Glaciers are gone; so why not rename Montana's Glacier National Park?

Group wants to rename Glacier. By Bill Schneider. New West.

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  1. Vicki Avatar

    e for Global Warming National Park!!!! Or maybe, we call it, hmmmnn, Formerly Healthy Environment Memorial Park?

  2. Monte Avatar

    I read an interesting question today. What is the “correct” temperature of the earth?

  3. Mike Lommler Avatar
    Mike Lommler

    I don’t think of earth’s temperature in terms of “correct”, or too warm or all that. I think of things in term of climatic stability–that’s what I, and I think a lot of climate scientists, worry about. The last 10-12,000 years or so have been climatically very stable relative to the few hundred thousand years previous. It’s during this last 10,000 years that what we call civilization has developed–even though the human brain has been at about its current ‘advanced’ state for perhaps the last 40,000 years or so.

    So, I worry that messing around with climate like we have might be like poking a stick into a dragon’s eye–risking making the climate system more volatile and thus making permanent settlements, large-scale agriculture and other hallmarks of ‘civilization’ much more difficult to sustain.

    What’s happening in the Southwest right now–an overdeveloped region using up all its water (good recent coverage in the High Country News) and reservoirs threatening to dry up might be a preview of what’s to come for the greater West and beyond, if you throw in climate volatility.

    That’s why suggestions that human-caused global warming could be a good thing (from some idiots) infuriate me so much. We’ve HAD it good. Things are not likely to get better than these last 10,000 years of relatively stable climate.

  4. Monte Avatar

    Given the environmental extremes that aboriginal cultures have adapted to, I don’t entirely buy your implied argument that the climatic stability of the last 10,000 years has contributed much to civilization. Dealing with climatic instability is one of the main catalysts for advances in technology, particularly in agriculture. I think humanity can and will adapt. The climate has changed and will change, but in the scope of 2 or 3 human generations the climate has always been relatively stable. I think agriculture and other industry is more capable of adapting to change now than ever before. I share your concern about the more immediate problems of overusing our water supply, particularly in the West.


Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan’s Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of “Hiking Idaho.” He also wrote “Beyond the Tetons” and “Backpacking Wyoming’s Teton and Washakie Wilderness.” He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.

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