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Steamboat Magazine

A Flowing Response (From Our Changing Climate to David’s Melting Icicle)

09/28/2020 01:11PM ● By Jennie Lay
Article and photos by Jennie Lay

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS- This story is part of 
Covering Climate Now, a global journalism collaboration strengthening coverage of the climate story.

Ice never lies.

In the bits, trapped bubbles whisper ancient secrets from this bitter Earth. Listen carefully, and you’ll hear the rangy stories. 

 Sweet mysteries from Viking explorers and ambitious insults from industrial smokestacks. Together, they rise in a hum of pop, crackle and whoosh.

In the rolling bergs, 10,000 years of fossilized snowflakes and coalsoaked air churn up earth and rock and Mother Nature’s most impressive architecture.

Opacity and clarity. Fluidity and brittleness. All the textures. Infinite sparkle.

Eyes on the vast ice sheet drop a mortal to tears.

Greenland unveils the beauty and the beast. Frozen water locks in time and every imaginable hue of grue – that ill-defined umami of colors that floats somewhere between green and blue. Plus all the shades of gray.

The ice won’t fib. There is too much water in it now. Crystals melt, rushing from the depths, releasing gasses that will plague us. In equatorial places like Bangladesh and Kiribati, they already do.

Unleashed from the ice, water gives life, and takes it away.

Rubies glitter from the gneiss. A polar bear roams the horizon. Whales rise gently to remind us of their reign.

Fires rage. Derechos flatten. Typhoons flood. Drought transforms jungle to desert.

Fate lies bare naked in the ice. Her fragility is our truth.