“That’s hard to believe,” Chuck said to the tour guide after looking at the half dozen photographs of the valley taken over four decades.
“That whole area down there,” she said, waving her hand across the landscape toward the valley below, “was gouged out by a glacier centuries ago. But you can see from these pictures that, starting about 30 years ago, the glacier began to recede.”
“That’s surreal,” Chuck said.
“No,” said the tour guide. “It’s heartbreaking. By last year, the entire glacier was gone, leaving only these ridges where mosses, grasses, and other vegetation have started to grow. What nature took centuries to create, humanity destroyed in just decades.”
Chuck noticed the moistness forming in the tour guide’s eyes. “I don’t know,” Chuck said. “I understand what you’re saying, but just look at it now. It’s beautiful and it’s being filled in with new growth, new life.”
The guide looked at Chuck. “Well, that’s one way of seeing it. But if this is what we’ve done to this glacier in just three decades, how long do you think it will be before the entire planet has been transformed and will, potentially, become inhospitable to human life?”
“Oh come on,” Chuck said. Don’t you think you’re exaggerating? Even our president has said that climate change caused by humans is a hoax.”
“The biggest hoax is the one our president has pulled over the eyes of the American voters,” the tour guide said, and turned away to address others in the small group of tourists.