Really bad but also not so dire
Plus: Glen Canyon, rewilding the monarchy, greenways, & bottled water
This will be a short one.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change came out with a new report this week. Unfortunately, I have not read it, skimmed it, or even read news articles about it. However, from tweets—merely tweets—I gathered that the TLDR [Too Long Didn’t Read] is that the situation is Really Not Good but also Not So Dire As To Stop Putting Pressure On The Powerful and Wealthy. Let me know what else I’m missing in the comments?
In a recent newsletter, I made the case that, “The sad reality is that “How to Hike In the Era of Climate Change” should be the theme of almost every Backpacker issue, every Outside issue, of virtually every story we tell about the outdoors (substitute “hike” with “climb,” “swim,” “canoe,” “bike,” etc. as needed).” The latest installment in this genre is a beautiful dispatch from Glen Canyon, the drowned natural wonder in Utah, which is slowly being re-exposed as Lake Powell evaporates and shrinks from prolonged drought. Writing in The New Yorker, Elizabeth Kolbert really gets at the sticky, complex feeling aroused by celebrating the river re-righting itself (sorta), but only as a result of a slow-moving natural disaster, and how no end-game for the lake/canyon will be perfect.
One particularly poignant detail that stuck out at me:
I recalled a story I’d read about Barry Goldwater, a man not generally known as an environmentalist. Before he launched his political career, Goldwater took a trip down the Colorado that was supposed to re-create John Wesley Powell’s famous journey. When he finally retired, after five terms representing Arizona in the U.S. Senate and one failed Presidential bid, Goldwater said that the only vote he regretted having cast was the one that led to the damming of Glen Canyon.
“I think of that river as it was when I was a boy,” he said. “And that is the way I would like to see it again.”
Quick hits: Rewild the monarchy. The past and future greenways. On bottled water and the commodification of nature (brilliant and beautifully illustrated).
Ok, that’s it! I said it would be quick. Thanks as always for reading! (Also, it’s my birthday today, so if you’ve been thinking about subscribing, now would be a great time.)