up decomposition. But in the last six years, there hasn’t been a freeze cold enough and long enough to kill off the majority of the beetles, so now they’re eating all the trees instead of just the sick ones.

You can doubt science, but walk with your eyes open and you will see the signs, even in your own Pisgah.

— Luc Joel Levin
Asheville

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