By Shaun Moore
On the heels of a British report warning that the Earth is facing a disaster on the scale of a world war, unless something is done to slow global warming, the Seattle Times published a piece today documenting the disappearing act of the states’ glaciers.

Washington state has more glacially-covered mountains than any other state in the lower 48. The size of the glaciers have ebbed and flowed for thousands of years, but scientists are now seeing a considerable decline in the size of the glaciers that has not returned.

“When people ask me, ‘Will glaciers disappear in my lifetime?’ I answer, ‘Some of them will disappear; all of them are going to get a lot smaller,'” said Andrew Fountain, a glaciologist at Portland State University who is cataloging changes in U.S.

Don’t just take the scientist’s word though. See for yourself:

Of course, this report follows a British report yesterday that warned of the eminent dangers of global warming. For years the Bush Administration has refused to sign the Kyoto Agreement, arguing that it would stifle the U.S. economy. The British report argues that ignoring the situation will do more harm to the global economy than addressing the situation now. In fact the paper goes as far as to say that environmentalism and economic growth can coexist.Unlike the U.S., some European countries are taking the science seriously. According the UN, Britain has reduced its carbon emissions by 14 percent over the last 15 years, Germany’s emissions dropped 17 percent from 1990 to 2004, and France’s have dropped 1 percent.

Those may seem like insignificant numbers, but the bottom line is that every little bit counts. The pictures of the South Cascade Glacier depict just one glacier global warming is having a documented affect on. There are many more of these and like the glaciers in Washington’s Cascades, each one contributes to their region’s water supply, electric dams, and farm irrigation. If they continue to shrink so will our ability to harness them for things like drinking water and energy.

Shaun Moore blogs at The Daily Spectator.

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