Favorite Travel Quotes

"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts."
-- Mark Twain
Innocents Abroad

"Stop worrying about the potholes in the road and celebrate the journey." -- Fitzhugh Mullan

"A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving." -- Lao Tzu

Is Global Warming Real? Consider these Glacier Park Photos Before Answering

Grinnell Glacier in 1979

Grinnell Glacier in 1979

©Bert Gildart: Publication wise, this has been a good month for me, with four stories and a number of photographs in various publications. All my materials are in good magazines, but my most important story is one appearing in this issue produced by The Wilderness Society.


My story in that magazine is about global warming and it required that I interview a number of well respected scientists. These men and women are the same types of scientists who have helped eradicate polio, map out the human genome, and who have sent astronauts into outer space. I was flattered they shared valuable time with me.

What is indisputable is that global warming is occurring, but what some of us still question is whether global warming is: man caused, part of a natural cycle–or both.


Though the photographs included here were not part of my story for The Wilderness Society, they reflect changes that have occurred in my own back yard, specifically, Glacier National Park. I’ve taken these photos at various times over the past 30 years, the first shown here in 1979.

Grinnell Glacier 2006

Grinnell Glacier, 2006

These three images dramatize the phenomenal change that have recently occurred. Doctor Dan Fagre, a global warming scientist in Glacier, considers Grinnell to be the “poster child of global warming.” He says that all glaciers in Glacier National Park will be gone by 2030–”if not sooner.”

The second photo, working from top to bottom, shows Grinnell Glacier in 2001–less than quarter of a century later. Once, as the first photo shows, Grinnell was a massive chunk of ice. In fact, in the early 1900s the glacier extended about a mile down the valley.

Obviously, Grinnell has shrunk in both mass and length, something easy to see by comparing photos. For reference, look at the small pointed peak just a little to the left of center. Then find that same peak in my first photo and examine the similar foregrounds. Compare the ice mass in the first photo with what now remains.


In fact, this once massive ice chunk has receded to such an extent that the name Grinnell Glacier has essentially been replaced by the name Grinnell Lake, or what you now see in the third photograph (and in my summer posting ). This photo was taken in 2005.

Global Warming has replaced a once massive glacier with a lake

A massive glacier has been replaced by ‘Grinnell Lake’

Though this sequence of photos may not settle the question of what is causing global warming, it certainly does show the rapidity with which change is occurring in Glacier.

Read my story in the magazine produced by The Wilderness Society and you will see that similar changes are occurring throughout the nation.

2 Responses to “Is Global Warming Real? Consider these Glacier Park Photos Before Answering”

  1. Rozanne Barrick Says:

    Great post mate. Looking forward to more

  2. History Safari Express » Blog Archive » Spring ‘stream reading: Bert Gildart Says:

    [...] to the Grinnell Overlook… from there, the panorama dramatizes the now-accelerated rate of global warming,” writes Bert on page 20.  Listen to Dan Fagre as he talks about his mountain ecosystems [...]