Thursday, December 3, 2015
#337 / [Ab] Sense Of Snow
I loved reading Smilla's Sense of Snow, the English language title given to a crime thriller by Peter Høeg. The book was published in 1992, and it was then made into a wonderful movie.
A very brief article in the November 17, 2015 edition of The New York Times has caused me to think about an "absence" of snow. Do we really have any "sense" of what that will mean to the world?
If you missed the article when it first appeared, you can recapture it here, by clicking this link. The article is titled, "Billions of People Depend on Water From Shrinking Snowpacks." That includes a significant number in California, though our "local" problems with the anticipated disappearance of snow from the world are minuscule compared to what will happen in other places.
To get beyond the U.S. framework, which is what is mentioned in the article in The Times, you'll need to read the full report, which comes in the form of an "Environmental Research Letter," published on the website of IOP Science, and titled, "The potential for snow to supply human water demand in the present and future."
We have built our human societies, locally and globally, on the idea that the Natural World will be constant, and reliable, and will sustain us into the future as it has made our lives possible in the past. The Natural World is the world that sustains all life, but our own actions can modify that world, and that is what we are doing as we raise global temperatures by continuing to emit greenhouse gases at an unprecedented rate.
As we disregard the limits of this Natural World, we put the world that we have created in great danger. None of us will want to live in a world with an absence of snow.